These are all the Blogs posted on Sunday, 20, 2011.
Sunday, 20 March 2011
De Facto Sharia Exists in American Courts: The Tampa Circuit Court Decision
Our colleague at Red County, Rich Swier sent us a timely account of de facto Sharia in our US legal system with the recent decision by Tampa, Florida 13th judicial circuit Judge the Honarable Richard A. Nielsen, “Florida Judge Orders Muslims to Follow Sharia law!” It is a telling example of how important the current effort to enact state anti-Sharia statutes based on the American Laws for American Courts model that has been introduced in various forms in more than 20 states in current sessions. The Tampa Circuit decision should be a prod for serious consideration and enactment of many of these legislative initiatives.
Note what the Red County article says:
In Tampa, Florida, a dispute arose over who controls the funds a mosque received in 2008 from an eminent domain proceeding.
Former trustees of the mosque are claiming in court they have the right to the funds. Current mosque leaders are disputing that claim.
The current mosque leaders want the case decided according to secular, Florida civil law, and their attorney has been vigorously arguing the case accordingly.
The former trustees of the mosque want the case decided according to sharia law.
Here's the kicker.
The judge recently ruled "This case will proceed under Ecclesiastical Islamic law," (sharia law), "pursuant to the Qur'an."
You can read the judge's ruling here.
Now it's not unusual for a dispute to arise within a religious institution and for a court to order a mediation or arbitration, in order to resolve this without the court having to render its own judgment.
But what makes this case unusual, and highly troubling, is that a group of Muslim leaders—the CURRENT mosque leaders—who do NOT want to be subject to sharia law, are being compelled to do so by an American judge!
This is reminiscent of the 2009 New Jersey case, where a Muslim woman sought a restraining order, in civil court, against her Muslim husband, who was raping her several times a day. The judge denied the restraining order because, in his opinion, the husband did not commit a crime because he was following his Islamic beliefs.
In the New Jersey case, and now in this recent case in Tampa, Muslims found themselves being subjected to sharia law against their will.
The Tampa, Florida Circuit Judge ruling is the reality about how Sharia has already penetrated our legal system vis a vis the contract dispute between two Muslim brothers. Note what David Yerushalmi, the legal architect of the model American Law for American Courts anti-Sharia law said in our New English Review article: "Fighting Sharia Through the Law: an interview with David Yerushalmi, Esq."
Gordon: What evidence is there of the growth of de facto Shariah in the U.S.?
Yerushalmi: There is plenty of evidence of Shariah in US courts. We have recorded many different cases that have appeared at the appellate level where, under three different circumstances, courts in fact entertain Shariah and actually end up applying it as the law of the case. The first example arises when the U.S. court grants comity, or formal recognition of the foreign judgment rendered by a foreign court which applies Shariah, as in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan or Gaza. If the court were to grant comity or legal reciprocity to that decision then it would be essentially enforcing Shariah law.
Typically when you come to the United States and ask a domestic court to recognize a foreign judgment per the rule of comity, you are asking the court to enforce the foreign judgment as its own. The same would hold true of a private arbitration decision rendered here in the United States or abroad where a Shariah-based religious court issued a ruling based upon Shariah. The winning party typically walks into a court and asks that the court enforce that arbitration decision by granting it comity and to enforce the judgment, which may include sending the marshal out to collect and sell the losing party's assets. In other words, the police power of the state is being exploited to enforce Shariah.
The second example of Shariah being applied in our courts is where two parties enter into an agreement and they include a "choice of law" provision in their contract that requires a court to apply Saudi law, for example, which is Shariah, to adjudicate their dispute. The same result would occur if the contract included a "choice of law" provision requiring Iranian law, or Pakistani or Indonesian family law.
In a domestic matter like child custody disputes, you have cases where U.S. courts are applying a national law based upon Shariah.
Choice of law issues also arise when a tort or injurious event occurs in a Shariah jurisdiction but the litigation takes place in the U.S. If all of the evidence and witnesses are in the Shariah jurisdiction, given that the tort occurred there, the U.S. court would typically apply the law of the foreign jurisdiction.
The third avenue for Shariah to find its way into our courts is when courts must decide which forum or venue should host the litigation. This occurs in one of two ways. As in "choice of law" cases, this can occur because the parties agree to litigate in a Shariah jurisdiction. If the U.S. citizen learns of the oppressiveness of Shariah after the fact and asks the U.S. court to void that contract provision so the litigation may occur in the U.S. with our constitutional protections, most courts would deny that request and force the litigation to take place in the Shariah jurisdiction.
Choice of venue also occurs when the tort occurs in the Shariah jurisdiction. If the U.S. party does not want to litigate in the Shariah jurisdiction because it discriminates against non-Muslims and women, most courts would likely ignore these offensive aspects of Shariah and force the litigation to take place abroad.
We find cases of each of these examples applying Shariah de facto in our courts. For these reasons, states are well advised to pass a law like the one we developed at my law firm called the uniform draft American Laws for American Courts Act available online here with a 40-minute narrated PowerPoint presentation.
Posted on 03/20/2011 4:56 AM by Jerry Gordon
Sunday, 20 March 2011
Sharia law in the West
When Britain's Sharia "courts" (actually arbitration tribunals) first came to light, following hard upon the Archbishop of Canterbury's foolish remarks on the "inevitability" of Sharia in the UK, some American counter-jihadists turned into Job's comforters. Let the last Englishman turn the lights out, they cried, even though those lights had allegedly been going out all over Yurp for some time. Churchill would be spinning in his grave, they lamented, mourning for a country that had bravely fought the Nazis, but at the same time rolled over in appeasement until Uncle Sam saved its "sorry ass". It could never happen here, was the unspoken refrain.
Well, it could, and it has, and it will continue to happen anywhere in the West that allows arbitration. Islam always takes advantage of our laws. From my Pajamas Media article two years ago:
Alternative dispute resolution – arbitration or mediation – is nothing new. Minette Marrin in The Sunday Times quotes a “senior legal figure”:
A civil contract can, if the parties agree, be governed by any legal or religious code of their choice, even that of Azerbaijan, provided that, in case of dispute, no decisions go against English law or public policy. Criminal cases can, of course, be dealt with only under English law and only in English courts of law.
Public policy is an elusive concept, but English law is not. On Sharia courts and punishments, Lord Phillips was unequivocal: “There can be no question of such courts sitting in this country, or such sanctions being applied here. So far as the law is concerned, those who live in this country are governed by English law and subject to the jurisdiction of the English courts.”
The next step will be challenges to the principle he stated that whenever British law and Sharia come into conflict, [Sharia] law must give way. And given the prevailing multiculturalist relativism, soon enough that principle will give way to British courts enforcing Sharia decisions.
“Prevailing multiculturalist relativism” aside, a “next step”must be preceded by a first step. No first step has been taken, by Lord Phillips or anyone else in charge of law-making; indeed steps toward Sharia have been explicitly rejected. Nothing has changed. Lord Phillips has given Muslims no better rights than they, or non-Muslims, already had. Rather than “embracing” or recommending Sharia law, he is putting limits on it. “Sharia law was put in its place that day,” comments Ms. Weatherwax. “Limited, voluntary and ultimately powerless.” Case dismissed, agreed Frances Gibb, Legal Editor of The Times.
So, should we stop worrying about Sharia? Far from it. Spencer is right to see the Lord Chief Justice’s comments as “a victory for the stealth jihad”. The victory is not in a court of law, but in the court of opinion.
First, those Muslims who want Sharia – and every true Muslim surely does – may well misunderstand Lord Phillips’ remarks as readily as tabloid journalists and their readers. They will be emboldened by what they see as encouragement to make further demands for concessions, and emboldened to enforce Sharia outside the bounds of a law that they imagine will soon change to accommodate it .Emboldened Muslims are always a worry.
Secondly, while Lord Phillips has set clear limits to the legality of Sharia, he has passed no comment on its morality. He has been scrupulously non-judgmental, making no distinction between Sharia and other codes of conduct. Such non-judgmentalism is, dare I say, ill-judged. Absence of condemnation will be taken as endorsement. And endorsement from such a prominent public figure, even if unintended, is highly damaging. If a Muslim woman follows Sharia and waives her rights to a fair inheritance or divorce settlement, this may not be illegal but it is unjust. Lord Phillips has done Muslim women no favours by his neutral stance, and has done wrong by non-Muslim women, who must live in a country where such an injustice to their sex continues unchallenged.
Sharia is not limited, fair and benign like the rules of a tennis club. It makes no distinction between public and private, between Mosque and State or between sin and crime. Even where it does not transgress our laws, Sharia may be, and often is, contrary to the public good.
Unless actively opposed, Islam must always advance. Setting legal limits is not enough: Sharia must be condemned in all its forms, public and private, legal and moral. If Lord Phillips felt he could not stray beyond the law into the moral and private sphere, he would have done better to maintain a judicious silence.
I would go further than I once did: condemnation is not enough. Arbitration using Sharia must be made illegal, whether or not the result complies with UK law. There are moves to make Sharia illegal in certain American states, but it is not clear that this illegality would apply to arbitration. It should - in the US, the UK and all non-Muslim countries. Islam, in this respect, would be treated differently from other belief systems, but it is right and proper to single it out, because it is singularly dangerous.
Posted on 03/20/2011 9:18 AM by Mary Jackson
Sunday, 20 March 2011
Sarkozy's Nonsense: "Libyans Must Be Able To Choose Their Own Destiny"
"Libyans must be able to choose their own destiny," as French President Nicolas Sarkozy put it
And what does that phrase mean, anyway, in the context of a world war, Islam against the Rest?
Let's replace that word "Libyans" with other words taken from today's headlines:
"Bahrainis must be able to choose their own destiny." That means an end to the rule of Good King Hamad, and no doubt further inroads, real or perceived (it hardly matters), by the Islamic Republic of Iran on the left littoral of the Persian Gulf.
"Syrians must be able to choose their own destiny." That means an end not only to the Assad dynasty (which would be a good thing, for it made the mistake of supporting Hezbollah and Iran), but also to Alawite rule, which would not be good for the Alawites or the Christians of Syria, and other Christians from Iraq who have found refuge in Syria. If "Syrians must be able to choose their own destiny" than that would lead, inevitably, to rule by the Ikhwan, the Muslim Brotherhood, which has been held down only by the memory of what happened in Hama, supported by many -- not all -- of the 70% of the Syrian population that is Sunni Muslim.
"Yemenis must be able to choose their own destiny."means that the northwest would go one way, and the former territory of Aden another, and in-between the tribes would fight it out.
Such words as "Bahraini" and "Yemeni" and "Syrian" refer to nations, but the people in these countries are referred to loosely, and often inaccurately, by adjectival forms of the nation's names. They are tribes, or mutually hostile or at least rival sectarian or ethnic groups, held together not by some shared belief in democracy, much less in Western democracy, but by power. Their struggle is one over power, and because they have grown up in societies suffused with Islam (so suffused that even those who harbor private reservations about Islam, or are not even Believers, are affected by the atmospherics of Islam -- the violence, the aggression, the absence of critical thought, the conspiracy theories, the inabilty to conceive of a world of permanent accomodation and compromise, the Cargo-Cult attitude toward the things the non-Islamic world produces and Muslims do not, but are unable to recognize why they can not.
During a war, one figures out how to exploit the weaknesses of the enemy. The enemy of the West is the Camp of Islam. There are many divisions - ethnic, sectarian, economic -- within that Camp of Islam. They should be identified and exploited. Sometimes the division is caused only by personal animus among despots. Qaddafy is hated by the Saudi rulers for his decades of taunting them and treating them with contempt. He is disliked by the Shi'a in Lebanon because of the disappearance -- the qaddafian kidnapping and likely killing of a celebrated Shi'a cleric from Lebanon, which gave new and sinister meaning to the phrase "the Hidden Imam." The governments of Egypt and Tunisia found him to be a poor neighbor. But neither these countries, nor the other members of the Arab Leauge who voted in support of a "No Fly Zone," nor the members -- Syria, Algeria, Mauritania -- who did not, were exercised in the slightest about Qaddafy's "war on his own people" that apparently the Western powers think is what is at stake.
When the Obama Administration waited for the "approval" of the Arab League, it was waiting for something that had no moral significance whatsoever, and that has been wrongly endowed with such significance by the Obama Administration. When the French and British governments became such enthusiasts for attacking Qaddafy's forces, and helped push the Americans, they were not thinking clearly, and no doubt, in the back of some French and British minds, there may have been some satisfaction at getting the more reluctant Americans involved as payback for the Americans forcing them, for so long, to be involved in the American-generated follies in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Posted on 03/20/2011 9:54 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 20 March 2011
Visible Arab Participation So Far In Operation Odyssey Dawn?
Posted on 03/20/2011 10:17 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 20 March 2011
Upstairs Downstairs Abbey
Posted on 03/20/2011 10:37 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 20 March 2011
Arabia Felix Not So Happy After All
Yemen's UN envoy resigns over killings
Diplomat quits in protest against the killing of 52 demonstrators, while president Saleh's tribe urges him to step down.
20 Mar 2011
Tens of thousands of mourners joined Sunday's burial procession for some of those killed [AFP]
Yemen's ambassador to the United Nations has resigned over the killing of 52 protesters calling for the resignation of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
"Abdullah Alsaidi has submitted his resignation to protest at the use of violence against demonstrators," a Yemeni foreign ministry official said on Sunday.
The move comes as Yemen's most powerful tribal confederation called on Saleh to step down.
Sheikh Sadiq al-Ahmar, the leader of Hashed, which includes Saleh's tribe, issued a statement asking the president to respond to the people's demands and leave peacefully. It was co-signed by several religious leaders.
Thousands were joining Sunday's burial procession of some of the 52 protesters killed on Friday, the bloodiest single day of the month-long uprising.
Around 30 bodies were laid out in neat rows and the square near Sanaa University overflowed with mourners, who massed under tight security and despite a two-day-old state of emergency.
Saleh had declared Sunday a national day of mourning for the "martyrs for democracy," while blaming the opposition for "incitement and chaos" that had led to the killings.
The violence prompted condemnation from the UN and the US, which backs his government with hundreds of millions in military aid to battle an al-Qaeda offshoot based in Yemen's mountainous region.
Police on Saturday stormed a protest camp in the southern port city of Aden and fired tear gas and live rounds, wounding three anti-government demonstrators.
The escalation of violence has rocked the government of Saleh, and resulted in several ministerial resignations.
Muslim clerics called on Yemeni soldiers to disobey orders to shoot at demonstrators, and blamed Saleh for the slaughter on Friday.
"We call on the army and security forces to not carry out any order from anyone to kill and repress" demonstrators, a group of influential clerics said in a joint statement.
"The defections are on all sides and this is just the beginning," Abdul Ghani Al Iryani, a political analyst in the capital, Sanaa, told Al Jazeera.
Al-Baan became the third Yemeni minister
to resign in protest [AFP]
"I think if we don't come to some kind of national reconciliation, the defections will continue until the regime falls.
"The president is talking to various political groups but he's not talking to the main group, which is the youth in the square.
"If he wants to get out of this, he will have to address their concerns, he'll have to include them in any national dialogue and he will have to accept the fact that much of his power needs to be transferred to a government of national unity."
Twenty-four parliamentarians have resigned from the ruling party.
Huda al-Baan, Yemen's human-rights minister, said she had resigned from the government and the ruling party in protest over the sniper attack on demonstrators.
Al-Baan said in a statement late on Saturday that her resignation was to protest the "massacre" of demonstrators demanding the departure of Saleh, who has been in power since 1978.
The undersecretary at the ministry, Ali Taysir, also resigned.
Al-Baan became the third Yemeni minister to resign over the past few weeks.
Nabil al-Faqih, the minister of tourism, resigned on Friday over the "unjustifiable use of force" against protesters, while the minister of religious endowments Hamoud al-Hattar resigned earlier in the week.
The chief of the state news agency has also stepped down, along with Yemen's ambassador to Lebanon.
Witnesses said pro-government "thugs" on Friday rained bullets from rooftops near a square close to Sanaa University, which for weeks has been the centre of demonstrations calling for the end of Saleh's rule.
Posted on 03/20/2011 10:44 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 20 March 2011
Obama Pushes F-18s In Brazil
Obama pushes F-18 fighter jet in Brazil meeting
RIO DE JANEIRO, March 20 (Reuters) - President Barack Obama made a strong pitch for the Boeing F-18 jet fighter in a meeting with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, but she did not indicate if her government had decided to buy the U.S.-made plane, the White House said on Sunday.
"The F-18 issue did come up. President Rousseff raised it," White House aide Dan Restrepo told reporters in Rio de Janeiro, referring to the leaders' bilateral meeting in Brasilia on Saturday that kicked off Obama's five-day Latin American tour.
Brazil is weighing a multi-billion dollar bid to modernize its air force, and Obama has made promoting exports to boost U.S. jobs back home a central part of his trip to Brazil, Chile and El Salvador.
"President Obama underscored that the F-18 is the best plane on offer ... in that the technology transfer package ... is equivalent to the packages that are offered to partners and allies around the world," said Restrepo, Obama's top Latin American adviser.
One factor in Brazil's decision will be Washington's willingness to authorize transfers of proprietary technology, which would help Brazil develop its own defense industry.
The F-18's main competition is seen coming from the French Rafale fighter jet of Dassault Aviation which had been favored by Rousseff's predecessor Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Saab is also a bidder and said last month it hoped for a Brazilian decision during 2011.
The Brazilian contract will likely be worth much more than the initial bids, which have been reported by Brazilian media to be in a $4-$6 billion range. Maintenance contracts will be lucrative, and Brazil could eventually buy more than 100 aircraft.
Rousseff's surprise decision in January to restart the bidding process for the tender was one of the earliest signs of the pro-U.S. shift under her administration.
Posted on 03/20/2011 10:57 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 20 March 2011
Obama In Brazil: "Arms, Arms For The Poor"
Brazil, so much bigger than a breadbox, is booming - or rather, the Brazil of Eike Batist and Gisele-Bundchen lookalikes is booming -- and a single government-arranged trip to a single cleaned-up Potemkin favela apparently is good enough for Obama.
And now, his an ambiguous gesture -- he does it all the time, as when he made that awkward bow to King Abdullah -- to Brazil blends the salesman holding out his goods for sale (F-18s) and the sidewalk beggar holding out his hand by way of eleemosynary request. And this is Obama's message to Brazil: "Arms, Arms For The Poor."
Whether "the poor" are the Americans, now on their uppers, having over the last several decades spent colossal sums making life better, at a cost of trillions, for people who cannot possibly wish us the slightest bit well, or the Brazilans, whose poor live in famous (if famously cheerful, carnavalesque rocambolesque) squalor -- for by now the maldistribution of wealth must surely be almost the same in the United States as in Brazil, you may decide for yourself.
And though ambiguous-sounding -- you may feel temporarily Japanese, trying to find a phonemic distinction that so far escapes you -- Obama's message on the F-18s is unambiguous: "Arms, Arms For The Poor."
Posted on 03/20/2011 10:46 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 20 March 2011
What A Surprise: Arabs Condemn Infidel Bombing Of Libya
Arab League condemns broad bombing campaign in Libya
CAIRO—The Arab League secretary general, Amr Moussa, deplored the broad scope of the U.S.-European bombing campaign in Libya on Sunday and said he would call a new league meeting to reconsider Arab approval of the Western military intervention.
Moussa said the Arab League’s approval of a no-fly zone on March 12 was based on a desire to prevent Moammar Gaddafi’s air force from attacking civilians and was not designed to embrace the intense bombing and missile attacks—including on Tripoli, the capital, and on Libyan ground forces—that have filled Arab television screens for the last two days.
“What is happening in Libya differs from the aim of imposing a no-fly zone,” he said in a statement on the official Middle East News Agency. “And what we want is the protection of civilians and not the shelling of more civilians.”
Moussa’s declaration suggested some of the 22 Arab League members were taken aback by what they have seen and wanted to modify their approval lest they be perceived as accepting outright Western military intervention in Libya. Although the eccentric Gaddafi is widely looked down on in the Arab world, Middle Eastern leaders and their peoples traditionally have risen up in emotional protest at the first sign of Western intervention.
A shift away from the Arab League endorsement, even partial, would constitute an important setback to the U.S.-European campaign. Western leaders brandished the Arab League decision as a justification for their decision to move militarily and as a weapon in the debate to obtain a U.N. Security Council resolution two days before the bombing began.
As U.S. and European military operations entered their second day, however, most Arab governments maintained public silence and the strongest expressions of opposition came from the greatest distance. Presidents Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua, Evo Morales of Bolivia and Fidel Castro of Cuba condemned the intervention and suggested Western powers were seeking to get their hands on Libya’s oil reserves rather than limit the bloodshed in the country.
Russia and China, which abstained on the U.N. Security Council resolution authorizing military intervention, also expressed regret that Western powers had chosen to get involved despite their advice.
In the Middle East, the abiding power of popular distrust against Western intervention was evident despite the March 12 Arab League decision. It was not clear how many Arab governments shared the hesitations voiced by Moussa. But so far only the Western-oriented Gulf emirate of Qatar has announced it would participate despite Western efforts to enlist Arab military forces into the campaign.
The Qatari prime minister, Hamad bin Jassem Al-Thani, told reporters Qatar made its decision in order to “stop the bloodbath” that he said Gaddafi was inflicting on rebel forces and civilians in rebel-controlled cities. He did not describe the extent of Qatar’s military involvement or what the mission of Qatari aircraft or personnel would be alongside U.S., French and British planes and ships that have carried out the initial strikes.
Islam Lutfy, a lawyer and Muslim Brotherhood leader in Egypt, said he opposed the military intervention because the real intention of the United States and its European allies was to get into position to benefit from Libya’s oil supplies. “The countries aligned against Libya are there not for humanitarian reasons but to further their own interests,” he added.
But the Muslim Brotherhood and its allies in the Youth Coalition that spearheaded Egypt’s recent upheavals took no official position, busy instead with Saturday’s referendum on constitutional amendments designed to open the country’s democracy. Similarly, the provisional military-run government took no stand and most Cairo newspapers gave only secondary space to the Libya conflict.
When the Arab League approved imposition of a no-fly zone, only Syria and Algeria opposed the league’s decision, according to Egyptian officials. The Syrian Foreign Ministry on Thursday reiterated Syria’s opposition, as diplomatic momentum gathered for the U.S.-European operation. [yes, but approval had nothing to do with concern for civilians, or indeed any kind of moral outrage, but rather with dislike for Qaddafy's demonstrated hostility toward many Arab leaders and regimes, prompted mainly by his own megalomania]
“Syria rejects all forms of foreign interference in Libyan affairs, since that would be a violation of Libya’s sovereignty, independence and the unity of its land,” it said in a statement.
Al Qaeda, which could be expected to oppose foreign intervention in an Arab country and embrace Gaddafi’s qualification of the campaign as a new crusade, made no immediate comment. This likely was due in part to the Qaeda leadership’s difficulty in communicating without revealing its position. But it also was a reminder of Gaddafi’s frequent assertions that Al Qaeda was behind the Libyan revolt and that he and the West should work hand-in-hand to defeat the rebels.
Iran and its Shiite Muslim allies in Lebanon’s Hezbollah, reflexively opposed to Western influence in the Middle East, also were forced into a somewhat equivocal position, condemning Gaddafi for his bloody tactics but opposing the Western military intervention.
“The fact that most Arab and Muslim leaders did not take responsibility opened the way for Western intervention in Libya,” declared Hassan Nasrallah, the Hezbollah leader, in video speech Sunday to his followers. “This opens the way for foreign interventions in every Arab country. It brings us back to the days of occupation, colonization and partition.”
At the same time, Nasrallah accused Gaddafi of using the same brutality against his opponents as Israel has used against Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry, which previously criticized Gaddafi’s crackdown, on Sunday expressed “doubts” about U.S. and European intentions. Like the Latin American critics, it suggested the claims of wanting to protect civilians were just a cover for a desire to install a more malleable leadership in Tripoli and make it easier to exploit Libya’s oil.
Gaddafi has been on the enemies’ list of Shiite activists in the Middle East since 1978, when Lebanon’s paramount Shiite leader, Imam Musa Sudr, disappeared during a fund-raising visit to Tripoli. His fate has never been officially cleared up but Palestine Liberation Organization investigators determined that he was probably killed by Gaddafi’s security agents after they misunderstood an order from Gaddafi to “get rid of” Sudr and his pestering for money.
Posted on 03/20/2011 2:12 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 20 March 2011
Amr Moussa, The Arab League, And Bottomless Western Gullibility
Who are these people who believe that a vote by the Arab League supposedly means that the Arabs will take part, or even have given "approval," to an attack on an Arab state. Who failed to understand that the Arab League vote had nothing to do with any indignation over Qaddafy's "treatment of his own civilians" -- he hasn't been nearly as bad as, say, Saddam Hussein, and no Sunni Arab state supported the American invasion of Iraq because they all knew that if Saddam Hussein was overthrown, that meant the inexorable transfer of power from fellow Sunni Arabs (who constitute 19% of Iraq's population) to the Shi'a Arabs (who constitute more than 65% of the population in Iraq).
Who thought King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia was outraged by Qaddafy's thwarting of those the American media persist in calling, so very inaccurately, "pro-democracy demonstrators" in Libya? He was angry because Qaddafy has been berating and mocking the Saudis for years, and may even have been behind a plot to kill him.
Who thought the rulilng families of Oman, or the Emirates, or Qatar, or Bahrain, or the kingling who runs Jordan, or the Sherifian king who runs Morocco, were outraged by Qaddafy's treatment of civilians? For god's sake, has nothing been observed, nothing understood, during the past several decades of seeing the Arab rulers and regimes at work? Is it not clear that the "pro-democracy" movements have no support among rulers, and are not really, in most cases, "pro-democracy" movements at all, but merely some people getting fed up with a too-ostentatious display of the disparities in wealth between the corrupt rulers (almost all the Arab regimes are corrupt), with their family, friends, and other courtiers, and the rest of the people, or among a very small number of those invovled, a genuine envy of, and desire to mimic, Western systems of government, but without any concomitant understanding of all the ways that the ideology of Islam prevents the formation of a citizenry capable of supporting, promoting, and above all sustaining such an effort?
At the very least, let's push out from positions of authority those who assured Barack Obama that the Arab League vote was "very important" and that it meant that we could all clamber aboard the same juggernaut together before it passed us by, and in so doing, we would ensure that we, the American government, got on the "right side of history."
One good thing. That idiotic phrase -- "the right side of history" -- is not going to be heard much any more.
No, the stupdiity will express itself, and quickly, with other fixed and briefly fashionable and equally idiotic phrases.
Just you wait.
We are run, mostly, by idiots.
Who thought the assorted families that rule all over the Gulf were(Let's all jump on the juggernaut before it passes us by. Let's not think, but get on "the right side of history."
And so it came to pass that people who know -- who do not want to know -- about the attitudes and atmospherics of Muslim peoples, and their root "It's the right thing to do."
Posted on 03/20/2011 2:20 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 20 March 2011
Who Is Amr Moussa?
He is a sinister and evil man. He was part of the corrupt elite, part of the ruling class. When he had a falling-out with Mubarak, it was not because Amr Moussa was suddenly appalled at all the corruption. Not at all. No, what exercised Amr Moussa, what lead to his resignation as Foreign Minister, was that he wanted Egypt to be even more dismissive of its solemn commitments under the Camp David Accords, even more hostile to Israel (Egypt had committed itself to ending all hostile behavior and attitudes, and encouraging -- in every way - friendly relations with israel. It never complied, and to those who say "but it did not go to war against Israel" there are two answers: one, under the Camp David Accords -- read the text, for god's sake -- Egypt had committed itself to far more than merely not making open war, on the battlefield, with Israel and two, Egypt did not make open warfare (though it has continued to wage war on Israel by all other means) for the same reason Syria, or Iraq, or Saudi Arabia have not made open warfare -- it feared the consequences if it lost. And the consequences should be spelled out: Israel will NEVER again yield up the Sinai if, through a war forced on it, it re-takes it. It has given the Sinai up twice to Egypt, once in 1956, in an agreement that Nasser broke in every particular, and in 1979, with the Camp David Accords, in an agreement that the Mubarak regime broke not in every but in many particulars. Let's get, and keep that, straight.
Amr Moussa, a regular Vicar of Bray, was quick to show up in Tahrir Square, and to pretend that he had always been with the "pro-democracy" forces. Utter crap. He's an ancien regime swine, and many of the best-educated young people in Egypt, thank god -- a small group -- have taken Amr Moussa's measure. You don't rise high in Egypt under the Mubarak regime, high enough to be Foreign Minister and then, as a consolation prize, head of the Arab League, without being such.
If Amr Moussa comes to power, all American aid to Egypt should stop. The Israelis should not have to endure an Egyptian army, one that has already received more than $40 billion dollars in American military aid (with an equal amount in economic aid going to the Egyptian rulers), receiving still more modern equipment.
After all, what is Egypt worrying about? With what country is it preparing for war? The Sudan, which relies on Egypt for diplomatic and other support? Qaddafy's Libya, which was never a real threat to Egypt and is far less of one today than ever before. The Egyptian army prepares for only one war: a war with Israel. And that being the case, Americans should not be asked to continue to supply that army with the wherewithal to destroy, or to threaten to help destroy (and thus make military planing even more hellishly difficult for the Israelis), our one certain ally from Europe to East Asia, and a country without which the West will not, morally, and in terms of civilisational morale,continue to endure.
Posted on 03/20/2011 2:33 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 20 March 2011
Department Of Ossa-Upon-Pelion: Shi'a In Bahrain Want Amreeka To Intervene
Bahrain opposition seeks UN, US help in crackdown
MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) — Bahrain's opposition asked for U.N. and American intervention in the government crackdown on the Shiite protests trying to loosen the monarchy's grip, in a brief protest Sunday in the capital that disbanded before police could arrive to break it up.
The 18 opposition legislators protesting Sunday at the U.N. offices in Manama resigned last month to protest the crackdown on the monthlong revolt, inspired by the pro-democracy uprisings across the Arab world. Bahrain's king declared martial law last week, and a Saudi-led military force from other Gulf nations is in the country to back the Sunni monarchy.
In the five-minute protest, the lawmakers appealed to the U.N. to stop the violence against protesters and mediate talks between the opposition and the monarchy; they asked the U.S. to pressure the Gulf force to leave.
"They should return home. There is no need for them to be here since this a political, not a military problem," said Jassim Hussein, a former parliament member of Bahrain's largest Shiite group Al Wefaq.
The Gulf force underscores the deep worries about Bahrain's stability among the region's Sunni kings and sheiks, who fear any stumble by Bahrain's leaders could embolden challenges to their own regimes and possibly open political inroads for Shiite Iran.
Iran has condemned the presence of the Gulf force in Bahrain.
The United States has condemned the violence in Bahrain and called on the dialogue between the two sides.
Opposition leaders said they will continue with peaceful resistance to what they say is political oppression and economic inequality. They will also continue demanding an elected government and equal rights for the island nation's majority Shiite community, which they say suffers discrimination under Sunni rule.
Shiites are about 70 percent of Bahrain's population of half a million.
The parliament is Bahrain's only elected body. It holds limited authority since all the country's decisions — including the appointment of government ministers — rest with the king.
Ali Salman, a senior opposition leader condemned all foreign interference in Bahrain and said the solution to the country's crisis has to come from its people.
"We tried our best to solve the Bahraini problem inside Bahrain," Salman said, adding that neither Shiite power Iran nor Sunni heavyweight Saudi Arabia are a solution for Bahrain.
"We don't want Iranians to come. We don't want a big problem in this small country," Salman said.
U.S. Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, condemned the crackdown in Bahrain, the home of the U.S. Navy's 5th Feet, but cautioned against Washington's rush to intervene in every Arab country experiencing political unrest.
"I think we have to be very careful to treat every country differently," Mullen said on ABC's "This Week."
"Certainly there's a tremendous change going on right now throughout the Middle East, including in Bahrain. And Bahrain is in a much different situation than Libya." Unlike Libya, the Gulf kingdom has been America's "critical ally for decades," Mullen said, adding that the U.S. is working "very hard to support a peaceful resolution there, as tragic as it is."
"We decry the violence that's occurred in Bahrain," Mullen said." I think the approach needs to be different."
Authorities have widened pressures on political activists and others under emergency rule interrogating human rights activists and detaining doctors from the state-run hospital who helped treat protesters at the height of the uprising.
Nabeel Rajab, head of the Bahrain Human Rights Center, was briefly detained Sunday by masked security officials, he said. Agents also confiscated computers, CDs and mobile phones.
Rajab said his face was covered and he was handcuffed before being put into a car, where he was slapped and beaten. "They were insulting me, saying things like, 'You're Shiite so go back to Iran,'" he told The Associated Press after he was released.
Security forces overran the main protest camp in the capital on Wednesday, setting off clashes that killed at least five people, including two policemen.
At least 13 people have been killed in the monthlong revolt.
Yes, America is trhe go-to guy for Arabs and Muslims. Need support against your beastly rulers? Want to have the Americans intervene, topple them, and stick around to spend another few hundred billion that can be diverted for the personal uses of those who know what they are doing? Want to inveigle the Americans into doing your bidding, and to keep doing it because once they've already invested heavily in winning your hearts and minds they will keep investing -- the good money after bad theory of American foreign policy, in everything that has to do with Muslims. See Iraq, See Afghanistan, See Pakistan, See Egypt or Libya, See Jordan or Saudi Arabia. See See See.
Amreeka, Amreeka, Amreeka.
Posted on 03/20/2011 3:08 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 20 March 2011
What The West Should Now Tell The Arab League
We've done our bit. We bombed the anti-aircarft guns, the radar, and so on. That's it.
Now, since apparently we have made you unhappy -- we certainly have not had the visible support and participation that we assumed we would be getting from our Arab "partners" in the "coalition" -- we will stop.
No Western planes flying over LIbya, anywhere.
We've degraded Qaddafy's air defenses.
You've got plenty of planes.
If you wish to use them, who is stopping you?
Go right ahead.
Be our guest.
Do your stuff.
Posted on 03/20/2011 3:17 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 20 March 2011
A Cinematic Musical Interlude: Jimmy (Irene Dunne)
Posted on 03/20/2011 3:29 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 20 March 2011
Nation of Islam fundraising: Selective enforcement or protected speech?
Selective, politically correct law enforcement seems to be the order of the day. Here is an example from Las Vegas where Vin Suprynowicz writes fro the Las Vegas Review-Journal (with thanks to Tex Whitson):
Eighteen-year Las Vegas police officer Laurie Bisch keeps running for sheriff against her boss, Doug Gillespie. She says her independent attitude sometimes makes her feel "like a woman without a country" when she goes to work -- though officers have been known to approach her in private and thank her for raising issues others fear to confront.
Bisch was recently assigned to the Bolden Area Command, which is headquartered on a side street just southwest of what used to be known as Drive-By Corners: the intersection of Lake Mead and Martin Luther King boulevards.
A few weeks ago, she responded to a call: A driver had complained some men were out in the street at the corner of Rancho Drive and Charleston Boulevard, aggressively soliciting funds from motorists and blocking traffic when the light changed.
She drove there, asked the three men whether they had a permit to be in the street aggressively selling their Nation of Islam newspapers to motorists stopped at the red light, determined they had no permit and wrote them citations for violating NRS 484B.297, which specifies: "A person shall not stand in a highway to solicit ... any business from the driver or any occupant of a vehicle. A person shall not, without a permit ... solicit any contribution from the driver or any occupant of a vehicle."
While Bisch was writing her citations, the three men did not seem chagrined, she reports. They were laughing. Indeed, while she was there, her cell phone rang. It was an officer from her station house, informing her "there's a deal" under which members of the Nation of Islam are not cited for selling their newspapers, nor for soliciting and collecting funds from vehicles stopped in the streets at red lights.
Bisch issued the tickets anyway.
Later, she says, "I was told 'This is political. We don't mess with them,' and 'When it comes to the Nation of Islam guys, we have a hands-off policy.' " Bisch says one of her superiors explained that when there are crimes in predominantly black West Las Vegas, members of the Nation of Islam step in and help police solve them.
Bisch says she asked for an example, but her superior could not immediately provide one.
In addition, Bisch says she was told there was no sense issuing the tickets to members of the Nation of Islam because Las Vegas City Attorney Brad Jerbic wouldn't prosecute them.
She called that office, identified herself and asked if all this were true. She says Assistant City Attorney Ben Little told her if she were the only officer ticketing these aggressive panhandlers, who appear to all be black men, her actions might be interpreted as racist.
Bisch says she responded that she's written hundreds of citations under this statute over the years, "and you can pull them up and check -- the majority were to white adults."
Bisch says she was told both by her superiors and by Little that in order to prosecute such an offense, she would have to locate a witness who was willing to return with her to the station, write out a voluntary statement that they'd witnessed the offenses, and file a criminal complaint. Even then, she would need a sergeant's permission to proceed, she says.
That's completely at variance with the way officers normally write tickets for misdemeanors, when it's considered enough for the officer to have seen the offense with her own eyes, Bisch points out, adding that police dispatchers get dozens of calls per month from people who feel frightened or intimidated by the solicitors in question.
The calls are handled with a "broadcast and clear" command, she says. That is, no officer is instructed to respond.
'A RELATIONSHIP ISSUE'
The Nation of Islam, led nationally by Louis Farrakhan, is believed to have 20,000 to 50,000 members nationwide. Farrakhan preaches that white people are sub-human devils who "are potential humans. ... They haven't evolved yet."
A phone message left last week at the Muhammad Mosque 75 on D Street was not returned.
"Back in the '90s ... the city attorney wouldn't prosecute on those tickets," Sheriff Doug Gillespie says. "So if we can't write tickets, we can't ignore it. So rather than write citations, what we do is we meet from time with the Nation of Islam" to discuss what activities are permitted.
Capt. Larry Burns has been in command of Metro's Bolden Area substation since January. He denied that officers are advised not to roll on complaints about aggressive fundraising in the streets by the Nation of Islam "newspaper salesmen."
"No, no, no, we roll on those calls," he said. "The officers are certainly not given an order to not ticket. What we typically do, if we receive a call, if there's an individual that makes a call to police, if they feel they're in danger in any way, shape or form, we make every attempt to meet that individual and get a voluntary statement from them. And that hasn't happened in a very long time. ...
"This issue of individuals who are proselytizing and offering things for sale has been going on as long as I've been a police officer, for 25 years," Burns said, adding that issues of religious freedom were at play. Issuing the citations is often futile, he argues, because "those things are routinely dismissed at some level, and they're not prosecuted." He admitted, "I've taken tickets before that have been written, and I have not allowed them to process through the system, they have stopped here. It's within my authority to do that.
"The bottom line is that this is a relationship issue. ... The way that we have always been successful in law enforcement is through our community relationships. ... For the good of the community, these are things that are constantly balanced."
And the bigger picture is hoping that the Nation of Islam can help Metro fight crime in West Las Vegas?
Yep, that's about it. Hope. Hoping this problem will go away. Hoping it won't land in the current mayor's lap. Hoping nobody will really have to do anything.
"When you create those relationships, you are so much further ahead," Burns said. "Valleywide we solve 85 percent of homicides. Here in Bolden area it's 20 percent."
PROBLEM WITH PERMITS
Jerbic, the longtime city attorney, tells me, "The Nation has been told that they can ask for contributions only. If there are any strong-arm tactics, we've told them, 'You will be ticketed.' We've told them, 'If you remain in the intersection when the light turns green, they will be ticketed.' We process (those tickets) and we've taken them to trial. ...
"I participated in a meeting with Metro, the Nation of Islam and the ACLU, it could be more than a decade ago," Jerbic recalled. "The state Legislature has created a scheme where an individual can come in and get a permit to solicit from the median for as long as three days at a time. With an organization as large as the Nation of Islam, they could string together the permits, one after another, so they could put someone on a median every day of the year.
"So in the context of First Amendment speech, the conclusion was that people wouldn't be arrested or cited simply for not having the permit, but rather for the action itself. Are you engaging in coercive soliciting, are you on the median or in traffic? I have seen tickets issued. The Nation is not exempted. They don't have a 'pass.' "
If the politicians want to repeal a whole bunch of permit requirements, that's fine. But I believe that may be the first time I've ever had a city official tell me they're not going to enforce a statute requiring a permit, because if they did so the darned culprits could ruin everything by just going out and applying for a whole bunch of permits.
Jerbic admits it has been a few years since he saw such a ticket come through. "The question goes back to Metro," he said. "If they've got people knocking on windows, that's not conduct that's protected. ... It's not skin color, it's not religion, it's conduct. If you're blocking traffic, if you're commercially selling products from the median, I've never sent any memo to Metro that says that's legal."
Allen Lichtenstein, lead attorney for the local ACLU, remembers that meeting of about a decade ago.
"It was agreed as long as they're not blocking traffic or interfering or harassing anyone, then they have a First Amendment right. It was agreed by all the parties that the streets as well as the sidewalk are the quintessential public forum ...
"My understanding is they're not selling their papers, if asked they'll give them away," Lichtenstein said. "If people feel intimidated, that's a bit of a concern as a basis for issuing tickets, because the fact that they are the Nation of Islam may make people feel intimidated. I'm not aware of anything in the code that makes being a large black man illegal, or that puts restrictions on someone's activities because someone is a large black man."
Bisch drove through the same intersection, off duty and out of uniform, the day after she issued her three tickets. The Nation of Islam guys were at it again. They actually knocked on her window.
"Are you kidding me?" she asked. "I just wrote you a citation for this yesterday."
She says the solicitors laughed and shouted to one another, " 'Hey, it's Miss Bush.' They call me Miss Bush. ...
"The citation is supposed to put them on notice to end the behavior," Bisch points out. "If an officer issues repeat citations and the behavior doesn't change, the next step is normally that we take the offender to jail."
"I live in the Rancho and Charleston area," says District Judge Donald Mosley. "They're out there all the time, and oftentimes they're blocking traffic, talking to people, blocking traffic and people are waiting for them to get out of the way. It just gets me a little aggravated that we can't seem to control, as a city, people collecting alms this way. They're out there all the time. If they're getting cited, it's not having any effect.
"I was told some years ago they don't want to do anything because they don't want to stop the firemen from doing the boot drive. Well, the answer is a permit system."
Indeed, county firefighters collecting funds for the Muscular Dystrophy Association now limit their drives to private parking lots. If city firefighters work the intersections, they get a permit, Officer Bisch explains -- a permit which is good for only three days a year.
Does Mosley believe the "special deal" under which the Nation of Islam gets to ignore this particular law has been crafted in hopes of "buying peace" in West Las Vegas?
"That's what a Taser is for, to buy peace," the judge responded.
Posted on 03/20/2011 3:30 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Sunday, 20 March 2011
Qaddafy Is A Force For Disruption Within The Camp Of Islam
So why make such efforts to get rid of him if all one earns is denunciation by the Arab League, and other Libyans who happen to come from such hotbeds of Islam-based opposition as Benghazi and Dernah? As long as Qaddafy is kept within bounds, and not threatening Infidels, or acquiring weapons in order to threaten them, why not allow him to survive in order to disrupt, as he has for years, the Camp of Islam?
And if Seif al-Islam knows what's good for the regime as Qaddafy's sons start taking power from their father, he will make sure that any attempts to seek revenge for the bombing are not directed at the West, but at the Arabs who gave the go-ahead. All of the Qaddafy sons appear to share their father's dislike of those he calls "the Arabs"; none appears to be especially fervent in his Muslim faith; all of them appear to prefer life in advanced Europe to life in Libya. Why not leave things as they are, with Qaddafy now much more vulnerable to Western attack, if such attack there need be, but not removed from power. Let him know that if there is any sign from him of more trouble for Infidels then Operation Odyssey Dawn will have a sequel, not nearly as rosy-fingered. But as to his disrupting the Camp of Islam and even plotting against other Arabs -- vas-y, fonce.
Posted on 03/20/2011 3:53 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 20 March 2011
Coming in June: "The Left is Seldom Right" by Norman Berdichevsky
New English Review Press is pleased to announce the publication of our second book.
The Left Is Seldom Right
by Norman Berdichevsky
Publication date: June 10, 2011
Cover Design by Kendra Adams
A challenging and provocative look at the history of “right wing” vs. “left wing” political movements and personalities. Dr. Berdichevsky shatters the ideological prism those terms impose. This book will change the way you view the political world, forever.
_______Rebecca Bynum, author of Allah is Dead: Why Islam is Not a Religion_______
Norman Berdichevsky peels away the superficial layers of Left and Right, digs deep into history, unearths the complex political realities masked by a Good guys-Bad guys dichotomy devised by the Left for its own self-glorification, and brings to light the moral imperative.
_______________Nidra Poller, novelist and journalist, an American in Paris_________
In his "twenty-five case studies of crises, wars, alliances, conflicts, personalities and elections" Norman Berdichevsky clarifies the confusing history of Left-Right terminologies. He illustrates why a single dimension is insufficient to understand the differences and the unlikely alignments of supposed political opposites.
Be prepared to be enlightened, surprised and entertained as Dr. Berdichevsky lays bare the history behind the history you thought you knew proving that politics makes for strange bedfellows indeed.
_____________________Baron Bodissey (Gates of Vienna)________________
The malcontents gnawing at the fabric of western society thought they found a safe place hiding under the misnomer of "progressives". And then came the savvy Norman Berdichevsky!
_____________________Judi McLeod, editor Canada Free Press__________
It is the darkest times that most anxiously call for light. In a world of lies, the light we hold to is truth. Norman Berdichevsky's work represents a courageous truth. Truth about the world we live in and those who would destroy it. To stand up to lies in a world of them requires courage, and to tell the truth requires even more.
_____________________Daniel Greenfield (Sultan Knish)_______________
“Things fall apart; the center cannot hold; mere anarchy is loosed upon the world…The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.”—William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)
Although no older than the French Revolution, the political terms “Right” and” Left” have become banal and stale clichés which are often misleading guides that offer no clear indication about intentions, motivations and conflicting policy choices of political personalities and parties under changing circumstances. Both partisan political hacks and educated citizens who should know better use them as synonyms for the good guys and bad guys. Jonah Goldberg’s bestselling book “Liberal Fascism” shocked many readers who could not imagine how the two terms could be grouped together rather than stand as polar opposites.
The purpose of this book is threefold:
To further document cases in both the United States and abroad that verify Goldberg’s thesis that a considerable segment of the American public is misled by the use of the terms “RIGHT vs. LEFT”, which are cliché ridden, and often erroneous in their presentation of the most essential relevant facts and the conclusions drawn.
To demonstrate that it is primarily the Political Left that has a vested interest in the continued use of this terminology due to the considerable inroads made by the liberal media on public opinion. Many ‘political pundits’ have drawn on the prestige of major writers and Hollywood ‘celebrities’ whose work was shaped by a critical view of American culture as the epitome of alienation, hypocrisy and crass materialism in modern society. Their assumptions are that other cultures and societies are more authentic, ‘holistic’, integral and devoted to a sense of solidarity and community. These views have been reinforced in popular culture, especially in film and popular song as part of the counter-culture that arose in the late 1950s.
To show that anti-Semitism was not inherently a part of many nationalist “Right-wing" movements and that it is generated today overwhelmingly from the Far Left under the encouragement of the wealth and power of militant Islam.
It consists of 25 case studies of major domestic and international crises, wars, alliances, conflicts, issues, and elections that have been the subject of considerable media opinion and comment and most often by the use of the Left-Right terminology.
Posted on 03/20/2011 6:46 PM by NER