Rep. King’s hearings
As I have noted here before, Rep. King’s hearings are an important opportunity for U.S. Muslim leaders to tell the Congress the truth. Though it would take moral courage and a willingness to be abused, U.S. Muslim leaders now have access to a highly publicized forum in which to explain to Congress and all Americans that the main instruments of “radicalization” in the Muslim-American community are the proselytizing activities conducted or sponsored by the Saudis, other wealthy Arab Peninsula donors, and the Muslim Brotherhood, and the impact of U.S. and Western foreign policies in the Islamic world, especially unqualified U.S. support for Israel.
It seems clear that if U.S. Muslim leaders do not honestly testify before Rep. King’s hearings, the hearings’ witnesses will yield a consensus that Muslims hate America for its liberties, freedoms, gender equality, etc. They will also deliver testimony that exonerates Washington’s relationship with Israel from any kind of responsibility for the war being waged against America by the Islamist movement. This end product of Rep. King’s hearings was signaled this week by Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Virginia/Israel), the Republican leader in the House who, I believe, may have broken the law by meeting privately with Netanyahu. Cantor supported the hearings; he would not have done so if he thought that the truth about the hugely negative impact of Washington’s relationship with Israel was going to discussed. “What I can tell you,” the Washington Post quotes Cantor as saying, “is [that] I believe that we in this country are threatened by the spread of radical Islam, both abroad and at home.” Cantor is right, and his and most of the Congress’s blind support for Israel is one of the main reasons that Islamist strength is growing at home and overseas.
Sadly, U.S. Muslim leaders seem content to miss this opportunity to get the truth on the table for debate, and instead will weep crocodile tears about how they are being discriminated against. They will thus miss a chance to assist their adopted country, and will make many of their fellow countrymen question whether they actually intend to behave as responsible U.S. citizens.
Al-Qaeda and Arab unrest
At the risk of trying readers’ patience with continued attention to this issue, I would again like to note the analysis-by-assertion that is dominating political oratory and media reporting on the question of al-Qaeda’s relevance in the wake of “democratic revolutions” in the Arab world.
Al-Qaeda’s goals in the Muslim world have been three in number since 1996:
- Drive the United States as far as possible from the Muslim world.
- Destroy the U.S.- and Western-supported Muslim tyrannies.
- Destroy Israel
Let me say again that it seems to me that all three of these goals are being advanced by the Arab rebellions:
- The United States military is already retreating in defeat from Iraq and Afghanistan because presidents Bush and Obama did not want to win. (However the politicians and media dress up these disasters, they will be seen across the Muslim world as the second superpower’s defeat at the hands of Allah’s mujahideen.) In addition, Washington’s tyrannical satrapies are dying one by one, with, oddly, Washington stabbing each in the back in turn. It is most unlikley that successor regimes will play the role of U.S. lackey as did, say, Mubarak, and that much U.S. political influence will end up being driven from the region. (Among the many miserable failures of the Western journalists covering the rebellions is their failure to tell Americans that one of the reasons Mubarak and the other tyrants were so hated was because they did Washington’s bidding in repressing Islam and protecting Israel.)
- Al-Qaeda’s second goal is mostly covered above, but it is again worth noting that the Arab tyrannies were key and productive U.S. allies in Washington’s war with al-Qaeda and the Islamic movement. How their destruction can be seen as a net loss for al-Qaeda and other Islamist groups takes a kind of logic that the good Jesuit fathers did not teach me.
- The Arab revolts clearly have pushed Israel farther along the road toward destruction. After destroying Israel’s eastern anti-Islamist shield by removing Saddam, Washington and its allies have destroyed Israel’s western anti-Islamist shield by helping to destroy the Arab tyrannies in Egypt and across North Africa. Again the logic that leads to the conclusion that these events yield a net negative for al-Qaeda and its allies is inexplicable. (This is not to argue that Washington should have protected the tyrannies. It is only to say that this is the dire price we pay for interventionist and pro-Israel policies that made us partners to tyranny for nearly half a century.)
These issues have caught my eye in the past few weeks. I pose them as questions because I have not thought through my own answers and would benefit from your ideas/comments.
- Is it the United Nations’ job to aid in the destruction of member-state governments — Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, etc. — which were recognized as voting UN members in good standing?
- Is what goes on in the Ivory Coast so vital to the interests of the United States and its allies that they — and the United Nations — were required to intervene and impose sanctions on the country over a disputed presidential election, an action which has helped drive Ivorian society toward civil war?
- Is there really a “peace movement” in the United States, or is that so-called movement simply a cynical and wholly owned subsidiary of the Democratic Party? The nearly complete silence of the peace folks has been quite noticeable, I think, as Obama adopts all of the Bush policies that drove what apparently are peace-frauds into the streets during the Bush years.