BEN WEINGARTEN

Reader. Writer. Thinker. Commentator. Truth Seeker.

Tag: Muslim Brotherhood

John Bolton Rattles the Muslim Brotherhood Echo Chamber

In The Federalist, I write that Ambassador John Bolton’s appointment as National Security Advisor (NSA) is rattling the Muslim Brotherhood echo chamber.

Indeed, attacks on the former ambassador have inadvertently served as some of his strongest endorsements.

One of the largely overlooked but truly revelatory areas of criticism concern Bolton’s positions on Islamic supremacism, which reflect an understanding that jihadists pose a mortal threat that must be countered using every element of national power. You know these attacks are meaningful because they have been made under cover of a smear campaign.

Bolton has been castigated in a flurry of articles as an “Islamophobe” for the thought crime of being a counterjihadist who supports other counterjihadists.

“Islamophobe” is being lobbed at Bolton to try and discredit him and ultimately scuttle policies he supports intended to strike at the heart of Islamic supremacism. The “tell” is that the articles raising such accusations frequently cast counterjihadist policy positions themselves as de facto evidence of Islamophobic bigotry.

As the representative par excellence of the position that America should exit the Iran deal, it should come as no surprise that the Iran deal echo chamber in exile has sprung into action in savaging the ambassador with the most outlandish of insinuations. For the Islamophobia campaign, the lesser-recognized and perhaps more insidious Muslim Brotherhood echo chamber has been re-activated. Bolton is on record as supporting its designation as a terrorist organization, and Brotherhood apologists and true believers cannot abide this.

In The Federalist I expose this smear campaign — a campaign led by a Muslim Brotherhood echo chamber that previously proved successful in apparently dissuading the Trump administration from designating the Brotherhood a terrorist organization — and suggest that the administration should not concede one inch to the Brotherhood and its backers in the national security and foreign policy establishment. Further, I suggest that the specious and slanderous slurs leveled at Bolton precisely because of his keen understanding of the Islamic supremacist threat reflects all the better on his appointment as NSA.

Listen to the London Center ‘Grand Strategy Podcast’ on National Security and Foreign Affairs

Believing firmly that there is a lack of rich audio content on national security and foreign affairs, London Center for Policy Research President Herb London and I decided to launch the “London Center Grand Strategy Podcast.”

Each biweekly podcast features vigorous discussion on vital issues of American national interest, covering critical events around the globe with an eye towards threats and opportunities, and a grounding in history and political philosophy.

In our latest episode, Episode 3, which you can find at top of this post, we discuss the appointment of John Bolton as national security advisor, what Kim Jong-un really means by “denuclearization,” comprehensive efforts to counter China, the importance of information warfare, the expulsion of Russian agents from the West and much more.

If you like what you hear, please consider subscribing on iTunes (you can also subscribe at Google Play and Stitcher or grab the RSS at Libsyn).

If you really like what you hear, please give us a five-star rating and kindly write us a review.

Our first two episodes are below:

20 Foreign Policy Questions For the 2016 Republican Presidential Field

With the race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination officially under way, I thought it apt to share a set of questions on foreign policy — an area in which it is vital that each candidate distinguish himself given the size and scope of the threats we face.

Below are 20 questions the next commander-in-chief will likely be grappling with, and should be able to answer cogently, consistently and comprehensively.

The responses to these queries would serve to elucidate the first principles of each of the potential nominees, and create a clear contrast in terms of their goals, strategies and tactics with respect to protecting and furthering America’s interests both at home and abroad.

1) Define your general foreign policy doctrine, and explain how it will differ from that of President George W. Bush.

2) How should America respond to the metastasization of Sunni and Shiite jihadists in the Middle East?

3) What do you believe would be the consequences of a hegemonic Iran in the region, and what steps might you take to counter her?

4) In the event of a nuclear arms race triggered by Iran, what if anything would you do as president?

5) Will you stand in the way if Israel acts unilaterally to destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities?

6) What is in America’s national interest with respect to Syria, and how do you intend to achieve it?

7) Do you believe it a sound policy to arm Muslim groups in the Middle East given the historically negative consequences for the West?

8) What is/are the key lesson(s) of the Iraq War?

9) What is/are the key lesson(s) of Libya?

10) Do you believe the Muslim Brotherhood and its violent and non-violent proxies both in the Middle East and the West pose a direct threat to the United States and her interests, and how will you counter the group’s growing influence?

Continue reading at TheBlaze…

Egyptian President Crushes Jihadists While Obama Coddles Them

Few Americans would want to live under the rule of General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Egypt’s authoritarian president. But on the other hand, neither would any jihadist.

An Egyptian administrative court recently upheld the nation’s Ministry of Religious Endowment’s decision to shutter 27,000 mosques deemed most supportive of jihadism.

Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, President of Egypt, speaks during the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters, Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014. (Credit: AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, President of Egypt, speaks during the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters, Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014. (Credit: AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

This marks the latest in a series of steps taken by the Sisi regime to cripple terrorists.

Such actions evince an attitude and approach toward countering the threat of Islamic supremacism entirely counter to that espoused by the Obama administration.

Consider four critical areas in which Presidents Sisi and Obama have taken opposing sides:

Defining the Threat

President Sisi has very publicly criticized Islam — linking it to jihadist destruction and backwardness in the Arab world. President Barack Obama has made every effort to de-link Islam from Islamic terror, arguing that Islam itself, not its reformation, is essential to combatting jihadism.

During a December 2014 speech at the seat of Sunni Islamic learning, Al-Azhar University in Cairo, President Sisi stated:

It is inconceivable that the ideology we sanctify should make our entire nation a source of concern, danger, killing, and destruction all over the world. It is inconceivable that this ideology… I am referring not to “religion,” but to “ideology” – the body of ideas and texts that we have sanctified in the course of centuries, to the point that challenging them has become very difficult.

It has reached the point that [this ideology] is hostile to the entire world. Is it conceivable that 1.6 billion [Muslims] would kill the world’s population of seven billion, so that they could live [on their own]? This is inconceivable…You cannot see things clearly when you are locked [in this ideology]. You must emerge from it and look from outside, in order to get closer to a truly enlightened ideology. You must oppose it with resolve. Let me say it again: We need to revolutionize our religion.

In a less-noticed interview with Der Spiegel in February of this year, President Sisi stated:

Continue reading at TheBlaze…

An interview with the man who literally wrote the book on impeaching President Obama, former fed prosecutor Andrew McCarthy

We conducted an interview with former federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy, author of the new book, “Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment,” in which we covered a number of controversial issues, including the case for impeaching President Obama, the Bowe Bergdahl terrorist exchange, Benghazi and Hillary Clinton, and the government’s efforts to chill free speech.

The below reflects a transcript of the interview, conducted via phone, which is slightly modified for clarity and links.

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Who is “Faithless Execution” intended for, and why should both President Obama’s critics and proponents pick it up?

McCarthy: The book is intended for the public broadly, because I really thought and continue to think that there is a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding generally about what the standards are for removal of a president from power, what the wages are of having a lawless president, and what the arsenal is that Congress has to respond to it. It seems that there’s a lot of frustration on the part of people with the fact that the president doesn’t seem to be bound by the law, or certainly doesn’t take himself to be bound by the law, and people seem very frustrated that there doesn’t seem to be much that can be done about it. And point of fact, there’s a lot that can be done about it, but there is a lot of ignorance and misinformation out there about what the remedies are. So, what I hope the book will be is a corrective for people in general about what ways presidential lawlessness threatens the Republic, and what responses the Framers put in place that we could use to combat it.

The central point of your book hinges on the notion that impeachment is both a legal but more importantly political remedy. Thus, despite the merits of the case against President Obama, all is moot without their being broad political support for such proceedings. Can you expand on the thesis, explain why impeachment is primarily a political remedy, and provide a little bit of the history behind impeachment itself? 

McCarthy: Impeachment has two components. There’s a legal component to it in the sense that the Constitution has a threshold or a standard that applies to presidential malfeasance or maladministration – I guess maladministration is a better term because the Framers weren’t just concerned about corrupt behavior – they were concerned about a president who was in over his head so gross ineptitude even if it was well-meaning was something they were very concerned about simply because the presidency that they created was so powerful, and had so much potential to harm the republic that they were concerned about having someone who was unsuited in that position – whether it was unsuited because of corruption or simply because of reasons of incompetence. They had a straightforward legal test for what would be required to remove a president. Treason and bribery are straightforward enough – they’re actual crimes that have a lot of history and people understand them. The thing that people generally have some confusion about are high crimes and misdemeanors, and maybe it’s because of the phrase itself because it mentions “crimes and misdemeanors,” so people naturally think of penal statutes where Congress has enacted laws that qualify as felony criminal offenses or misdemeanor offenses. And that’s not what high crimes and misdemeanors is really about at all.

What the framers discussed when they adopted this standard — and it was very much on their mind because they were all men of the world, they were all men who followed current events, many of them were steeped in British law — at the time the Constitution was being debated in the Convention in Philadelphia in 1787, the impeachment trial of Warren Hastings was ongoing in England, where Edmund Burke had led the effort in Parliament to have him impeached on the basis of high crimes and misdemeanors, so it was a phrase, and a term that was very well known to the Framers. And what it really means is, as Hamilton put it, political wrongs, or the offenses of public officials in whom high public trust is vested. So, it doesn’t have to be statutory offenses, and in many ways it’s easier to understand it in terms of the military justice system rather than the civilian penal justice system because it embraces concepts like dereliction of duty, conduct unbecoming of an officer, and the like. It really is about a breach of trust and there is no more trust in our system than what’s reposed in the president, who by the way is the only one in the government who constitutionally is required to take an oath of office of the kind that’s spelled out in the constitution, which requires him to swear to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution. The failure to do that, more than any statutory offense, was something the Framers were much more concerned about.

So the legal test of high crimes and misdemeanors is pretty straightforward. If you have situations where the president violates the trust of the American people by undermining our system and its checks and balances, those would qualify as high crimes and misdemeanors. A president who is dishonest with the public or dishonest in reporting important matters of foreign affairs to Congress and the like would be guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors. A president who is derelict in his duties as commander-in-chief is guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors even though there is no penal offense in the federal code that would match up with that. But the Framers were also very concerned that impeachment not be the result of partisan hackery, trivial offenses, or matters of factions (so the president’s part of one faction, Congress is controlled by another, and they can impeach him just for those political and power reasons).

Read more at TheBlaze…

 

America’s Submission to Islam and the Censorship of the Left

By now you are likely aware of the recent events at Brandeis University.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, an Islamic apostate with a fatwa on her head, a fearless critic of Islam and a stalwart defender of women’s rights was slated to receive an honorary degree and deliver a commencement address at Brandeis. The degree was summarily revoked due to “past statements…inconsistent with Brandeis University’s core values.”

Ayaan Hirsi Ali. (Image Source: Getty/Michel Baret/Gamma-Rapho)

Ayaan Hirsi Ali. (Image Source: Getty/Michel Baret/Gamma-Rapho)

Many folks have admirably opined on this matter:

John Podhoretz spoke with a candor sorely lacking in this age of intolerant “tolerance,” when he said that the decision by Brandeis President Fred Lawrence was “nothing less than the act of a gutless, spineless, simpering coward.”

Charles Cooke spoke incisively to the irony of the situation that Ms. Ali was targeted despite tending “to side with a favored group — women — against a favored foe — religion,” in one of the “peculiar outcomes” of the “Left’s hierarchy of victims.”

Professor Jay Bergman spoke passionately to the hypocrisy of the matter in light of the honorary degrees awarded to Tony Kushner and Desmond Tutu despite their respective anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic remarks, seemingly in direct conflict with the school’s “core values.”

All of these critiques are legitimate, but what underlies them is something more fundamental: dhimmitude.

Dhimmis are non-Muslim citizens living as second-class citizens under an Islamic state, subjected to various social, political, and economic restrictions, along with a tax called a jizya. Dhimmitude is a phrase coined by author Bat Ye’or to reflect as one author puts it, “an attitude of concession, surrender and appeasement towards Islamic demands.”

What Brandeis did in caving to the likes of CAIR (Council of Islamic Relations) — an unindicted co-conspirator with Hamas in the 2007 Holy Land Foundation case — whose primary work seems to be to smear as “Islamophobes” and drown out all those critical of Islam (including abused Muslim women themselves), along with Brandeis’ Muslim Students Association (MSA), an organization which  was founded in America by Muslim Brotherhood members in 1963, represents nothing less than the epitome of Western dhimmitude.

Continue reading at TheBlaze…

Free Speech in Name Only

The cruel irony of what happened to Maria Conchita Alonso this past week lies in the following: Here was a woman descended from Communist Cuba, who emigrated to the United States from Communist Venezuela, only to find herself a victim of the more insidious totalitarianism of a monolithic Leftist artistic establishment.

For those unfamiliar, Maria Conchita Alonso is a Cuban-born, Venezuelan-raised actress who had the temerity to endorse a conservative gubernatorial candidate in California. Even worse, in an interview she said she supported candidate Tim Donnelley’s views on immigration, using the term “illegal” to describe immigrants who were here…well…illegally.

Maria Conchita Alonso with candidate Tim Donnelly. (Image source: YouTube raw video)

The penalty for her thought crime? Alonso was compelled to “resign” from her role in a Spanish-Language version of the “Vagina Monologues” set to run in San Francisco’s Mission District in mid-February.

Eliana Lopez, the producer of the show, and herself a fellow Venezuelan actress, said “We really cannot have her in the show, unfortunately…Of course she has the right to say whatever she wants. But we’re in the middle of Mission. Doing what she is doing is against what we believe.”

Stated differently, here was a Hispanic woman telling another Hispanic woman that her views on Hispanic immigration were too odious to be given sanction by a role in a performance. Apparently not all wise Latina women are born equal.

Maria Conchita Alonso is just the latest in a series of victims of the Left’s fatwa against anyone who does not hew to the party line in recent years.

Continue reading at TheBlaze…

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