• Pragerisms

    For a more comprehensive list of Pragerisms visit
    Dennis Prager Wisdom.

    • "The left is far more interested in gaining power than in creating wealth."
    • "Without wisdom, goodness is worthless."
    • "I prefer clarity to agreement."
    • "First tell the truth, then state your opinion."
    • "Being on the Left means never having to say you're sorry."
    • "If you don't fight evil, you fight gobal warming."
    • "There are things that are so dumb, you have to learn them."
  • Liberalism’s Seven Deadly Sins

    • Sexism
    • Intolerance
    • Xenophobia
    • Racism
    • Islamophobia
    • Bigotry
    • Homophobia

    A liberal need only accuse you of one of the above in order to end all discussion and excuse himself from further elucidation of his position.

  • Glenn’s Reading List for Die-Hard Pragerites

    • Bolton, John - Surrender is not an Option
    • Bruce, Tammy - The Thought Police; The New American Revolution; The Death of Right and Wrong
    • Charen, Mona - DoGooders:How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help
    • Coulter, Ann - If Democrats Had Any Brains, They'd Be Republicans; Slander
    • Dalrymple, Theodore - In Praise of Prejudice; Our Culture, What's Left of It
    • Doyle, William - Inside the Oval Office
    • Elder, Larry - Stupid Black Men: How to Play the Race Card--and Lose
    • Frankl, Victor - Man's Search for Meaning
    • Flynn, Daniel - Intellectual Morons
    • Fund, John - Stealing Elections
    • Friedman, George - America's Secret War
    • Goldberg, Bernard - Bias; Arrogance
    • Goldberg, Jonah - Liberal Fascism
    • Herson, James - Tales from the Left Coast
    • Horowitz, David - Left Illusions; The Professors
    • Klein, Edward - The Truth about Hillary
    • Mnookin, Seth - Hard News: Twenty-one Brutal Months at The New York Times and How They Changed the American Media
    • Morris, Dick - Because He Could; Rewriting History
    • O'Beirne, Kate - Women Who Make the World Worse
    • Olson, Barbara - The Final Days: The Last, Desperate Abuses of Power by the Clinton White House
    • O'Neill, John - Unfit For Command
    • Piereson, James - Camelot and the Cultural Revolution: How the Assassination of John F. Kennedy Shattered American Liberalism
    • Prager, Dennis - Think A Second Time
    • Sharansky, Natan - The Case for Democracy
    • Stein, Ben - Can America Survive? The Rage of the Left, the Truth, and What to Do About It
    • Steyn, Mark - America Alone
    • Stephanopolous, George - All Too Human
    • Thomas, Clarence - My Grandfather's Son
    • Timmerman, Kenneth - Shadow Warriors
    • Williams, Juan - Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America--and What We Can Do About It
    • Wright, Lawrence - The Looming Tower

Stratfor: Crisis……The Egyptian Military Options

“The decision by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak not to resign seems to have shocked both the Egyptian military and Washington. CIA Director Leon Panetta spoke earlier as if his resignation was assured and a resolution to the crisis was guaranteed. Sources in Cairo spoke the same way. How the deal came apart, or whether Mubarak decided that transferring power to Vice President Omar Suleiman was sufficient cannot be known. What is known is that Mubarak did not do what was expected.

This now creates a massive crisis for the Egyptian military. Its goal is not to save Mubarak but to save the regime founded by Gamal Abdel Nasser. We are now less than six hours from dawn in Cairo. The military faces three choices. The first is to stand back, allow the crowds to swell and likely march to the presidential palace and perhaps enter the grounds. The second choice is to move troops and armor into position to block more demonstrators from entering Tahrir Square and keep those in the square in place. The third is to stage a coup and overthrow Mubarak.

The first strategy opens the door to regime change as the crowd, not the military, determines the course of events. The second creates the possibility of the military firing on the protesters, which have not been anti-military to this point. Clashes with the military (as opposed to the police, which have happened) would undermine the military’s desire to preserve the regime and the perception of the military as not hostile to the public.

That leaves the third option, which is a coup. Mubarak will be leaving office under any circumstances by September. The military does not want an extraconstitutional action, but Mubarak’s decision leaves the military in the position of taking one of the first two courses, which is unacceptable. That means military action to unseat Mubarak as the remaining choice.

One thing that must be borne in mind is that whatever action is taken must be taken in the next six or seven hours. As dawn breaks over Cairo, it is likely that large numbers of others will join the demonstrators and that the crowd might begin to move. The military would then be forced to stand back and let events go where they go, or fire on the demonstrators. Indeed, in order to do the latter, troops and armor must move into position now, to possibly overawe the demonstrators.

Thus far, the military has avoided confrontation with the demonstrators as much as possible, and the demonstrators have expressed affection toward the army. To continue that policy, and to deal with Mubarak, the options are removing him from office in the next few hours or possibly losing control of the situation. But if this is the choice taken, it must be taken tonight so that it can be announced before demonstrations get under way Feb. 11 after Friday prayers.”

Comment:   From my chair looking at this screen, and I were head of the military, I would announce at 9:00 AM Friday morning that President Hosni Mubarak has agreed to relinquish his leadershp responsibilities to  (Someone in the military) who will be calling upon leading citizens to help write a  new constitution for the establishment of a Democratic Egypt.   

The military has a responsibility to protect Hosni Mubarak.   A proper wording should be respectful of the president’s retirement.

Democrats in a Room Together on their Famous Chicago City Plantation

Debate is the first to feature all 6 hopefuls

 Miguel del Valle reaches over Rahm Emanuel to shake hands with William “Dock” Walls during the Chicago Defender-sponsored mayoral debate Wednesday at the DuSable Museum. All six candidates were at the debate, including Gery Chico, left, Carol Moseley Braunand Patricia Van Pelt-Watkins. (Chris Sweda, Chicago Tribune / February 9, 2011)By John Chase, Tribune reporter

Rahm Emanuel found himself criticized on issues ranging from taxes to reparations for slavery Wednesday night during the first forum featuring all six candidates for Chicago mayor.

The former White House chief of staff mostly ignored the barbs, especially those from Gery Chico, former Chicago school board president. He contended that Emanuel would burden taxpayers with a service tax Emanuel has proposed as part of a plan that would include a quarter-point cut in the city sales tax.

Two other candidates, William “Dock” Walls and Patricia Van Pelt-Watkins, slammed Emanuel for his positions on tax increment financing districts and reparations.

Emanuel agreed with most candidates in supporting reparations for descendants of slavery, but said that all citizens need to keep in mind that the city has a significant budget deficit to tackle.

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Watkins, a community activist and one of three African-American candidates, said she was offended by Emanuel’s comments because the nation was built “on the backs” of slaves.

It’s unclear exactly what a mayor could do on the issue. Previous efforts at City Hall have been mostly symbolic.

The question came up at a debate hosted by the Chicago Defender newspaper at the DuSable Museum of African American History.

The candidates also discussed changes to TIF districts, with Walls hammering Emanuel’s plan to use the funds to hire more cops.

After the forum, candidate Miguel del Valle said a new Emanuel TV ad featuring President Barack Obama praising him as he left the White House was deceiving. Del Valle said the spot implies an endorsement, which hasn’t formally happened.

Carol Moseley Braun, Emanuel and del Valle showed up late because the forum, rescheduled because of last week’s blizzard, conflicted with one hosted by a coalition of gay rights groups. That forced the double-booked candidates to scramble from downtown to the South Side to appear at both events in an effort to reach out to two key constituencies — gay and black voters.

Emanuel has skipped most non-televised debates and forums.

Tribune reporter Kristen Mack contributed to this report.

My thanks to go Cole in California for this picture and article from the Chicago Tribune.

AN INTERVIEW WITH EVIL…..exposing the tyrany of Islam

I call this interview, AN INTERVIEW WITH EVIL. 

It could be that Amina Baghajati is such a true believer Islamacist, that she does not comprehend her own answers in the interview below.  It could be that she has never understood what freedom of speech entails; the vitality of a culture where its people can express what they believe to be true rather than rely on a Amina Baghajati to tell them  what is ‘true’…..and is such a case automatically makes Amina a tryant.

This following interview is from   the article, “A Dangerous Mindset” at Gates of Vienna, a blogsite center for European struggle against Islamic tyranny.   Ms. Baghajati, by her statements, suggests Europe before Martin Luther, where the religion of the day then in Europe required all Biblical truth to be ciphoned  through a priest for “guidance and understanding” for no individual had the right to think on such matters as good and evil on his own.   Democracy and the dignity it allows for its practitioners had not becomed grounded yet.   The Reformation was about to begin buoyed by better, quicker means of communication, the Reformation that made much of Christianity to morph into democratic life.

Read this interview carefully.  There is always a movement to control what is said and heard.   Ms. Baghajati represents one of the wealthiest and most tyrannically dangerous.  Read on to discovery why.

From the Gates of Vienna:

“Below is an interview with Amina Baghajati, a prominent Muslim in Austria, from typischich.at. The topic under discussion is the trial of Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff.

One can learn a lot about the politically correct zeitgeist in Austria from the questions asked, and the responses by Ms. Baghajati provide insights into the strategies employed by Austrian Muslims when exploiting that zeitgeist.

More Courage for Discourse About Islam

The trial against Islam critic, Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff for hate speech is going into its next round [on Tuesday February 15, 2011 — ed.]. A conversation with the spokeswoman for the Islamic religious community in Austria, Amina Baghajati, on the limits of freedom of expression, sharia, and desireable Islam criticism.

Mrs. Baghajati, where does freedom of speech end, in your opinion?

Where targeted misinformation or false information is used to arouse a majority against a minority.

This is what Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, the seminar leader of the Freedom Education Academy is being accused of. That is why she will be in court beginning January 18. What do you say to her philosophy?

She is suffering from selective perception. Only what agrees with her can be allowed into her view. Every positive contribution of Islam in the world could destroy her argument. So it is ignored.

What is your opinion of the trial?

She is abusing this trial as a forum for her hate speech, and to present a false interpretation of Islam as the truth.

This opportunity was given her by the court. Neither the judge nor the prosecutor seem to have prepared especially well for the trial. By his own account, the prosecutor listened to the audio tape of Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff’s Islam seminar — the basis of the charge — “only in excerpts.” What do you think of that?

I find it disturbing. This incitement is a serious subject. I would hope the court would see it the same way.

Do you notice an increase in hostility toward Islam in Austria?

We notice above all that a fringe group is spreading dangerously superficial knowledge about Islam which is finding its way noticeably into the mainstream. When Maria Fekter says, tolerance is a “no-go” in Islam, then we know where she got that, even if it is a gaffe. For years an “enemy image” of Islam has been built up in political circles. The constantly repeated word “Islamization” nurtures a fear that Muslims want to force all others to their belief. Unfortunately, in this country, there is glaring ignorance about Islam. That is why those who argue against it have free play with their selective perception and propagandistic misinformation.

Can you give us an example?

Perhaps the contention that genital mutilation of girls is an Islamic tradition. That is just false.

Is the Islamic religious community making moves against female genital mutilation?

Of course. We of the IGGÖ (Islamic Religious Community in Austria) have made great strides in past years, in the area of massively halting it. Not just at home and in Europe, but internationally and above all in the affected areas of Africa.

Islam critics talk of wanting to prevent the establishment of sharia in Europe. What do you say to that?

You see, no one knows what sharia really is. It is not an Islamic law book that you can buy in the bookstore. Translated, sharia means “the way to the water.” So, something that you get, but also have to keep fetching: a collection of answers to questions about the religious way of life in Islam. Which also includes the freedom to follow these statements or not. You must continually renew the dialogue with the questions of Islamic life. Sharia is a dynamic process — not static or written in stone — and above all sharia is not a synonym for “corporal punishment.” I know no one who wants to change the law here in Austria.

A legal system based on religious doctrine is out-of-date in Europe. If an Eastern politician says he wants to introduce sharia, what does he mean by that?

He means the same as Western politicians when they promise to exercise “Law-and-Order Policies.” Order, clear rules, more security for citizens.

How do Muslims in Austria feel?

Unfortunately, there is no official research on that, which we regret, for such data would be important. Naturally, we get a feeling of the ambience from members of the community who talk to us and want to express their frustration. In the labor market, we experience open discrimination against women with head-scarves. We encourage women to tell us things like that, since we often do not know that their human rights are being abused here. And we notice an increasing hysteria and revulsion. Things that were previously handled humanely are now approached more crassly.

Please, an example.

For instance, the hotel management schools. Previously, Muslim students could agree with the teachers on an interpersonal level that they would not have to taste the pork they had just cooked or drink any wine. Now there are forms that students or guardians have to fill out where they state their willingness, in the context of training, to consume pork and wine. Everything is more extreme, more radical. The dialogue is giving way to more and more rigid stances.

Various reports do not help much in coming to an understanding. The German periodical “Bild” reported that a teacher was discharged because she accidentally served pork to Muslim students. The school now has a general ban on pork.

This story was completely different than in the magazine! Actually, the teacher was not discharged and pork was not removed from the menu. The Turkish parents accepted her apology and the case for the school administration was closed. This is just hyping to make people hysterical. Just recently, a woman in Upper Austria started an e-mail campaign because Muslims allegedly wanted to forbid the greeting “Grüß Gott.” There have never been such nonsensical demands from us — as there has never been a demand to remove the crucifixes from classrooms. On the contrary. We have spoken out in support of these symbols in schools. And “Grüß Gott.” is a lovely greeting and completely in conformance with Islam!

It does not further international understanding when Muammar Ghaddafi says: “Islam should become the definitive religion in all of Europe.”

Yes, Mr. Ghaddafi…That is his opinion. In the European area at the imam conferences, we set a common line which emphasizes common goals far removed from this rhetoric. That is what we want to be measured by. Aside from that, as we do not usually interfere in the domestic affairs of other states, we also do not tolerate interference. in ours.

There is the impression that anyone who says something against Islam can expect violence.

Because all you ever see in the TV is a howling mob that is burning national flags, like some kind of cartoon fight. But the very intensive, higher level discourse taking place — those pictures are not shown in the West. Or the business with the canceled opera “Idomeneo” in 2006 in which the cut-off heads of Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha and Poseidon were shown. In her seminar, Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff gives the cancellation as an example of fear of Islam. What she did not say is that the Muslim central council in Germany quite clearly said “Perform the opera!” and representatives of the Islamic conference added their agreement, to make a point.

How do you feel about Islam criticism?

I hope to have more courage to practice discussing Islam. I find discussions important, even criticism. These are no soft-ball sessions. Different opinions should encounter one another; otherwise it is vapid and no one learns anything from it. For instance, when we talked about head-scarves, that was productive. Suddenly, people were concerned with the significance of self-determination; more than a piece of cloth was being discussed.

What bothers you most about contemporary Islam criticism?

Europe is at the point of giving up on the Enlightenment’s joy in rationality. No discourse takes place any more. Instead there is the broadcasting of populist slogans. Nobody questions any more. And that means a far worse cultural loss for Europe than a few more headscarves on the street.

Muslim groups in the Islam debate like to make comparisons with the anti-Semitism of the 1930s, which does not always encounter agreement.

But it is true. And if we wish to learn from history, then we need to be attentive to parallels in the construction of enemy stereotypes. We have the same hate rhetoric, the same polemics, the same ridicule of clothing and physical characteristics, the same mode of argumentation — that a certain religious group has instigated a world conspiracy for the takeover of power. We have seen all that before. So I consider the comparison with the anti-Semitism of the 1930s more than justified and vigilance is necessary. Otherwise, “Never again!”, which I support completely, sounds superficial.

Muslims in Austria put up with a lot: The demand for a minaret ban, internet games where you can shoot down clerics from a house of prayer, coarse election slogans. One could almost think that there is a conscious effort to provoke. Until now, the Muslim population has remained peaceful. How much longer?

It has been chiefly the Muslims who have been massively attacked and insulted in Austria. In the general fanning of panic, that is swept under the rug. But there are encouraging signs in the whole discussion which may help to prevent an escalation — for instance when Cardinal Schönborn visits a mosque with his Star Singers. Such signs make us very happy. And then there are many people during an emotionally charged election campaign who come up — shopping, in the subway — people I don’t know — and spontaneously assure me of their solidarity with me.

Critics complain that the Islamic community has not spoken out loudly enough on the terror attacks by fundamentalist groups. After the assassination attempt in Alexandria on January 1, the IGGÖ clearly expressed its revulsion. Is there a learning process among Islamic institutions?

The question is not whether we always condemn such bad and sorrowful events. We do. For many media, however, this is no longer “newsworthy” and is mostly reported only in specialized religious media or on our homepage (www.derisalm.at). Unfortunately, a long list can be read there, on Egypt as early as 2010.

But we must not forget that there are forces financed by millions of sources, which are establishing Islamic states and intend to drive Islam forward worldwide. What is your attitude to the political goals of these groups.

If you mean Al Qaida: I do not share these goals. I am disturbed by the human misery caused by terrorists and extremists for their own purposes. I am disturbed by how we Muslims are increasingly held hostage for that. And I am disturbed that such groups are completely indifferent to the bad image of Islam they are responsible for — it is even convenient for them. Because the Islamophobia directed at us confirms their enemy’s picture of the “evil West.” Here is where the Islam-haters and Islam-misusers shake hands — they seem to need each other. We must stop the mutual extremism.

Do you believe you are getting enough support from the Austrian political establishment?

I wish I could answer yes. But I cannot. My hope is in a broad, civil-social dialogue. “Nathan the Wise” was performed in Salzburg. There was also an invitation to a conversation about religion. Lessing wrote “Nathan” under the influence of the Koran, and I was happy to see that this was noted in the program. Lessing’s Ring Parable in the play is based on sura 5, verse 48: For each of you we have set out a law and a way of life. And if Allah had wished, he would have made you a community. But He wanted to test you in what he gave you. So compete with one another in good works. You will all return to Allah. Then he will tell you about what you are contesting.”

Who are you already getting support from and who would you like more from?

We get support from the churches. That makes us happy. When Strache was flourishing the cross, the Church reacted strongly. Bishop Bünker, a Protestant, defended our position in the minaret debate. Politically, the president supports us by urging measured speech. But otherwise? Hopefully politics today, where there is no election pending, is dealing more clearly with the subject.? Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff describes herself as a “mother and feminist.” Where is the comment from feminists on that? Do you really want to connect a person who spreads hate with feminism? And in Germany, we have Alice Schwarzer who plays the same tune as the right fringe. We still have the tender seedling of “interfeminist” dialogue. We should intensify conversations like that among women’s rights advocates of all backgrounds.

One of the main arguments of the opponents of Islam is the marriage — according to hadiths, one of the sacred writings of Islam — entered into with the six year-old Aisha and consummated when she was nine.

As far as this section about Aisha is concerned, there is new , scientific information. All of the historic references in the Koran and the hadiths were put into context. It came out that Aisha at the time of her marriage could not have been nine years old but was ten years older, that is 19. There was already some doubt about her age.

Why was the age given that way in the scriptures?

Anyone who gets involved in explaining Islam knows that the reports of a type which might supply role models out of the life of the Prophet are divided into categories: “correct.” “reputable” and “weak.” Contributory to that is consideration of the chain of transmission, whether there are many witnesses or one. The passage with Aisha’s marriage was passed on by one person — Hisham Ibn ‘Urwah, when he was in Iraq and already very old and his reports are considered unreliable. We cannot just say, what is there is law for every Muslim. Also, at the time the hadiths were written down, various interests were being pursued by various groups. A critical arrangement. to discover an evaluation with other religious sources in a larger context, is also necessary. Therefore, too, the division just mentioned, through which a revised arrangement in light of new information can be made.

Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff makes allegations like: “Muslims invoke the Koran, to abuse children” and gives as an example the Yemeni child bride Nujoud Ali.

As a European who claims the values of the Enlightenment, that makes me sick. I maintain: We are against forced marriage in principle — all the more of children! And in the Yemeni case, the (woman) lawyer who started the ball rolling, the judge who liberated Najoud from this dreadful marriage, the reporters who originally reported it — were all Muslims. Sabaditsch-Wolff does not mention that.

New subject: In Iran the age of marriage was raised to 13. However, it is still possible to marry a nine year-old girl with the permission of the father and a Muslim judge. Straight out: Is the Islamic community of Austria for or against the forced marriage of children?

Of course we are against it. Religious marriage arrangements with us in the IGGÖ are always done in conformance with the civil registry — as with the other recognized churches. What an Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff will never tell you is that marriage law was already reformed in the Ottoman Empire in the nineteenth century in the (reform period) tanzimat. Anyone under 17 who wanted to marry needed a special judicial permission. This is supposed to be the case in Yemen too, but obedience to the law was not overseen well enough. Information like that does not enter the world of the Islam haters, so it is ignored.

Islam opponents are gathered in politically influential groups, like the Wiener Akademikerbund (Federation of Viennese Academics) Does that worry you?

Naturally. Especially when you consider the manner of argument there. I was addressed at a meeting of representatives of the Akademikerbund. Pure hate radiated at me during the discussion. I was told: “This and this is in the Koran, so you have to believe exactly that.” I was half ordered what I had to believe! They explained what was in my head! It was incredible. And no matter what I said, it was brushed off, because Islam opponents do not believe us and always cry “taqiyya,” without even knowing what that means.

The concept “taqiyya” is described by Islam opponents as a mandate to lie to unbelievers, especially as concerns the true intentions of a Muslim in a non-Muslim society. Please define the word.

Lying is just as reprehensible in Islam as in any other culture. Only if someone were in mortal danger if revealed as a Muslim would he be allowed to lie and say: No, I am not a Muslim. That is what is called taqiyya. The Prophet Mohammed made this rule in the light of senseless martyr deaths, as they were customary in early Christianity, when people let themselves be executed, in order to gain entrance to heaven. With taqiyya, Mohammed wanted to prevent people senselessly becoming martyrs to the faith.

Again, about the Akademikerbund: the ÖVP expelled some of its members from the party.

Yes, but not until they demanded the removal of the National-Socialist Re-Engagement Clause. When it was only about Islam, they did not lift a finger. I was really frustrated in the most recent Viennese elections. Not one party openly opposed the FPÖ campaign. It was: Don’t touch it.

How does the Islamic religious community define “integration”?

The slogan of the IRGÖ is: “Integration through Participation.” But an Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff would give this slogan no chance and would replace the word “participation” with “infiltration.”

What would a conviction of Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff bring?

It would be a good sign as a signal against hate and persecution. But her followers
would inflate her to a martyr. It is scurrilous, but for that very reason so transparent, that it might have no negative results in the general discourse.

Where do you think this conflict will be in 5 years?

That depends on economic development. There are numerous studies that confirm
that discrimination, the search for a scapegoat, hatred for everything different always get worse when people are afraid because of their economic circumstances.

Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff’s network reaches far beyond Austria. Does that worry you?

These little groups all intertwine and feed each others’ dangerous mindset. It makes you ask: What is the agenda? What is behind the actions?

There are observers who say it comes from fundamentalist Christianity or at least from the rightist conservative Christian circles in the USA.

That is also our suspicion. That goes along with the affectation of calling themselves “saviors of freedom of speech, defenders of women’s rights,” etc. And people who don’t want to see Christianity in power any more than Islam should know that.”

Further comment:   In nearly every sentence what is said by this Islamist is untrue flatout, or a  distortion.   I am particularly amused at that last question immediately above her.  Oh my, the great evils of the World Wide Conservative American Christianity!

There is one measure a democracy cannot accept…..institutions whose purpose is to sabotage and destroy DEMOCRACY.   This woman should be confined to live the rest of her life in a Islamic kubbutz in the middle of Yemen……a kind of a joke….only sort of.

 

Clapper and the Politically Correct view of Muslim Brotherhood?

Allahpundit at HotAir caught the same video of DNI director, James Clapper,  shown by Megyn Kelly as I did, and was equally amazed at his senior moment, to be kind, regarding the Muslim Brotherhood’s personality over the years.  Clapper cannot be that dumb, so my guess is that he has been instructed to be soft on Islam and Islam’s Muslim Brotherhood….and this is the best he can do. 

Allahpundit writes:  “I’m looking for video (Megyn Kelly played a bit of it a little while ago) but for now Politico’s write-up will have to do. Remember this guy? He was the one who got the deer-in-the-headlights look back in December when Diane Sawyer asked what he thought of the London terror plot that had been busted a few hours earlier. His office said afterward that he hadn’t been briefed on it because he was tied up all day with the Korean standoff. Fair enough.

What’s the excuse this time?

In response to questioning from Rep. Sue Myrick (R-N.C.) about the threat posed by the group, Clapper suggested that the Egyptian part of the Brotherhood is not particularly extreme and that the broader international movement is hard to generalize about.

“The term ‘Muslim Brotherhood’…is an umbrella term for a variety of movements, in the case of Egypt, a very heterogeneous group, largely secular, which has eschewed violence and has decried Al Qaeda as a perversion of Islam,” Clapper said. “They have pursued social ends, a betterment of the political order in Egypt, et cetera…..In other countries, there are also chapters or franchises of the Muslim Brotherhood, but there is no overarching agenda, particularly in pursuit of violence, at least internationally.”

The Brotherhood uses the slogan, “Islam is the answer,” and generally advocates for government in accordance with Islamic principles. The movement has as a broad goal unifying what it perceives as Muslim lands, from Spain to Indonesia, as a “caliphate.”

Walid Phares reacted in disbelief when Kelly read him the quote on Fox; I’m told that when Richard Engel heard it on MSNBC, he called it a “head-snap moment” and proceeded to debunk it straightaway. (Hoping to get video of that, too.) This isn’t the first time an administration advisor has tried to whitewash the Brotherhood recently either. Bruce Riedel, who chaired the 2009 review of AfPak policy for the White House, was urging Daily Beast readers not to fear the Brotherhood all the way back on day three of the protests, before they had even broken really big yet. I warned you the next day that we’d be seeing more of that as Mubarak lost his grip: If, as it appears, regime change and democracy are a fact of life, the White House will want to make them seem as innocuous as possible to blunt any “who lost Egypt?” voter backlash here. And now here’s our very own DNI spinning like a gyroscope.

Read Tom Joscelyn’s response to Riedel about the Brotherhood as a corrective to Clapper’s comments. You’ll be pleased to know that this isn’t the only whitewash on the wires either: WaPo has an op-ed today from a member of the Brotherhood itself insisting that his group and the west needn’t be enemies. Although, interestingly, even he can’t quite bring himself to repeat Clapper’s falsehood:

Because we are an Islamic movement and the vast majority of Egypt is Muslim, some will raise the issue of sharia law. While this is not on anyone’s immediate agenda, it is instructive to note that the concept of governance based on sharia is not a theocracy for Sunnis since we have no centralized clergy in Islam. For us, Islam is a way of life adhered to by one-fifth of the world’s population. Sharia is a means whereby justice is implemented, life is nurtured, the common welfare is provided for, and liberty and property are safeguarded. In any event, any transition to a sharia-based system will have to garner a consensus in Egyptian society.

Exit question from John Pohoretz: Time for Clapper to go?

Update: Here’s the vid. Click the image to watch.

“What Does Berlin Have Against Ronald Reagan”…..Der Spiegel

By Florian Gathmann

Zoom
AP

US President Ronald Reagan at the Brandenburg Gate in 1987: “Mr. Gorbachav, tear down this wall!”

“A dispute has broken out in Germany’s capital over the best way to remember former US President Ronald Reagan. Conservatives in Berlin would like to see the renaming of a street or square in his honor. They allege, however, that the city’s left-wing government is hindering efforts to remember the conservative American leader.

John F. Kennedy has a school, a museum and a square named in his honor in Berlin. But Ronald Reagan just can’t seem to get any respect in the German capital. Despite his famous “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall” speech in 1987 at the Brandenburg Gate, the greatest honor given the 40th United States president is a mention in a historical diorama inside a subway station, a photograph in the city-state’s parliament and plans for a stele to be placed in his honor in a park.

Compared to Kennedy, Berlin has shown very little pride in a man who gave what some consider to be one of the most important speeches in the city’s history two and a half decades ago. On June 12, 1987, Reagan implored: “Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” Two and a half years later, on Dec. 22, 1989, the Soviet leader allowed precisely that to happen. The Wall was opened, as was the Brandenburg Gate.

Trailblazer for Reunification or Cold War Hawk?

That’s why many in Berlin see Reagan, who would have turned 100 last Sunday, as a trailblazer for German reunification. Indeed, some would like to see the city do more to publicly honor the man. In December, German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg proposed the idea, on behalf of his party, the conservative Christian Social Union, of placing an official commemorative plaque honoring Reagan on Pariser Platz, the square in front of the Brandenburg Gate. Guttenberg’s CSU is the Bavarian sister party to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union. The Berlin branch of the CDU, for its part, is calling for the renaming of a public square or a street in Reagan’s honor. But so far nothing has happened.

Reagan fans claim that the Berlin government, led by Mayor Klaus Wowereit of the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), and the Left Party, the successor to East Germany’s Communist Party, is doing everything it can to block any attempts to honor Reagan. But officials within the city government describe the allegation as absurd. “That is total nonsense,” said government spokesman Richard Meng. He said the city administration had first received a written request at the beginning of January to begin looking for suitable squares or streets that might be renamed after Reagan.

It’s a bizarre fight that is taking shape, but it is anything but original. Sources in the city-state’s government, the Senate, say that proposals for more Reagan in the capital are a “heart and soul issue for the conservatives.”

And is there not a slight whiff of truth to claims that the city’s leftist government has trouble with Ronald Reagan as a person? The Republican, who since his death from Alzheimer’s in 2004 has become the most popular US president ever, was considered by the German left during his two terms in office from 1980 to 1988 to be the personification of the Cold War. Reagan’s appearance in West Berlin in 1987 was not without risks. In adddition to the Cold War aspects, his message of Reaganomics was deeply unpopular with the city’s anti-capitalism movement. For West Berlin’s mayor at the time, Eberhard Diepgen, himself a conservative, Reagan’s visit was a political minefield that left the CDU man sweating.

Decades later, Reagan fans in Berlin believe that current Mayor Wowereit and his government are glossing over the issue to keep their party base happy.

Merkel Said to Be Irritated

Defense Minister Guttenberg has called the city government’s conduct “shameful.” During a Reagan commemorative event held at the former prison of East Germany’s Stasi secret police in Berlin on Monday night, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper reported, the CSU politician once again called for a memorial plaque to be placed in Reagan’s honor in front of the Brandenburg Gate and for ideological squabbles over the issue to be buried. Guttenberg said Chancellor Merkel also supports his idea and that she shares his “incomprehension” over the city’s handling of the issue.

The former president’s fans have also criticized Berlin for its official events commemorating what would have been Reagan’s 100th birthday. Together with US Ambassador to Germany Philip Murphy, Walter Momper, president of the city’s parliament, laid two wreaths under a portrait of Reagan in the city-state’s parliament building. A spokesperson for the Senate said the city had also sent a bouquet to the official commemorative ceremony in the United States.

But that doesn’t go far enough for the CDU’s state chapter in Berlin. Chapter head Frank Henkel said that Berlin should have held its own official commemorative event. He also accused Mayor Wowereit of avoiding finding any words of praise for Reagan. Henkel said it is now high time for “diginified gestures.”

They could soon follow, as well. The city councillor responsible for building and planning in western Berlin’s Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf district, Klaus-Dieter Gröhler, has now responded to the request by city officials to identify possible locations. His suggestion: Joachimstaler Platz, which is located near the city’s famous Café Kranzler and the Bahnhof Zoo train station, could become Ronald Reagan Square. The local district council could decide on the proposal by the CDU politician as early as Feb. 17.

In Berlin, the city’s district administrations also have a good degree of autonomy in decision-making. But even if the district council of Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf, which like the state of Berlin is ruled by a SPD-Left Party government, does vote in favor of renaming Joachimstaler Platz, it still faces another hurdle. For the past six years, an ordinance has been in place in the district requiring that any further name changes made to streets be made in honor of women.

Gröhler said the ordinance had been agreed to “because we determined back then that only 4 percent of the squares and streets had female names.”

It’s a hurdle, for sure, but not one that can’t be overcome, Gröhler said. After all, the Berlin district already wants to make one exception to the rule — it wants to name a public site after composer Friedrich Hollaender. The Jewish composer was forced to flee the district and the Nazis in 1933.

If Gröhler has his way, though, a square will soon be named after Reagan.”

With additional reporting by Andreas Niesmann.   The article was printed at  Der Spiegel online.

Comment:   I believe the reality is:   All of Western Europe has been programmed by the leftwing  American university ‘intellectual’ classes since the antiAmerican riots about Vietnam, to hate America.   European Marxists view America as  Christian, racist, warmonging, rich, greedy and  Jewish…..which creates quite a mixture of folks to hate.   (You can throw in your own seasonings to the pot from your experiences.  View the BBC in America for assistance.)

Ronald Reagan and G.W.Bush were the cowboys painted as the dummies that ran a dangerous, dummy peoples, except for the university Leftwingers, of course.   The American Leftwing and its Marxists, the Noam Chomsky types, have  fed their  world with as much propaganda as possible  to support these stereotypes to perpetuate the myths to this very day.

I have even noticed this anti American prejudice among the Gates of Vienna people who are working feverishly to defend the right of free speech presently under attack by the European Leftwing and its coalition with aggressove Islam.  They ally with the American Left not realizing that in America it is Obama, his Eric Holder, their backing of multiculturalism evils of divide and conquer, the ENTIRE American Leftwing complex which attacks freedom of speech here in the United States, censoring by the rules of political correctness, the same bigotted rules these Europeans are battling in Courts and elsewhere.

America’s Lost Christianity and the Birth of the Bill Maher Minds and Mouths

I am not a fan of Fox News at any time of the day, but I do tune in at those times of value….such as “the Weekly Grapevine, so I can listen to Charles Krauthammer who is a useful gyroscope to measure my own conservative thinkings even when I don’t agree with hims.

Charles Krauthammer  is, after all, an ‘Easterner” conservative, a city man,  a provincial in his own right which often seems foreign to those of us who live in a more real world, here in Minnesota, closer to McDonalds , the soil, and the do -it-yourself-stuff  in life.  This difference  itself intrigues me and challenges my own understandings.  Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard and also occasioally on Fox News is a Republican even more remote from my kind of midwestern life, but I enjoy his takes on Americana almost as well.   I am strongly for the preservation of traditional marriage as the basis for saving the American family, for instance.  

I’ll try to remember to explain what I mean about the ‘real world’ at another writing.  Charles Krauthammer lives in the ‘establishment’ world, a place very remote for daily realities much closer to the real trials of every day’s struggle to live.

I am not a fan of Bill O’Reilly, the person.  Yet, he and his news programs are  an improvement over Dan Rather, Walter Chronkite, and the Nightline guy whose name I can’t “search” for in my own personal computer….the worst of the lot of the old days.  Ahhh….it’s Ted Koppell.

In our new days we now have to  put up with MSNBC as an alleged source of what’s important in America from hour to hour.   These folks fulfill the role of the AntiNews groups and fill in one minute of news for every 50 minutes of  garbage entertainment talk such as the video I am including here….a chat between Lawrence O’Donnell and Bill Maher harranging against anyone not carbon copies of whatever up-to-date bigotries the American Marxists are nurturing.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2011/02/08/maher_to_oreilly_dont_talk_to_obama_like_hes_al_sharpton.html   

I happen to believe and strongly believe due to the evidence at hand whereever one choose to go to look for it, that today’s conservatives are far better people than today’s  Left.  As Dennis Prager always reminds his listeners, there are good people and bad people in both of these ‘families’, of course.  

Bill O’Reilly and his Fox associates present a more rightwing presentation to the news.   That is where their base is politically and socially.   These folks aren’t me, for  they are too young with all of the curses accompanying youth, including ignorance and self deception……but over all,  these are NOT the Bill Mahers and the Lawrence O’Donnells of the American news and political world.

I am not a religious “believer”, but I was raised Christian in a Christian nation, in a Christian community, and in a public school which supported Christian values (or it would not have been in business).   It was a great time for a guy like me to be raised…educated….and to have found his way.

It was a far better world producing far better people in a far better neighborhood, culture and country than the America of the past 40 plus years….an America now in  decline……an America beyond  return…..

It has lost its Christian soul……and is being replaced by modern creatures  such as Bill Maher who appear to have little but  garbage dumps  to create every time they open their mouths……the sector of freedom of speech which has become so popular today among the Left today…..and everything that goes with this garbage dump.

This is the Age of the minds and mouths of  the Bill Mahers of the American world.  It is a depressing Age in which to live.

Charles Krauthammer Comments on Obama Administration’s Discovery of the Word “Terrorism”

The Obama Administration Changes Course:  Discovers the word “Terrorism”.

The word had disappeared from Washington’s lips the moment Obama entered the White House, except to use as a weapon against the outgoing administration, blaming them for being cowboys.

To Obama’s credit, as far as I can tell, nothing much has changed in our nation’s effort to battle Islamic terrorism…..His  efforts are an extension of G. W.’s efforts, and probably have been heightened due to the increase in the dangers from these rogues organized to cause trouble.

Something has changed, however, in the selection of words.

Despite college graduate student Barack Hussein Obama’s campaigns in 2008 condemning G.W. Bush’s War Against Terrorism since the attacks of September, 2001, much has changed (rather recently) in the verbage coming out of the Obama White House.   The folks there have discovered the word Terrorism…..and occasionally attach the adjective, “Islamic” in front of it.

So it happened dramatically the other day when Janet Napolitano appeared before a Republican, Peter King, now chairing a committee investigating the nature of terrorism within our country.   She spoke about “terrorism”.

Click here for Charles Krauthammer’s review of Obama foreign policy ‘care’ from this week’s Fox News discussions:

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2011/02/10/krauthammer_obama_admins_usage_of_terrorism_shows_realism.html

OBAMA MUST GO!! “Worst Possible President at the Worst Possible Time!”

by David Solway at Pajamas Media:

Delivering a speech at the National Prayer Breakfast on February 4, 2010, President Obama twice referred to a Navy corpsman as a “corpse-man,” a solecism he had made before. Those familiar with the president’s penchant for getting things wrong would not have been surprised. After all, the man who famously believed there are 58 states in the union, that Austrians speak “Austrian,” that America and Islam “share common principles of justice and progress, tolerance and the dignity of all human beings,” and other screamers too numerous to mention, might plausibly be expected to misspeak whenever given the opportunity to embarrass himself.

His malapropisms, however, are not only a sign of a deeply ignorant man but also a symptom of the policy miscarriages he has implemented since taking office — again, too numerous to mention in toto. The most recent, of course, is his thorough mishandling of the Egyptian imbroglio, especially his opening the door to the ascendancy of the notorious Muslim Brotherhood into the corridors of power. But given his bungling in both Iraq and Afghanistan, his unwillingness to take steps to prevent Iranian weapons and insurgents from crossing into the battle zone, and his placing American civil security into the palsied hands of Janet Napolitano, his corpse-man gaffe has distinct and ironic implications for American servicemen as well as civilians.

For those who follow American politics closely, but from a privileged distance — as does this Canadian — it is hard to resist the conclusion that Barack Obama is nothing short of a national catastrophe, surely the worst presidential blight to fall on the U.S. since the woeful Jimmy Carter and probably as far back as Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce or John Tyler — take your pick. Many if not most American presidents, it must be admitted, with only a minim of illustrious exceptions, were flat-out second-raters. True, this is par for the course for the majority of political leaders around the world, but Obama is a special case. His evident failings of character and insight might be bearable in a comparatively less hazardous epoch, but in a time of looming insolvency and market collapse, the demographic incursion of extremist elements into the social fabric, aka “stealth jihad,” the advancing might of rejuvenated autocracies, an exploding Middle East and the nuclearization of rogue nations, Obama is quite simply the worst possible president at the worst possible time.

It is necessary, however, to see Obama not only as a cause of the American malaise but also as an effect of a process of ongoing decay and a reflection of the majority who elected him. He is the offspring of the god of civil unrest which has been gathering momentum at least since the radical 1960s. As David Horowitz laments, “we now live in a country so divided there are two Americas and two cultures which speak a different language.” The tensions tearing America apart today are so massive as to seem almost unbridgeable. If, to take a fanciful example, America should one day fracture into two nations, call them the United States of America and the Republic of the United States, one could conceive an enmity between them no less intense, say, than that between Venezuela and Colombia. (The Panarin hypothesis posits not two but six discrete fragments.) Barring a domestic “reset” and a genuine conservative resurgence, the “culture wars” may well become terminally divisive.

The viciousness of rhetorical combat, the rage of slander and vituperation erupting in the national discourse — largely, though not exclusively, emanating from the emotional inferno of the left — transcend the connotation of that increasingly common epithet, “incivility.” It is far more than that. The clash of two sundered cultures, variously denominated as red and blue, conservative and socialist, right and left, Republican and Democrat, is a dire portent of things to come. Democrats and Republicans may for a time be able to work together in the House as Obama attempts to rejigger himself for 2012, but they are perpetually at loggerheads in the media, the blogosphere, and the body politic itself. It is a virtual war of words, hearts, and minds, occasionally breaking out in sporadic acts of violence, which is now reaching a crescendo.

Obama may not be a sole cause but he is undoubtedly a major exacerbation of the split in the civil constituencies that make up the nation. He wafted into electoral politics like a modern Lohengrin, a “knight of the swan” sailing into a contemporary Brabant to rescue a hapless princess. But it didn’t quite work out that way and the hapless princess, bearing the torch of liberty, may soon expire of inanition if she is not rescued a second time.

For Obama is driving his country into the ground, espousing a social and economic agenda that can only lead to bankruptcy and increasing discord. At the same time, his foreign policy has reduced the United States to an international laughing stock, empowered its enemies, and abandoned its friends and allies. “It is going to be a long two years,” writes Victor Davis Hanson, now that “the world has figured Obama out, and the wages of our version of 1979-80 are coming due.” Hanson is alluding, of course, to the Iran/Egypt analogy and Obama’s repetition of Carter’s monumental error in empowering an Islamic fundamentalist regime masking as a democratic alternative. It is as if the faculty of memory has been removed and time has stopped, as if, let’s say, a chronosectomy has been performed. But Hanson’s warning has far more sweeping significance for a nation that is rapidly “losing it.” For one thing, America’s territorial waters, so to speak, are shrinking. America is not the colossus it used to be. For another, as we have seen, its cohesion is crumbling. The United States is no longer united.

Ascribing blame is generally an unproductive habit and merely adds to the heat of public rancor. Nevertheless, responsibility for a clearly deteriorating situation must sometimes be assigned and there can be little doubt that the attempt to impose an unpopular leftist program of Robin Hood economics, environmental thuggery, and transnational accommodation upon what is historically a free-market constitutional republic must release the demons of social dissension and cultural rupture. When the misconceived policy of “Islamic outreach” is added to the farrago of mischiefs, the recipe for disaster is pretty well complete. The problem for the left in this latter regard, as Jonathan Spyer points out with respect to the Israeli left in The Transforming Fire, “is that they don’t find leftists on the other side.” Though, obviously, this has not stopped the sinister cohort from blundering on. For all these costly aberrations, the left is undeniably accountable and Barack Obama, as its most conspicuous standard bearer, is the visible manifestation of a disintegrating nation. Inevitably, there will be casualties.

Peter Wood’s important 2007 book A Bee in the Mouth addresses the issue of “our new anger in contrast to our older habits of emotional restraint.” It is certainly worth reading. But I’m afraid that the effort and recommendation to calm the Furies, as represented by his analysis, will go for naught unless the intemperate left is progressively marginalized and its propaganda organs, like MSNBC, the New York Times, the Soros-funded organizations, the spurious NGOs, the voracious labor unions, the special interest groups, and many fellow-traveling websites are serially exposed for what they are by a relentless tympani of fact and argument.

As Ronald Reagan urged in his 1983 “Evil Empire” speech, we must beware “the temptation to…blithely declare yourself above it all and label both sides equally at fault.” What applied then in the international arena applies now on the domestic front. The cultures wars must go on until one side wins or all is lost, which is to say, until either America or the left triumphs. There is no doubt on which ideological parapet Barack Obama stands. Like Hollywood sequels, Obama II would be an even greater clunker than its original version; only, this is no movie but a real-life megaflop in the making.

For this reason the battle must continue. There is, regrettably, no option if one of the most destructive and recidivist presidents in American history is to be chased from office before his corpse-man gaffe becomes ever more of a reality. Such a consummation might be a first step in at least partially recuperating the Democratic left back into the majority consensus of American life via the modality of a crushing defeat and, perhaps, of narrowing the rift that divides the nation from itself.

David Solway is a Canadian poet and essayist. He is the author of The Big Lie: On Terror, Antisemitism, and Identity, and is currently working on a sequel, Living in the Valley of Shmoon.

Comment:  Name one American entity at this moment of Obama governance that isn’t standing in wreckage at home or abroad……NAME ONE!     Mr. Obama is untruthful , a disuniter, is deceitful in all of his actions as if he were a criminal.  He spends money the nation doesn’t have.  His dreams are foreing.   He advertise A, but intentionally does B as planned.   He has never really graduated from graduate school and knows nothing of the world outside.

He is neither Christian nor muslim, neither white nor black, neither American nor United Nations, with neither mother nor father and has never been a son.   His mentors were Jeremiah “Goddamn America” Wright and   Saul Alinsky.   

He speaks jitterly with sweet words with dishonest meanings.   He dresses well and often conducts himself with poise.  He is kept afloat by a fawning establishment.

America is rapidly sinking, for the most  part, because it has no captain at the helm.

He is president as if he is a man without a country.

Gates of Vienna Shows the Movie, “Iranium” See It Here!

Zenster just sent us the following email about the recently released movie Iranium and asked us to share it with our readers:

Iranium is online for free at Hulu.com!

Click here to see it.

Iranian diplomatic pressure wanted to halt this film’s showing.

Please pay close attention around video time point 40:00 when the topics of cultural relativism and MAD (Mutual Assured Destruction) arise. The Western world has little to no appreciation for the Islamic concept of Holy War and the tremendous human misery that it entails. As I have maintained for over half a decade:

A nuclear armed Iran will go down in history as the single greatest strategic blunder of this new century.

I also encourage everyone to please review Dr. John Lewis’ lengthy but superb analysis of why Iran’s immediate military defeat should be a top priority for America’s government. Difficult though it is to imagine, dismantling Iran’s terrorist machine may be of even higher priority than the crippling of Saudi Arabia.

Please share these links with all of your friends before Iranium is flagged or pressured out of existence.

Comment:  I gladly share these links and gladly accept being a friend of the folks at Gates of Vienna.

Roger Kimball on the Muslim Brotherhood Pirates

I went to a book launch yesterday for Irving Kristol’s posthumous collection of essays, The Neoconservative Persuasion: Selected Essays 1942-2009. On hand to discuss the book was William Kristol, the author’s son and (with his mother, Gertrude Himmelfarb) co-editor of the capacious gathering of essays by the “godfather of neoconservatism.”

Irving Kristol was one of our most percipient commentators about politics and society. His signature style in later years, when I got to know him, was a certain wry, semi-detached irony: concerned with what was happening to American society but also generally calm, amused, twinkling. There were exceptions to this posture in Irving’s previously published writings. I think, for example, of his masterly essay “May Cold War” from 1993. “There is,” Irving wrote towards the end of that essay: [N]o “after the Cold War” for me. So far from having ended, my cold war has increased in intensity, as sector after sector of American life has been ruthlessly corrupted by the liberal ethos. It is an ethos that aims simultaneously at political and social collectivism on the one hand, and moral anarchy on the other. It cannot win, but it can make us all losers. Good stuff, no? Among Irving’s great talents as a social commentator were 1) a knack for compression — he could say more in a 1000 word op-ed piece than many writers manage in a book — and 2) a capacious, dialectical mind that could argue strongly for a particular point of view while at the same time accommodating or at least addressing contending perspectives. I use the term “dialectical” advisedly. It belongs to the argot — how exciting it once seemed! — of Hegelian-Marxist thought, a species of which provided the fledgling Irving Kristol with an intellectual vocabulary and mode of argumentation. Kristol early on outgrew the dogmatism serious allegiance to Marxism demands but not the rhetorical nimbleness it inculcates. I’ll have more to say about The Neoconservative Persuasion in a review.

For now, I wish simply to recommend the book to my readers and, in a spirit that I hope Irving would endorse, say a few words about a conversation I had with another astute commentator on world affairs following the launch for The Neoconservative Persuasion.

 The subject was Islam, and my friend, responding to a couple of recent columns here (in particular, I suspect, Then and Now, Or, remember Iran as you think about Egypt, Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood & Oyster Stew, and maybe Alfred E. Neuman in the driver’s seat) cautioned me that “Islam is not just one thing.” His point — may I say, “His point of course”? — is that like England’s Island Story, Islam forms a rich and varied tapestry. And it does so not only historically, but does so even now, today. It’s not only the case that not all Muslims are terrorists but also that the expression of “really existing Islam” differs widely from society to society.

The “face” of Islam is widely different in Indonesia, say, from what it is in Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, or Iran. Et, need I add?, cetera. The question at issue today is Islam in Egypt. I have mentioned in a couple of columns the precedent of events in Iran in 1979 when the Ayatollah Khomeini strode into town brandishing his Koran in one hand, his sword in another. Is it legitimate to worry that something like what happened in Iran could happen in Egypt? The countries are markedly different from each other and 2011 is not 1979. We’ve passed, as Samuel Goldwyn is said to have put it, a lot of water under the bridge since then. Perhaps what happened in Iran is not an illuminating precedent. I think the jury is still out on that. Time will tell. What we do not have to wait around to discern is the yeasty influence of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

I have written about the MB in Egypt several times in this space, at some length in What Sauce Will Barack Obama Use When He Eats His Words? The place of Egypt — the most populous Arab country — in the political metabolism of the Middle East is a complex affair. It has deep, if sometimes covert, relations with Israel, a fact that enrages the Muslim Brothers, for whom the destruction of Israel comes high on their list of desiderata. I suspect that my friend Andy McCarthy is right when he suggests that a more illuminating parallel to what might happen in Egypt is offered by Turkey — since Ataturk, the poster child for what a secular, modernized Islamic society might look like.

That was then. Over the last several years Turkey under its current leadership has been steadily shedding its Western, cosmopolitan values in favor of a return to Islamist theocracy. “This did not,” as Andy points out, “happen overnight.”

The Justice and Development Party (AKP), a disciplined, well-organized Islamist faction with close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, managed to squeeze into power in 2002, even though it was a minority opposed by millions of pro-Western, secular Muslims. It increased its popularity by foreswearing any intention to impose sharia, avoiding the taint of financial corruption, adopting responsible economic policies, and only gradually enacting items on the Islamist punch-list — beginning with the ones that enjoyed broad support. Behind the scenes, it used its power both to infiltrate the military and to install its loyalists in important institutions (e.g., the banks, bureaucracy, judiciary, and education system).

Then what?  You know the script:

Based on this performance, it won reelection with a narrow majority — no small thanks to cheerleading from Western governments and commentators about how Turkey under AKP rule symbolized a modern, “moderate” Islam. With that cover, the AKP promptly stepped up its Islamicization program, ordered arrests of its political opponents, and began challenging the military. To see what the Islamists could get away with, this challenge started with the arrests of a few officers. When there was no pushback, more prosecutions and harassment followed. It was clear that the military would not rise to the occasion, as the West always assumed it would.

Emboldened, the AKP regime has ended Turkey’s military cooperation with Israel and become an increasingly strident supporter of Palestinian “resistance.” Last spring, Turkey’s government financially backed the “peace flotilla” — an attempt by Brotherhood-tied Islamists and anti-American Leftists to break Israel’s blockade of Hamas in Gaza. Turkey now formally rejects the description of Hamas as a terrorist organization, referring to it as a democratically elected political organization that is merely defending its rightful territory.

That’s troubling, right?  But now think about the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt:

Unlike Turkey, Egypt has never undergone a rigorous, decades-long effort to purge Islam from public life. The AKP had a higher mountain to climb. If the Muslim Brotherhood gets its turn at the wheel and steers as shrewdly, the transformation of Egypt won’t happen tomorrow … but neither will it take the eight years Turkey needed.

When I was in high school, the Jesuits were fond of dispensing various admonitory formulae. One was the advice “Never deny, seldom affirm, always distinguish.” (Another, I seem to recall,  was “Persistent perversity provokes the patient pedagogue to produce particularly painful punishment,” but that is for another day.) Like one of Algernon Moncrieff’s apothegms, the injunction “Never deny,” etc. is perfectly phrased. But also like Algernon’s wittiest aperçus it is of dubious veracity.  I suspect, however,  that my well-meaning friend would like that bit of Jesuitical lore and might even urge its wisdom upon me in defense of his reminder that “Islam is not one thing.”

I said above that I knew that about Islam. In fact, though, I think it would be more accurate to say “Muslims are not one thing.” They differ profoundly from country A to country B, and they differ, too, within some countries. It’s not done to quote the Dutch politician Geert Wilders in polite company. The Establishment Narrative has declared him beyond the pale.  But as I look around at how Islam has fared over the last several decades — at what has happened not just in Iran and Saudi Arabia, but also what has happened in Europe, in Turkey, and elsewhere — I have a sneaking suspicion Wilders was right when he said that there may well be such a thing as moderate Muslim but, alas, there is not such thing as moderate Islam. Which is one reason the advice “never deny” should be regarded as one regards Admiral Sir Joseph Porter’s declarations of denial in HMS Pinafore. “What, never?”

Comment:  I believe it more accurate to write regarding muslims, “They differ some from country A to country B, depending on to what degree and when the imams have served their meals of hatred for the West in general and the United States and Israel in particular.   There are 56 muslim states plus halfstate Palestine.   As of today there might be four or five that might not be beholden yet to the hatings taught as Islam today.

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