February 28, 2008

Israel’s Abject Political System

By Amotz Asa-El

Redacted from an article in AZURE Winter, 2008

Israel’s political crisis has reached alarming proportions. Never before in the country’s history has there been a state of affairs such as exists today. The former president, the current prime minister, and those he originally appointed as finance minister, justice minister, and head of the Income Tax Authority are all in various stages of criminal investigation, indictment, or conviction for offenses ranging from sexual misconduct and tax fraud to unlawful patronage and embezzlement. Clearly, the political arena is in a state of severe moral deterioration.

It is not surprising therefore, that the Israeli public’s faith in the integrity of its governmental institutions is declining rapidly. This pervasive sense of decay has only been compounded by the Second Lebanon War, during which Israel’s politicians failed in their most essential task: The defense of the nation against outside threats. This failure raised questions not only about their morality, but also their competence. Moreover, the abundance of excellent leadership elsewhere in Israel, in for example, the business, technology and science sectors—forces one to ask why it cannot be found where it is needed the most.

... Some place their hopes in a change of leadership. Yet it is hardly that simple: The magnitude of the corruption and ineptitude currently being uncovered, its penetration into all levels of national and local government and its chronic persistence even in the face of widespread public revulsion force us to look for explanations that transcend momentary circumstances

... It may take years for meaningful electoral reform to take shape. Ultimately, Israel will have to undergo a thorough political overhaul, one in which at least half, and hopefully many more, of its lawmakers will be elected directly in their districts of residence. Under this system, the Knesset will be governed by a different spirit - one in which a critical mass of lawmakers will be dependent on, and thus loyal to, their local community; and not to a party machine.

Regionally elected legislators will spend much of their workweek in their constituencies, in day-to-day personal contact with voters. Thus, with his priorities set by his neighbors rather than party forums, an MK’s convictions will be less vulnerable to pressure from party bosses and the manipulation of radical NGOs.

The prospect, for instance, of Israel’s Basic Laws being abruptly amended in order to meet a particular government’s momentary needs will become less likely, because the directly elected lawmaker, as his community’s sole representative in the legislature, will be much more closely scrutinized.

A directly elected Knesset will also raise the quality of leadership and governance in Israel, because a candidate’s election will depend on satisfying his local constituents and not on blind obedience to party superiors. Consequently, people who are more courageous accomplished, and independent than today’s average Israeli politician will begin to gravitate toward the political arena. At the same time, legislative output itself will improve, as service in the Knesset will be seen as a mission rather than a patronage appointment, and will no longer be considered inferior to an executive position.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 08:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 26, 2008

The Inconvenient Political Truths of 2008

By William J. Stuntz, Professor Harvard Law School

(Summarized from a brilliant, no holds barred article. Must be read in full)

The Weekly Standard, February 18, 2008

Each party’s base has two inconvenient truths it doesn’t want to hear. For Republicans, those truths concern immigration and the culture war. Most of today’s illegal immigrant population is here to stay (along with their descendants) and will pay no significant price for getting here outside the legal channels. No presidential candidate can change those facts. On the issue that matters most to conservative Christians—abortion—the political phase of the culture war is over. The right lost —a pro-life initiative failed in South Dakota in 2006: If it can’t win there, it can’t win anywhere. Well, maybe Utah.

For Democrats, the relevant subjects are Iraq and federal spending. Discussions of the Iraq war in Democratic primaries have a bizarre quality: Both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama speak as though the war is a lost cause. It isn’t—unless one of them wins the election and pulls the plug, a scenario that Iran’s proxies no doubt await eagerly. As for spending, the federal budget (and federal tax revenues) will leave no room for large, expensive, New Deal-style health and education programs. For the foreseeable future, domestic policymaking will have more to do with arranging incentives than with dispensing largesse: Think welfare reform, not Aid to Families with Dependent Children.

If Republicans fail to understand their unpleasant truths, they will lose in November, and lose badly. Democrats might win even if their heads remain in the sand. It’s a Democratic year, as a comparison between the two parties’ fundraising, turn-out and vote totals in the primaries to date suggests. However, they will lose the chance to have the kind of public debate that shapes government policy—meaning, the kind that is based on truth, convenient and otherwise.

... Because these are Democratic-leaning times, Republicans have the most to gain from embracing this year’s inconvenient truths—and may have a nearly ideal candidate to do the embracing. John McCain may be better positioned than anyone in either party to secure the southern border without alienating America’s Latino population. He has a strong pro-life voting record, but has never been in the thick of the culture wars.

On Iraq, MeCain is prominently identified with Petraeus and the surge. Politically, he stands in much the same position today as Dwight Eisenhower in 1952: tough-minded and hard-nosed without being reckless—and, like Eisenhower with Korea, he bears none of the blame for the war’s mishandling. On spending, McCain may be the country’s leading proponent of fiscal discipline - Ross Perot without the lunacy. A McCain led Republican party could become the party of deficit hawks—just when deficits are about to become the political liability they were in the 1990s.

The two Democrats seem less impressive on this score. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama talk about border control the way children talk about eating their vegetables. As kids leave the table before the beans and carrots are gone, one suspects a Democratic administration might quit on border security before the borders are secured. Neither sounds much like a deficit hawk. On the war—the real one—both have made statements that could make wise governance impossible if either reaches power. Political talk matters: It shapes voters’ expectations and defines the political context in which decisions are made. Standing tough in Iraq may be impossible after voters have heard, again and again, that their new president is firmly committed to bailing out, as quickly as possible.

Sad to say, the candidate who most often tells unhappy truths may not turn out to be the candidate who wins the most votes. Elections are not always won by truth-tellers; deception sometimes carries the day. John F. Kennedy, whose presidency is often invoked these days, won a close national election by describing an imaginary gap between the Soviet Union’s arsenal of missiles and our own. If something similar happens this year, if the next president wins by promising limitless spending with limited taxes or a costless retreat in Iraq, voters should not blame the winning candidate. In politics as in markets, customers rule; we usually get the leaders we want. The trick is to want the right leaders.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 10:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 23, 2008

De-Sainting Barack and Michele Obama

Michele - By David P. Steinmann, President, Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA)

Barack - By David Brooks, Columnist, The New York Times

By David P. Steinmann

Michelle Obama's Princeton thesis is restricted until November 5, 2008. Why? It depends when the restriction was instituted. The answer to the why is simpler. Michelle's jaundiced view of the US may have at least in part originated in her Princeton experience. She has admitted that her grades did not earn her the right to attend the top colleges she did. Affirmative action did but it did not make her grateful merely resentful. Unfortunately, instead of blaming her inadequacy, she blamed her pigmentation and the institution which made her feel inadequate. I have taught long enough to know that students know when they are graded fairly and fairly includes too leniently. Michelle seems to have been unhappy about the low expectation liberal Princeton had for her and her fellow affirmative action students. Indeed, she wrote a thesis on the subject which includes the following:

My experiences at Princeton have made me far more aware of my 'Blackness' than ever before," she wrote in the introduction to her sociology thesis, "Princeton-Educated Blacks and the Black Community." "I have found that at Princeton, no matter how liberal and open-minded some of my white professors and classmates try to be toward me, I sometimes feel like a visitor on campus; as if I really didn't belong."

The rest must be worse. Barak may be on his way to becoming our first affirmative action president. Imagine how they are going to feel in the White House!

II Diagnosing Obama Comedown Syndrome (OCS)

By David Brooks

At first, it seemed like a few random cases of lassitude among Mary Chapin Carpenter devotees in Berkley, Cambridge and Chapel Hill. However, psychotherapists then began to realize that patients across the country were complaining of the same distress. They are experiencing the first hints of what’s bound to be a national phenomenon: The Obama Comedown Syndrome
The afflicted had been through the phases of Obama mania: fainting at rallies, weeping over their screens while watching Obama videos, spending hours making folk crafts featuring Michelle Obama’s face. These patients had experienced intense surges of hope-amine, the brain chemical that fuels euphoric sensations of historic change and personal salvation.

However, they found that, as the weeks went on, they needed more and purer hope injections just to preserve the rush. They wound up craving more hope than even the Hope Pope could provide, and they began experiencing brooding moments of sub-optimal hopefulness. Anxious Posts began to appear on the Yes We Can face book pages. A sense of ennui began to creep through the nation’s Ian McEwan-centered book clubs.

Until now, The Chosen One’s speeches had seemed like soul sensations that transcended time and space. However, those in the grips of Obama Comedown Syndrome began to wonder if his stuff actually made sense. For example, his Hopeness tells rallies that we are the change we have been waiting for, but if we are the change we have been waiting for then why have we been waiting since we’ve, been here all along?

Patients in the grip of OCS rarely express doubts at first, but in a classic case of transference, many experience slivers of sympathy for Sen. Hillary Clinton. They see her campaign morosely ‘traipsing from one depressed industrial area to another: The Sitting Shiva (mourning sessions for the just departed) for her America Tour. They see that her entire political strategy consists of waiting for primary states as boring as she is. They feel for her. They feel, guilty because the entire commentariat now treats her like Richard Nixon. Are liberal elites rationalizing their own betrayal of her? Is Hillary just another fading First Wife thrown away for the first available Trophy Messiah?

As the syndrome progresses, they begin to ask questions about The Presence himself:

·Sen. Barack Obama vowed to abide by the public finance campaign spending rules in the general election if his opponent did. Now, he’s waffling on his promise. Why does he need to check with his campaign staff when deciding whether to keep his word?

·Sen. Obama says he is practicing a new kind of politics, but why has his PAC (Political Action Committee) sloshed $698,000 to the campaigns of the super delegates, according to the Center for Responsive Politics? Is giving Robert Byrd’s campaign $10,000 the kind of change we can believe in?

·If he values independent thinking, why is his the most predictable liberal vote in the Senate? A People for the American Way computer program would cast the same votes for cheaper.

·In addition, should we be worried about Sen. Obama’s mountainous self-confidence? These doubts lead OCS sufferers down the path to the question that is the Unholy of the Unholies for Obama-maniacs:

·How exactly would all this unity he talks about come to pass? How is a 46-year-old novice going to unify highly polarized seventy something committee chairs? What will happen if the nation’s 261,000 lobbyists don’t see the light?

The Gang of 14 created bipartisan unity on judges, but Sen. Obama sat it out. Sens. Ten Kennedy and John McCain created a bipartisan deal on immigration. Sen. Obama opted out of the parts that displeased the unions. Sixty-eight senators supported a bipartisan deal on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Sen. Obama voted no. In addition, if he were president now, how would the High Deacon of Unity heal the breach that split the House last week?

The victims of OCS struggle against Obama-myopia, or the inability to see beyond Election Day. But, here’s the fascinating thing: They still like him. They know that most of his hope-mongering is vaporous. They know that he knows it’s vaporous. Those afflicted with OCS are no longer as moved ‘by his perorations. The fever passes. But, some invisible self-deluding connection seems to persist?

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 10:15 PM | Comments (0)

February 21, 2008

The enemy is not “terrorism” - a vacuous concept

By Professor Paul Eidelberg

The Jewish Press, February 8, 2008

Surrender Is Not An Option...Or Is It?

Few countries are as anti-American as America’s own State Department! State has been anti-American for many decades. In my book, Beyond Detente: Toward an American Foreign Policy (1977), I pointed out that the State Department, consisting of the most highly educated civil servants in American government, has long been tainted by the university-bred doctrine of moral or cultural relativism. This doctrine denies the existence of good and evil. It undermines confidence in the justice of a nation’s cause. It erodes Americanism and patriotism. The anti-Americanism rampant among academics has become notorious.

In Surrender Is Not an Option, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton emphasizes that relativism or “moral equivalency” permeates the State Department. The left-wing culture of moral equivalency has very much contributed to America’s fainthearted foreign policy - especially its anything but “even-handed diplomacy” in the Middle East, as witness Annapolis.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s moral equivalency in dealings with Israel and the Palestinian Authority is nothing less than moral reversal. Bolton — a man of superior intellectual and moral courage - may have chosen the title of his book, Surrender Is Not an Option, because he feared that America, like England and Europe, is in danger of surrendering its national sovereignty to Islam or to an Islamic-dominated United Nations.

Surrender seems to be the option of Israel’s prime minister, Ehud Olmert, who confessed before a New York audience, “We are tired of being courageous.” It seems that President Bush is also tired of being courageous.

The defeat of the Taliban in Afghanistan and the toppling of Saddam Hussein were not enough to sustain Bush’s post-9/11 momentum. What stopped him was not simply an underestimation of the military forces required to prevent or overcome the insurgency in Iraq. Such errors are made and overcome in many wars. More significant is Bush’s inability to define America’s enemy.

The enemy is not “terrorism,” a vacuous concept. The enemy is Islam, more specifically Islamic imperialism - which dates back to Muhammad. However, one cannot say such a thing in a liberal, pluralistic democracy, especially one whose intellectual elites are steeped in moral relativism or in the multiculturalism that prompted the eminent American political scientist Samuel Huntington to write Who Are We? Bush can speak of an “Axis of Evil,” but he dares not attribute evil to any religion. That would be unadulterated racism!

Therefore, the day after 9/11 he called Islam a “religion of peace,” and does so even now. Americans are given to believe that Islam was hijacked by “extremists.” Many experts foster intellectual dishonesty by defining the enemy as “Islamism,” “radical Islam” or “Islamic fundamentalism.” Today, “Islamo-Fascists” — a subtler piece of obscurantism — has become au courant.

We are told of Muslim “moderates,” and we are happy to learn of these exceptional Muslims. However, take a random sample of the thousand mosques in the United States to learn about these moderates. See whether these mosques denounce Islamic extremists and preach peace with “infidels” as readily as they preach hatred of America, Jews and Christians.

How can American politicians criticize Islam without violating the law? How can they expose a religion whose devotees danced in the streets on 9/11 and who admire Osama bin Laden? How can America confront a religion whose faithful slaughtered more that 200 million people since the seventh century? But this means that American liberalism has become obsolete vis-à-vis Islamic imperialism. It cannot muster the ruthlessness required to confront an enemy that exults in suicidal murder.

Therefore, America, like Israel, is committing national suicide. National suicide is inevitable given the moral relativism American universities have been propagating for more than 60 years. These universities provided the people that dominate the “shadow government” entrenched in the American State Department. Therein you will find the doctrine that led to the National Intelligence Estimate of 2007 and Annapolis. Therein you will find that surrender is no longer an option because it has already taken place — first in the minds of men.

Professor Eidelberg is the founder and president of the Foundation for Constitutional Democracy, a Jerusalem-based think tank for improving Israel’s system of governance. He can be reached through the FCD website: www. www.foundationl.org.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 10:10 AM | Comments (0)

February 19, 2008

I The Danish Parliament demanded an apology from the newspapers, Huh?

II An American Dane’s personal history and warning

Sixth Night of Youth Violence in Denmark

WashingtonPost.com February 17, 2008

Groups of Muslim youths torched schools and cars in a sixth consecutive night of violence across Denmark, mostly in immigrant neighborhoods, police said Saturday. Forty-three people were arrested. Police said they weren't sure what triggered the spate of vandalism in cities including Copenhagen, Aarhus, Ringsted and Slagelse. Some observers said Muslim immigrant youths were protesting perceived police harassment but suggested that reproduction of a cartoon of the prophet Muhammad in Danish newspapers Wednesday may have intensified the unrest.

More than a dozen newspapers reprinted a cartoon that sparked massive protests in Muslim countries two years ago -- a gesture of solidarity after police revealed an alleged plot to kill the cartoonist. On Saturday, 10 Danish lawmakers canceled a trip to Iran after its parliament demanded an apology for the reprinting!

Salute the Danish Flag - it's a Symbol of Western Freedom

By Susan MacAllen

In 1978-9, I was living and studying in Denmark. But, in 1978 - even in Copenhagen - one didn't see Muslim immigrants. The Danish population embraced visitors, celebrated the exotic, went out of its way to protect each of its citizens. It was proud of its new brand of socialist liberalism - one in development since the conservatives had lost power in 1929 - a system where no worker had to struggle to survive, where one ultimately could count upon the state as in, perhaps, no other western nation at the time. The rest of Europe saw the Scandinavians as free-thinking, progressive and infinitely generous in their welfare policies. Denmark boasted low crime rates, devotion to the environment, a superior educational system and a history of humanitarianism.

Denmark was also most generous in its immigration policies - it offered the best welcome in Europe to the new immigrant: generous welfare payments from first arrival plus additional perks in transportation, housing and education. It was determined to set a world example for inclusiveness and multiculturalism. How could it have predicted that one day in 2005, a series of political cartoons in a newspaper would spark violence that would leave dozens dead in the streets - all because its commitment to multiculturalism would come back to bite?

By the 1990’s, the growing urban Muslim population was obvious - and its unwillingness to integrate into Danish society was obvious. Years of immigrants had settled into Muslim-exclusive enclaves. As the Muslim leadership became more vocal about what they considered the decadence of Denmark's liberal way of life, the Danes - once so welcoming - began to feel slighted. Many Danes had begun to see Islam as incompatible with their long-standing values: belief in personal liberty and free speech, in equality for women, in tolerance for other ethnic groups, and a deep pride in Danish heritage and history.

The New York Post in 2002 ran an article by Daniel Pipes and Lars Headgear, in which they forecasted accurately that the growing immigrant problem, in Denmark, would explode. In the article they reported:
"Muslim immigrants constitute 5 percent of the population but consume upwards of 40 percent of the welfare spending. Muslims are only 4 percent of Denmark's 5.4 million people but make up a majority of the country's convicted rapists, an especially combustible issue given that practically all the female victims are non-Muslim. Similar, if lesser, disproportions are found in other crimes. Over time, as Muslim immigrants increase in numbers, they wish less to mix with the indigenous population.

A recent survey finds that only 5 percent of young Muslim immigrants would readily marry a Dane. Forced marriages - promising a newborn daughter in Denmark to a male cousin in the home country, then compelling her to marry him, sometimes on pain of death - are one problem. Muslim leaders openly declare their goal of introducing Islamic law once Denmark's Muslim population grows large enough - a not-that-remote prospect. If present trends persist, one sociologist estimates, every third inhabitant of Denmark in 40 years will be Muslim."

It is easy to understand why a growing number of Danes would feel that Muslim immigrants show little respect for Danish values and laws. An example is the phenomenon common to other European countries and the U.S.: some Muslims in Denmark who opted to leave the Muslim faith have been murdered in the name of Islam, while others hide in fear for their lives. Jews are also threatened and harassed openly by Muslim leaders in Denmark, a country where once Christian citizens worked to smuggle out nearly all of their 7,000 Jews by night to Sweden - before the Nazis could invade. I think of my Danish friend Elsa - who as a teenager had dreaded crossing the street to the bakery every morning under the eyes of occupying Nazi soldiers - and I wonder what she would say today.

In 2001, Denmark elected the most conservative government in some 70 years - one that had some decidedly non-generous ideas about liberal unfettered immigration. Today Denmark has the strictest immigration policies in Europe. (Its effort to protect itself has been met with accusations of "racism" by liberal media across Europe - even as other governments struggle to right the social problems wrought by years of too-lax immigration.) If you wish to become Danish, you must attend three years of language classes. You must pass a test on Denmark’s history, culture and a Danish language test. You must live in Denmark for 7 years before applying for citizenship. You must demonstrate intent to work, and have a job waiting. If you wish to bring a spouse into Denmark, you must both be over 24 years of age, and you won't find it so easy any more to move your friends and family to Denmark with you.

You will not be allowed to build a mosque in Copenhagen. Although your children have a choice of some 30 Arabic culture and language schools in Denmark, they will be strongly encouraged to assimilate to Danish society in ways that past immigrants weren't.

In 2006, the Danish minister for employment, Claus Hjort Frederiksen, spoke publicly of the burden of Muslim immigrants on the Danish welfare system, and it was horrifying: the government's welfare committee had calculated that if immigration from Third World countries were blocked, 75 percent of the cuts needed to sustain the huge welfare system in coming decades would be unnecessary. In other words, the welfare system as it existed, was being exploited by immigrants to the point of eventually bankrupting the government. "We are simply forced to adopt a new policy on immigration. The calculations of the welfare committee are terrifying and show how unsuccessful the integration of immigrants has been up to now," he said.

A large thorn in the side of Denmark's imams is the Minister of Immigration and Integration, Rikke Hvilshoj. She makes no bones about the new policy toward immigration, "The number of foreigners coming to the country makes a difference, "There is an inverse correlation between how many come here and how well we can receive the foreigners that come." And on Muslim immigrants needing to demonstrate a willingness to blend in, "In my view, Denmark should be a country with room for different cultures and religions. Some values, however, are more important than others. We refuse to question democracy, equal rights, and freedom of speech."

Hvilshoj has paid a price for her show of backbone. Perhaps to test her resolve, the leading radical imam in Denmark, Ahmed Abdel Rahman Abu Laban, demanded that the government pay blood money to the family of a Muslim who was murdered in a suburb of Copenhagen, stating that the family's thirst for revenge could be thwarted for money. When Hvilshoj dismissed his demand, he argued that in Muslim culture, the payment of retribution money was common; to which Hvilshoj replied, that what is done in a Muslim country is not necessarily, what is done in Denmark.

The Muslim reply came soon after: her house was torched while she, her husband and children slept. All managed to escape unharmed, but she and her family were moved to a secret location, and she and other ministers were assigned bodyguards for the first time - in a country where such murderous violence was once so scarce. Her government has slid to the right, and her borders have tightened.

Many believe that what happens in the next decade will determine whether Denmark survives as a bastion of good living, humane thinking, and social responsibility, or whether it becomes a nation at civil war with supporters of Shari law. And, meanwhile, Americans clamor for stricter immigration policies. They demand an end to state welfare programs that allow many immigrants to live on the public dole.

As we in America look at the enclaves of Muslims amongst us, and see those who enter our shores too easily, dare live on our taxes, yet refuse to embrace our culture, respect our traditions, participate in our legal system, obey our laws, speak our language, appreciate our history. We would do well to look to Denmark, and say a prayer for her future and for our own.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 04:51 PM | Comments (0)

February 16, 2008

Obama Adviser, Zbigniew Brzezkinski, Leads Delegation to Damascus

The New York Sun, Staff Reporter
February 12, 2008

WASHINGTON — A foreign policy adviser to Senator Obama is scheduled to arrive in Syria today as the leader of a RAND Corp. delegation.
Zbigniew Brzezinski will travel to Damascus for meetings as part of a trip Syria's official Cham News agency described as an "important sign that the end of official dialogue between Washington and Damascus has not prevented dialogue with important American intellectuals and politicians."

An assistant to Mr. Brzezinski, Trudy Werner, told The New York Sun yesterday: "He is leading a delegation for RAND and they will be in Damascus. It is a high-level delegation and they are meeting with some high-level people in the region. There is no shortage of issues in the Middle East to discuss as I'm sure you know."

Mr. Brzezinski's visit to Syria, a country President Bush has accused of arming terrorists and of ordering political assassinations in Lebanon, is in many ways in keeping with a theme of the Obama campaign. The Illinois senator in August said during a Democratic debate that he would be willing to meet with foreign adversaries, earning a rebuke from Senator Clinton, a Democrat of New York, who said such an approach would be "naïve."

On August 24, Mr. Brzezinski, a one-time national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter announced in an interview on Bloomberg's satellite news channel that he was endorsing Mr. Obama, and he has been an adviser to the campaign since.

A spokesman for the senator's presidential campaign, Tommy Victor, said the campaign did not know Mr. Brzezinski was leading the delegation. "The first we heard of this trip was from you," he said. He added: "Brzezinski is not a day-to-day adviser for the campaign, he is someone whose guidance Senator Obama seeks on Iraq."

A supporter of Mrs. Clinton, Rep. Eliot Engel, a Democrat from New York, said he found it hard to believe that one of the Illinois senator's main advisers would not know that his visit to Syria would appear to have the tacit consent of the Obama campaign.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 08:04 PM | Comments (0)

February 14, 2008

A shameful chapter in American history now repeating itself

(Which Presidential Candidate is most likely to protect us from this repetition?)

Redacted from an article by RUTH S. KING
The Jewish Press, February 8, 2008

When President Bush recently asked the Saudis to increase their production of oil, the media reported that the request was turned down. In fact, the Saudis offered to discuss the issue only if the president would promise a waiver of visas for Saudi students, something that Americans of all political parties would find unacceptable, given the fact that nearly all of the 9/11 terrorist hijackers hailed from the Saudi oil kingdom.

This is not the first time in our history that the Muslim Arab states have held us over a barrel. In the aftermath of independence in 1776, American merchant vessels lost the protection of the British navy, and our ships were routinely attacked and boarded by Arab pirates from Morocco, Algiers, Tunis and Tripoli — a federation of coastal, semi-autonomous states within the jurisdiction of the Ottoman Empire.

The pirates looted all goods which were then carried in barrels, and the American crews were enslaved or used as hostages to extract ransom known as “tributes.” The British and French nominally protected their ships and crews by paying huge sums in ransom to the pirate nations. The young American nation lacked naval power to protect its ships and followed suit by agreeing to pay tributes and ransoms to the Muslim pirates in order to free enslaved crews and vessels.

In 1784, the new American Congress actually allocated moneys for payment to the corsairs. In 1785, the Pasha of Algiers seized two ships and demanded $60,000 in ransom for their crews. Then ambassador to France, Thomas Jefferson, argued that acceding to this demand would only embolden the pirates, but the congress was in no mood for confrontation, and for the next 15 years, tributes to the Arab pirate nations amounted to 20% of United States government annual revenues.

In 1786, Jefferson and John Adams went to negotiate with Tripoli’s envoy to London, Ambassador Sidi Haji Abdrahaman (or Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja). Jefferson’s report to Secretary of State John Jay is chilling, and resonates to this day. The ambassador answered us saying:

·That the right (to kidnap, loot and enslave) was founded on Laws of the Prophet (Mohammed)
·That it was written in their Koran
·That all nations who should not have answered their authority were sinners
·That it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found
·That is was their right and duty to make slaves of all they could take as prisoners
·That every Mussulman (or Muslim) who should be slain in battle was sure to go to paradise.

(Sound familiar from this “Religion of Peace” now being sold to the gullible world public.)

The American Consul to Tunis, William Eaton, was enraged by the escalating demands of the Barbary States. In June 1799, he wrote the following assessment of the character of the local Muslim population to the U.S. Secretary of State. “Taught by revelation, that war with the Christians will guarantee the salvation of their souls, and finding so great secular advantages in the observance of this religious duty [i.e. keeping captured cargoes], their inducements to desperate fighting are very powerful.”

When Jefferson became president in 1801, he dispatched American warships and Marines to the Mediterranean and the Muslim Barbary Coast. Jefferson was determined to prevail on the sea and on the ground. In 1805, the Americans (with a band of mercenary recruits including some Muslims) marched across the desert from Egypt into Tripolitania - incursions that forced surrender and the freedom of captured Americans.

The battle inspired the Marine hymn: “From the halls of Montezuma, to the shores of Tripoli, We fight our country’s battles in the air, on land and sea.” The First Barbary War, known as the Tripolitanian War, lasted from 1801 to 1805. It was young America’s first foreign war and the first effort to place an ally on foreign soil. Unfortunately and shamefully, Eaton, who led the march across the desert, was betrayed when a truce was signed prematurely. Colonel Tobias Lear, Consul General to the Regency of Algiers, lulled by so-called overtures of peace, signed a treaty promising more tributes for the release of captured officers. (Sound familiar to Israelis?)

From Eaton’s diary we have the following bitter assessment: “We find, it almost impossible to inspire these wild bigots with confidence in us or to persuade them that, being Christians we can be otherwise than enemies to Musselmen (Muslims} We have a difficult undertaking.” (April 8, 1805). By 1815, gradual and premature withdrawal of the U.S. Navy encouraged the Barbary States to renew piracy. Soon after the Napoleonic War, America sent two naval squadrons, under Commodores Decatur and Bainbridge, to the Mediterranean. Resolute force finally brought an end to Muslim Arab Piracy against American ships with total military defeat.

However, Barbary piracy continued apace against French and British vessels and in spite of sporadic victories. It was not until after the end of World War I, when the Ottoman navy was dissolved by the combined forces of England, France and Russia, that the era of Arab piracy ended.

Unfortunately, America again pays tributes to the Muslim kingdoms in the form of oil revenues, which have enabled them to infiltrate our academic and military institutions. And, just like the Barbary Arabs of yore, they pirate and enslave our economy, and demand tributes and ransoms from our legislators and executive branch. Business leaders are too lazy or distracted or possibly remunerated by outright grants, >(think Jimmy Carter, to their personal pet projects) to find alternatives to foreign oil.

While the two Barbary Wars (1801-1805 and 1815) are superficially studied in American history, the emphasis is always on the admittedly impressive American naval victories rather than on the centuries of Muslim piracy: invasions and pillaging of villages, and the kidnapping and enslavement of thousands of foreign Christian nationals, including women and children throughout the Mediterranean coast.

Nor are students informed that the Arab slave trade was not limited to African blacks. In fact, in his book Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters: White Slavery in the Mediterranean, the Barbary Coast and Italy 1500-1800 (Palgrave Macmillan) Robert Davis, a respected professor of history at Ohio State University has calculated that between 1 million and 1.25 million European Christians were captured and forced to work in North Africa from the 16th to 18th centuries.

The multi-cultural faculties of most American universities, who see Muslim Arab terrorism as a martial art to vent grudges, would rather ignore this inconvenient truth as they have ignored the Arab participation in all slave trade.

I’d like to add a note about the statement “millions for defense not a cent for tribute,” - the rallying cry of America’s war against the Muslim Arab pirates. It is widely attributed to Thomas Jefferson, but in fact, it was eloquently stated on June 18th, 1798 by a congressman of the Federalist party of South Carolina, Robert Goodloe Harper who subsequently became chairman of the Ways and Mean Committee.

Here’s the Punch line: According to the Democrats running for the Oval Office, it is really millions for health care, but not a cent for defense”

And, of the Republicans, which one of them would quote Jefferson’s statement that only “the medium of war” will put an end to the confrontation between radical Islam and Western Civilization? Americans may want to reflect on this when they vote in the primaries and on Election Day.

(Ruth King is a freelance writer and contributing editor to FamilySecurityMatters.org where this originally appeared.)

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 11:13 AM | Comments (0)

February 12, 2008

A Glimpse Into The Mindset Of An Israeli Judicial Oligarch

Redacted from an article by RABBI STEVEN PRUZANSKY

THE JEWISH PRESS December 28, 2007

“A democracy must fight terror with one hand tied behind its back.”
So stated Aharon Barak, the former president of Israel’s Supreme Court at a forum I recently attended at the Shasha Center for Strategic Studies at the Mount Scopus campus of Hebrew University.

The discussion centered on the potential and real conflict between democracy and the war on terror, and featured a debate between Barak and Judge Richard Posner, former chief judge of the United States Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals (based in Chicago), and one of the leading conservative legal scholars in the United States.

Abstractions do not always mingle well with the real world. Hebrew University (HU). President Menachem Magidor bragged that it is good to be in an ivory tower, detached from the real world and capable of pontificating about anything without consequences, although, he said, “we should keep the doors and windows open to see what the people are doing.” Therefore, when the evening began with 25 minutes of heckling from individuals protesting “the occupation,” the liberal authorities (and HU is a liberal bastion) had no idea how to respond.

People jeered — at the evening’s chair, former Mossad head Ephraim Halevy, and then at Barak when he started to speak—and security raced over to plead with the protesters to sit down and be quiet, and plead, and plead some more. I was sitting in the third row with a group of professors (don’t ask), and when one said, “See, this is real democracy,” I answered, “No, this is not democracy, this is anarchy.”

After 20 minutes, the crowd started chanting to throw the hecklers out, and eventually the ringleader was dragged away (howling that her rights of free speech were being violated!). Five minutes after she left, another one started in. By the fifth such demonstrator, “tolerance” was tossed to the wind, along with the remaining protesters.

The irony is that they should have stayed, because Barak’s words, actions and philosophy are powerful weapons in the hands of terrorists and a major reason why Israel’s strategic position has declined so precipitously in the last 15 years. Justice Barak posited that the main function of a judge in the war on terror is to protect democracy “both from the terrorists and from the means the state uses to combat terrorists.”

The judge protects democracy from the state, the Knesset, the army and even the people — even if there is less security for the people. Any curtailment of liberties that occurs in wartime will inevitably carry over to peacetime, and, in any event, “peace for one person is war for another.” Terrorists are just “lawbreakers” and must be dealt with, but not at the expense of fairness, justice or their human rights.

Thus, he boasted of his court’s decisions (almost all written by him):

·Forcing the army to re-route the security wall (“the additional security provided was not commensurate with the additional harm caused to Palestinians”)
·Overturning the government’s decisions expelling certain terrorists;
·Nullifying the Knesset’s law permitting the demolition of the homes of terrorists;
·Setting the standards on a case-by-case basis for targeted assassinations of terrorist chieftains.

Barak even invalidated the Knesset’s repeal of the “Family Reunification Law” that had permitted Israeli Arabs to marry spouses from Judea, Samaria and Gaza and enable them move to Israel proper. This law became, in effect, an underground railroad for terrorists. No fewer than 26 of these “spouses” were subsequently imprisoned for perpetrating murderous acts against Jews.

Barak ruled that the law must remain in effect, as it would violate the human rights of Arabs not to be able to choose their spouses and have them live in Israel. (Of course, the women could have moved to the Gaza paradise to live with their basherts, but Barak did not consider that.)

In addition, so on. Barak prided himself on ruling Knesset laws unconstitutional a neat trick given that Israel has no written constitution. He paid lip service to Justice Robert Jackson’s famous dictum that “the Constitution is not a suicide pact” and to the idea that a government’s primary obligation is to protect its citizens.

But Barak sees a higher value - protecting the abstract beauty of democracy and human rights (in which judges are the experts) - not withstanding the harm to the individual. The altar of democracy requires sacrifices. Of course, Barak likely does not ride buses, or shop in Machane Yehuda, (huge open air market for Israelis that the Arabs love to target with suicide bombers) or have any relatives in Sderot. (Town just outside Gaze that is being shelled constantly by the Hamas that took over Gaza after the former military hero, Ariel Sharon gave it away and destroyed the Jewish community there. Nor, strange as it sounds, did Barak even mention once that Israelis is a Jewish state. Democracy uber alles.

Imagine if the ACLU actually governed the United States instead of just incessantly filing lawsuits; that is the picture of the legal system in Israel today. ...

Rabbi Steven Pruzansky, is spiritual leader of Congregation Bnai Yeshurun in Teaneck, New Jersey, on sabbatical in Israel at time article written.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 02:42 PM | Comments (0)

February 10, 2008

In Search of Moderate Muslims

By Joshua Muravchic & Charles Szrom

Redacted from an article in Commentary Magazine, February 2008

EVER SINCE his first post-9/1 1 speech summoning the nation to a war against terrorism, President Bush has stressed, “our war is against evil, not against Islam.” Indeed, his administration has branded the terrorists as “traitors to their own faith”—outlaws who are “trying, in effect, to hijack Islam itself.”
There is no reason to doubt the sincerity of such pronouncements. However, they also reflect a strategic imperative—namely, to prevent the jihadists from attracting wide support in the Muslim world. The goal of Bush’s policy is rather, to call forth the Muslim majority against the acts and ideology of the terrorists. As the Middle East scholar Daniel Pipes has put it: “radical Islam is the problem and moderate Islam the solution.”

This is one facet of U.S. policy on which, there has been virtually no dissent. But, it begs the question: what exactly is moderate Islam, and where can we find it? The term itself is perhaps unfortunate. “Moderate” implies a lesser quantity or degree of something. A moderate leftist, for example, is not too far Left. Is a “moderate Muslim” not too Islamic? To put it this way is to concede that Islam is, properly understood, antithetical to the West, and that at issue is only the intensity of the antipathy. By implication, this is to accept that terrorism is a natural corollary of an exacting fidelity to Islamic tenets – a premise that we find too abhorrent to admit.

It is true that Islam’s fierce dogma of monotheism insists that the world in its entirety must come to acknowledge Allah and the teachings of his unique messenger. Passages of Islamic scripture imply a relentless war until this goal is achieved. But, as always with Scripture, contrary inferences may be drawn from other passages In any case, non-Muslims clearly cannot accept a Muslim doctrine of war against them and, if need be, will surely meet war with war. At the same time, it is scarcely the place of non-Muslims to tell Muslims how pious their practice ought to be or how intense their devotion to their faith. If the premise of our fight against terrorism is that Muslims must become less devout, then the prospects for success will be both poor and beyond our control.

... To BE OPEN to Islamist moderates or to Islamists-in-transition does not mean to hold back from critical scrutiny in most Islamist groups, as our discussion of the Muslim Brotherhood makes clear. There is little moderation to be found. Nevertheless, one reason to favor talking even to some who are not moderates is that we should not miss the opportunity to probe weaknesses in their ideology. (Ah, again the role of the “useful idiot” that our enemies exploit so well) jsk

... In considering these and other groups, it is even possible to set out some basic criteria by which to judge whether they are indeed parties with whom America might pursue a constructive relationship. That their politics are informed by religious values is not in itself a disqualification; nor need they be explicitly pro-American, although it would be hard to cooperate with any who are consistently anti-American. As we see it, there are six questions to be asked of any such group.

•Does it both espouse democracy and practice democracy within its own structures?
•Does it eschew violence in pursuit of its goals?
•Does it condemn terrorism?
•Does it advocate equal rights for minorities?
•Does it advocate equal rights for women?
• Does it accept a pluralism of interpretations within Islam?

Any group that meets these six criteria seems to us to merit support and cooperation, and groups that go a long way toward meeting them deserve at least a second look.

(Are you kidding me? Do you really want to hold your breath and base American or world foreign policy on finding such groups?) jsk

JOSHUA MURAVCHIK, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), is working on a book about Arab and Muslim democrats.
CHARLES SZROM is a research assistant at AEI.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 07:53 PM | Comments (0)

February 08, 2008

All signers Democrats


January 28, 2008

Last week, thousands of people responded to calls to end Israel’s siege of Gaza by contacting their Members of Congress and the White House over the weekend, dozens of protests, vigils, and interfaith services took place all over the United States demanding an end to Israel’s collective punishment of Palestinians in Gaza.

Your solidarity with the people of Gaza is making a difference. Some Members of Congress have joined the chorus of voices demanding the United States pressure Israel to end the siege on Gaza and the humanitarian crisis that it is causing.

In a sharply-worded letter initiated by Rep. Dennis Kucinich and sent to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on January 23, eleven Members of Congress called on the United States to exert its influence to urge Israel to end its blockade of Gaza.

The letter details the humanitarian crisis caused by Israel’s siege of Gaza and states that collective punishment is never a tolerable response from Israel, nor should the United States excuse it. These Members of Congress term Israel’s blockade of Gaza illegal and chastise the Administration for blocking a UN Security Council Resolution condemning the siege. They state that the [Bush] Administration has the responsibility and the authority to ensure that Israel complies with international law and protect the Palestinian civilian population in Gaza.

It is exceedingly rare for Members of Congress to come out so unequivocally and forcefully in support of Palestinian human rights and for holding Israel accountable to the standards of international law. That is why it is extremely important for you

(Not, you Israel Commentary readers, of course. In case you are confused, this little letter is from an anti-Israel group and the members of Congress below are those that supported them. And, it should be of interest to you to see that they are all Democrats and one was running for the Presidency of the United States!)

To take a minute right now to send a letter of thanks to these Members of Congress below.

These Members of Congress need to know that thousands of people in the United States appreciate their bold statement, so please take a minute to thank them below.

Alphabetical List of ALL Signatories for Palestinian rights

* Neil Abercrombie (HI) D
* John Conyers, Jr. (MI) D
* Danny Davis (IL) D
* Sam Farr (CA) D
* Raul Grijalva (AZ) D
* Maurice Hinchey (NY) D
* Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX) D
* Dennis Kucinich (OH) D (Presidential candidate)
* Betty McCollum (MN) D
* Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC) D
* James Oberstar (MN) D

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 05:47 PM | Comments (0)

February 07, 2008

Which Candidate, regardless of Party, will understand and have the guts?

Military Action our only Salvation against Iran’s Nuclear Facility

By Norman Podhoretz

Excerpted from an article in Commentary Magazine February 2008

... Between bombing Iran to prevent it from getting the bomb and allowing lran to obtain the bomb, there is simply no contest.

However, this still does not answer the question, who should do the bombing. Tempting must be for George Bush to sit back and let the Israelis do the job, there are considerations that should give him pause. One is that no matter what he would say, the whole world would regard the Israelis as a surrogate for the United States, and we would become as much the target of the ensuing recriminations both at home and abroad as would if we had done the job ourselves.

To make matters worse, the indications are that it would be very hard for the Israeli air force superb though it is, to pull the mission off. Thus, an analysis by two members of the Security Studies Program at MIT concluded that while “the air force now possesses the capability to destroy even well-hardened targets in Iran with some degree of confidence,” the problem is that for the mission to succeed, all of the many contingencies involved would have to go right. Hence, an Israeli attempt could end with the worst of all possible outcomes: retaliatory measures by the Iran, even as their nuclear program remained unscathed.

We, on the other hand, would have a much larger margin of error and a much better chance of setting their program back by a minimum of ten years and at best wiping it out altogether.

The upshot is that if Iran is to be prevented from becoming a nuclear power, it is the United that will have to do the preventing, to do by means of a bombing campaign, and (because, “If we wait for threats to fully materialize, we will have waited too long”) to do it soon.

When I first predicted a year or so ago that President Bush would bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities, once he had played out the futile diplomatic string, the obstacles that stood in his way were great but they did not strike me as insurmountable. Now, thanks in large part to the new, (grossly flawed), National Intelligence Estimate (NEI) of 2005 they have grown so formidable that I can only stick by my prediction which what the NIE itself would describe as “low-moderate confidence.”

For President Bush is right about the resemblance between 2008 and 1938. In 1938, as Winston Churchill later said, Hitler could still have been stopped at a relatively low price and many millions of lives could have been saved if England and France had not deceived themselves about the realities of their situation.

It is the same in 2008, when Iran can still be stopped from getting the bomb and even more millions of lives can be saved—but only provided that we summon up the courage to see what is staring us in the face and then act on what we see.

Unless we do, the forces that are blindly working to ensure that Iran will get the bomb are likely to prevail even against the clear-sighted determination of George W. Bush, just as the forces of appeasement did against Churchill in 1938. In which case, we had all better pray that there will be enough time for the next President to discharge the responsibility that Bush will have been forced to pass on, and that this successor will also have the clarity and the courage to discharge it. If not—God help us all—the stage will have been set for the outbreak of a nuclear war that will become as inescapable then as it is avoidable now.

NORMAX PODHORETZ is the editor-at-large of COMMENTARY and the author most recently of World War IV, The Long Struggle Against Islamofascism (Doubleday). His original article, “The Case for Bombing Iran,” appeared in the June 2007 COMMENTARY.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 06:24 AM | Comments (0)

February 05, 2008

Obama’s Foreign Policy Team??

New York Sun Staff Editorial
February 1, 2008

These columns have given Senator Obama the benefit of the doubt on concerns that he's "Obama and Israel," of January 9, 2008), but the candidate himself is starting to make it difficult. Feature Mr. Obama's little-noticed interview with Jonathan Alter in the February 4 number of Newsweek, in which, asked "Would you have Republicans in your cabinet?" the presidential candidate replied, "No decisions, but Dick Lugar embodies the best tradition in foreign policy. Chuck Hagel is a smart guy who has shows some courage, even though we disagree on domestic policy."

Evidently, Mr. Obama is capable of going into the primaries of New York and California, with their large populations of pro-Israel voters, and praising Senators Lugar and Hagel. Evidently, he does not realize what their names mean to the pro-Israel community. Also, let's just say that it's enough to make us think that Senator Clinton and President Clinton may be onto something when they say Mr. Obama wouldn't be ready to step into the job as president on Day One. Mr. Obama's answer is all the more troubling to those who marked the Hagel-Lugar problem in the last election, when, in respect of Senator Kerry's affection for the duo, we sketched an answer to the question of "What is Lugar-Hagelism?":

One indicator came on July 24, 2001, when the Senate voted 96 to 2 to renew the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act. The act helps deny Iran and Libya money that they would spend on supporting terror or acquiring weapons of mass destruction. The two senators who opposed the measure? Messrs. Lugar and Hagel.

Another indicator came on November 11, 2003 when the Senate, by a vote of 89 to 4, passed the Syria Accountability Act authorizing sanctions on Syria for its support of terrorism and its occupation of Lebanon. Mr. Hagel along with Mr. Kerry didn't vote. Mr. Hagel met in Damascus in 1998 with the terror-sponsoring dictator, Hafez Al-Assad, and returned to tell a reporter about the meeting, "Peace comes through dealing with people. Peace doesn't come at the end of a bayonet or the end of a gun."

Feature, as well, the lineup on April 6, 2001 when 87 members of the Senate sent President Bush a letter saying Yasser Arafat should not be invited to meet with high-level officials in Washington. The letter also faulted the Palestinians for using violence against Israel Messrs. Lugar and Hagel did not sign the letter. When, on May 22, 1998, the Senate, by a vote of 90 to 4, passed the Iran Missile Proliferation Sanctions Act, imposing sanctions on foreigners who help Iran's missile program, Mr. Lugar fetched up among the four senators who voted against the measure.

These columns, in a July 10, 2003, editorial headlined "Ayatollah Lugar," have already reported on how Mr. Lugar watered down the Iran Democracy Act that was introduced by Senators Brownback, Schumer, Kyl, Inouye, and others. On April 18, 2002, when the Senate, by 88 to 10, voted to ban the import to America of Iraqi oil until Iraq stopped compensating the families of Palestinian Arab suicide bombers, Messrs. Lugar and Hagel were among the handful who voted to bring in the oil.

Our editorial four years ago concluded, "The bottom line is that Messrs. Hagel and Lugar (Hagar, is how their names can be contracted) want a weaker stance than most other senators against the terrorists in Iran and Syria and the West Bank and Gaza and against those who help the terrorists. They are more concerned than most other senators about upsetting our erstwhile allies in Europe — the French and Germans — who do business with the terrorists."

It may be that Mr. Obama and many others like him aren't familiar with the details of Hagar's record. Many now perceive Mr. Hagel as the Republican who fell away from President Bush during the Battle of Iraq. Even Mayor Bloomberg has reportedly dallied with the Nebraskan. Mr. Lugar is seen as an old hand who represents the old George Herbert Walker Bush type of Republican foreign policy establishmentarianism. These details are significant, as they indicate how defeatism in Iraq is just a symptom of a broader weakness in confronting our enemies.

Early last month, we defended Mr. Obama "as having chosen to put himself on the record in terms that Israel's friends in America, at least those not motivated by pure political partisanship, can warmly welcome." But if the senator ends up aligning himself with the Lugar-Hagel tradition in the Republican Party, his actions will start to belie his words. Hagar's is an extremist minority. It stands against the bipartisan consensus in the Senate that wants a hard line against the terrorist enemies of Israel and America.

Either Mr. Obama doesn't know for what Messrs. Lugar and Hagel stand, in which case, he's ignorant, or he does know and embraces it, in which case, he spells trouble for the cause of our country in this war and for those Americans who stand with the state of Israel. It will be illuminating to see whether Mrs. Clinton spurns the "Primary Colors" type of whispering campaign that was mounted in Florida, and about which we wrote on January 18, and instead confronts the issue of Messrs. Obama, Lugar, and Hagel out in open debate and before New Yorkers go to the polls.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 10:40 PM | Comments (0)

February 04, 2008

Requiem for my Presidential Candidate

Redacted from, The Case for Rudy Giuliani

(Article written before Florida Primary election)

The Washington Times, January 28, 2008

By Dennis Prager

To the extent that I understand how most Republicans think, it would seem that former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani comes closer to the Republican ideal than any of the other viable Republican candidates. (Wrong) They are all good and decent men who would be better for America than either of the Democratic front-runners. But, it is difficult to see, from a conservative and Republican-values perspective, what major shortcoming Mr. Giuliani brings as compared to the other candidates.

Moreover, given the obsession of liberal news media with publishing negative reports about Mr. Giuliani and frequent praise of John McCain, it would appear it is Mr. Giuliani whom Democrats most fear as the Republican presidential nominee. On the “war on terror,” no Republican contender but John McCain equals Mr. Giuliani in longtime efforts on behalf of that war or in understanding and articulating the threat radical Islam poses to America and to liberty on earth. Moreover, they both have great courage. If the only issue that mattered in the next election were the “war on terror” all those — including Democrats and independents — who share this awareness of the Islamist threat could be happy with either candidate.

Anyone who does not understand the nature of the war that liberty is now waging against tyranny should not be president of the United States. And the Democratic candidates until now have shown no such understanding — the term “Islamic terror:’ invoked by nearly every Republican candidate, was not mentioned once in any of the Democrats’ debates. But while this understanding is necessary, it is not sufficient. America needs a strong leader domestically, as well as internationally. In addition, when it comes to being strong on both domestic and international issues, it seems that no presently viable Republican candidate matches Rudy Giuliani

... Rudy Giuliani may have made a great mistake by not campaigning in New Hampshire, Nevada, Iowa and South Carolina. But, between Mr. Giuliani, Mitt Romney and Mr. McCain, there is little question as to who more embodies mainstream conservative and Republican principles. Mr. Giuliani is not merely more of a conservative than Mr. McCain In fact, if it is Ronald Reagan that Republican want, Mr. Giuliani is extraordinarily close to that venerated man.

Ronald Reagan stood for two great beliefs: that big govern merit is a big problem for a free society and that America must be militarily strong and lead the war against global communism. Substitute “global jihadism” for global communism and you have Mr. Giuliani’s twin pillars. His one major weakness in appealing to all conservatives is that he is for abortion rights. Let me, then, briefly address all those who, like me, consider nearly all abortions immoral. Ronald Reagan was pro-life, and it mattered little to the pro-life cause.

... Concerning abortion, what matters most in a president is the type of judges he appoints to the Supreme Court. As George Will wrote on behalf of Mr. Giuliani, “The way to change abortion law is to change courts by means of judicial nominations of the sort Giuliani promises to make.

... Pro-life Republicans need to ask themselves: Will a Democrat or Mr. Giuliani as president render abortion less common in America? And Mr. Giuliani is far better on abortion than any Democratic nominee. Mr. Giuliani is for school vouchers, against bilingual education, for reducing taxes further, for reducing government spending. In addition, he has well-thought-out positions on how to achieve these things. He also has the experience of cleaning up the most liberal major city in America.

... I write this column aware that Mr. Giuliani may have lost his chance at getting the Republican nomination. But, I could not live with my conscience if I did not articulate one week before the potentially decisive Florida primary why I believe Rudy Giuliani would make an excellent President of the United States.

Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated columnist and unfortunately, his column did not evidently, affect the results of the Florida Primary.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 02:29 AM | Comments (0)