Thursday, December 29, 2011

What If You Lost $7.77 Trillion;; Well, You Did

This report was brought to my attention by a fellow conservative blogger  Miss. Candice Lanier Of The Federal Reserve Bank committed some $7.77 trillion in funds to major Wall Street banks during the height of the 2008 financial crisis, according to report published by Bloomberg News November 28 through a Freedom of Information Act request.
It's unclear from the methodology explained by Bloomberg's analysis of some 29,000 Federal Reserve documents released how much overlap there is with the Government Accountability Office audit published last July that counted some $16 trillion in Federal Reserve loans to major Wall Street banks. Bloomberg's explanation of its methodology does indicate at least some overlap.
Throughout the financial crisis, Congress remained blissfully unaware that trillions of dollars were being committed by the Fed with the implicit guarantee of the U.S. taxpayer. “We were aware emergency efforts were going on,” Massachusetts Democrat Barney Frank told Bloomberg, but “we didn’t know the specifics.” Frank, who announced his retirement November 28 after the Massachusetts state legislature gerrymandered him out of his district, served as Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee at the time the bailouts began. That committee is charged with oversight of the Federal Reserve and the banking industry.

Bloomberg noted that most of the major banks receiving the below-market-rate loans made billions in profit from the Federal Reserve policies. The Federal Reserve Bank loaned funds to major Wall Street banks at rates of between 0.10 percent and 0.25 percent and at the same time banks were encouraged  to purchase U.S. Treasury bills. Two-year Treasury bills the federal government was selling were fetching more than one percent interest. The deal borrowing at a discounted rate from one agency of the federal government and taking loans earning interest at a higher rate from another agency of government amounted to a cash transfer from the federal government to the big banks that Bloomberg estimated netted the banks some $13 billion in profit.
The deal produced expressions of outrage from many political candidates, including longtime Federal Reserve critic Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas), who condemned the special favors being conferred on the politically connected few. Official Ron Paul for President blogger Jack Hunter, quoting a key part of the Bloomberg report, noted that "details suggest taxpayers paid a price beyond dollars as the secret funding helped preserve a broken status quo and enabled the biggest banks to grow even bigger." Rep. Paul had predicted the housing and financial crisis with astonishing accuracy as early as 2001.
The Bloomberg report noted that top Wall Street banks benefited most from the deal. "The big six;  JPMorgan, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., and Morgan Stanley — took 63 percent of the Fed's emergency loan money as measured by peak daily borrowing," the San Francisco Chronicle observed November 29 of the Bloomberg data.

Ron Paul
Ron Paul wasn't the only presidential candidate to take note of the Federal Reserve bailout's favoritism. Texas Governor Rick Perry announced November 28 that “these outrageous secret federal loans to bail out big banks are why Americans are disgusted with the "Business-As-Usual" Washington.”
The evidence also reveals that Federal Reserve intervention in the market helped the "too big to fail" banks get bigger still. "Records shows that during the past five years, total assets at the largest six banks increased by almost 40% and executive compensation rose by 20% to more than $146 billion in compensation last year alone," USA Today reported November 28.
Derek Thompson 

Meanwhile, some observers saw nothing wrong with the transfer of taxpayer funds to big Wall Street banks. Derek Thompson of The Atlantic wrote that the Federal Reserve was being criticized "for doing its job." Thompson stressed that the "job" of the Federal Reserve is to prevent a financial collapse, which he posited would have happened had more major banks failed.
Elijah Cummings 

The bailout revelations have already produced calls for congressional hearings on Capitol Hill. “Many Americans are struggling to understand why banks deserve such preferential treatment while millions of homeowners are being denied assistance and are at increasing risk of foreclosure,” Representative Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said in a letter released to

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Iraqi Oil: Good Reason For Iranian Closure of the Straits Of Hormuz

Iran is prepared to expand military and security cooperation with neighboring Iraq, a top Iranian military official said -- a week after U.S. forces pulled out of Iraq.

Iraqi crude oil production jumped to the highest level in at least 20 years, or more than 3 million barrels a day, said Hussain al-Shahristani, deputy prime minister for energy affairs.
Predator Drone

Iraq’s government, which takes complete control of the country this month after the withdrawal of U.S. military forces, will acquire unmanned drone aircraft to help protect pipelines and related energy facilities that have been frequent targets of sabotage, he said today in an interview in Baghdad.
Hussain al-Shahristani

He spoke hours after nine bombs exploded in the capital Baghdad, killing at least 57 people in attacks that underscored instability and divisions as the U.S. ends almost nine years of military presence in the country. Iraq holds the fifth-biggest natural-gas reserves in the Middle East and the world’s fifth- largest crude deposits, according to BP Plc data that include Canadian oil sands.

Ever since the U.S invaded Iraq and disposed of its oppressive dictator Saddam Hussein, Iran have been hard at work infiltrating and invading every body part of Iraq like a fast-spreading virus with the intent to fully control all aspect of the nation decision-making and today we are clearly starting to see the end result which entails an Iraqi nation deeply influenced by the Iranian evil regime.
Strait of Hormuz

The Middle East neighbors have enjoyed closer ties in recent years, especially as Iraq's Shia Muslim majority has solidified its power in the absence of former leader Saddam Hussein, a Sunni Muslim. Iran's theocracy is Shia-led.

The development comes as Iran is flexing its naval muscles in the region by staging war games.

The drills are the largest ever planned by Iran and are being staged in an area that stretches from the eastern part of the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Aden, Fars reported last week.
Iranian War Exercises

The maneuvers began on Saturday.

These war games are a warning to western countries about the closure of the Strait of Hormuz, a member of parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, said Monday. "If any threat is posed to Iran, the Islamic Republic is capable of closing the Strait of Hormuz."

The strait is a narrow shipping channel that leads in and out of the Persian Gulf between Oman and Iran. It is strategically important because oil tankers carrying Middle East oil travel through it.

The U.S. Navy said any attempts to block the Strait of Hormuz would not be tolerated, and a spokesperson for the U.S. Fifth Fleet said that "the free flow of goods and services through the Strait of Hormuz is vital to regional and global prosperity. Anyone who threatens to disrupt freedom of navigation in an international strait is clearly outside the community of nations; any disruption will be an act of economic destabilization.

When asked if the Bahrain-based fleet was taking specific measures to respond to the threat, the spokesperson said the fleet "maintains a robust presence in the region to deter or counter destabilizing activities" but would not provide any further details.

The Iranian threats underline Tehran's concern that the West is about to impose new sanctions that could target the country's vital oil industry and exports.
Western nations are growing increasingly impatient with Iran over its nuclear program. The U.S. and its allies have accused Iran of using its civilian nuclear program as a cover to develop nuclear weapons. Iran has denied the charges, saying its program is geared toward generating electricity and producing medical radioisotopes to treat cancer patients.

The U.S. Congress has passed a bill banning dealings with the Iran Central Bank, and President Barack Obama has said he will sign it despite his misgivings. Critics warn it could impose hardships on U.S. allies and drive up oil prices.
The bill could impose penalties on foreign firms that do business with Iran's central bank. European and Asian nations import Iranian oil and use its central bank for the transactions.
With concern growing over a possible drop-off in Iranian oil supplies, a senior Saudi oil official said Gulf Arab nations are ready to step in if necessary and offset any potential loss of Iranian crude in the world markets.
Iraqi oil will soon be known as Persian Oil Inc.

Reflecting unease over the rising tensions, the U.S. benchmark crude futures contract for February delivery was above $101 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Its London-based Brent counterpart fell slightly, but still remained above $109 per barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.
Iran is the world's fourth-largest oil producer, with an output of about 4 million barrels of oil a day. It relies on oil exports for about 80 percent of its public revenues.
Iran has adopted an aggressive military posture in recent months in response to increasing threats from the U.S. and Israel that they may take military action to stop Iran's nuclear program.
The navy is in the midst of a 10-day drill in international waters near the strategic oil route. The exercise involves submarines, missile drills, torpedoes and drones. The war games cover a 1,250-mile stretch of sea off the Strait of Hormuz, northern parts of the Indian Ocean and into the Gulf of Aden near the entrance to the Red Sea as a show of strength and could bring Iranian ships into proximity with U.S. Navy vessels in the area.
Iranian media are describing how Iran could move to close the strait, saying the country would use a combination of warships, submarines, speed boats, anti-ship cruise missiles, torpedoes, surface-to-sea missiles and drones to stop ships from sailing through the narrow waterway.
Iran's navy claims it has sonar-evading submarines designed for shallow waters of the Persian Gulf, enabling it to hit passing enemy vessels.
A closure of the strait could temporarily cut off some oil supplies and force shippers to take longer, more expensive routes that would drive oil prices higher. It also potentially opens the door for a military confrontation that would further rattle global oil markets.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

No sooner U.S. withdrawal: Scandal erupts


Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki called on Kurdish athorities to turn over Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi, who sought refuge in the semi- autonomous region of Kurdistan in northern Iraq after a warrant was issued for his arrest. As we reported, al-Hashemi denies the charges that he ordered death squads to assassinate government officials. But his arrest warrant has revived sectarian tensions in Iraq and threatens to tear apart its coalition government. Al-Hashemi is the top Sunni politician in Iraq and Maliki is Shiite.

The Telegraph reports that in a press conference, Maliki also threatened "to dismiss the nine ministers of [the Sunni-backed] Iraqiya [political bloc]," which had suspended its participation in the legislature in protest of what they said was Maliki's concentration of power The Telegraph adds:"Mr Maliki has also asked that parliament fire another rival, his Sunni deputy Saleh al-Mutlaq after he compared Mr Maliki to Saddam Hussein.

There was some sign of an ameliorating effect on Mr Maliki, who invited the Sunni and Kurdish parties for talks, but he was promptly rebuffed by the Sunni party, Iraqiya"It said that Mr Maliki represented 'the main reason for the crisis and the problem, not a positive element for a solution'."

It's important to remember that all of this comes just days after the U.S withdrew its last troops from the country. The Hill reports that yesterday, Vice President Joe Biden telephoned Maliki in an effort to diffuse the situation."The vice president emphasized the need for an'inclusive partnership government' and the importance of acting within the Iraqi constitution," The Hill reports. "He stressed the need for the prime minister and leaders of the other major blocs to meet and work out their differences."

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

U.S. Troops Exit Iraq: Dinner Will Soon Be Served - - Iran

Although the Iraqis are observing nationwide celebrations, as the last of U.S. troops left the country on Sunday, there’s an increasing amount of uncertainty in the air. With many asking, whether the war was worth it, there’s an even greater number of people wondering, what will be the future of Iraq.
Bashar Assad

The U.S. military's departure from Iraq opens the door to expanded Iranian influence in the Middle East, though that door could close fast if Iran's closest Arab ally Bashar Assad falls from power in Syria.

In the last flag raising ceremony marking the end of war in Iraq, Defense Secretary, Leon Panetta addressed the U.S. troops saying that “To be sure, the cost was high -- the blood and treasure of the United States and also for the Iraqi people. But those lives have not been lost in vain. They gave birth to an independent, free and sovereign Iraq, but, for how long? Not many Iraqis buy that notion.

The uncertainties looming over the Middle East in the wake of President Barack Obama's Re-affirmation to remove all U.S. troops by the end of this month, fulfilling a campaign promise to end the unpopular war and abandoning efforts to negotiate an extension of the year-end deadline agreed to by the Bush administration in 2008.

Muqtada al-Sadr
There is growing concern about Iraq's ability to defend itself and counter Iranian influence after U.S. troops withdraw, and too many in the White House mistakenly believe that "a stay-on force" is not a vital U.S. interest and risk alienating an important ally, moreover, as the deadline approaches, the risk is if we retreat from Iraq, Iran take over. Of course, there are risks to staying on as well. One Shiite firebrand cleric, Muqtada al-Sadr vows to return to armed resistance unless all U.S. forces leave on schedule.

What's really at stake is whether or not Iran, which has been trying to turn Iraq into a satellite state for several years, will finally get its way. And the reason they would is because without U.S. troops there, Iraq would basically have no military ability to resist Iran on any kind of level; not their militias, which they keep in Iraq, not their conventional forces, not their missiles. And so you're going to have an Iraqi government, which is already a little bit inclined toward Iran, under a lot of pressure to go along with whatever Iran wants.

 Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki
Here's a point that needs to be made: the government and Prime Minister Maliki has always been a little bit pro-Iranian. His coalition is heavily pro-Iranian because he's dependent on a Shiite party that is basically an Iranian client, just like Muqtada al-Sadr, who I've mentioned. And he's supposed to have a coalition with the other side, the part that resists Iran, but that coalition really hasn't worked out. It's basically split up. So the Sunni parties who would resist Iranian influence are currently out of power at the moment.

At first glance, that would make Iran the big winner, especially if the U.S. move heralds a tectonic shift of power in the strategic Persian Gulf region as the United States shifts its military focus to East Asia and the Pacific. But the tumult from the Arab Spring, on top of the end of the nearly nine-year Iraq War, has made the rivalry between Iran and the U.S.'s Arab allies even trickier and predictions more cloudy.

No longer will tens of thousands of American troops be stationed along Iran's western border. They're leaving behind an Iraqi government dominated by Shiite Muslim parties beholden to the Iranians, who sheltered them for years when Saddam Hussein and his Sunni-dominated Baath regime were in power.

With the American military presence reduced to a few hundred members of an embassy-based liaison mission, Iran is likely to step up infiltration of Iraq's intelligence services — the key to manipulating Iraq's internal politics — and expand its links to both Shiite and Kurdish politicians, to the alarm of the country's Sunni minority.
Civil war between the Shiite and Sunni

The politicians are still feuding to get into power, and the violence on the streets of Iraq continues as usual, though at a scale much lower than it was at the time war began. The civil war between the Shiite and Sunni groups continue to strike back at each other. "Nobody here wants occupation. This withdrawal marks a new stage in Iraq's history," said Karim al-Rubaie, a Shiite shop owner in the southern city of Basra."The politicians who are running this country are just a group of thieves. These politicians will lead the country into sedition and civil war. Iraq now is like a weak prey among neighboring beasts. The prime minister currently serves as his own defense minister and interior minister because he can't get anybody to agree who those ministers ought to be.

Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta

But the new secretary of defense, Leon Panetta, and U.S. military commanders, I think, would very much like to see U.S. troops stay there because they're worried about this Iranian problem and the larger Iranian problem in the region. Former Secretary of Defense Gates said publically that he would like to see U.S. troops stay precisely because of the Iranian factor. But the civilian leadership and the Obama administration, the White House in particular, is much more ambivalent.
So they've sort of taken the view, well, we'll think about it if you ask us. And Panetta added in public, make a decision, damn it, were his words. So my thought was those are not the kind of coaxing that's going to get the right decision.
Lt. General Babaker Zebari

Aware of the concerns of the people, Iraq’s military chief of staff, Lt. General Babaker Zebari assured that his troops are fully capable of controlling the situation. "There are only scattered terrorists hiding here and there and we are seeking intelligence information to eliminate them," Zebari said. "We are confident that there will be no danger."

Moreover there are fears of power concentration into the hands of a single person. The Sunni leader, Ayad Allawi, despite of getting majority of votes in the last year’s parliamentary elections lost the premier post to Al-Maliki due to his support from the Shiite political parties. Iraqi’s also fear that if Iraq became more vulnerable than before, this American occupation might be replaced by some indirect occupation from the neighboring countries.

As the second most populous country in the Gulf, with some of the world's largest proven petroleum reserves, an avowedly pro-Iranian Iraq would be a game changer in the power struggle between Iran and the U.S.-backed, conservative Gulf states led by Saudi Arabia.

Iran already wielded considerable influence in Iraq even when U.S. troop strength approached 170,000. The U.S.-led invasion of 2003 produced a strange alliance between the Americans and religiously based Shiite parties tied simultaneously to both Washington and Tehran. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a Shiite who had been cool toward Iran, has moved closer to the pro-Iranian groups since a political crisis in 2010 nearly cost him his job.

With the American military gone, Tehran's prospects for bolstering those ties in Iraq look bright.

At closer examination, however, the future appears less certain. Much will depend on how the key players — including the United States — maneuver diplomatically through the new environment created by the end of the Iraq War.
"The United States must succeed in limiting and countering Iranian influence in Iraq and in creating Iraqi forces that can defend the country. "The United States must also restructure a mix of forward-deployed U.S. forces and ties to regional powers that can contain every aspect of Iran's military forces and political ambitions."

Monday, December 19, 2011

America Under Attack: An Inside Job

Beware America, I bring you news of your own death; a pale shroud laid out by your own hand. Idiotically, you have given religion status to an enemy invader called Islam; thereby egregiously violating the foremost principles of national security, sovereignty and warfare: An enemy invader must never be classified as a religion.

Doing so is equivalent to a mad doctor injecting deadly cancer cells into a healthy patient; in this case America. Look how Muslims are shoving mosques down our throat even at the hallowed "Ground Zero" of 9/11. They thumb their noses and jeer us, adding insult to injury. Why? Islam is "programmed" to bring down America and knows no limits. M.A. Khan in his excellently informative book, Islamic Jihad: A Legacy Of Forced Conversion, Imperialism And Slavery states:

"The perpetuation of a global Islamic rule for eternity is the ultimate goal of Allah"
Dr. Wafa Sultan

Perhaps this is why Dr. Wafa Sultan has named her book A GOD WHO HATES emphasizing Islam's God (Allah) hates all things non-Muslim and utilizes this hatred to fuel the fervor for global Islamic rule mentioned by M.A. Khan above. Needless to say, any ideology with a bigoted, hateful and murderous God should be prohibited religion status in all civilized nations. 

What's next? Don't be surprised if Muslims demand it's their religious right to tear down the White House and replace it with a mega mosque, give them an inch and they will take a mile. In the same way that a blood thirsty tiger cannot survive without devouring its prey. Islam cannot sustain itself without devouring other nations and ideologies. This is a fact; not an opinion; 1400 years of Islamic history prove the case a million times over. Steven Emerson's Investigative Project on Terrorism gives hundreds of up to date examples verifying the dubious nature of Allah's minions. I dare say, that those so called experts who consider Islam to be a religion are not competent in the field of ideology, philosophy, religion, history, sociology or warfare.

Rather than experts, these are "Damned fools" who cannot distinguish between a wooden nickel and a gold coin, and there are legions of them infesting our universities, the media, the state department, the justice department, the military brass, the CIA, the department of defense, the FBI, the NSA, and the Oval Office.

Deplorably, the very persons who are paid to defend us are actually aiding and abetting the overthrow of America by permitting Islam to be categorized as a religion on their watch. There can be no hope for the survival of America long term unless our leaders immediately reverse course by vociferously stating that Islam is not a religion in broad daylight on a world wide scale.

Verifying this epidemic of incompetence and dereliction of duty is the book entitled: Sharia The Threat To America: An Exercise In Competitive Analysis: Report Of Team B II, it states:
Inside Our Perimeter

"The fact the information from Team B II is not even being taught at the basic level to FBI counterterrorism agents and analysts, nor is it taught at the Justice Department, Department of Homeland Security, The State or Defense Departments or the CIA . . . We have an enemy inside our perimeter. But for this nation, the challenge is not just the inability to distinguish friend from foe. Rather, it is an unwillingness to do so."

Returning to our medical analogy, this means that "physicians" paid to treat "cancer" are not allowed to study anything about "cancer" or even mention the name. What a laughing stock and painful embarrassment Americas defenders have become in the face of the Islam's ideological blitzkrieg. They might as well just all pack up and go home!

There is no doubt that Islam is an enemy invader. Its Koran shouts it, its prophet shouts it, its Imams shout it, its 1400 years malevolent history shouts it, its key texts shout it, its student organizations "shout it", its lawyers shout it, its refusal to assimilate in governments worldwide shouts it, and its bellicose and bigoted demands for Sharia shout it!

In his insightful article, "What Is Islam" Amil Amani cuts to the crux of the matter by voicing a similar opinion:

"Islam is not a religion, but a harmful thorn; thus, we must make laws to fight this unwanted thorn growing like mushrooms in our backyards . . . Islam is not a religion by any standards. It is a militant, political and savage cult created by one man: Muhammad. It is time that we treat Islam as the greatest threat to the human race. . . Islam is a comprehensive totalitarian form of slavery, it is the opposite of freedom."
 Rebecca Bynum

Our leadership urgently needs to heed the wise consul of Amil Amani. Surely the "experts" can only be considered competent to the extent they agree with him. Amil Amani is not alone in his convictions. Author Rebecca Bynum in her book , Allah Is Dead: Why Islam Is Not a Religion states a similar theme:

"Islam is a recipe for perpetual war... I believe Islam to be the duck-billed platypus of belief systems... If however, Islam continues to be classified as a religion and given the full protection and benefits religions receive in America, then we will be helpless to contain it... That is why Islam cannot remain in the religion category. "
Just An Example

Rebecca Bynum clearly states that Islam as a religion cannot be contained. The evidence is blatantly apparent; Muslims make up only 1 to 2 percent of our population but look at the enormous amount of havoc, disruption, and chaos they reek upon our society.
His usual position with Islam

Under the cover of a religion Islam has been given a free pass to sabotage America from within, and has made enormous progress since 9/11, increasing geometrically, becoming more pugnacious, belligerent and demanding. This means 9/11 has caused America to cower down ideologically and submissively roll out the red carpet to Islam; all this, because we have given an obvious enemy invader the privileged and protected status of a religion. "How stupid can you get?" Author Craig Winn in PROPHET OF DOOM has attempted to wake us up by declaring:

"The Qur'an condemns all non-Muslims-- Christians and Jews and those who worship many gods and no gods. It is an equal opportunity hater... In fact, the Qur'an was written to justify some of the most ungodly behavior the world has ever known... The simple truth is: good Muslims are bad people." 
 Nadal Malik Hassan
Our homegrown America born Jihadist, the "Fort Hood Shooter", Major Nadal Malik Hassan proved he was a good and devout Muslim by murdering 13 and wounding 32 unarmed innocent colleagues inspired by his hateful God Allah.

Now ask yourself, how can any ideology that is referred to as an "equal opportunity hater" and rightly so, ever be given the privileged status of a religion in the civilized world. The truth be told, Islam is the epitome of a barbarian invader, bigoted, totalitarian, pillaging and enslaving. Paraphrasing the wisdom of Winston Churchill, "Islam is the most retrograde of forces."

Once something has been labeled a religion, no American will question, challenge or think objectively about it. Call yourself a religion and Americans turn into zombies letting you do anything you want, even "kill them". The greatest military power in world history lays supine, lily livered, gutless and enfeebled, and it's all because we have wrongly given Islam the protected status of a RELIGION. "Good Bye America it's been nice knowin ya" Surely, this is the bleakest hour in American history when our nation cannot tell friend from foe, nor religion from invader.

There is no doubt that we Americans suffer from a collective mental illness, mental block, emotional imbalance, and psychological disorder, precipitated every time we hear the word religion. Let's call it schizo-religionitis. Mention the word "religion" and we immediately become deaf, dumb and blind, suspending all rational thought and common sense. Here is the childishly insane logic Americans apply to their criteria for a religion:

Apple juice is a liquid and drinking a cup is good for you; therefore drinking a cup of hemlock must be good for you because it is also a liquid.

The absurd conclusion is that drinking a cup of anything liquid is good for you whether it be apple juice or poison. Just hang out a sign with the word religion on it and Americans will instantly "drink up" any poison you feed them.

In other words, it's "one bullet" to the back of our head, with the "kill shot" coming from our own servile leadership. I am harping on this point because the wall of denial is extremely thick, marked by an "epidemic" of shallow mindedness, apathy, flagrant intellectual dishonesty and rampant monetary corruption; the whole quagmire tainted by middle east oil money engulfing our entire military industrial complex, intelligence community, political leadership, media, White House, academic and religious communities. Christopher Logan has written a brilliantly insightful satire called "United States Department of Jihad!" revealing the subversion of our own leadership.

The best thing all Americans can do is tell the truth that Islam is an enemy invader-- not a religion. Doing otherwise is equivalent to "cutting the throat" of America, which our leaders and citizenry do on a daily basis, while "sitting up" for Muslim oil money like puppies doing tricks for doggie biscuits.

In the Art Of War translated by John Minford, Sun Tzu remarks, "He who knows neither self nor enemy will fail in every battle." Today America exhibits a catastrophic failure because it knows neither self nor enemy and stands as helpless as a kitten against the onslaught of Islam's ideological offensive.

One thing is certain, every Imam in the United States is putting on a smiling face and speaking in a sickeningly sweet voice while touting the immaculate splendors of Islam, as they guide their flock to infiltrate and trash this nation" by hook or by crook" as emphatically commanded by the Koran which is irrefutably a manual of war and blood thirsty totalitarian conquest rather than a sacred and holy book. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Kneecapping The First Amendment

It Started Monday December 12th of this week in Washington, DC, a meeting was held that jeopardizes freedom of speech as we currently understand it in the United States. 

The Obama Administration has invited the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation ("OIC," formerly, The Organization of the Islamic Conference) to a meeting of "experts" to discuss the implementation of  (SHARIAH LAW) a UN resolution ostensibly targeting "religious intolerance.

Now, even if by combating "religious intolerance" the resolution were just targeting actual violations of freedom of religion it still should raise a few eyebrows that the OIC is behind the resolution and was invited as a partner to these meetings. 

The Jeddah-based OIC includes as its members such "champions" of human rights and religious freedom and tolerance as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Pakistan, and Iran, But the catch is that the resolution isn't about protecting freedom of religion. It's more about limiting freedom of speech and expression of Americans.

For those not familiar with OIC's activities at the UN, for over a decade it has sponsored one speech-restrictive resolution after another aimed at criminalizing what it calls "defamation of religions." While the terminology has changed over time (from "defamation of Islam" to "defamation of religions" to "vilification of religions"), the goal has remained the same—to limit expression that the OIC deems critical of or offensive to Islam or Muslims 

Resolution 16/18 differs from previous resolutions in a number of ways. Most notably, the term "defamation of religions" is absent. When the OIC decided not to introduce a "defamation of religions" provision during HRC's 16th session, the move was seen by many as a significant victory—both as a defeat of the concept and the OIC in its campaign.

Though the OIC ostensibly dropped "defamation of religions," some have warned that the OIC could reintroduce the concept at a later date. Speech-restrictive resolutions could be introduced in other UN bodies, as well. Indeed, no sooner had the resolution been adopted than it was reported that diplomats from Muslim countries were threatening to resurrect the concept. But, to understand the significance of the events at the HRC in March, as important as what the OIC might do in the future is what it believes it has achieved in the current resolution, which was adopted with the support of the US.

In August 2011, the International Islamic News Agency (IINA), a news organ of the OIC, reported that Washington would host a meeting "to discuss" with the OIC "how to implement the shariah compliant resolution # 16/18 on combating defamation of religions and that the aim of this and further meetings was "developing a legal basis" for domestic and international laws "preventing inciting hatred resulting from the continued defamation of religions. 
Hillary Clinton

To be clear, the organization the Obama Administration invited to Washington still seems to think this resolution is about effectuating the anti-free speech concept, "defamation of religions." That is a major problem. Worse yet, by playing the name-game at the UN's HRC, the OIC has won several major victories for itself: praise by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; an excellent piece of propaganda for its constituency, regarding the "West's" and specifically the US's apparent buy-in; a seat at the table in DC; and a foot-in-the door toward implementing shariah compliant speech restrictions via "hate speech" provisions.

Though the current resolution only explicitly calls for the criminalization of "incitement to imminent violence based on religion or belief," it "condemns…any advocacy of religious hatred against individuals that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence." 

This latter part, with the exception of "against individuals," tracks ICCPR Article 20 and is similar in wording to various "hate speech" provisions adopted throughout Europe. Article 20 raised sufficient speech-related concerns that the US only signed onto the ICCPR with an explicit reservations clause to that article! Resolution 16/18 also "urges States to take effective measures as set forth in the present resolution, consistent with their obligations under international human rights law, to address and combat such incidents." In short, it is a call to action for states to take steps to curtail certain kinds of expressive acts. What steps, if any, does the Obama Administration think the US should to take in response to the resolution's call to limit expression? That remains to be seen.

The cosmetic change of dropping (for now) the language of "defamation of religions" has shifted the focus of the current resolution to "hate speech," though conceptually connecting the two ideas is not new. Some even see the language of Resolution 16/18 as an attempt to broaden the scope of existing "hate speech" provisions, and broadening is the last thing the already too expansive, speech-chilling "hate speech" provisions need. While the shift in language does not appear to have shifted the OIC's goal of restricting expression, the move was sufficient to sway Western allies many of whom already have "hate speech" laws on the books who could otherwise have been counted on to resist the OIC's assault on freedom of expression when promulgated under the bizarre concept "defamation of religions.

But how can we expect our less speech-protective allies to resist the latest effort, if the US does not? And worse, how can we expect our allies to resist if it appears the US has bought into the idea that at least some of the OIC's speech-restrictive demands are legitimate? It seems the Obama Administration has bought in .

As mentioned before, during a speech this summer at a meeting with the OIC, Secretary of State Clinton actually applauded the organization and described recent efforts as beginning "to overcome the false divide that pits religious sensitivities against freedom of expression." Note the word choice. She says "religious sensitivities" not "freedom of religion." Freedom of expression and freedom of religion aren't rights pitted against one another. They are complementary and interdependent rights. 

You need to protect one to fully protect the other. But, freedom of expression and so-called religious "sensitivities" (hurt feelings, offense, and the like), on the other hand, are often at odds unless you limit expression. Historically, it has been the OIC's position that setting limits on speech and expression is necessary and appropriate to protect religious sensitivities. Is that now the Obama Administration's position? In the same speech, Secretary Clinton offered plans to advance the resolution's goals, which include "counter[ing] offensive expression." One approach Clinton says "we" plan to employ is "us[ing] some old-fashioned techniques of peer pressure and shaming, so that people don't feel that they have the support to do what we abhor."

The American people do not need our government deciding for us what is abhorrent or offensive. That and any government involvement in organized efforts to shame offensive expression in order to silence it run afoul of a certain provision in the Bill of Rights. And, it is just that provision, the First Amendment, which will probably protect us for now from some of the more deleterious effects that might otherwise come from partnering with the OIC on matters related to speech.

But the Obama Administration's support for speech-restrictive measures could have an effect on how courts interpret the outer contours of our First Amendment protections. (See Eugene Volokh's discussion of this concern in the context of the Obama Administration's decision to co-sponsor a speech-restrictive resolution with Egypt in 2009 and former LP Director Daniel Huff's remarks in the context of the Administration's announcement of plans to partner with the OIC.) Even so, mere endorsement by the Obama Administration lends credibility to the OIC's position—and none is due.

It would be a terrible mistake for the United States to take any guidance or input from the OIC on setting—legally, culturally, or otherwise—the acceptable boundaries of freedom of expression here. So open and so notorious has been the OIC's campaign to impose limitations on speech in the West, that the upcoming meeting cannot credibly pass muster under the guise of diplomacy. Complicity seems a more appropriate term. If that is not the Obama Administration's position, it should take immediate steps to clarify its policy and to express its commitment to preserving our fundamental and constitutionally protected right to freedom of speech.

[1] Resolution 16/18 is titled: "Combating intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization of, and discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against, persons based on religion or belief"