Saturday, July 31, 2010

Will Washington's Failures Lead To Second American Revolution?

Thanks to Paul Vallely


The Internet is a large-scale version of the "Committees of Correspondence" that led to the first American Revolution — and with Washington's failings now so obvious and awful, it may lead to another.

People are asking, "Is the government doing us more harm than good? Should we change what it does and the way it does it?"

Pruning the power of government begins with the imperial presidency. Too many overreaching laws give the president too much discretion to make too many open-ended rules controlling too many aspects of our lives. There's no end to the harm an out-of-control president can do.

Bill Clinton lowered the culture, moral tone and strength of the nation — and left America vulnerable to attack. When it came, George W. Bush stood up for America, albeit sometimes clumsily.

Barack Obama, however, has pulled off the ultimate switcheroo: He's diminishing America from within — so far, successfully.

He may soon bankrupt us and replace our big merit-based capitalist economy with a small government-directed one of his own design.

He is undermining our constitutional traditions: The rule of law and our Anglo-Saxon concepts of private property hang in the balance. Obama may be the most "consequential" president ever.

The Wall Street Journal's steadfast Dorothy Rabinowitz wrote that Barack Obama is "an alien in the White House."

His bullying and offenses against the economy and job creation are so outrageous that CEOs in the Business Roundtable finally mustered the courage to call him "anti-business." Veteran Democrat Sen. Max Baucus blurted out that Obama is engineering the biggest government-forced "redistribution of income" in history.

Fear and uncertainty stalk the land. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke says America's financial future is "unusually uncertain."

A Wall Street "fear gauge" based on predicted market volatility is flashing long-term panic. New data on the federal budget confirm that record-setting deficits in the $1.4 trillion range are now endemic.

Obama is building an imperium of public debt and crushing taxes, contrary to George Washington's wise farewell admonition: "cherish public credit ... use it as sparingly as possible ... avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt ... bear in mind, that towards the payment of debts there must be Revenue, that to have Revenue there must be taxes; that no taxes can be devised, which are not ... inconvenient and unpleasant ... ."

Opinion polls suggest that in the November mid-term elections, voters will replace the present Democratic majority in Congress with opposition Republicans — but that will not necessarily stop Obama.

A President Obama intent on achieving his transformative goals despite the disagreement of the American people has powerful weapons within reach. In one hand, he will have a veto pen to stop a new Republican Congress from repealing ObamaCare and the Dodd-Frank takeover of banks.

In the other, he will have a fistful of executive orders, regulations and Obama-made fiats that have the force of law.

Under ObamaCare, he can issue new rules and regulations so insidiously powerful in their effect that higher-priced, lower-quality and rationed health care will quickly become ingrained, leaving a permanent stain.

Under Dodd-Frank, he and his agents will control all credit and financial transactions, rewarding friends and punishing opponents, discriminating on the basis of race, gender and political affiliation. Credit and liquidity may be choked by bureaucracy and politics — and the economy will suffer.

He and the EPA may try to impose by "regulatory" fiats many parts of the cap-and-trade and other climate legislation that failed in the Congress.

And by executive orders and the in terrorem effect of an industrywide "boot on the neck" policy, he can continue to diminish energy production in the United States.

By the trick of letting current-law tax rates "expire," he can impose a $3.5 trillion 10-year tax increase that damages job-creating capital investment in an economy struggling to recover. And by failing to enforce the law and leaving America's borders open, he can continue to repopulate America with unfortunate illegals whose skill and education levels are low and whose political attitudes are often not congenial to American-style democracy.

A wounded rampaging president can do much damage — and, like Caesar, the evil he does will live long after he leaves office, whenever that may be.

The overgrown, un-pruned power of the presidency to reward, punish and intimidate may now be so overwhelming that his re-election in 2012 is already assured — Chicago-style.

• Christian, an attorney, was a deputy assistant secretary of the Treasury in the Ford administration.

• Robbins, an economist, served at the Treasury Department in the Reagan administration.

Chairman – Stand Up America



Aggie Hoffman

These are the changes you can expect beginning Jan 1, 2011.

In just six months, the largest tax hikes in the history of America will take effect.
They will hit families and small businesses in three great waves on
January 1, 2011:

First Wave:
Expiration of 2001 and 2003 Tax Relief

In 2001 and 2003, the GOP Congress enacted several tax cuts for
investors, small business owners, and families.
These will all expire on January 1, 2011: And here is the rest of it.

Personal income tax rates will rise. The top
income tax rate will rise from 35 to 39.6 percent (this is also the rate
at which two-thirds of small business profits are taxed). The
lowest rate will rise from 10 to 15 percent. All the rates in
between will also rise. Itemized deductions and personal exemptions
will again phase out, which has the same mathematical effect as higher
marginal tax rates. The full list of marginal rate hikes is below:

- The 10% bracket rises to an expanded 15%

- The 25% bracket rises to 28%

- The 28% bracket rises to 31%

- The 33% bracket rises to 36%

- The 35% bracket rises to 39.6%

Higher taxes on marriage and family. The
“marriage penalty” (narrower tax brackets for married
couples) will return from the first dollar of income. The child tax
credit will be cut in half from $1000 to $500 per child. The
standard deduction will no longer be doubled for married couples relative
to the single level. The dependent care and adoption tax credits
will be cut.

The return of the Death Tax.
This year, there is no death tax. For those dying on or after January 1 2011, there is a 55 percent
top death tax rate on estates over $1 million. A person leaving behind two homes and a retirement
account could easily pass along a death tax bill to their loved ones.

Higher tax rates on savers and investors.
The capital gains tax will rise from 15 percent this year to 20 percent in
2011. The dividends tax will rise from 15 percent this year to 39.6
percent in 2011. These rates will rise another 3.8 percent in 2013.

Second Wave:

There are over twenty new or higher taxes in Obamacare. Several will first go into effect on
January 1, 2011. They include:

The “Medicine Cabinet Tax”
Thanks to Obamacare, Americans will no longer be able to use health
savings account (HSA), flexible spending account (FSA), or health
reimbursement (HRA) pre-tax dollars to purchase non-prescription,
over-the-counter medicines (except insulin).

The “Special Needs Kids Tax”
This provision of Obamacare imposes a cap on flexible spending accounts (FSAs)
of $2500 (Currently, there is no federal government limit). There
is one group of FSA owners for whom this new cap will be particularly
cruel and onerous: parents of special needs children. There are
thousands of families with special needs children in the United States
, and many of them use FSAs to pay for special needs education.
Tuition rates at one leading school that teaches special needs children
in Washington , D.C. ( National Child Research Center ) can easily exceed $14,000 per year.
Under tax rules, FSA dollars can not be used to pay for this type of special
needs education.

The HSA Withdrawal Tax Hike.
This provision of Obamacare increases the additional tax on non-medical early withdrawals
from an HSA from 10 to 20 percent, disadvantaging them relative to IRAs
and other tax-advantaged accounts, which remain at 10 percent.

Third Wave:
The Alternative Minimum Tax and Employer Tax Hikes

When Americans prepare to file their tax returns in January of 2011,
they’ll be in for a nasty surprise—the AMT won’t be
held harmless, and many tax relief provisions will have expired.
The major items include:

The AMT will ensnare over 28 million families, up from 4 million last year.
According to the left-leaning Tax Policy Center , Congress’ failure to index the AMT will lead to
an explosion of AMT taxpaying families—rising from 4 million last
year to 28.5 million. These families will have to calculate their
tax burdens twice, and pay taxes at the higher level. The AMT was
created in 1969 to ensnare a handful of taxpayers.

Small business expensing will be slashed and 50% expensing will disappear.
Small businesses can normally expense (rather than slowly-deduct, or
“depreciate”) equipment purchases up to $250,000. This
will be cut all the way down to $25,000. Larger businesses can
expense half of their purchases of equipment. In January of 2011,
all of it will have to be “depreciated.”

Taxes will be raised on all types of businesses.
There are literally scores of tax hikes on business that will take
place. The biggest is the loss of the “research and
experimentation tax credit,” but there
are many, many others. Combining high marginal tax rates with
the loss of this tax relief will cost jobs.

Tax Benefits for Education and Teaching Reduced.
The deduction for tuition and fees will not be available. Tax credits
for education will be limited. Teachers will no longer be able to
deduct classroom expenses. Coverdell Education Savings Accounts
will be cut. Employer-provided educational assistance is
curtailed. The student loan interest deduction will be disallowed
for hundreds of thousands of families.

Charitable Contributions from IRAs no longer allowed.
Under current law, a retired person with an IRA can contribute up to
$100,000 per year directly to a charity from their IRA. This
contribution also counts toward an annual “required minimum
distribution.” This ability will no longer be there.

Now your
insurance is INCOME on your W2's......

One of the surprises
we'll find come next year, is what follows - - a little
"surprise" that 99% of us had no idea was included in the
"new and improved" healthcare legislation . . . the
dupes, er, dopes, who backed this administration will be

Starting in 2011, (next year folks), your W-2 tax form sent by
your employer will be increased to show the value of whatever
health insurance you are given by the company.
It does not
matter if that's a private concern or governmental body of
some sort. If you're retired? So what; your gross
will go up by the amount of insurance you get.

You will be required to pay taxes on a large sum of money that you
have never seen. Take your tax form you just finished
and see what $15,000 or $20,000 additional gross does to your
tax debt.
That's what you'll pay next year. For
many, it also puts you into a new higher bracket so it's even

This is how the government is going to buy insurance for the15% that don't
have insurance and it's only part of the tax increases.

Not believing this??? Here is a research of the

On page 25 of 29: TITLE IX REVENUE
as modified by sec. 10901) Sec.9002 "requires employers
to include in the W-2 form of each employee the aggregate cost of
applicable employer sponsored group health coverage that is
excludable from the employees gross income."

Joan Pryde is the senior tax editor for the Kiplinger letters.
Go to Kiplingers and read about 13 tax changes that
could affect you. Number 3 is what is above.

Why am I sending you this? The same reason I hope you forward
this to every single person in your address book.

People have the right to know the truth because an election is
coming in November.

Comment: Beginning in 5 months, those of us who have an employer assisted healthcare plan will pay income tax on the plan. The "benefit" is now considered income and it will be added to our income side of the ledger when determining which income bracket we fall into-so, the President, Pelosi, Reid et al lied to all of us. Middle class, no taxes-this is a whopper of a lie-you don't feel any sense of betrayal? Hmm, why not is the appropriate question. BTW note all of the other taxes heading your way!

Congress of Children

Daniel Greenfield

Obama and the Democrats are still running the country, but they're swiftly passing the point of return with the public. They still wield power, but without public support, their power comes without any legitimacy attached. The media has been ignoring that sticking point for a while, but no matter what the Jornolist folks though, the media doesn't actually control elections. The perfect storm of media bias in 2008 helped rig the election, but that only worked when the public was unhappy and didn't strongly favor either side. Rigging the election now and in 2012 will be a lot harder, no matter how much bias flows through the sewage pipes of the handful of struggling media conglomerates still left standing. And the media knows it too. They know which bandwagons to jump on, and which bandwagons to jump off. And the Obama bandwagon is headed into a deserted station.

The outrage over the 9/11 health care workers bill, in which Dems tried to ram through more hidden measures under the guise of paying for health care for Ground Zero workers, is the latest flashpoint in a conflict over an administration and a congress unwilling to work together with the opposition, and determined to get its way by hook or by crook.

The reports of Obama plotting to bypass congress for a limited amnesty, are on par with how ObamaCare was shoved under the door. And the public has gotten tired of these games. Scott Brown's victory was a warning from voters in one of America's more liberal states, that they were fed up with the one-note power crazed politics of the Democratic party. But the Democrats didn't listen, which means they'll be forced to listen. Because America is still a democracy. And that means accountability comes sooner or later, when the people get around to voting.

The Obama Administration and congressional Democrats thought that the Obama cult of personality they were building would make them bulletproof. They were deeply wrong. The cult collapsed with a roar of laughter around the time Prince Barry got his Nobel Peace Prize for absolutely nothing. Now it's just touring the world, and playing golf, while everything goes to hell.

The 9/11 Ground Zero bill was an obscenely cynical charade, that removes any right whatsoever for the Democrats to criticize the Patriot Act, rolling in their own legislation, depriving the opposition of any ability to modify the bill, and pushing it out there, assuming that the Republicans wouldn't have the guts to vote it down, no matter what is actually in the bill. Weiner's temper tantrum is embarrassing.It gives the Netroots exactly what they want. Angry hysterical Democrats acting like children, because they can't get their way.

Of course Weiner wasn't screaming at Obama, when Prince Barry's administration tried to cut off 9/11 funding for New York, because the city's politicians stood up to him on holding the trials for Al Queda in Lower Manhattan. But this isn't about 9/11. It's about politics. Cynical politics by spoiled brats in dark suits.

What began with, ends with immaturity and juvenile tantrums from overgrown infants who feel they never got their way. Right up to the Infant in Chief himself. And as it began, so it begins to end. Shamefully and pathetically.

The Democrats are raising their spending limits to try and hold on... even as they keep spending the country's money even faster.

And their ad buy focuses on a 10 point list which warns potential voters that Republican victories would lead to a repeal of ObamaCare, DoddFinance and create tax breaks. The rest of it tries to convince voters that Republics will abolish the EPA, the Department of Education and the 17th amendment. Somehow the DCCC will not be claiming that the Republican party will be bringing back slavery-- but only just by a little.

The obvious problem is that the public supports a repeal of ObamaCare and hates Congress. So the Democrats are left with a strategy that warns people that Republicans will destroy all their "good work", which the public opposes anyway, or trafficking in alarmist conspiracy theories. And somehow they decided to do both.

The DCCC asks people to sign on to help fight the "Tea Party, which is probably the worst campaign slogan in some time, because it frames a showdown between populism and the establishment, which all the attempts to tie together Republicans and the Tea Party won't upset.

And the news gets even worse for them.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's multi-million dollar ad buy across 60 congressional districts makes a statement that the party will come to the front lines to hold the House of Representatives. But what are they fighting against?

A look at results from the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll among those who live in the targeted congressional districts suggests the Democratic party may be fighting its own leader.

Views of President Obama were broadly negative among those in the targeted districts. A majority (54 percent) said they disapprove of the way Obama is handling his job in the July poll, including 41 percent who "strongly" disapprove.

And confidence in the president to make the right decisions for the nation's future stood at an abysmal 36 percent.

But that's not the worst part...

A generic congressional ballot was about evenly split among registered voters in these districts (45 percent said they'd vote for the Democrat in their district, 48 percent the Republican), however, nearly six in 10 (57 percent) said that regardless of their own vote, they would prefer to have "the Republicans in charge of Congress to act as a check on Obama's policies."

What that means is the Democrats cannot win as a party, only as individual Democrats who disassociate themselves from Obama and the rest of the party. Because a lot of voters are somewhat okay with their own congressmen, but distrust Obama and hate the Democratic congress as a whole.

The DCCC should be doing damage control, instead of launching more attacks on the Tea Party, but it's pretty hard to do damage control, when you don't acknowledge that you did anything wrong.

A few halting attempts are being made to maybe, possibly repeal some of the worst sections of ObamaCare, but it's too little and too late

For the first time, House Democrats are proposing repealing a piece of the health care overhaul, one that small businesses have been warning is going to be overly burdensome.

The move comes just four months after the Democrats’ health plan passed in March. The provision would have required businesses to file 1099 tax forms for all transactions with vendors that total over $600.

Due for implementation in 2012, it would have raised $19 billion over 10 years to pay for the health care overhaul.

Rep. Scott Murphy (D-NY) offered the bill on Friday morning. Ways and Means Chairman Sander Levin (D-Mich.), spoke in favor of the bill on the House floor Friday.

Honesty alone should compel them to repeal the whole mess and start over with something workable, where everyone knows what they are voting for. Which is exactly what Brown proposed.

Meanwhile Prince Barry trotted off to Detroit to show off GM's new magic wondercar (TM)

And he made sure to send a shout out to Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick.

Detroit Mayor and Hall of Famer Dave Bing is in the house. (Applause.) Two senators who have been fighting for you each and every day, Carl Levine and Debbie Stabenow, are here. (Applause.) Wonderful Congresswoman Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick is here. (Applause.)

Who's that wonderful woman? The mother of convicted Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. Which is handy because Carolyn herself was subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury in March. And despite trailing in the election, and low on funds, and Obama is there to help.

And, Hoekstra says despite the efforts by the White House to proclaim Obama’s visit a trip about autos, there’s definitely a political tinge.

“The president is touting jobs the government created because Carolyn Cheeks-Kilpatrick is on the appropriations committee. Why else would he come to the same state in two weeks?” Obama was in Holland, Michigan July 15 making remarks at Compact Power, a battery plant.

Kilpatrick is running for re-election to the House seat in Michigan’s 13th district, in what Hoekstra describes as a tough fight and Hoekstra calls the Obama visit to Detroit “pure politics, plain and simple”.

And that's how it goes.

But the good news is that Nancy Pelosi finally has her own handbag. She can use it to pack and get out of here.

Continuing the roundup, at IsraPundit, Gingrich and Palin again appear to be the only two prospective GOP Presidential candidates who are taking on Islam. Compare that to Huckabee. Of course Gingrich had to modify that by emphasizing those Muslims who live in "the modern world" who are just fine.

I'm guessing that would include the Times Square Car bomber who was on Facebook, the Fort Hood Shooter who was an American born graduate and a medical professional? Just modern people who pose no threat at all.

But Islam and technology get along quite well. Just take a look at this wonderful use of technology.

Saudi technology guards against women escaping

When women’s rights activist Wajiha Al-Huwaidar flew out of Saudi Arabia last week for a holiday in Italy with her family, she was hoping for a brief respite from what she describes as the ‘gender apartheid kingdom.’

She wasn’t so lucky.

As she left, her husband received an automated SMS text message from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs informing him that his wife, legally considered his ‘dependant’ under Saudi Arabia’s strict gendered guardianship system, had left the country.

Al-Huwaidar’s husband received the same text, she learned last week, when she had left Saudi Arabia on another recent trip to Germany.

“It is sad how Saudis use technology in a way not intended to be used for,” she told The Media Line. “In Saudi Arabia, technology brings more restrictions and misery! They use it to have more control over people’s lives, especially women.”

Just more modern people who live in the modern world, who treat women like slaves. Of course the article claims that this sort of thing has nothing to do with the Koran. Nothing at all.

"Narrated 'Aisha: "The things which annul the prayers were mentioned before me. They said, "Prayer is annulled by a dog, a donkey and a woman (if they pass in front of the praying people)." I said, "You have made us (women) dogs."

No wonder even more than half of Canadians want to ban the Burqa.

Robert Avrech rounds up some of the responses to Cameron's shameless toadying to Turkey

And see more at Steven Plaut's article in the Jewish Press

Famagusta, Cyprus: The ghost town lies near the very center of the city, just outside the Venetian walls. It is home only to snakes, scorpions, and rats of a hundred varieties. Signs on the fences around the ghost town show armed Turkish soldiers threatening those taking photographs with arrest or worse. The crumbling buildings inside the perimeter are frozen in time in 1974, as if in an episode of "The Twilight Zone."

Nothing has changed since central Famagusta was converted into a ghost town - called Varosha - by the invaders. It is said that the car distributorships in the ghost town even today are stocked with vintage 1974 models. For years after the rape of Famagusta, people told of seeing light bulbs still burning in the windows of the abandoned buildings. Hollywood studios could clothe whole movie sets with the 1974 fashions still in the closets of the homes.

orn in ethnic cleansing, it is the enduring testimony to the illegal land grab on Cyprus by Turkey, the mass expulsion of the ethnic Greek Cypriots from the northern 40 percent of the island, the theft of their property, and an unknown number of murders of Greek Cypriots by Turkey.

The illegal "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" is recognized by not a single country besides Turkey itself.

This is only an excerpt, but the entire thing is well worth reading.

The Cyprus Action Network meanwhile has a release showing a certain affinity between the current Turkish regime and the Nazis

A counter demonstration was staged and closely supervised by Gunay Evinch, of the law firm Evinch and Saltzman. Gunay Evinch is widely acknowledged as “the lawyer of the Turkish Embassy.” Gunay Evinch has defended Turkey from American lawsuits by Greek-Cypriot Americans, he is the President of the Turkish Lobby. Gunay Evinch is a promoter of Armenian genocide denial within the United States and the source of Turkish invasion of Cyprus denial propaganda for Turkey in America.

The main speaker for the Turkish Embassy counter demonstrators (who was witnessed as receiving help and consulted with Gunay Evinch) repeatedly made the Hitler salute and shouted “Heil Hitler” towards pro-Israel activists and the Greek-Cypriot community. The Turkish Embassy staff also participated and helped GUNAY EVINCH AND THE TURKISH EMBASSY HITLER YOUTH who also barked out to the Greek-Cypriot community "Turkish soldiers raped your mothers" and further committed hate crimes against women by making obscene gestures with his genitalia and his megaphone. The Cyprus Action Network of America (CANA) will be releasing the pictures and videos of GUNAY EVINCH and his Turkish Hitler Youth making the Hitler salute to Jewish Anti-Semitism watch groups and to the Israeli and German government which monitors such hate speech and hate gestures and enforces heavy criminal penalities for glorifying Hitler:

You can see the videos via the following link

And for more ethnic cleansing and bigotry, let's turn to Abbas (Oh My Valve)

"I will never allow a single Israeli to live among us on Palestinian land.”

And then there's the Sharia finance MasterCard (See SquareMile Wife)

The first halal payment card is now available across Canada. While the initial need to design the iFreedom Plus MasterCard came from the Muslim community (under Islamic law, paying interest is not halal, and so is a perceived sin), this prepaid, no interest card is ideal for everyone. Holders load their own money (up to $6,000) onto the card, then spend it when they need to. "A lot of people view this as more stress-free shopping because they're actually using money they have rather than ringing up their credit card and getting a huge bill," says Omar Kalair, the president and CEO of UM Financial, which launched the card with MasterCard.

This card was released in 2009 at Toronto's "Reviving the Islamic Spirit Conference" (a conference which has featured speakers like Zakir Naik, Yusuf Islam, Tariq Ramadan, etc.). In the press release, MasterCard stated that amongst the cards various benefits, "In addition, for every transaction of over $20 billed to the card, one needy child in a developing country will be fed for a day through RS Foundation."

And where does all that money go? One of RS Foundation's partners is Human Concern International.

HCI has an interesting "history"

"In a 1995 interview, Osama bin Laden identified Blessed Relief’s place in his network, “The bin-Laden Establishment’s aid covers 13 countries . . . this aid comes in particular from the Human Concern International Society.”

Another partner is the IDRF, which is partnered with Islamic Relief Worldwide, which is also clean as a whistle

Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW) is an international Islamic aid organization that was founded in United Kingdom, in 1984, by Dr Hany El Banna. It was reported in 1999 that IRW's main UK office received $50,000 from a Canadian group that "the U.S. Treasury Department called 'a(n Osama) bin Laden front.' Moscow's Obshchaya Gazeta has reported that IRW has collected and funneled millions of dollars to the Chechen terrorist rebels in Russia, who have ties to al Qaeda.


In May 2006, Iyaz Ali, a UK IRW project coordinator, was arrested in Israel for assisting the terrorist group Hamas. Part of IRW coordinator Ali's activities involved transferring funds and assisting Hamas institutions and groups, including Al Wafa and Al Tzalah, both of which are officially illegal in Israel. When Ali was investigated, incriminating files were found on his computer which showed links to IRW's ties with illegal Hamas funds in UK and Saudi Arabia, as well as photographs of swastikas, of "Nazi German officials, of Osama Bin Laden and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, as well as many photographs of Hamas military activities."

...Religion of Peace.

At HIR, Francisco Gil White questions Who The Real Netanyahu is.

Enjoy your weekend

Rauf’s Dawa from the World Trade Center Rubble

Meet the Ground Zero Mosque imam’s Muslim Brotherhood friends.

By Andrew C. McCarthy

Feisal Abdul Rauf is the imam behind the “Cordoba Initiative” that is spearheading plans to build a $100 million Islamic center at Ground Zero, the site where nearly 3,000 Americans were killed by jihadists on 9/11. He is also the author of a book called What’s Right with Islam Is What’s Right with America. But the book hasn’t always been called that. It was called quite something else for non-English-speaking audiences. In Malaysia, it was published as A Call to Prayer from the World Trade Center Rubble: Islamic Dawa in the Heart of America Post-9/11. Now it emerges that a “special, non-commercial edition” of this book was later produced, with Rauf’s cooperation, by two American tentacles of the Muslim Brotherhood: the Islamic Society of North America and the International Institute of Islamic Thought. The book’s copyright page tells the tale:

Both ISNA and IIIT have been up to their necks in the promotion of Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood’s ruthless Palestinian branch, which is pledged by charter to the destruction of Israel. In fact, both ISNA and IIIT were cited by the Justice Department as unindicted co-conspirators in a crucial terrorism-financing case involving the channeling of tens of millions of dollars to Hamas through an outfit called the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development. For the last 15 years, Hamas has been a designated terrorist organization under U.S. law.

Dawa, whether done from the rubble of the World Trade Center or elsewhere, is the missionary work by which Islam is spread. As explained in my recent book, The Grand Jihad, dawa is proselytism, but not involving only spiritual elements — for Islam is not merely a religion, and spiritual elements are just a small part of its doctrine. In truth, Islam is a comprehensive political, social, and economic system with its own authoritarian legal framework, sharia, which aspires to govern all aspects of life.

This framework rejects core tenets of American constitutional republicanism: for example, individual liberty, freedom of conscience, freedom to govern ourselves irrespective of any theocratic code, equality of men and women, equality of Muslims and non-Muslims, and economic liberty, including the uses of private property (in Islam, owners hold property only as a custodians for the umma, the universal Muslim nation, and are beholden to the Islamic state regarding its use). Sharia prohibits the preaching of creeds other than Islam, the renunciation of Islam, any actions that divide the umma, and homosexuality. Its penalties are draconian, including savagely executed death sentences for apostates, homosexuals, and adulterers.

The purpose of dawa, like the purpose of jihad, is to implement, spread, and defend sharia. Scholar Robert Spencer incisively refers to dawa practices as “stealth jihad,” the advancement of the sharia agenda through means other than violence and agents other than terrorists. These include extortion, cultivation of sympathizers in the media and the universities, exploitation of our legal system and tradition of religious liberty, infiltration of our political system, and fundraising. This is why Yusuf Qaradawi, the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood and the world’s most influential Islamic cleric, boldly promises that Islam will “conquer America” and “conquer Europe” through dawa.

In considering Imam Rauf and his Ground Zero project, Qaradawi and the Muslim Brotherhood are extremely important. Like most Muslims, Rauf regards Qaradawi as a guide, and referred to him in 2001 as “the most well-known legal authority in the whole Muslim world today.” And indeed he is: a prominent, Qatar-based scholar whose weekly Al Jazeera program on the subject of sharia is viewed by millions and whose cyber-venture, Islam Online, is accessed by millions more, including Muslims in the United States. Not surprisingly, his rabble-rousing was a prime cause of the deadly global rioting by Muslims when an obscure Danish newspaper published cartoon depictions of Mohammed.

Qaradawi regards the United States as the enemy of Islam. He has urged that Muslims “fight the American military if we can, and if we cannot, we should fight the U.S. economically and politically.” In 2004, he issued a fatwa (an edict based on sharia) calling for Muslims to kill Americans in Iraq. A leading champion of Hamas, he has issued similar approvals of suicide bombings in Israel. Moreover, as recounted in Matthew Levitt’s history of Hamas, Qaradawi has decreed that Muslims must donate money to “support Palestinians fighting occupation. . . . If we can’t carry out acts of jihad ourselves, we at least should support and prop up the mujahideen [i.e., Islamic raiders or warriors] financially and morally.”

Qaradawi’s support for Hamas is only natural. Since that organization’s 1987 founding, it has been the top Muslim Brotherhood priority to underwrite Hamas’s jihadist onslaught against the Jewish state. Toward that end, the Muslim Brotherhood mobilized the Islamist infrastructure in the United States.

The original building block of that infrastructure was the Muslim Students Association (MSA), established in the early Sixties to groom young Muslims in the Brotherhood’s ideology — promoting sharia, Islamic supremacism, and a worldwide caliphate. As Andrew Bostom elaborated in a New York Post op-ed on Friday, Imam Rauf, too, is steeped in this ideology.

In 1981, after two decades of churning out activists from its North American chapters (which now number over 600), the Brotherhood merged the MSA into ISNA. In its own words, ISNA was conceived as an umbrella organization “to advance the cause of Islam and service Muslims in North America so as to enable them to adopt Islam as a complete way of life.” That same year, the Brotherhood created IIIT as a Washington-area Islamic think tank dedicated to what it describes as “the Islamicization of knowledge.”

After Hamas was created, the top Brotherhood operative in the United States, Mousa Abu Marzook — who actually ran Hamas from his Virginia home for several years in the early Nineties — founded the Islamic Association for Palestine to boost Hamas’s support. One of his co-founders was Sami al-Arian, then a student and Muslim Brotherhood member, later a top U.S. operative of the terrorist organization Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which he helped guide from his perch as a professor at the University of South Florida. In 2006, al-Arian was convicted on terrorism charges.

Marzook and other Brotherhood figures established the Occupied Land Fund, eventually renamed the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), to be Hamas’s American fundraising arm. The HLF was headquartered in ISNA’s Indiana office. As the Justice Department explained in a memorandum submitted in the HLF case:
During the early years of HLF’s operation, HLF raised money and supported Hamas through a bank account it held with ISNA. . . . Indeed, HLF (under its former name, OLF) operated from within ISNA, in Plainfield, Indiana. . . . ISNA checks deposited into the ISNA/[North American Islamic Trust] account for the HLF were often made payable to “the Palestinian Mujahideen,” the original name for the Hamas military wing. . . . From the ISNA/NAIT account, the HLF sent hundreds of thousands of dollars to Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzook . . . and a number of other individuals associated with Hamas.

Ultimately, the HLF raised over $36 million for Hamas. At the height of the intifada, this was not about the social-welfare activities Hamas touts to camouflage its barbarism. As the journalist Stephen Schwartz of the Center for Islamic Pluralism has observed, “Ordinary Americans should be shocked and outraged to learn that Hamas was running its terror campaign from a sanctuary in the U.S.” In addition, prosecutors showed that ISNA was central to a 1993 meeting of top Brotherhood operatives, who were wiretapped “discussing using ISNA as an official cover for their activities.”

Meantime, in 1992, the IIIT contributed $50,000 to underwrite an al-Arian venture, the World & Islam Studies Enterprise (WISE), a front for Palestinian Islamic Jihad that ostensibly employed several members of the PIJ governing board. IIIT has been under federal investigation since 2002 — and after his terrorism conviction, al-Arian went into contempt of court rather than honor a grand-jury subpoena in the probe.

In 1991, the Muslim Brotherhood’s American leadership prepared an internal memorandum for the organization’s global leadership in Egypt. It was written principally by Mohamed Akram, a close associate of Sheikh Qaradawi. As Akram put it, the Brotherhood must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.

The memorandum included a list described by Akram as “our organizations and the organizations of our friends,” working together to implement this sabotage strategy. Prominently included in that list were ISNA and IIIT.

The Ground Zero project to erect a monument to sharia overlooking the crater where the World Trade Center once stood, and where thousands were slaughtered, is not a test of America’s commitment to religious liberty. America already has thousands of mosques and Islamic centers, including scores in the New York area — though Islam does not allow non-Muslims even to enter its crown-jewel cities of Mecca and Medina, much less to build churches or synagogues.

The Ground Zero project is a test of America’s resolve to face down a civilizational jihad that aims, in the words of its leaders, to destroy us from within.

— Andrew C. McCarthy, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, is the author, most recently, of The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali 2, CBC 0

by Kathy Shaidle

People still talk about the time freedom fighter Ayaan Hirsi Ali crushed insufferable leftist TV host Avi Lewis on a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) broadcast. In case you’ve forgotten (or just want to relive the thrill), here’s a taste:

Then Lewis asked Hirsi Ali for her “critique against Islam.” Ali, the epitome of poised, calmly responded that “Islam means submission to the will of Allah. A doctrine that requires the individual to become a slave is, in my view, is bad.”
“But aren’t there different kinds of Islam, just as there are different interpretations of Christianity and Judaism?” Lewis asked.

“No,” his guest replied.

Here Lewis began to unravel. Hirsi Ali’s calm, cool demeanor actually seemed to agitate him as much as her answers.

That infamous segment more or less served as Avi Lewis’ al-Jazeera audition tape, as it turns out. Good riddance.

Unbowed, the CBC shoved another one of its employees into Hirsi Ali’s path recently, with predictable results. Jian Ghomesh earns his living (thanks to my tax dollars) hosting something called “Q TV”. He recently sat down with Ali and lasted, barely, an admirable 40 minutes.

There’s nothing I can possibly add to this. Enjoy:click here to view the video

Friday, July 30, 2010

Albert the Alligator and the British ambassador

Barry Rubin

Once upon a time in an intellectual galaxy now seemingly far away, liberals and conservatives shared a common view. There were the forces of democracy and the forces of totalitarianism (or, if you prefer, authoritarianism) that threatened the world, took away freedom, and held back both economic and social development.

Naturally, there were different views on some issues and policies (justifying or opposing supporting some dictatorships against others deemed worse) but the basic template was the same. Then came a turning point which can be symbollized by a line in Walt Kelly’s comic-strip “Pogo.” A dialogue balloon destined to shake the world: “We have met the enemy,” said either Pogo the possum or Albert the alligator, “and he is us.” Kelly later wrote that he originated this line in 1953 in an essay opposing McCarthyism but it really took off in a 1972 cartoon, perfectly timed for the "1960s," the era whose ideas rule us today in much of the West.

The sentence was a parody of Oliver Hazard Perry’s message—“We have met the enemy and they are ours”—describing his naval victory during the War of 1812. So what had once been a triumphant shout of American victory was transmuted in a post-Pogo world to symbolize a vitriolic yell of self-induced anti-Americanism.

And so if there are evil forces in the world, they are said either not to be evil at all or were only made so by our (Western, American, democratic, capitalist, etc) sins. In other words, the guilty party is the victim who, like Dr. Frankenstein, created the monster or by injury caused normal men to become monsters. In this spirit, a supposedly great American intellectual claimed America was the cancer of the world. Formerly, it had been known as the last, best hope of humanity.

How often do we see this worldview evinced nowadays? After September 11, America was said to be the cause of the terrorism that struck it. After the bloody July 7 attacks on British mass transport, a top British intelligence official said the terrorism happened due to Britain’s involvement in the Iraq war. President Barack Obama has made this a constant theme, most recently putting the Turkish trend toward Islamism (without admitting it exists) on the shoulders of European states that didn’t admit Turkey into the EU.

So nowadays, the most common way of dealing with radicalism, repression, terrorism, and such things in the Third World is to blame it on democratic states so often victimized by such issues.

The latest contribution to this genre comes from British ambassador to Israel Tom Phillips who said Israel’s sanctions’ regime on the Gaza Strip “was breeding radicalism.”

He claimed it had driven “Gaza into a Hamas-controlled tunnel economy, and the Palestinian Gaza private sector has been almost completely destroyed….Young boys on the streets [have had] no role models apart from the Hamas guy in the black shiny uniform on the street corner...creating, in psychological terms, another generation of people that are not going to feel that friendly about Israel.”

The message is that the problem is completely due to “us.” The other side doesn’t actually exist. It has no history, no worldview, no ideology, and no goals. The “other side” is merely a blank screen or mirror, reflecting back what we do.

This is, of course, a racist and imperialist vision. It denies the others any culture or history or mentality of their own. If one is only a victim always, one has no volition, higher intelligence, or ability to affect history.

Yet let’s look at the sequence of events. For instance, Islamist Iran is not radical because it has been isolated; rather, it has been isolated because of its radical behavior.

In the case of the Gaza Strip, the publicly known facts should be recalled. Let’s count the number of times Hamas was treated generously and not driven toward radicalism.

The participation in elections of Hamas in Palestinian elections was clearly illegal, since that group did not accept the Oslo Accords, recognize Israel, or cease using terrorism. Yet despite all of this, the United States actually urged, and Israel accepted, its participation. (1)

When Hamas won the elections, neither the United States nor Israel tried to intervene or reverse the results. Again, they didn’t “drive” Hamas into radicalism. (2) True, the Palestinian Authority tried for a while to hang on, but in the end it signed a power-sharing agreement with Hamas. (3) But then Hamas staged a coup, killed fellow Palestinians, and seized power. Yet even then there was no move by Israel or the United States to unseat the new regime. (4)

After repeated Hamas attacks on Israel and Israeli retaliation a ceasefire was signed. There were restrictions on supplies but they regularly flowed into Gaza. (5) There was, for example, a border industrial area that provided jobs for Gazans from Israeli companies until Hamas attacked it.

Finally, near the end of 2008, Hamas tore up the ceasefire and launched a massive attack on Israel. Israel defended itself and after the resulting war the sanctions’ regime we have seen until recently went into effect by both Egypt (which feared Hamas’s revolutionary Islamism and status as an Iranian client) and Israel.

This is not a picture of Gazans being driven to radicalism, it is a story of how the consequences of a radical policy unfolded, forcing Israel to react.

There’s more. Ambassador Phillips, and the many others who speak about events around the world in similar terms, simply fail to comprehend how a dictatorship works. They think that if you engage hardline ideological revolutionaries they will moderate. If you offer to trade with them, a process of materialism will set in so that the once fire-breathing radicals will be transformed into luxury-loving bourgeois.

Suppose Gaza didn’t have a “Hamas-controlled tunnel economy” but merely had a Hamas-controlled normal economy, would that be better? And why should one believe that the economy wouldn’t be controlled by the dictatorship, because Western governments or companies were doing business there? But that is equally true of Syria, Iran, Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, and ideological dictatorships in other parts of the world. Has this turned them toward love and moderation?

Oh, and let's remember that the main purpose of those tunnels was to import weapons--including rocket motors--for attacking Israel.

This Phillips-Pogo view also ignores the political mechanisms of ideological dictatorships. Hamas doesn’t wait for young boys to see its cadre as role models. Here’s what it does:

--Pays people with money obtainable, including that siphoned off from aid and trade, to recruit them and make them the arms of the regime. The more commerce, the more money Hamas has to spend on indoctrination, organization, and weaponry.

--Arrests and intimidates opponents so they don't provide alternative role models. In the Gaza Strip there aren’t that many moderate role models any way. Wealthy businessmen? Fatah gunmen? Corrupt figures against whom people voted for Hamas. Maybe the dedicated UNRWA teacher offers an alternative role model? OK, but how many of these are also radicals?

--Control of all institutions including mosques, media, youth organizations, schools, and so on which all actively and intensively preach the same message. Support Hamas; kill the Jews; institute an Islamist government. The regime isn’t going to let external institutions or countries that oppose its Islamist radicalism have influence in its territory. Hamas would rather sacrifice benefits to its people than give up authority to those it knows want to overthrow the regime.

Phillips’ line that it is Israel’s policy which is creating “another generation of people that are not going to feel that friendly about Israel” is rather ludicrous in light of this reality. After all, the same thing is happening on the West Bank where there is no sanctions’ regime in place, Western aid flows lavishly, and supposed moderates are in control. Whatever Israel does, the incitement and indoctrination is going to be carried out by those who hate Israel because it exists.

Here’s the truth: revolutionary forces that use terrorism, preach a totalitarian ideology, create dictatorships, and have genocidal goals are responsible for war and conflict in the Middle East.

No matter how intensely Western democracies flagellate themselves, no matter how much they appease and concede, that basic and deadly fact will not change. No, let me correct the end of that sentence: the cost will become more dangerous, bloody, and deadly.

Speaking of alligators, it was another Briton, Winston Churchill, who said that an appeaser is someone who feeds the alligator--ok, nitpickers, I know he said crocodile but they differ only in the roundness of the snout--in hopes that it will eat him last.

Our problem is that contemporary appeasers also hope the alligator will eat us first.

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). The website of the GLORIA Center is at and of his blog, Rubin Reports, at

The Palestinian Authority Struggles to Sabotage Any Chance for Peace

Barry Rubin

Shouldn't this farce teach us a lesson?
The leaders of France, Germany, Italy, the United States and others have telephoned Palestinian Authority (PA) leader Mahmoud Abbas and begged him, pleaded with him:

Oh, please please--one can imagine them saying--negotiate with Israel so we can give you a state as soon as possible. We will give you a lot of gifts if you do it, so we can then bestow even more goodies on you!

And Abbas says "No!" Why? Why if Palestinians are so eager for a two-state solution, for a country of their own, for ending the "horrible" "occupation" (which mostly ended in 1994-1996), putting a stop to the "suffering" of their people, putting a stop to violence, enabling their children to go to school, raising living standards, and all the other benefits of putting an end to this long-standing conflict?

Why? Why? If it is Israel that is blocking peace is Israel's government ready to negotiate--and has been for more than a year--while the PA says no?

Because it is precisely the PA, and Hamas of course, that is sustaining the conflict. It refuses to make peace because:

--It still hopes for total victory.

--It believes that if it can sabotage a negotiated agreement there will be an imposed one giving the PA everything it wants without compromise or concession on its part.

--It doesn't want to end the conflict forever, accept less than 100 percent of British mandatory Palestine, and give up the demand that Palestinians can go live in Israel in order to subvert that country.

--It fears that any compromise will ensure that the PA, or the individual leaders who make a deal, is branded as a traitor.

And here, too, is the PA openly thwarting President Barack Obama, who publicly bristles at the tiniest Israeli disagreement, yet seems to accept this disrespect without demur.

Sooner or later, there will probably be direct talks--as there were from 1992 to 2000--and the PA will simply ensure that these fail. But it it fascinating to see how long Abbas will hold out. When he first came to Washington, about 15 months ago, Obama urged him to negotiate with Israel. Abbas refused. Last September, almost 11 months ago, Obama announced there would soon be direct talks. Abbas refused.

Yet I'll bet most Western journalists and academics would (wrongly) say that Abbas wants a negotiated peace and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu doesn't.

Moreover, the Arab League meeting was a step backward. It is generally being reported as giving the green light for Abbas to negotiate with Israel. On the contrary, it is the exact opposite: it sets preconditions. This is a defeat for U.S. policy and may be the deathknell for direct negotiations this year. After all the flattery, distancing from Israel, and going easy on Arab regimes, the Obama Administration has failed to get them to deliver what his three predecessors obtained easily without such measures: direct Israel-Palestinian talks.

What is needed is a paradigm shift in the West to bring public views--in private, government officials often admit that the Palestinians are the problem behind the failure to achieve peace--into line with daily observable reality.

NJDC sides/sided with J Street over ECI


SECOND UPDATE: NJDC's David Harris calls me back to rescind his words about J Street's bipartisan nature. See bottom of post.

UPDATED with response from J Street at bottom.

The controversial new pro-Israel outfit, Emergency Committee for Israel "is playing with fire," says David Harris, president and CEO of the National Jewish Democratic Council, which recently released a "fact sheet" aimed at exposing what it says are ECI's "dangerous" smear tactics.

ECI - founded earlier this month by neoconservatives and evangelical Christians - has been warring with J Street over the Pennsylvania Senate race, and both groups have sought to gain the upper hand by placing Israel front and center. However, ECI, says Harris, has gone too far in its attacks on Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak.

"They're using Israel solely as a partisan wedge issue and they're employing tactics that have been decried by the organized Jewish community and the government of Israel - and those are the facts."

But isn't J Street also guilty of using Israel as a wedge issue in the race?

Harris disagrees.

"J Street and other groups are bi-partisan in their approach, first of all," he explained. "This range of Jewish community organizations traffics in facts, and they represent the mainstream of views within the American Jewish community, although individual Jew are free to disagree with them."

Some observers, however, thought the NJDC's fact sheet went a bit too far. Similar criticism, they said, should be leveled against J Street -- which hasn't exactly been mum about its liberal trending political views.

Said one Jewish Democrat active in the pro-Israel community: "When I saw the fact sheet, I was struck by the fact that most of the attacks [NJDC] made against ECI were equally applicable to J Street. There's no question J Street has politicized the issue of support for Israel in a way that's unhelpful to the U.S.Israel relationship."

The source, who wasn't authorized to speak on the record, said the fact sheet was a blindly partisan document. "It's striking that NJDC can only look to their right when waging this attack and not to the left. ECI and J Street are clearly both outside the mainstream Democratic party, and as a consensus organization, I'd think NJDC would find equal fault in these two groups when it comes [to politicizing] Israel."

Michael Goldfarb, a spokesperson for ECI, said the NJDC is making itself look ridiculous as it seeks to score political points.

"I was puzzled to see what is explicitly a partisan organization coming after a non partisan pro-Israel group," Goldfarb said. "If NJDC is concerned about the proliferation of pro-Israel groups than I don't quite understand what their mission is. Maybe I'm confused."

Goldfarb also took issue with a portion of the NJDC's fact sheet that states: "Israel's Ambassador to the United States Michael B. Oren has expressed deep concern over the increasing use of support for Israel as a partisan issue in American domestic politics."

Oren's statement, Goldfarb maintains, actually came in response to J Street's ongoing politicization of Israel, and was made before ECI even existed. (In December, Oren found himself in hot water after publicly calling J Street "a unique problem," and saying the group is "significantly out of the mainstream." He apologized, and has since been on better terms with the group.)

NJDC's Harris says Goldfarb is wrong.

The fact sheet references a May 4 meeting in which Oren generally stated his concern that support for Israel is increasingly being used as a partisan weapon.

Misinformation, added Harris, is exactly why NJDC issued a fact sheet.

ECI's "irresponsible tactics work," he said. "taking out negative, patently false ads that threaten to shatter bi-partisan consensus on the U.S.-Israel relationship works. It's effective."

UPDATE: Jeremy Ben Ami, J Street's founder, responded to this blog with a statement about his group's "non-partisan" approach.

J Street's purpose is clear and non-partisan: to advance a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that brings peace and security to Israel and its neighbors," he said in a statement to me. "Attempts by Republican political operatives to shift elections toward candidates they support but who have poor records on Israel like Pat Toomey are transparent and bound to backfire.

Upon Learning of Ben-Ami's partisan pot shot, Harris immediately responded: "NJDC would not label a candidate like Pat Toomey as having 'a poor record on Israel.' We think it is destructive to the bipartisan nature of the U.S.-Israel relationship to tear down those who are Israel supporters, whether from the left or from the right."

CAIR – Suspected and Supported by the Federal Government

IPT News
July 30, 2010

The FBI severed its relationship with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in 2008, saying until it determines "whether there continues to be a connection between" CAIR leadership and Hamas terrorists, the organization is not an appropriate liaison partner. Two recent episodes show that, despite this rhetoric and evidence linking CAIR to a Hamas support network – in addition to unresolved questions about its current connections – government agencies continue to engage with the group, even sending its officials abroad to represent the U.S.

In one case, the State Department paid for a CAIR executive to travel to Mali, where he cast America as a place where "American Muslims have been subjected to increased discrimination from racial and religious profiling by law enforcement." In the other, the FBI's top agent in Chicago spoke at an event moderated by a CAIR attorney.

A spokesman said that Special Agent in Charge Rob Grant only learned of the CAIR involvement at the last minute and felt it was better to proceed rather than create an incident.

Meanwhile, CAIR-Michigan Executive Director Dawud Walid is back from his second consecutive government-financed travel to Mali to "build religious and cultural ties between American religious and civic leaders with Malian counterparts."

According to a transcript posted on his own web site, Walid told his Malian hosts that "America has evolved to be one of the world's most tolerant societies regarding religious expression and practice."

But State Department money also financed Walid's trashing of American treatment of American Muslims. "Since the tragedy of September 11, 2001, American Muslims have been subjected to increased discrimination from racial and religious profiling by law enforcement, a rise in hate crimes, work place discrimination, to the recent trend of some citizens and elected officials protesting the construction of new mosques. Late last year, an Imam named Luqman Ameen Abdullah was shot 21 times including twice in the back during a raid by law enforcement agencies based upon an investigation of his mosque, which ended up proving no links to terrorism or treason,"Walid said in Bamako, Mali.

As he has done since the Abdullah shooting last October, Walid failed to tell his audience that Abdullah fired first as FBI agents moved in to arrest him. Four other people who did not fire as agents advanced were arrested unharmed. That went unmentioned, too.

His harsh message should come as no surprise to anyone who pays attention to what Walid says. Like other CAIR officials, he routinely casts law enforcement agents as waging an unregulated witch hunt on Muslims, or worse, hinting that Abdullah was unarmed when agents gunned him down in cold blood.

The trip was organized by Michigan State University, Walid said, but funded by the federal government. Here's more of his diplomacy:

"I stated that Muslims in America have many challenges from Islamophobia to unjust government policies that profile us," he told the Detroit News. "However, we have interfaith partners that stand in solidarity for fairness and justice with Muslims and that this is an American tradition. I also mentioned the shooting of Imam Luqman and discussed the case with some leaders."

It is not his first attempt to sow suspicion in the Muslim community toward federal law enforcement. During a May 2009 interview on 98.7 Kiss FM in New York, he accused the FBI of "going into mosques on fishing expeditions and basically cultivating and inciting people towards extremism."

In that same interview, he said "the FBI is basically manufacturing their own terrorism suspects to give the appearance that they're actually doing something tangible in the so-called 'War on Terrorism.'"

In testimony Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee, FBI Director Robert Mueller again denied allegations his agents were using informants without cause. "I believe they're effective. I think they're appropriate," he said of guidelines for surveillance. "And I think they are the appropriate balance between civil liberties on the one hand and giving us the tools we need to protect the American public against terrorist attacks."

Mueller also pushed back against the notion there is a natural tension between the FBI and Muslim Americans. "There are segments in the Muslim community that do not necessarily want the relationship to work out," he said. "But in every one of our 56 field offices, we have since September 12, 2001 had outreach to the Muslim community. And if you walk around and you talk to individuals in the Muslim community, the leaders in the Muslim community, you talk to our special agents in charge, I think almost to a one, you will find that the relationships are very good."

The question is whether the U.S. can't find better people to send abroad as representatives of the American Muslim community. It's a problem Investigative Project on Terrorism Executive Director Steven Emerson highlighted two years ago in testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade and again in a 2009 story.

And it's yet another example of the government lacking a consistent policy when it comes to working with radical Islamists.

In May, we documented the $582,000 lease the U.S. Census Bureau signed with a Virginia Islamic center that law enforcement officials call a front for Hamas terrorists and "linked to numerous individuals linked to terrorism financing."

When it comes to CAIR, the FBI's formal position is not to engage in communication with the organization unrelated to an investigation. That policy came after evidence uncovered in a Hamas-support investigation showed CAIR's founders were part of a network of Hamas supporters.

According to federal prosecutors, that evidence shows CAIR was "a participant in an ongoing and ultimately unlawful conspiracy to support a designated terrorist organization, a conspiracy from which CAIR never withdrew."

Sometimes, however, CAIR gets around the ban by inserting its officials into public forums in which FBI officials have agreed to participate. That's what a spokesman said happened in Chicago Tuesday night, when Special Agent in Charge Rob Grant spoke at an event moderated by a CAIR attorney.

Though CAIR promoted the event on its Chicago chapter website and in emails at least a day earlier, FBI officials said they were unaware civil rights director Christina Abraham was the moderator "until 30 minutes or so before the scheduled start of Mr. Grant's presentation," spokesman Ross Rice said in an e-mail.

Abraham played a minimal role, introducing Grant and calling on audience members for questions, Rice said. "She did not ask any questions herself nor did she take issue with any of Mr. Grant's remarks. I think it would have been a huge mistake for us to leave simply because the CAIR representative was present or make an issue of her participation. In my opinion, Mr. Grant's presentation was well received and we made significant inroads into a segment of the Muslim community in Chicago."

FBI Detroit SAC Andrew Arena faced a similar dilemma in January, when he was invited to speak on a panel in Dearborn organized by the Muslim Students Association that also included CAIR's Dawud Walid. The FBI wasn't a sponsor and had no say over other participants.

Although Walid was promoting the notion that his agents used excessive force in the Abdullah shooting, Arena chose to confront Walid to the extent he was allowed to comment on the case. He went further on the informant issue:

"We use [informants] in gang cases, we use them in public corruption cases, we use them in everything we do. We use them in counterterrorism cases. But the use of those sources are governed by the Attorney General guidelines and the internal rules of the FBI. Folks, we don't target religions. We don't target buildings. We can't do it. Under our rules, under the laws of this land, under the Constitution we can't do it. I would go to jail; agents would lose their jobs. Plain and simply you cannot do it. You have to have predication. You have to have reason to send people into a location.

Now let's be plain and simple folks. Bad people can't hide behind religion. They can't hide inside the building and claim safe haven."

Arena did well to tackle the false narrative that America is unfairly treating its Muslim population. Walid's travel, combined with CAIR's ability to share lecterns with FBI officials despite a ban on contact with the group, raises the question why the U.S. government continues to legitimize and even promote the conspiratorial messages of radical Muslim officials.

See no evil

It's springtime for Jew-haters.

This week Oscar winning conspiracy theorist Oliver Stone joined Helen Thomas and Mel Gibson in the swelling ranks of out-of-the-closet celebrity Jew-haters. In an interview with The Sunday Times, Stone said that Adolf Hitler had been given a bum rap and that through "Jewish domination of the media," the Jews have inflated the importance of the Holocaust and wrecked US foreign policy. In the wake of criticism in Jewish circles, on Wednesday Stone's publicist issued a mealymouthed clarification.

Stone failed to retract or amend his statement that "There's a major lobby in the United States. They are hard workers. They stay on top of every comment, the most powerful lobby in Washington. Israel has f---ed up United States foreign policy for years."
He also did not retract his view that Jews use the Holocaust to control American foreign policy.

Stone simply referred to his claim that Jews make too much of the Holocaust because the Germans killed more Russians than Jews as "clumsy."

He then broadened his initial allegation that Jews make too much of the Holocaust by allowing that we are joined in our efforts by non-Jews.

And since non-Jews are involved also, he was wrong to criticize us.

As Stone put it, "The fact that the Holocaust is still a very important, vivid and current matter today is, in fact, a great credit to the very hard work of a broad coalition of people committed to the remembrance of this atrocity." (Emphasis added.)

Stone still believes that the rounding up and exterminating of three-quarters of Europe's Jews is really not as notable or morally troubling as high Russian wartime casualties, but it's not solely Jews' fault that people don't share Stone's views.

Arguably even more despicable than Stone's display of Jew-hatred was the manner in which it was received. On the one hand, there was the thunderous silence of the media. And on the other hand there were the insistent, repeated attempts to justify his statements.

Readers' talkbacks to write-ups of his remarks were rife with assertions that Stone's statements were not bigoted. Many agreed that Jews dominate the media, and since they believe this is true, they argued that saying so is not a bigoted act.

Others claimed that while Stone's statements were inaccurate, there is no evidence that he hates Jews and therefore, his statements weren't bigoted. At any rate, Patrick Goldstein of the Los Angeles Times and many others have argued, it would be wrong for Stone to be discredited for his attacks against Jews.

It is difficult to imagine that if someone trafficked in ethnic stereotypes about groups like blacks, and claimed that they wreck US foreign policy to serve their own nefarious aims, Goldstein and the talk-backers would defend him.

But then anti-Jewish bigotry has different rules than other hatreds.

Stone and his defenders are not alone in either their attitude towards Jews or their denial of their attitude towards Jews. Indeed, they are part of a worldwide trend.

TAKE THE situation in Malmo, Sweden. Last Friday, Jew-haters set off firecrackers outside a synagogue in Malmo. The blasts came a day after Jew-haters posted a bomb threat on the wall of the synagogue for the second time in two weeks.

Malmo is a hotbed of anti-Jewish violence and the Jews of the city are fleeing in droves.

Yet in the face of all this, Malmo's non-Jews cannot bring themselves to acknowledge that there is a problem with anti-Semitism in their city.

Even those who are supposed to be responsible for combating anti-Semitism refuse to acknowledge that Jews in Malmo are being attacked because they are Jews.

Bjorn Lagerback is the man in Malmo who is supposed to care about anti-Semitic violence.

Lagerback serves as the coordinator of the local forum in the city charged with combating hate crimes. In an interview with Malmo's The Local cited by the World Jewish Congress, Lagerback tried to impress on the world that the bombing was serious. Not because it was violence aimed at Jews, of course.

No, according to Lagerback, this bombing is serious because it might hurt non-Jews. As he put it, "We condemn this completely. Such an event is not just directed against the synagogue, but also at other targets that could be described as ethnic or religious."

Forget about the fact that only Malmo's synagogues, and not its churches and mosques, require around the clock security. If no other ethnic or religious groups were targeted, would bombing synagogues no longer warrant condemnation?

The acceptance of anti-Semitism has reached epidemic proportions.

In Amsterdam, anti-Semites are making the mundane act of walking around outside in broad daylight a dangerous prospect for Jews.

Jews are regularly attacked verbally and physically by anti-Semites as they walk on the streets of the Dutch capital.

In an attempt to catch and punish anti-Semitic thugs, the Amsterdam police force has dispatched policemen dressed as Jews to pound the pavement. The hope is that these decoys will be able to draw out the offenders and arrest them.

Apparently, some Dutch have a problem with punishing anti-Semitic attackers. As Paul Belien reported in the online Brussels Journal, "Evelien van Roemburg, an Amsterdam counselor of the Green Left Party, says that using a decoy by the police amounts to [entrapment], which is itself a criminal offence under Dutch law."

In other words, Van Roemburg thinks that people who walk around while appearing to be Jewish are asking for it.

Van Roemburg no doubt also believes that women in mini-skirts deserve to be raped.

ALL OF this brings us to a discussion of the most endemic form of contemporary anti-Semitism: Anti-Zionism. There is no reason for anyone to be surprised that anti-Semites deny that anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism. After all, they deny that every other form of anti-Semitism is anti-Semitism. Why should anti-Zionism receive special treatment? It is self-evident that anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism.

Zionism after all is the national liberation movement of the Jewish people. To say that Jews - uniquely among all the nations - have no right to freedom and self-determination is obviously anti-Semitic.

Anti-Semites give a variety of excuses to justify their rejection of the Jewish people's right to freedom and sovereignty in our homeland. Sometimes they say they have no problem with Jewish nationalism per se. They are simply anti-nationalist generally. But remarkably, these anti-nationalist anti-Zionists invariably just happen to be outspoken supporters of Palestinian nationalism.

Moreover, it is curious that universalist antinationalists only have a special term to describe their opposition to Jewish nationalism. No one ever mentions being anti-Irishist, for instance.

When someone says they oppose Irish nationalism, the obvious conclusion is that they don't like Irish people. Just so, people who are anti-French tend not to like French people. And yet, the anti- Zionists would have us believe that their opposition to the Jewish state has nothing to do with their feelings about Jews.

Beyond their nonsensical attempts to deny the fact that anti-Zionism is a specific rejection of a specific - that is Jewish - type of nationalism, there is the fact that anti-Zionists tend inevitably to drink from other anti-Jewish sewers as well.

Take former British parliamentarian Clare Short for example.

During her just ended career in the British Parliament, Short became known as an outspoken anti-Zionist. Short rejected Israel's right to exist and castigated it for its "bloody, brutal and systematic annexation of land, destruction of homes and the deliberate creation of an apartheid system."

But Short's Israel kick didn't end with her frequent condemnations of imaginary but lurid Israeli crimes. As time went by, Short began channeling centuries of British Jew-hatred. Like her forefathers who blamed Jews for rain, drought, plague and fire, Shore blamed Israel for global warming.

As she put it in a speech at the European Parliament three years ago, Israel "undermines the international community's reaction to global warming."

As Shore saw it, European leaders are properly obsessed with attacking the Jewish state. But because Israel insists on existing and so requires Europeans to condemn it, Israel prevents the Europeans from attending to the threat of carbon that, if left unregulated, will "end the human race."

So if the world boils over, the cauldron will be made in Israel.

One of the most prominent anti-Zionists today is Prof. Juan Cole from the University of Michigan.

Part of being a successful anti-Zionist involves claiming that Jews have no right to the land of Israel. So to be a good anti-Zionist, one needs to deny Jewish history. To this end, in March Cole published a piece of historical fiction in the Salon online magazine. Titled "Ten reasons why East Jerusalem does not belong to Israel," Cole mixed half truths with flagrant lies to justify his denial of Jewish history and belittlement of the Jewish rights.

Cole wrote, "Jerusalem not only was not being built by the likely then non-existent 'Jewish people' in 1000 BCE, but Jerusalem probably was not even inhabited at that point in history. Jerusalem appears to have been abandoned between 1000 BCE and 900 BCE, the traditional dates for the united kingdom under David and Solomon."

This assertion is so mendacious that it takes your breath away. As anyone who has actually been in Jerusalem can attest, it is all but impossible to be physically present in the oldest areas of the city and not bump into relics dating from between 1000 and 900 BCE.

Cole's allegation is the academic equivalent of Louis Farakhan's claim that white people are devils planted on earth by aliens. As an anti-Zionist anti-Semite, it was just a matter of time until Cole traveled into the fetid swamp of denying the historical record to facilitate his false claim that Jews are not a people and therefore are bereft of rights as a nation to our national homeland.

And why shouldn't he cover himself in anti- Semitic muck? So far, the stench has brought him great success. The very fact that I felt compelled to write an essay explaining why anti- Semitism is anti-Semitism and why anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism is depressing proof that anti- Semites have been wildly successful in whitewashing their bigotry.

What makes contemporary anti-Semitism unique is its purveyors' great efforts to hide its very existence. Their motivation is clear. Outside the openly genocidal anti-Semitic Muslim world, most anti-Semites are self-described liberals who claim to oppose bigotry. For these people, pretending away their prejudice is the key to their continued claim to enlightenment.

And so the likes of Oliver Stone publish clarifications.

And Cole invents history. And the Europeans blame Jews and Israel and Zionism when Jews inside and outside Israel are assaulted and killed.

And I am sorry I wrote this column.

Because an audience that demands an explanation of why evil is evil is an audience that has already sided with evil.

Originally published in The Jerusalem Post.

The "direct talks" farce

Elder of Ziyon

The world is abuzz over the supposed fact that the Arab League has given Mahmoud Abbas the green light to hold direct talks with Israel.

From what I can tell, that is not what happened.

Abbas has been adding pre-condition upon pre-condition for months, saying that he cannot agree to direct talks until he gets specific, written concessions from Israel in advance. He has demanded a complete and permanent halt to settlement building (not just a freeze,) a pre-condition of progress in the indirect talks (which were in themselves something that he only agreed to after massive US pressure,) a newer pre-condition of Israel accepting the 1949 armistice lines as the basis of talks and then a condition that Israel accept an international force to guard those borders. It must be understood that all of these conditions are a violation of the status quo. Abbas had negotiated with Israel directly in the past, as did his predecessor Arafat.

Both Arafat and Abbas, when given real (and foolhardy) peace proposals that would have resulted in a Palestinian Arab state, rejected them when they did not get their maximal demands. They have consistently refused to compromise, which is of course what negotiations are meant to do. They have played a waiting game for the world to pressure Israel to make every concession but have never come forward with their own plan that would take into account any of Israel's legitimate concerns besides empty promises.

Abbas is no fool. He knows that his biggest weapon is the myth of Israeli intransigence, even over decades of Israeli and Jewish offers of peace. But he also sensed that he must give the illusion of flexibility to keep world public opinion on his side.

So he added a new card on the table. He demanded concessions before real negotiations can start. Now, if he agrees to negotiate, he can appear to have given a concession himself - a completely inconsequential agreement to an Israeli demand that has no bearing on the final status of the relation between the two sides. Abbas has turned the idea of direct negotiations into a proxy for real concessions.

This is a tricky game, because he needs to save face for the Palestinian Arabs. He cannot simply say that all his conditions are now out the window. But he can use the Arab League as window dressing to move towards this illusory concession, making the Western diplomats/wishful thinkers ecstatic that they have achieved a "breakthrough" and then they would ask Israel to give up something real in return.

Look at what the Arab League really said:

Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabr al-Thani, who chaired a meeting of foreign ministers and representatives, spoke in response to a question about whether they had given Abbas a green light to start talks.

"I'll be clear. There is an agreement but with the understanding of what will be discussed and how the direct negotiations will be conducted. And we will leave the assessment of the position to the Palestinian president as to when the conditions allow the beginning of such negotiations," he said.

Arab League chief Amr Mussa said at the press conference that written guarantees were required for direct talks.

There "must be written guarantees ... and the negotiations should be serious and final status talks," he said.

The Arab League isn't pressuring Abbas to negotiate. They are providing cover for his position which hasn't changed. If he decides to cave to pressure from Washington, he now knows that the Arab League will not denounce him - which is significant - but he can make it appear to be a huge concession on his part.

The fact is that Palestinian Arab statehood was never the goal. Palestinian Arab nationalism was never a positive movement for the liberation of a people. Since its inception, it has been a reaction and a weapon against Zionism and Jewish self-determination, not a desire to see a Palestinian Arab nation emerge. The idea that Jerusalem is a necessity for such a state proves the point - if a people yearn for freedom, they should eagerly accept a state being handed to them. Only if the goal of the state is to weaken and ultimately destroy another state does this entire farce make any sense.

A people yearning for independence would pressure their leadership to accept that independence as quickly as possible, not to wait for years for more and more concessions. A people yearning to be free would be working on real state-building. They would be demanding that their brethren be released from the UN-administered camps in their very midst. They would be insisting that their people who are stuck in neighboring countries be either given equal rights in those host countries - or allowed to emigrate into their "promised land."

None of this is happening. Instead, the world is sidetracked and distracted by these silly games of "direct talks" and "written guarantees" which are simply smokescreens for the fact that Palestinian Arabs have been screwed by their own and other Arab leaders for decades. They were pawns in 1948 and they are no less pawns today, for the exact same reason - to enable the Arab nation to pressure, weaken and ultimately destroy Israel.

Instead of allowing the world to see this reality, the facts are hidden by layer upon layer of obfuscation, distraction, misdirection, false history, propaganda, and baldfaced lies. "Direct talks" is merely the latest of this ever growing list.

The entire framework is an elaborate game in which the rules have been rigged by its creators, a game within which Israel cannot possibly win but only delay its own ultimate destruction. After a Palestinian Arab state would be established, the next round of demands will bubble up from those who didn't accept these terms, and over years the next set of demands will become more reasonable sounding by dint of their very repetition and acceptance by plenty of Westerners who claim to only yearn for "peace."

(h/t Daled Amos for the list of Abbas preconditions)

Abu Bluff adds ANOTHER pre-condition

Israel Matzav

Although he didn't explicitly make this a pre-condition to 'negotiations, 'moderate' 'Palestinian' President Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen has added yet another impossible pre-condition to entering into an agreement with Israel. At a press conference in Cairo, Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas said that no agreements would be signed with Israel on ending the Middle East conflict as long as Gaza was under Hamas rule. Only when there was “Palestinian unity” and a restoration of the PA government's rule in Haifa could any agreements be signed.

Abbas reiterated that he would agree to direct talks only if Israel agreed to withdraw to the 1948 borders and ended all building in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem. PA sources said that Abbas plans on telling Arab League members in an upcoming meeting that there had been little progress in the indirect talks between Israel and the PA, and that there was no reason to agree to direct talks.

'Palestinian unity'? In HAIFA? Good luck with that.

Comment: Interesting that now Obama et al are claiming "victory" in starting direct talks. He claims that by putting pressure on Abbas (what pressure?) his strategy has paid dividends. Stay tuned to "discover" even more pre-conditions Abbas will place on the supposed upcoming talks. The naive Obama and friends simply don't understand the mind of the Arab world. They think that the Arab world believe in, supports and thinks like those in the West. Note also how the West really agrees that Israel must negotiate with the entire Arab world-what you say? Yes, by agreeing with Abbas who has said that he wants the Arab League to push Israel to talks, this effectively means that Israel must "talk" with the entire Arab authority-good grief!!

Questions for Mayor Bloomberg on the Islamic supremacist mega-mosque

Clifford May
Jihad Watch

Cliff May asks common-sensical and thought-provoking questions. They'll be ignored, of course. "Dear Mayor Bloomberg: A few questions you might want to ask before approving a mosque for Ground Zero," by Cliff May, July 29:

Your Honor:

In regard to the proposal to build an Islamic center at the site of the 9/11 terrorist attack in Manhattan, I commend you for saying: "Everything the United States stands for and New York stands for is tolerance and openness, and I think it's a great message for the world. . . . " But I would urge you to question whether this project truly represents that idea -- or whether it undermines it. Start with this: Before this project is approved, surely New Yorkers and other Americans should know who will be picking up the more than $100 million tab. Would you not be distressed were it later to be revealed that funds had been contributed by people who also finance terrorism?

You'll recall that, after the 9/11 attacks, your predecessor Rudy Giuliani turned down a $10 million check from a Saudi prince who had said that America shares blame for the atrocity. Feisal Abdul Rauf, the imam behind the Islamic center project, has said that U.S. policies "were an accessory to the crime that happened." How is that different?

By the way, the Saudi royal family embraces Wahhabism, an interpretation of Islam that cannot be said to value "tolerance and openness." Among other things, in Saudi Arabia non-Muslim houses of worship are prohibited and "infidels" -- people like you and me -- may not set foot in the holy cities of Mecca and Medina upon pain of death. Newt Gingrich has called on Abdul Rauf to state clearly that he disagrees with such policies. Is that not a reasonable request?

I have an additional suggestion: If this project -- also called the "Cordoba Initiative"-- is really to "symbolize interfaith cooperation," if it's really to be an "inter-religious center," a 13-story home for "multi-faith collaboration," should it not contain a synagogue and a church as well as a mosque?

I would recommend putting each on a different floor. On the highest floor, let's put the church -- since Christians founded this great nation of ours. One floor down, let's put a synagogue, since Jews were among the earliest immigrants to find religious freedom in America. And one floor farther down, we'd have the mosque, a place for a newer generation of immigrants to gather and worship freely.

Here's my guess: If you propose this to Abdul Rauf, emphasizing, as you have in the past, the First Amendment rule that the government "shouldn't be in the business of picking" one religion over another, he will nonetheless refuse. He will offer all sorts of explanations, but the truth, I suspect, is that he believes that Islam is not "one of the world's great religions" but rather the only true religion, that others are false and wicked. He will find it blasphemous that you want this center to give equal status to Christianity and Judaism. And he will see putting a church and synagogue on higher floors as symbolizing more than equality.

A bit of relevant history: Islam began, proudly, as a warriors’ religion. Beginning in the seventh century, Islamic armies burst out of Arabia and conquered much of the known world. Among their practices: They razed the houses of worship of those they defeated and built mosques upon the ruins. This was a way of sending a message. These early Muslims were not just adept fighters — they also were skilled communicators.The al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem is built on the site where the First and Second Temples of the Jewish people once stood. However, some Muslims deny that there ever were Jewish houses of worship on that site. Why not ask Abdul Rauf his opinion? Might it influence your opinion of the imam, should he claim that there were no temples in Jerusalem prior to the Arab/Muslim conquest of that city?

Similarly, when Muslim armies conquered the ancient Christian capital of Constantinople, later to be renamed Istanbul, they turned the St. Sophia Basilica into a mosque.

As for the allusion to Cordoba: Proponents of this project say they mean to hearken back to a time when Muslims, Christians, and Jews lived together in relative tranquility — under the rule of a Muslim caliph. But others believe it is intended to refer to the mosque built atop the remains of a church in Cordoba after soldiers of Allah conquered Spain.

Prior to 9/11, most of us viewed the World Trade Center as simply an office building, a place where people worked hard day after day. But to the terrorists waging war against us, and their supporters, enablers, and apologists, the Twin Towers were the great Cathedral of Capitalism, a symbol of the power of what they call the “Zionist-Crusader” forces, against which they are waging jihad. That is what they believe they destroyed that day. To them, an Islamic center built on this site would commemorate their victory in what they regard as a historic battle.

Abdul Rauf may sincerely disapprove of the 9/11 attacks. But given his ties to groups linked with the Muslim Brotherhood — former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy has reported on that here — there is reason for concern about what he actually does believe. To find out for certain, why not pose the questions I’ve suggested? See if you’re satisfied with the answers you receive.

Mayor Bloomberg, you are the custodian of hallowed ground. We all want you to govern wisely on this sensitive issue. It is my sincere hope that, by writing you this letter, I may help you do that.