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The Republican Party is fielding a phenomenal candidate in New Jersey … no thanks to the Republican Party.

I’m among the Garden State denizens who started his day by proudly casting a vote for Steve Lonegan in the special election to fill the U.S. Senate seat of the late Frank Lautenberg. Lonegan, the former mayor of Bogota, N.J., is a principled conservative who – mirabile dictu! – is running as a principled conservative in the contest against Obama clone Cory Booker, the mayor of Newark. The clear-cut, bold colors campaign he’s waged has Lonegan within striking distance despite huge odds and virtually no help from the GOP establishment.

The fact that we’re having a costly special election on a Wednesday in the middle of October is a good indicator of official Republican apathy – to put it mildly – for a Reaganesque champion of limited government who harbors the crazy notion that the idea is to defeat the Left, not partner with it. There is, quite obviously, no valid economic or good-government reason to hold the special election today rather than on Election Day, which is just three weeks from now.

So why are we doing it? Because New Jersey is home to GOP establishment hero Chris Christie – although, to judge by his own campaign ads, Gov. Christie’s affiliation seems to be “bipartisan,” with the R-word nowhere in evidence. Up for reelection in November, Christie’s eye is squarely fixed on the next prize, the GOP presidential sweepstakes. It is not enough, he calculates, merely to beat his non-competitive Democratic challenger, state Sen. Barbara Buono. He needs to annihilate her. Buono had no chance: The polls, which have never tightened, typically show Christie 24 points ahead. But Christie fretted that this blue state’s union-driven machine would churn in overdrive if Booker, a well-known progressive darling, was on the ballot the same day as he. Scheduling the special election was Christie’s call, so – surprise! – he exercised his discretion to serve himself, needlessly causing the state to hold two elections so his expected blowout victory margin would not be trimmed by Booker’s turn-out.

Christie may mention the R-word much but GOP strategists insist that he is, nonetheless, the most popular, most electable Republican in the country. Thus the selfish scheduling decision also denied Lonegan any coattails Christie may have. No surprise that the governor would tee things up for Booker this way: The same remorseless bipartisan branding that fueled Christie’s Super-Storm Sandy love-in with President Obama days before the 2012 election has also inspired him to be very public about his snuggly relationship with Booker. More to the point, there is no love lost between Christie and Lonegan, who not only is an unapologetic conservative but also ran as one in unsuccessfully challenging the GOP’s preferred Mr. Bipartisan for the gubernatorial nomination four years ago.

Fearful of antagonizing – I should say, further antagonizing – the conservative base that promises to be very active in the GOP presidential primaries, Christie recently swallowed hard and endorsed Lonegan. Since then, though, he’s gone back to his default position of ignoring his former nemesis – which is admittedly better than when he actively helps Democrats slam Lonegan for “inflammatory and inappropriate” campaigning. (That was Christie’s pile-on description of a Lonegan staffer’s tweet – a stupid attempt to poke fun at Booker’s description of Newark as “like the Middle East.” Though Lonegan ordered the tweet deleted as soon as he learned of it, Democrats have used it to smear him as – all together now – a racist).

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Extortion—The Brotherhood’s M-O

October 9th, 2013 - 3:56 pm

In The Grand Jihad, my book about the Muslim Brotherhood, I noted the Brothers’ affectation of non-violent moderation when, in reality, their ideology preaches, prepares for, and practices forcible jihad. How, I rhetorically asked, does the Brotherhood pull this trick off? Well, it is pretty easy in the West, where the Brothers have the fortuity of dealing mainly with appeasers who are desperate to believe their lies. But for the most part, I argued, “the answer, very simply, is extortion.”

When not pretending to distance themselves from flat-out terrorist outfits like al Qaeda (the better to have Kool-Aid gulpers at the White House regard them as “moderates”), the Brothers leverage the atmosphere of intimidation created by violent jihad to advance the stealth jihad. Where necessary, the Brothers — while piously disavowing violence — will stoke the violence themselves. Remember, the Hamas terrorist organization is the Muslim Brotherhood — the global organization’s self-proclaimed Palestinian branch whose support has been a top priority of the Brotherhood’s international franchises (very much including in the United States) since Hamas’s inception.

For the most part, though, the Brothers exploit the mass-murderous proclivities of other Islamic supremacist organizations, essentially finishing the job for them. The job? Yes, it is all one job — sharia.

We would grasp this if we were not so mulishly uninformed about the enemy’s ideology. Islamic supremacists do not engage in wanton violence; they brutalize in order to advance sharia, Islam’s societal framework and legal code. Even if they occasionally disagree on tactics, al Qaeda and the Brotherhood are in complete harmony on the ultimate goal of imposing Islam on societies. To focus myopically on the tactical disagreements, as the West’s moderate-mania does, is to miss the forest for the trees. The Brotherhood is like the well-dressed mafia capo who knocks on your door — and whom you pay the loan-shark vig in the hope that the next visitor won’t be the al Qaeda button-man who breaks your knees before torching the place.

That’s a good image to bear in mind when you read Bridget Johnson’s informative post at the Tatler. I refer particularly to the excerpt from the al-Ahram report, describing General Abdel Fattah El-Sisi’s meeting, before Morsi’s ouster, with Brotherhood powerhouse Khairat al-Shater.

As I outline in Spring Fever, Shater, the Brotherhood’s charismatic “Deputy General Guide,” is probably the most significant Brotherhood figure in Egypt — more influential even than Supreme Guide Mohamed Badi. In fact, Mohamed Morsi was Shater’s protégé and only became the Brotherhood’s presidential candidate of choice when Shater, the preferred candidate, was dubiously disqualified from seeking the office by the transitional military regime, which saw him as more threatening.

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Victory? Obama’s Goal in Syria Is … a Tie

October 6th, 2013 - 12:15 am

Put aside for the moment that it is both perverse and a felony violation of federal law for the Obama administration willfully to provide arms it well knows will end up in the hands of al Qaeda and other jihadist-terrorists.

Put aside, too, the anomaly that the Obama administration says the shutdown means there is no money for the operation of national parks and cemeteries, but somehow there is still plenty of federal money to train and arm the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated, al Qaeda-ridden Syrian mujahideen.

In his stubborn, imperial determination to back enemies of America against other enemies of America, President Obama is not even trying to win. After all, toppling Assad – you know, the reason Obama said we had to aid the “rebels” – might upset the Iranian mullahs … Assad’s America-hating patrons whom our president is now deliriously courting.

So this whole Syria controversy is about achieving … a tie.

Government officials tell the Washington Post:

The CIA’s mission … has been defined by the White House’s desire to seek a political settlement, a scenario that relies on an eventual stalemate among the warring factions rather than a clear victor. As a result, officials said, limits on the agency’s authorities enable it to provide enough support to help ensure that politically moderate, U.S.-supported militias don’t lose but not enough for them to win.

Meanwhile …

11 of the largest armed factions in Syria, including some backed by the United States, announced the formation of an alliance with a goal of creating an Islamic state. The alliance is led by Jabhat al-Nusra, a group that has sworn allegiance to the al-Qaeda leadership in Pakistan.

So, to recap, during a government shutdown when the administration is denying public services to Americans, it is continuing to provide material support to terrorists in order to achieve a stalemate (which is what we have now) until we can arrive at a diplomatic solution acceptable to Iran, Assad, the Muslim Brotherhood, and the other jihadists.

Now there’s a policy to be proud of.

In attempting to rationalize his openness to Iran, his hopefulness that its sham election constitutes a popular mandate for “moderation,” and his anticipation of a groundbreaking deal on the mullahs’ nuclear program — and, of course, the Great Rapprochement to follow — President Obama keeps repeating a falsehood. According to Obama, Iran’s “supreme leader,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, “has issued a fatwa against the development of nuclear weapons.”

There is no such fatwa.

The invaluable MEMRI (the Middle Wast Media Research Institute) has done an exhaustive search and issued this report:

In fact, such a fatwa was never issued by Supreme Leader Khamenei and does not exist; neither the Iranian regime nor anybody else can present it.

The deception regarding “Khamenei’s fatwa” has been promoted by the Iranian regime and its spokesmen for several years. Each time it was mentioned, the “fatwa” was given a different year of issue – for example, 2005, 2007, or 2012 – but the text of the “fatwa” was never presented.

MEMRI has conducted in-depth research with regard to this “fatwa” and has published reports demonstrating that it is a fiction. See MEMRI reports:

Renewed Iran-West Nuclear Talks – Part II: Tehran Attempts to Deceive U.S. President Obama, Sec’y of State Clinton With Nonexistent Anti-Nuclear Weapons Fatwa By Supreme Leader Khamenei

Release Of Compilation Of Newest Fatwas By Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei – Without Alleged Fatwa About Nuclear Bomb

The Iranian regime apparently believes that its frequent repetition of the “fatwa” lie will make it accepted as truth. To date, the Europeans refuse to accept it. According to unofficial sources, the legal advisors of the EU3 made an official request to the Iranian regime in 2005 to provide a copy of the “fatwa,” but in vain.

Of course, no mark is easier to play than one who is desperate to be played.

In mounting their case against Senators Ted Cruz, House conservatives, and the grass-roots campaign to defund Obamacare, the Republican establishment and its like-minded scribes pound an oft-repeated talking point into conventional wisdom: Cruz cannot win.

In this telling, the senator has recklessly embarked on a populist campaign that taps into public anger over Obamacare but has no winning endgame. The Beltway clerisy elaborates that Cruz and his defunding partner, Senator Mike Lee, have failed to account for the Democratic majority and procedural rules that control the Senate. These purportedly immovable obstacles guarantee that the defunding measure they spurred the House to pass cannot be enacted into law. Therefore, conventional wisdom now holds, the only outcomes Cruz & Co. can hope for are (a) an ignominious, demoralizing defeat that will strengthen President Obama’s hand or (b) a stalemate between the House, on the one hand, and the Senate and Obama, on the other — a stalemate that will result in a government shutdown that, in turn, will grievously harm Republican electoral prospects.

There is a good deal wrong with this analysis. I’ve already described some of it in a recent post, and there will be more to say on it. But I want to explore a different topic that the establishment potshots at Cruz, Lee and House conservatives have obscured:

What is the GOP establishment’s strategy for undoing Obamacare?

No conservative supporter of defunding suggests that the defunding strategy is a sure thing. It involves orchestrating a high-stakes confrontation that spotlights Obamacare’s calamitous consequences and corrupt insider deals. The resulting political pressure — coupled with the fact that even Obamacare supporters concede the program is not ready for implementation — must be intense enough to convince congressional Democrats and the president that fighting to fund the program at this time is not in their interests.

No doubt, this is an uphill fight. Yet, conservative defunding proponents are not mounting it idly. They have an urgent reason for acting now, despite the challenges. Obamacare subsidies start to pour out next week. Once government “entitlements” begin, the likelihood of their ever being withdrawn is nil. Thus, if Obamacare is not stopped right now, it will not be stopped — we will be burdened for years, probably permanently, with its catastrophic effects on both our already reeling economy and the quality of American health care.

If conservatives are right about this, we are in desperate times and defunding, even if it prompts a risky government shutdown, is the only desperate measure available — the only chance of success, however uncertain the chance may be.

The Republican establishment disagrees, insisting that the defunding plan pushed by Cruz, Lee and House conservatives is implausible. Fine … but then, what is the establishment’s plausible plan?

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Defund Obamacare!

September 19th, 2013 - 4:11 pm

Grassroots pressure from conservatives has induced the House Republican leadership to permit a vote on a continuing resolution that defunds Obamacare. That is excellent news.

For spearheading the move to defund the (Not Remotely) Affordable Care Act, intrepid Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Mike Lee (R-UT) have been scalded by the usual ruling class crowd of GOP establishment leaders and Obama administration officials. Yet public resistance to a law the public has never liked – and about which the public grows increasingly anxious as its deleterious consequences and exploding costs begin to materialize – has forced leadership’s hand even as it demonstrates, yet again, the divide between the Beltway and the country.

The objections to the defunding strategy are as unconvincing as they are feckless. Naysayers argue that President Obama will never sign a bill to fund government operations that slashes his signature achievement. Thus, the argument goes, defunding can only result in a government shutdown for which, thanks to Obama’s slavish media, Republicans will be blamed. Also trotted out, of course, is the bromide the GOP establishment chants to rationalize its supine posture whenever opportunities arise to oppose Obama’s hard Left agenda: “We only control one-half of one-third of the government, so we cannot dictate policy.”

Resistance is futile, in other words, so why resist at all? It’s an ironic argument since it seems Republican leadership only resists when doing so is futile, when the resistance is token. Thus the prior votes to repeal Obamacare, all forty of them, taken in the comfortable knowledge that they had no chance of succeeding – just going through the motions in faux fulfillment of a commitment to the base to work tirelessly to undo the law. But when something might not be futile – when it could actually work, and therefore entails hard work and risk – we generally find leadership in folderoo mode, babbling its one-half-of-one-third mantra.

Defunding could work for several reasons. First it puts the lie to the one-half-of-one-third blather. The United States Constitution does not set up government by percentage; it sets up government by enumerated power. The capacity of the respective branches to shape policy is not a function of how many of the branches a political party controls and by how much. It is a function of the subject matter of the policy in question. The president is only one-third of the government, but he is commander-in-chief, and if the issue is war strategy, he has policy primacy – it is immaterial whether the opposition party has a lock on Congress and the courts. Similarly, if the issue is adjudication of a constitutional case, it matters not whether we have a Republican president and 535 Republicans in Congress – the tune can be called by five left-wing Democrats in robes (or roughly one-half of one-third of the government).

When it comes to spending, Congress has primacy, and pride of place rests with the House (the one-half of one-third Republicans control) because the Constitution mandates that spending bills originate in the lower chamber – the one closest to the people. Equally important, the hard jobs in government are the ones where an officeholder has to do something. It is a lot easier when all that’s necessary is to refuse to act. Spending requires a positive act by Congress – not a thin dime may be spent unless Congress approves. That is, there can be no spending on Obamacare unless Congress votes to approve it. Thus, the one-half-of-one-third crowd is in the driver’s seat. All they need to do is say, “No.” It is President Obama who needs action here – congressional Republicans need only decline to act.

And by the way, if Republicans do act, if they vote to fund Obamacare, then they are for Obamacare. Don’t let them fool you with meaningless “repeal” votes. Repeal – i.e., changing the law – is a positive act; unlike refusing to spend money, it cannot be accomplished simply by saying no. Just as President Obama needs Republicans to get his spending, Republicans would need the president (or substantial cooperation from congressional Democrats) to get their repeal. This, we all know, they will never get – there will be no repeal until an election or two drastically changes the landscape. But spending is another story – and President Obama should be made to understand that it is just as hopeless to get Republican assent to spending on Obamacare as Republicans understand it is hopeless to get Obama’s assent on repeal.

In fact, defunding has a chance to work precisely because it is not an effort to repeal Obamacare. President Obama is a proud man. It is unreasonable to expect that he would ever sign a repeal, a complete surrender that would be tantamount to an admission of total failure. Defunding is not a complete victory for Republicans – Obamacare would still remain on the books as the law of the land.

Moreover, defunding is not all bad for Obama. Putting Obamacare to the side for a moment, there is no conservative who believes the federal government should be funded at current astronomical levels. To compare, in 2000, at the end of the Clinton presidency that Democrats speak of as an economic Golden Age, annual federal spending was around $1.76 trillion, roughly 18 percent of GDP. Today, spending has doubled ($3.5 trillion), hovering around a staggering 25 percent of GDP – and debt has tripled to $17 trillion (without accounting for tens of trillions more in unfunded liabilities). Conservatives want spending slashed at least back to Clinton levels. Yet, for purposes of the Obamacare defunding battle, conservatives are agreeing to fund the rest of the government at the current absurd heights just to make the political point that if the government shuts down, it is Obama’s doing.

Obama is talking a brave game right now about how he won’t even entertain a budget that erases Obamacare – he vows a veto and a shutdown. But his political position is untenable, even with the media carrying his water. He will be grinding things to a halt to force Obamacare on the public even though he himself has slashed Obamacare for the benefit of big business and members of Congress. By agreeing to fund the rest of government, Republicans allow Obama a face-saving out: He can tell his base he preserved record-spending on social welfare programs, and that while Obamacare has been delayed, it is still the law and he will be back pushing for funding it in next year’s budget when the executive branch is more prepared to implement it.

That’s why I’m betting he’ll cave.

Conservatives, of course, will not pretend that we don’t want Obamacare repealed or that we would not regard defunding as a sweet, albeit transitory, victory. Nevertheless, defunding is simply not repeal. Whether one hoped defunding would merely be a delay in implementation (as the Left would) or the first step toward eradication (as conservatives would), it would actually be a concession to reality, propriety, and equal protection under the law.

Reality because the law is not close to being ready for prime time. Obama has already conceded this point by selectively waiving – better to say: dubiously claiming the power to waive – the law’s implementation. He has massively defunded Obamacare by suspending the employer mandate. He has also gutted the verification requirements imposed on state health insurance “exchanges” (which are designed to verify the income of enrollees and whether they are already covered by employers) – a fiat that invites fraud certain to subject the program to billions of dollars in costs. And he has removed sundry Obamacare burdens that would otherwise be imposed on hundreds of his favored interest groups. Most disgracefully, this includes the ruling class itself: Congress critters and their staffers have been relieved of what would otherwise be a rescission of their $5,000 to $11,000 taxpayer health-insurance subsidy – once again, unlike the government, we mere peons will have to figure out a way to live within our means.

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I don’t know who is more shocked about this, me or Huma Abedin, but it turns out that a former top Clinton Foundation official is also … a senior Muslim Brotherhood official who has just been arrested for – you’ll never guess – inciting violence in Egypt. Not to worry, I’m sure it was only moderate violence.

The Washington Free Beacon’s Adam Kredo reports on Gehad [as in Jihad] el-Haddad:

A senior Muslim Brotherhood official who, until recently, had been employed by the William J. Clinton Foundation was arrested in Cairo on Tuesday and charged with inciting violence.

Gehad el-Haddad served as one of the Muslim Brotherhood’s top communications officials until Egyptian security forces seized him as part of a wider crackdown on officials loyal to ousted former President Mohamed Morsi.

Before emerging as a top Brotherhood official and adviser to Morsi, el-Haddad served for five years as a top official at the Clinton Foundation, a nonprofit group founded by former President Bill Clinton.

El-Haddad gained a reputation for pushing the Muslim Brotherhood’s Islamist agenda in the foreign press, where he was often quoted defending the Brotherhood’s crackdown on civil liberties in Egypt.

He was raised in a family of prominent Brotherhood supporters and became the public face of the Islamist organization soon after leaving his post at the Clinton Foundation. However, much of his official work with the Brotherhood took place while he was still claiming to be employed by the Clinton Foundation.

Funny how that works. As I’ve previously recounted, Ms. Abedin began working for then-First Lady Hillary Clinton while simultaneously (a) working at an Islamist journal with top al Qaeda financier Abdullah Omar Naseef (the funding device, a “charity” called the Rabita Trust, which Naseef ran with al Qaeda founder Wael Jalaidan, is a designated terrorist organization under U.S. law); and (b) serving on the executive board of the Muslim Students Association’s George Washington University chapter. (The Muslim Students Association is the first building block of the Brotherhood’s American infrastructure, and the late, unlamented al Qaeda operative Anwar al-Awlaki – an MSA alum, like Morsi, Jalaidan and Ms. Abedin – was the “chaplain” at the GWU chapter at the same time he was providing, er, spiritual advice to some of the eventual 9/11 suicide-hijackers).

Adam Kredo’s report goes on to explain that Gehad el-Haddad’s placement in the Morsi inner-circle was a natural because of family ties: el-Haddad’s father was a top foreign policy adviser to Morsi, the Brotherhood leader, America-basher, anti-Semite, and now-ousted Egyptian president.

Small world: Ms. Abedin’s parents (her mother and late father) have also been prominent Brotherhood figures. In fact, besides running the journal founded by Naseef, Ms. Abedin’s mother, Saleha Mahmood Abedin, is reportedly a member of the Muslim Sisterhood … as is Morsi’s wife. Mrs. Abedin also runs a sharia promotion organization called the International Islamic Committee for Woman and Child (IICWC), which is part of another group, the International Islamic Council for Dawa and Relief (IICDR), that has been banned in Israel for providing material support to Hamas (the Brotherhood’s Palestinian terrorist branch). Both IICWC and IICDR operate under the umbrella of Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi’s Union of Good. Sheikh Qaradawi is the Brotherhood’s chief jurist and has issued fatwas endorsing suicide bombings in Israel and the killing of American troops in Iraq – and his Union of Good is a designated terrorist organization under U.S. law.

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Has sharia accommodation in England reduced the Magna Carta to a dead letter? The question presses thanks to the ruling of a Crown Court in London that permits a Muslim woman under indictment for witness intimidation to wear a niqab – a veil which makes only her eyes visible to observers – during her trial.

The ruling is a compromise. The defendant will be shielded from public and media view; her face will be observable, however, to the trial jury, as well as the judge and lawyers in the case.

As Robin Shepherd of contends, this resolution disserves the bedrock principle of equal protection under the law. All other citizens will be forced to endure the public examination attendant to being accused of crime – only Muslim women are given this safe-harbor. Shepherd roots his argument in Western tradition. On that account, he might have added that the niqab itself is a powerful statement of the anti-equality principles that undergird sharia, providing another reason why Western legal systems should resist its principles.

Moreover, the argument here is not just about tradition but about the practical administration of justice. The courts in a free society belong to the public and dispense justice in the public’s name. Trial proceedings are presumptively public for that reason and, just as important, because openness to the public and the press acts as a check encouraging faithful and effective performance by the trial participants, including the jury. The administration of justice – which in this instance promotes accurate judgments about a witness’s credibility – obviously outweighs any individual’s interest in concealing his or her face.

The requirement that a witness’s face be observed, like the requirement that a person’s face be visible in a photograph for a lawfully required identification document (e.g., a passport or driver’s license), is generally applicable to all persons and neutral on the matter of religion – its terms do not single out believers for hostile treatment and it was patently not enacted out of hostility toward any sect. Civil society and equal protection require that such basic laws be applied to everyone, equally.

That is not something to compromise about. The compromising is done in the legislative process; if they are lawfully enacted, that should be the end of the matter. And even if, for argument’s sake, it were worth compromising for some reasons, it should never be worth compromising with sharia, an anti-liberty system, particularly in connection with one of its anti-equality provisions, such as dress codes for women.

Myopic focus on alleged chemical weapons use by the Assad regime in Syria is wrongheaded, as it has been all along. The salient issue is whether the United States should intervene militarily on behalf of enemies of the United States — the “rebel” factions, in which ties to al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood run deep. If chemical weapons use, rather than American national security, is to be our obsession, however, it is worth remembering al Qaeda’s history in that regard.

In 1998, the Clinton Justice Department filed its initial indictment against Osama bin Laden for conspiring to carry out mass-damage attacks against American national defense facilities. Included was the allegation that:

At various times from at least as early as 1993 USAMA BIN LADEN and others known and unknown, made efforts to produce chemical weapons …

Th filing also claimed that al-Qaeda had reached “an understanding” with the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein that included cooperation “on weapons development.”

Following the August 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, the Justice Department broadly expanded the indictment, adding numerous other al-Qaeda defendants and new charges. The new indictment charged that “[a]t various times from at least as early as 1993, the defendant USAMA BIN LADEN, and others known and unknown, made efforts to obtain the components of chemical weapons.” It further explained that a key bin Laden aide, Wadi el-Hage, had engaged in:

… international travels [that] concerned efforts to procure chemical weapons and their components on behalf of Usama Bin Laden and Mamdouh Mahmud Salim [another of al Qaeda’s founding members].

Because al-Qaeda was so committed to acquiring chemical weapons for the purpose of using them offensively against the United States and the West, chemical weapons became a central focus of Clinton administration counterterrorism — a focus that has been maintained in subsequent administrations. The 9/11 Commission Report details these efforts and the rationale behind them.

Thus, following the 1998 embassy bombings, the Commission recounted that President Clinton decided to authorize cruise missile strikes against the al Shifa facility in Sudan — ostensibly, a pharmaceutical plant — in order to “lessen the chance of Bin Laden’s having nerve gas for a later attack.” The Commission elaborated:

The CIA reported that a soil sample from the vicinity of the al Shifa plant had tested positive for EMPTA, a precursor chemical for VX, a nerve gas whose lone use was for mass killing. Two days before the embassy bombings, [Clinton White House counterterrorism adviser Richard] Clarke’s staff wrote that Bin Ladin “has invested in and almost certainly has access to VX produced at a plant in Sudan.” … [Clinton national security adviser Sandy] Berger has told us that he thought about what might happen if the decision went against hitting al Shifa, and nerve gas was used in a New York subway two weeks later. [Footnotes omitted.]

After the bombing, the Islamic supremacist government of Sudan — a notorious al-Qaeda enabler — steadfastly denied that anything nefarious had been going on at al Shifa. Nevertheless, the Commission reported: “President Clinton, Vice President Gore, Berger, [CIA director George] Tenet, and Clarke insisted to us that their judgment was right, pointing to the soil sample evidence.” The Commission added that Clinton seriously considered additional military action in 1999 because the government received “a flurry of ominous reports about chemical weapons training or development at the Derunta camp [al-Qaeda maintained in Afghanistan] and possible attempts to amass nuclear material at Herat [another al-Qaeda hub in Afghanistan].”

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A pogrom against Christians — torching Churches and killing believers — is perfectly consistent with the Muslim Brotherhood’s Islamic supremacist ideology. But there are many despicable things, consistent with that ideology, that are not on display at the moment. By contrast, the Brothers and their sympathizers are very consciously and very publicly besieging Christians due to a key tactical calculation: In Egypt, framing a dispute as “Islam v. the Enemies of Islam” works.

The pogrom tells us more about Egypt than it does about the Brotherhood. It is convenient to make the Brothers into the all-purpose villain here, and to comfort ourselves in the notion that if they could be defeated our problems would be solved. But doing so misses the main point: the Muslim Brotherhood is a product of Egypt’s Islamic supremacist culture, not the other way around. The Brothers are an effect, not a cause.

Have you seen the other news coming out of Egypt the last few days? For all the blather about how the armed forces were responding to “the will of the people” in ousting Morsi, polling now shows that only 26 percent of Egyptians support the military coup, with a whopping 63 percent against it. This reaffirms what I contend in Spring Fever: The Illusion of Islamic Democracy — Egypt is a substantially Islamic supremacist country, a fact the mainstream media is obscuring by myopically focusing on the quarter of the population that is not. (As Egypt has a population of 84 million, and its decidedly minority secular elements tend to live in the cities, it is an easy thing for the media to make about 20 million people look like a groundswell.) Remember, this is the same Egypt that only eight months ago approved a sharia constitution by a two-to-one landslide. The spread in the polling that shows deep opposition to Morsi’s removal mirrors what we’ve seen in the several elections since Hosni Mubarak’s toppling in early 2011: The Islamic supremacist position is favored, usually by somewhere between a two-to-one and a four-to-one margin.

Meanwhile, even the “Tamarod movement” — the campaign that the media laughably portrays as the emerging secular, progressive Egyptian majority — wants to cancel the peace treaty with Israel. And the Egyptian press reports (e.g., here) that the new Egyptian constitution being drafted by the transitional government installed by the armed forces will maintain the former constitution’s Article 2, which establishes Islam as the state religion and enshrines sharia as “the main source of legislation.” Any attempt to repeal or alter those provisions in favor of commitments to equality and the protection of minority rights would result in exactly the murderous rioting and attacks on Christians that we are seeing now.

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