I cannot say that I am totally surprised. Republicans and Democrats have been in the pocket of the House of Saud ever since 1944. God Bless Rand Paul.
hat tip for all three articles - Powerline
by Andrew C. McCarthy
I’m done grumbling about how President Obama is empowering America’s enemies. After all, it is not just Obama. When it comes to abetting the Muslim Brotherhood, Republicans are right there with him.
Not all of them, of course. This week, for example, Senator Rand Paul proposed an amendment that would have prohibited our government from transferring F-16 aircraft and Abrams tanks to Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood–dominated government. This lunatic plan is not just an Obama initiative. It is also a GOP brainstorm — of a piece with 2011’s Libya debacle, in which Republican leaders cheered as Obama, upon consulting with the Arab League, ignored Congress and levied war on behalf of the very jihadists who, quite predictably, have since raided Qaddafi’s arsenal, besieged northern Africa, and massacred Americans in Benghazi.
A few weeks back, the John McCain & Lindsey Graham roadshow made its way to Brotherhood Central in Cairo, with newcomer Kelly Ayotte in tow. Senator Ayotte appears to have filled the void created by Joe Lieberman’s retirement — after all, when you have Republicans, who needs another Democrat? The former trio is best remembered for its Tripoli triumph of late 2009, when the three kicked back in the Qaddafi compound and toasted our newly cozy relations with the dictator. The bipartisan solons then winged their way home in time to second the Obama State Department’s increase in funding for the Libyan dictator’s regime. After all, they reasoned, Qaddafi was our hedge against Libya’s jihadists. As is their wont, though, the solons soon dazzled us with a 180, suddenly deciding that what we really needed to do was back Libya’s jihadists in their war against Qaddafi. The rest, as they say in Mali, is history.
So the GOP brain trust now brings this Midas touch to Egypt, rallying behind Obama’s cozy relations with the new “Islamic democracy.” [.......]
Senator Paul, by contrast, has three ideas that seem positively batty to the McCain gang. First, he thinks that American foreign policy ought to be premised on American national interests, not on the shifting notions of “global stability” popular at the Wilson School and the Council on Foreign Relations. Second, he suggests that when we give aid and arms to anti-American Islamists, bad things tend to happen to America. Finally, Paul believes the foundation of American foreign policy is, of all quaint things, the United States Constitution. The Framers gave Congress not merely the authority but the duty to thwart executive excess. On the international stage, that primarily means the power of the purse, which enables the people’s representatives to defund such madness as the arming of Islamic supremacists.
So Senator Paul tried to stop weapons transfer. His amendment, however, was defeated 79–19, because 23 Republican senators opted to follow the lead of McCain, Graham, and Ayotte. They joined all Senate Democrats (and a couple of nominal “independents” who are, in effect, Democrats) in voting to “table” the Paul Amendment. “Tabling” is a bit of procedural chicanery, allowing senators to defeat Paul’s amendment yet pretend to the folks back home that they didn’t actually vote “against” it.
Don’t be fooled. The choice here was simple: Stand with the Muslim Brotherhood or stand with the American people. Nearly two-thirds of Senate Republicans went with the Brothers.
Let’s be clear about whom Republicans have voted to arm. In late 2010, as I detail in Spring Fever: The Illusion of Islamic Democracy, Mohammed Badi, head of the Muslim Brotherhood, called for violent jihad against the United States and Israel. The “Supreme Guide” gleefully added, “The United States is now experiencing the beginning of its end, and is heading towards its demise.” The Brotherhood took pains to post this speech on its Arabic-language website, reflecting its official position.
Badi’s sentiments would have been no surprise to anyone who had been paying attention. It had not been long, after all, since the Holy Land Foundation trial, in which the Justice Department proved that the Brotherhood regards the core mission of its U.S.-based affiliates (such organizations as CAIR, the Muslim Students Association, and the Islamic Society of North America) to be, as the Brothers themselves put it, “a grand jihad in eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within” by “sabotage.” [........]
Mohamed Morsi, a leading Brotherhood official, became Egypt’s president last summer — just as his close associate, the aforementioned Supreme Guide, was railing that all Muslims, including rulers, must “wage jihad in Allah’s way” in order to reverse the “usurpation” of Palestine by the “murdering Zionist criminals.” In his very first public pronouncement after winning the presidency, Morsi called for the United States to release Omar Abdel Rahman. That would be the “Blind Sheikh,” who is serving a life sentence for terrorism convictions, and who has been credited by Osama bin Laden with issuing the fatwa that approved the 9/11 attacks. Al-Qaeda quite sensibly gleaned that fatwa from this statement about Americans that Abdel Rahman made following his conviction:
Muslims everywhere . . . dismember their nation, tear them apart, ruin their economy, provoke their corporations, destroy their embassies, attack their interests, sink their ships, . . . shoot down their planes, [and] kill them on land, at sea, and in the air. Kill them wherever you find them.
In addition to calling for the Blind Sheikh’s return to Egypt, where such sentiments are common, Morsi has directed the release of many terrorists who had been incarcerated during President Hosni Mubarak’s tenure — Mubarak having had a close counterterrorism partnership with the United States. Morsi further failed to protect the American embassy from being overrun by Islamist rioters. [........]
Prior to his election, Morsi promised that his top imperative would be the imposition of sharia, Islam’s totalitarian legal code and societal framework. He has been true to his word, recently orchestrating the imposition of a new sharia constitution — the heavy-handed gambit that has horrified minorities and sent Egypt reeling into its latest chaos. Sharia constitutions are apparently fine with Senator McCain these days, but as we saw in his vertiginous positions on Qaddafi, the GOP’s guru of choice is not exactly a model of consistency on this point.
In a 2011 interview with Der Spiegel, the senator declared, quite correctly, that “sharia law . . . in itself is anti-democratic — at least as far as women are concerned.” Thus McCain then insisted that the sharia-driven Brotherhood — which he accurately described as “a radical group” that “has been involved with other terrorist organizations” — “should be specifically excluded from any transition government” in Egypt. [.......]
Meanwhile, under Morsi’s leadership, Egypt is seeing the widespread persecution of Christians and other religious minorities. In many areas, police and Islamist vigilantes now enforce sharia standards on the streets, just as they do in Saudi Arabia and Iran. And recordings recently surfaced of Morsi calling Jews the “descendants of apes and pigs” — “blood-suckers” for whom Muslims “must not forget to nurse our children and grandchildren on hatred,” including “hatred . . . for all those who support them.” [Memo to Republicans: “Those who support them” refers to . . . the American people.]
I could go on, but as Beltway supporters of America-hating Islamists like to say, “What difference does it make?” Still, just in case it makes any difference to you, here are the Republican senators who shamefully voted to provide Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood government with F-16s and Abrams tanks: Alexander, Ayotte, Barasso, Blunt, Burr, Chambliss, Coburn, Cochran, Collins, Corker, Enzi, Flake, Graham, Hatch, Hoeven, Inhofe, Isakson, Johanns, Johnson, Kirk, McCain, McConnell, Murkowski, Portman, Toomey, and Wicker.
Kudos to the 18 Republicans who joined Senator Paul in trying to stop the arming of America’s enemies: Boozman, Coats, Cornyn, Crapo, Cruz, Fischer, Grassley, Heller, Lee, Moran, Risch, Roberts, Rubio, Scott, Sessions, Shelby, Thune, and Vitter. Common sense is on their side. Sadly, history is sure to follow, and probably soon.
Read the rest – Senate Republicans arm the Brotherhood
I love Mark Steyn’s description of Chuck Hagel as being an oversedated Elmer Fudd. Some commenter wrote ” ‘It would seem Obama has little shame putting forth nominees who have “no other merit than that of… [being] personally allied to him’ ”
by Mark Steyn
You don’t have to be that good to fend off a committee of showboating senatorial blowhards. Hillary Clinton demonstrated that a week or so back when she unleashed what’s apparently the last word in withering putdowns: What difference does it make?
Quite a bit of difference, it seems. This week, an oversedated Elmer Fudd showed up at the Senate claiming to be the president’s nominee for Secretary of Defense, and even the kindliest interrogators on the committee couldn’t prevent the poor chap shooting himself in the foot.
Twenty minutes in, Chuck Hagel was all out of appendages.
He warmed up with a little light “misspeaking” on Iran. “I support the president’s strong position on containment,” he declared. Breaking news!
Obama comes clean on Iran! According to Hagel, the administration favors “containment.” I could barely “contain” my excitement! Despite official denials, many of us had long suspected that, lacking any stomach for preventing a nuclear Tehran, Washington would settle for “containing” them. Hagel has been a containment man for years: It worked with the Soviets, so why not with apocalyptic ayatollahs? As he said in a 2007 speech, “The core tenets of George Kennan’s ‘The Long Telegram’ and the strategy of containment remain relevant today.” Recent history of pre-nuclear Iran – authorizing successful mob hits on Salman Rushdie’s publishers and translators, bombing Jewish community centers in Buenos Aires, seeding client regimes in Lebanon and Gaza – suggests that these are fellows disinclined to be “contained” even at the best of times. But, even if Iran can be “contained” from nuking Tel Aviv, how do you “contain” Iran’s exercise of its nuclear status to advance its interests more discreetly, or “contain” the mullahs’ generosity to states and non-state actors less squeamish about using the technology? How do you “contain” a nuclear Iran from de facto control of Persian Gulf oil, including setting the price and determining the customers?
Unfortunately, as Hillary said the other day, “our policy is prevention, not containment”. So five minutes later the handlers discreetly swung into action to “contain” Hagel. “I was just handed a note that I misspoke,” he announced, “that I said I supported the President’s position on containment. If I said that, I meant to say that we don’t have a position on containment.” Hagel’s revised position is that there is no position on containment for him to have a position on.
Containment? Prevention? What difference does it make? Could happen to anyone. I well remember when Neville Chamberlain landed at Heston Aerodrome in 1938 and announced the latest breakthrough in appeasement: “I have here a piece of paper from Herr Hitler.” Two minutes later, he announced, “I have here a second piece of paper from my staffer saying that I misspoke.” Who can forget Churchill’s stirring words in the House of Commons? “If, indeed, it is the case that I said, ‘We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall never surrender!,’ then I misspoke. I meant to say that we’re keeping the situation under review and remain committed to exploring all options.”
It’s easy to make mistakes when you’re as expert in all the nuances of Iranian affairs as Chuck Hagel. After he’d hailed Iran’s “elected, legitimate government,” it fell to another Democrat, Kirsten Gillibrand, to prompt Hagel to walk it back. Okay, delete “elected” and “legitimate”: “What I meant to say, should have said, is that it’s recognizable.”
“Recognizable”? In the sense that, if you wake up one morning to a big mushroom cloud on the horizon, you’d recognize it as the work of the Iranian government? No, by “recognizable,” he meant that the Iranian government is “recognized” as the government of Iran.
“I don’t understand Iranian politics,” he announced in perhaps his least-misspoken statement of the day. But the Iranians understand ours, which is why, in an amusing touch, the Foreign Ministry in Tehran has enthusiastically endorsed Hagel.
Fortunately, Iran is entirely peripheral to global affairs – it’s not like Chad or the Solomon Islands or the other burning questions the great powers are currently wrestling with – so it would be entirely unreasonable to expect Hagel to understand anything much about what’s going on over there. So what of his other, non-Iranian interests?
“There are a lot of things I don’t know about,” said Hagel. “If confirmed, I intend to know a lot more than I do.”
Really? So what’s the job for, then? Just showing up at the office and the occasional black-tie NATO banquet? Most misspeakers loose off one round and then have to re-load, but Chuck Hagel is a big scary “military-style assault weapon” of a misspeaker, effortlessly peppering the Senate wainscoting for hours on end. Late in the day, after five o’clock, he pronounced definitively: “It doesn’t matter what I think.”
“It does matter what you think,” insisted New Hampshire Republican Kelly Ayotte.
With respect to my own senator, I think it matters that he seems incapable of thinking – or at least of thinking through his own Great Thoughts.
There are over 300 million Americans, and another 20 million Undocumented-Americans about to be fast-tracked down the soi-disant “path to citizenship.” Surely, from this vast talent pool, it should be possible to find someone who’s sufficiently interested in running the planet’s biggest military not to present himself on the world stage as a woozy, unfocused stumblebum. In an exquisite touch, responding to reports that Hagel was “ill-prepared,” someone in the White House leaked that he had been thoroughly “coached.” In other words, don’t blame us: We put him through the federally mandated Confirmation Hearing For Dummies course. [........]
Hagel may know nothing about Iran, but he’s an incisive expert on America.
During an appearance on al-Jazeera in 2009, a caller asked him about “the perception and the reality” that America is “the world’s bully” – and Hagel told viewers that he agreed. Confronted with this exchange by Sen. Ted Cruz, Hagel floundered. There was no aide to slip him a note explaining that the incoming SecDef takes no formal position on whether or not his own nation is “the world’s bully.”
Ah, if only. In the chancelleries of Moscow, Beijing, Tehran, Cairo, Pyongyang, the world’s bullied are laughing their heads off.
Read the rest - Easy to see why Tehran endorses Hagel
There are reports circulating that the Israelis hit a biological facility outside of Damascus last week. I would sure hope so.
by Michal Shmulovich
In air raids on Syria overnight Tuesday, Israeli jets targeted several sites, including a biological weapons research center, which hadn’t previously been mentioned in the media, TIME magazine claimed Friday.
The center was “flattened out of concern that it might fall into the hands of Islamist extremists fighting to topple the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad,” the report said, quoting Western intelligence officials.
The article also claimed Washington has given Israel a “green light” to carry out more such raids if it deems them necessary.
TIME added that Israel has raised security at embassies “and other potential targets overseas,” for fear of a Hezbollah-orchestrated retaliatory attack.
Thus far, the TIME article noted, only two airstrikes had been mentioned in the media: One attack, announced by Syria, was allegedly on a scientific research center in Jamarya, northwest of Damascus; the other, reported by various news organizations, claimed Israeli jets struck a convoy carrying advanced anti-aircraft defense systems toward Lebanon, presumably to Hezbollah, the Shi’ite group allied to Iran and Assad.
Regarding the strike at Jamarya, the magazine added new details: “Among the buildings leveled at the military complex at Jamarya, outside Damascus, were warehouses stocked with equipment necessary for the deployment of chemical and biological weapons, relatively complicated systems typically manned by specially trained forces,” it said.
The biological warfare labs were considered to be of particular concern — in part because of the grave damage small amounts of biological agents can cause, and also due to the stated interest in such weapons by terror groups, namely Osama bin Laden’s successor as head of al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri.
The TIME story added that the US was prepared to carry out raids of its own in the Aleppo area if it feared rebels might otherwise gain control of weapons of mass destruction in that area of Syria.
On Wednesday, US officials told The New York Times that Israel had notified the United States about an airstrike it carried out overnight Tuesday near the Lebanese-Syrian border. The officials said that they believed the target of the strike was a convoy carrying sophisticated anti-aircraft weaponry intended to reach Hezbollah forces in Lebanon.
An unnamed Western official told the Wall Street Journal that the convoy was carrying sophisticated Russian-made SA-17 anti-aircraft weapons, which could constitute a strategic game-changer were Hezbollah to possess them.
A former Syrian general said Friday that the facility reportedly struck by Israel produced non-conventional weapons, in addition to conventional arms. Maj. Gen. Adnan Sillu was previously in charge of the country’s chemical weapons training program.
Read the rest - Israel’s strike on Syria also hit biological facility says report