Archive for the ‘Egypt’ Category
As another Passover begins, the echoes of “Once we were slaves and now we are free” and “Next year in Jerusalem” resound briefly and then fade into the background noise of everyday life. We can board a plane tomorrow and fly off to Jerusalem. Some of us are already there now. But will that make us free?
Freedom like slavery, is as much a state of mind as a state of being. It is possible to be legally free, yet to have no freedom of action whatsoever. And it is possible to be legally a slave and yet to be free in defiance of those restrictions. External coercion alone does not make a man free or slave, it is the degradation of mind that makes a man a slave.
What is a slave? A slave is complicit in his own oppression. His slavery has become his natural state and he looks to his master, not to free him, but to command him. Had the Jews of Egypt merely been restrained by physical coercion, it would have been enough to directly and immediately smash the power of the Egyptian state. But their slavery was mental. They moaned not at the fact of slavery, but at the extremity of it. When their taskmasters complained to Pharaoh, it was not of slavery, but of not being given the straw with which to build the bricks.
The worst slavery is of the most insidious kind. It leaves the slave able to think and act, but not as a free man. It leaves him with cunning, but not courage. He is able to use force, but only to bring other slaves into line. And most hideously, this state of affairs seems moral and natural to him. This is his freedom.
The true slave has come to love big brother, to worship at the foot of the system that oppresses him. It is this twisted love that must be torn out of him. It is this idolatry of the whip before which he kneels, this panting to know who his superior and who his inferiors are, this love of a vast order that allows him to be lost in its wonders, to gaze in awe at the empire of tomorrow which builds its own tombs today, that must be broken. These are his gods and he must kill them within himself to be free.
The Exodus is not the story of the emergence of free men who were enslaved, but the slow painful process by which slaves became a nation of free men, a long troubled journey which has not yet ended. That is why we celebrate Passover, not as an event of the past, but as of a road that we still travel, a long journey from slavery to freedom.
Having escaped from Pharaoh, they built a glittering calf, and having left the desert behind, they sought out a king.
The Obama White House plan to honor an Egyptian woman, Samira Ibrahim, at a Department of State ceremony to celebrate the achievements of individuals on International Women’s Day was canceled. Foreign and Internet news media organizations revealed that the Obama administration was in fact honoring an anti-American, anti-Semite who heralded and cheered the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the U.S., according to a report on Friday by public-interest organization that investigates corruption.
The other awardees for this year are from Afghanistan, Honduras, Russia, Somalia, Nigeria, China, Syria, Vietnam, and India.
Kirk sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry informing him that Ibrahim “expressed anti-Semitic views and support for international terrorism on her Twitter account” and called her hacking claim “dubious” given the timing and duration of the tweets.
“How embarrassing for the administration that, up until a few hours ago, it was set to bestow a special award upon Egyptian activist Samira Ibrahim for all her work on behalf of women’s rights. First Lady Michelle Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry were going to present Ibrahim with the International Women of Courage award at a State Department ceremony this afternoon,” stated the Judicial Watch report released on Friday.
The event will go on and “nine extraordinary women” will still be commended, according to a State Department announcement, but Ibrahim was quickly dumped from the list of 10 women. The annual International Women of Courage Award’s stated purpose is to recognize “women around the globe who have shown exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for women’s rights and empowerment, often at great personal risk.”
“It’s baffling that Ibrahim made the list in the first place, considering her history. Even her country’s English-language news website questioned the nomination earlier this week, pointing out that it was expected to fuel controversy after some foreign media outlets dug up some of her anti-Semitic and anti-US statements. Also published in Arabic, the Egyptian news site offers some of the outrageous comments Ibrahim has posted on her social media sites,” states the JW report.
According to Judicial Watch:
On the eleventh anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, as terrorists attacked the American consulate in Libya and murdered the U.S. ambassador, Ibrahim posted this on her Twitter account: “Today is the anniversary of 9/11. May [we] every year see the U.S. burning.”
On July 18, 2012, after five Israeli tourists were murdered by a Hezbollah suicide bomber, Ibrahim tweeted: “An explosion on a bus carrying Israelis in Burgas airport in Bulgaria on the Black Sea. Today is such a lovely day with a lot of lovely news.”
In separate August 2012 posts, Ibrahim described Saudi Arabia’s ruling family as “dirtier than the Jews” and she seemed to compliment Adolf Hitler: “I have discovered with the passage of days, that no act contrary to morality, no crime against society, takes place, except with the Jews having a hand in it. Hitler.”
Here is what a State Department spokeswoman told reporters this week as the agency scrambled to minimize the damage: “We, as a department, became aware very late in the process about Samira Ibrahim’s alleged public comments.”
US Cannot Afford to Keep Criminals in Jail, Yet We Send $250 Million to Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt?
Janet Napolitano, Director of Homeland Security, claims that the Obama-initiated Sequester is causing such budget headaches that she has been forced to release illegal aliens from jail.
Oddly enough, at the same time as Nappy is releasing criminals to the streets of America because of insufficient funds, John Kerry is in Egypt giving away $250 million taxpayer greenbacks to the Muslim Brotherhood.
Just what is really going on here?
If it is true that money is just not available to keep the invaders in jail where they belong, why not simply deport them back to from whence they came? Let Mexico fed and house its bad-actor thugs for a change!
Or is the word deport no longer used in the world of PC bureaucrats?
Another thought: Why not siphon off enough of the loot headed to Egypt to at least buy one-way tickets back to Mexico for our unwelcome prisoners?
Is it any wonder that politicians are considered the lowest form on life in the universe?
John W. Lillpop is a recovering liberal. “Clean and sober” since 1992 when last he voted for a Democrat. Pray for John: He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where people like Nancy Pelosi are actually considered normal!.
Much like Festivus, American diplomacy to the Middle East usually begins with an airing of grievances. These are not the American grievances over decades of terrorism and acts of violent hatred. These are the grievances that are supposedly infuriating the Arab Street. The list begins with Israel, continues on to the “Arab Dictators” supported by America and concludes with warnings to respect Mohammed by not making any cartoons or movies about him.
Mohamed El Baradei, once the administration’s choice to take over Egypt, has refused to meet with Secretary of State John Kerry. Joining him in this boycott is much of Egypt’s liberal opposition.
When Mubarak was in power, the “Arab Street” of Islamists and Egyptian leftists was angry at America for supporting him. Now the “Arab Street” of Egyptian leftists, Mubarak supporters and some Anti-Brotherhood Islamists is angry at America for supporting the Muslim Brotherhood.
The American foreign policy error was to assume that the political grievances of the Arab Street could be appeased with democracy. They can’t be. The various factions are not truly interested in open elections. What they want is for America to elevate their faction and only their faction to power. When that doesn’t happen, they denounce the government as an American puppet and warn of the great and terrible anger of the Arab Street if America doesn’t make them its puppet instead.
Democracy is no solution, because none of the factions really wanted democracy for its own sake. They wanted it only as a tool to help them win. Now that the tool has failed most of them, they don’t care for it anymore. And the Islamists who benefited from democracy have no enduring commitment to it. Like all the other factions, they see it as a tool. A means, not an end.
While the West views democracy as an end, the East sees it as only a means. The West believes in a system of populist power rotation. The East however is caught between a variety of totalitarian ideologies, including Islamists and local flavors of the left, who have no interest in power rotation except as a temporary strategy for total victory.
There is no actual solution to the Arab Street that will please all sides and keep their hatred of America down to a dull roar. Whichever side the United States of America backs will leave the others full of fury. If the United States doesn’t back a side but maintains good relations with the government, it will still be accused of backing that government.
The only way to disprove that accusation is for the winning side to demonstrate its hostility to the United States. Accordingly even governments that are in theory friendly to the United States must demonstrate their unfriendliness as a defense against accusations that they are puppets of the infidels. And as a result, no matter whom the United States supports, all the factions, including those we support, will continue to engage in ritual displays of hostility against us.
Egyptian police officials on Monday arrested a Salafist cleric who told his Islamist followers that it’s permissible to sexually molest or rape female protesters, according to an Israeli police source.
An Egyptian court magistrate had issued an arrest warrant on Sunday against the Salafi preacher, Ahmad Mahmoud Abdullah, who recently said it is permissible to rape female protesters, charging him with the defamation of religion, said Lyle Moshe, an Israeli police official who monitors radical Islam in the Middle East and North Africa.
Abdullah, who is also known as Abu Islam, is the owner of a television channel al-Ummah, furthered his hateful diatribe when he attacked women and Egyptian Christians, known as Coptics.
The radical Salafist leader is currently being prosecuted for defacing and ripping up a Holy Bible in the midst of an explosive protest outside the American embassy in Cairo on Sept. 11, 2012, as a result of a YouTube video made in the United States that denigrated the Prophet Mohammed, according to Moshe.
The Egyptian attorney general said he was swamped with police reports and citizens’ complaints accusing Abu Islam (Abdullah) of verbally attacking Egypts Christian minority through statements he had made to Tahrir, an Egyptian newspaper, as well as on his own al-Ummah TV channel.
This new criminal investigation is the result of a report filed by a complainant, Coptic Christian activist Nagib Gibrail, who accuses Abu Islam of insulting Christians on television.
In a televised appearance, Abu Islam is said to have called Valentine’s Day a holiday “for the Christians to celebrate adultery and prostitution.”
Egypt has outlawed insults against religions and allows police to arrest Shiite Muslims or Christians for alleged slights.
The upheaval in the Arab world and the political changes in several Muslim nations have given extremists an opportunity to change the names of their terror organizations. That includes the Salafist movement, according to an Israeli National Police source on Monday via telephone.
Why would the Obama administration send twenty F-16 fighter jets to Egypt in the wake of the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak with whom the deal was struck in 2010 and in light of the fact that man now in charge, Mohammed Morsi, is a rabid anti-Semite and enemy of Israel?
Wouldn’t a prudent U.S. administration review the earlier deal, part of a $1 billion U.S. foreign aid package, and conclude that a regime now led by a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood and man who calls Jews “descendants of apes and pigs” not have its military power increased at a time when much of the Middle East and the Maghreb, northern Africa, is embroiled in turmoil?
Egypt is not threatened by Israel, but it is known that Morsi meets regularly with Mohammed Badi, the Muslim Brotherhood’s supreme leaders, who last year declared that “The jihad for the recovery of Jerusalem is a duty for all Muslims.”
Recently, Dr. Daniel Pipes, the founder and director of the Middle East Forum, editor of its Middle East Quarterly journal, a historian and political commentator, wrote a commentary in which he said, “The persistent belief that training and equipping foreign troops imbues them with American political and ethical values, making them allies of the United States” was “another sign of innocence.” He was being polite. It’s not innocence, it’s stupidity and the U.S. has been repeating it for a long time.
Dr. Pipes cited several cases that are worth recalling.
When U.S. “peacekeeping” troops landed in Lebanon in 1982, “the priority was to train a national army.” Lebanon was in the midst of a civil war that lasted from 1975 to 1990. The U.S. effort was a failure that included the 1983 suicide bombing of a Marine Corps barracks that killed 220 Marines and 22 other U.S. servicemen. As Dr. Pipes noted, most of those trained and equipped returned to their communal militias. A renewed effort to repeat this stupidity is underway again! It’s worth noting that Lebanon is governed by members of Hezbollah, a terrorist organization and proxy of Iran.
After more than a decade in Afghanistan, U.S. efforts to train a national police force and military often resulted in attacks by its members on coalition service personnel. In the first eight months of 2012, they killed 45 persons; at which point the training stopped. When the U.S. finally leaves later this year and next, those left behind to continue training programs will be sitting ducks. The billions in military gear will eventually become the property of the Taliban and Afghanistan will return swifty to its seventh century mentality.
As Dr. Pipes noted regarding Mali, U.S. efforts to train “the woebegone Malian national army to take on al Qaeda did not exactly work out.” Der Spiegel, a German daily, reported that “American specialists did train four crack units, totaling 600 men, to fight the terrorists. But it backfired: Three of the elite units have defected en masse to the rebel Tuareg.” One of its commanders, “Captain Amadou Sanogo, trained in the U.S. overthrew the government in Bamako and ousted the elected president.”
Perhaps the most egregious idiocy was the result of the U.S. efforts to mediate the discord between Israel and the Palestinian Authority in which the U.S.
“Egypt, the largest Arab state, the second largest recipient of U.S. military air, and our second most important ally in the Middle East, is now in the hands of a hostile regime—an elected one at that—which we continue to treat as a friendly one,” says Raymond Stock in a recent article published by the Middle East Forum.
When President Obama gave a speech in Cairo on January 25, 2009, it was portrayed as an outreach to the Middle East and Islam. Seated in the front row at Cairo University, however, was the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood. The speech asked Muslims to define themselves “not by national or ethnic identity, but by their religion.”
What followed was the overthrow of the Mubarak regime and the election of Mohamed Morsi, a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood as president, a victory for its 84-year struggle for power in the land of its birth. How radical is the Muslim Brotherhood? In January on Holocaust Remembrance Day, a key figure in Morsi’s government, Fathi Shihab-Eddim, called the Holocaust a hoax cooked up by U.S. intelligence operatives, saying that the six million Jews killed by the Nazis in World War II had simply moved to the U.S.
Such views are widely held by Muslims and reflect Islam’s hatred of Jews, but most Americans remain oblivious to the fact that Islam hates Christianity and all other religions. The official policy of the U.S. is to ignore this and to support the Morsi regime. Morsi is on record saying that Jews are “apes and pigs.” The 1979 peace treaty between Israel and Egypt is now just an illusion.
To get some insight into life under Islam in Egypt (and elsewhere) some of the fatwas issued in 2012, legal decrees issued by learned Muslims, one called for the destruction of the pyramids and the Sphinx. Another opposed setting a minimum age for marriage in the new constitution, i.e. pedophilia. A fatwa called for scrapping the Camp David accords and another permitted the killing of any anti-Islamization protesters. Greetings to Christians on holidays such as Christmas and Easter were forbidden.
At this writing, the U.S. is shipping the first four of sixteen F-16s promised to Mubarak and giving the Morsi regime two hundred Abrams tanks in the same package. On January 26, Morsi said this was a sign of support for his rule and it is.
Special Operations Speaks, an organization of Special Ops veterans, has spoken out against this weapons transfer noting that “These modern U.S. weapons are part of a package of military aid to Egypt that was concluded in 2010 with the previous Hosni Mubarak regime. The times and our relationship have changed and not for the better,” cited the “viciously anti-Semitic and anti-Israel rhetoric of President Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood” deeming the provision of weapons “liberal foreign policy at its most inept.”
The U.S. is not alone, however, it supporting a regime dedicated, along with the rest of Islam, to the destruction of the West. Morsi is expecting a $4.8 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund, plus $5 billion in emergency aid from the European Union. More billions have been pledged by Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
Having failed to reach an agreement with Iraq, the U.S.
The French are in Mali now, being shot at by Islamists armed with the very same weapons that France airdropped into Libya. Either those or the weapons that France sold to Gaddafi in the preceding period when European countries were competing to be his arms dealers. The joke is equally bleak, either way.
In less time than it takes a pop star to go from fresh faced to train wrecked, Saif Gaddafi went from the toast of European academics to a mass murderer, Gaddafi’s opposition went from Al Qaeda terrorists to brave rebels, then the brave rebels, many of whom were actually Iraqis, Tunisians and Jordanians, shot up an American diplomatic mission, hooked up with some of Gaddafi’s Tuaregs to take over Northern Mali, shot them up and began carving out their own Islamist Emirate.
In barely two years, Mohammed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood president of Egypt, went from screaming that Egyptian children “must feed on hatred” to the toast of foreign diplomatic circles as the same geniuses behind the invasion of Libya try to make the best of handing over the most powerful country in the region into the hands of a terrorist organization.
In that same period, Syria’s Assad went from the pages of Vogue and meetings with John Kerry to being the most reviled man in the world. But two years from now, if he survives the worst that the Syrian rebels, most of whom are Al Qaeda or wish they were, you might well find him meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry while his family gets another four pages in Vogue Magazine.
In two years, the evil ruthless dictators who kill and torture their own people have been replaced by ruthless democratically elected dictators who kill and torture their own people. In Egypt and Tunisia things are worse now than they were under the “dictators” and unsurprisingly the one thing that they can all agree on is that it’s America’s fault.
The press can’t be expected to pay much attention to these events. The media will provide the obligatory coverage of Muslim Brotherhood torture chambers in Egypt and the labor riots in Tunisia. But it would really like to spend its time lamenting Israel’s fall to the far right by covering the rise of a political party which holds the shocking and outrageous position that the twenty year old peace process has failed and should be wrapped up and put away.
It seemed like only a few weeks ago that the cognoscenti were enthusiastically predicting a new Middle East, sending reporters in droves to be kidnapped and molested at the celebrations of freedom and democracy. And now the new Middle East looks a lot like the old Middle East.
Columnists still pen the occasional column urging patience. Rome wasn’t burned down in a day, they say, all revolutions take time. Look how long it took Germany, Russia and Japan to stop killing millions of people and get down to the business of making engines, accidents and wristwatches.
It is the nature of despots to fight to the end, though some do flee. The former dictator of Tunisia was smart enough to get out with his skin, but Libya’s Gaddafi was eventually captured and summarily executed. It took a U.S. invasion to rid Iraq of Saddam Hussein who was found hiding in a hole in the ground. The end for most despots is ugly, but they often do not have too many, if any, options.
On January 5th, Bashar al Assad, the son of Hafez al Assad, the despot who ruled Syria for twenty years, gave a speech to an audience of supporters and, having killed 60,000 Syrians at this point, sounded quite defiant. He called the civil war that has been going on for the past two years a period of “transition” which is about as daft as it gets. According to Assad, his enemies are Islamic radicals who, in turn, are Western “puppets.”
Within twenty-four hours there were unconfirmed reports on the Internet saying that he was dead or had fled Damascus. The truth about anything in the Middle East can be elusive.
The Middle East often makes for strange bedfellows. While the United Nations typically wrings its hands, there are indications that the U.S. has been covertly transferring arms to the rebels, Syrians tired of the Assad regime’s oppression and al Qaeda that wants to be in position to exercise some power after Assad is driven from office. The curious aspect of this is that the assassination of the U.S. ambassador in Libya and three others was reportedly carried out by al Qaeda. It is often hard to know who one’s allies are in the Middle East.
Assad’s major ally has been Iran, the primary sponsor of Hezbollah, a Palestinian terror group that currently controls Lebanon and never ceases to threaten Israel with destruction. Another ally has been the Russians who have cultivated relations with him because they want to retain a port in the Mediterranean for their warships. They have voiced reservations about Assad of late.
Syria’s neighbors, Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon have provided refuge for the many Syrians who fled the war.
Israel has kept a low profile. Israel has occupied the Golan Heights since their loss by Syria in the 1967 war. Bashar’s father, Hafez, was smart enough not to engage in further wars with Israel.
Whether he is alive or dead, Bashar al Assad and his regime is finished. The biggest losers have been the Syrian people and, as an Israeli scholar, Dr. Mordechai Kedar, the director of the Center for the Study of the Middle East, has noted, “The country is in a state of clinical death resulting from systemic collapse.”
As bad as the estimated 60,000 deaths so far have been, Dr. Kedar, predicts that the death toll of members of the Alawite tribe that has run the nation will increase as Syrians take their revenge.
“Other small sects as well—the Christians and the Druze—are among the losers because the Alawite regime protected them.” Many have fled or soon will. Dr. Kedar described the Assad regime as dictatorial in style and feudal in structure.