Friday, October 22, 2004

Michelle Malkin: The Illegal Immigration/Terrorist Connection

[I keep harping on this subject as does Mrs. Malkin...It is stunning to consider the sell-out that is taking place just to garner the lion's share of the Latino vote. Thousand of al-Qaeda terrorists have gathered in Venezuela and they aren't there on vacation...check the archives on this blog for an excellent article on the subject. - jtf]


By Michelle Malkin · October 22, 2004 12:16 PM

There's a new report quoting a Honduras homeland security official blowing the whistle on al Qaeda recruitment of Central American gang members, who can easily slip through our southern border. Oscar Alvarez's critics say he's concocting the threat to justify tough crackdowns on gangs and smugglers.

But as the article notes:

A spokesman for Mexico's National Immigration Institute said officials have caught "a significant number" of people from the Middle East trying to sneak into the United States from Mexico.

There has been at least one confirmed report of a terror suspect in Central America. U.S. and Panamanian officials say Saudi native and possible al-Qaida leader Adnan G. El Shukrijumah stayed in Panama for 10 days in April 2001.

In May, in Tegucigalpa, the Honduran capital, two witnesses said they saw El Shukrijumah, sparking rumors he was recruiting gang members...
More on the South American terror connection here.
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By Michelle Malkin · October 22, 2004 10:09 AM

More foreign support for John Kerry, this time an apparent endorsement from the Army of Ansar al-Sunnah.
He just keeps racking them up.
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By Michelle Malkin · October 22, 2004 07:44 AM


Sorry for the spleen-venting so early in the morning, but read this from the AP, headlined "Bush wants intelligence bill free of immigration provisions:"

The White House yesterday asked Congress to reject an attempt in the House to place illegal-immigration measures in an intelligence reform bill.
The Bush administration wants "an effective bill that both Houses can pass and the president can sign into law as soon as possible to meet the nation's security needs," national security adviser Condoleezza Rice and budget director Joshua Bolten said in a letter to congressional leaders.

Bush earlier called for lawmakers to hurry and finish their negotiations. "These reforms are necessary to stay ahead of the threats," the president said in a campaign speech Monday. "I urge Congress to act quickly so I can sign them into law."

The letter came as congressional negotiators prepared for their first public meeting today to negotiate a compromise on legislation to reform the intelligence community based on the recommendations of the Sept. 11 commission. While behind-the-scenes staff meetings have occurred, no resolution has been reached on illegal immigration measures that Republican House leaders want and that the Senate refused to consider.
The House bill would expand the number of illegal immigrants subject to quick deportation by increasing the amount of time they would have to be in the United States to be exempted from speedy deportation.

It also would force asylum seekers accused by their home countries of being involved in terrorist or guerrilla activities to prove that their race, religion, nationality or political opinion would be a "central reason" for their persecution if deported.

"The administration strongly opposes the overbroad expansion of expedited removal authorities, and has concerns about the provision addressing asylum; these sections should be modified or dropped altogether," the letter from Rice and Bolten said.

The White House provided a copy of the letter to The Associated Press yesterday...

It's stupid White House stunts like this that make it very tempting to just stay home on Election Day.

As I reported on Oct. 6:

In an even more shameful betrayal, the White House is now reportedly pressuring stalwart House Republicans into scrapping important immigration enforcement provisions of the House Intelligence Bill that speed up the deportation process and bar illegal aliens from obtaining valuable driver's licenses or using easy-to-fake foreign consular ID cards. Why? Because they are politically unpopular with ethnic constituencies.
This race is not just about who is better able to hunt down and destroy our enemies abroad. It's about who is more willing to hunt them down right here, jail them, kick them out and keep them out of our home. President Bush has shown he can stand up to the international Axis of Weasels. He must show the same resolve against La Raza, the immigration lawyers and Teddy Kennedy.

When I wrote that column, I was criticized by Bush supporters for my "bad timing" and for not being a "team player." You're right, some readers commented, but why don't you just keep quiet until after the election?

My bad timing? NO, I WILL NOT KEEP QUIET.

At a time when President Bush is trying to convince undecided voters that he is the better choice to protect this country, the last thing the White House should be doing is flaunting its open borders agenda. The immigration enforcement provisions in the House version of the bill, H.R. 10, are supported by House Republican leaders and are the very measures suggested by the 9/11 commission report.

See here and here for detailed legislative analysis.

As I have noted many, many, many, many times, deportation and asylum reform are keys to effective immigration enforcement. You could put 30,000 paramilitary troops along the border, and it still wouldn't be enough unless you stopped the catch-and-release games being played inside our borders.

And as Dan Stein of FAIR points out:

"The 9/11 Commission did not limit the scope of its investigation to intelligence failures, and passing a reform bill that address only intelligence failures is tantamount to fixing the hole in sail while ignoring the crack in the keel. 9/11 was a multifaceted failure of intelligence, bureaucratic turf wars, immigration policy and enforcement, and common sense that led to catastrophic consequences.

For Congress to cave-in to special interest pressure and remove the immigration reform provisions of the bill and claim that the problem has been fixed would be an act of unprecedented irresponsibility. To deny that immigration reforms were even called for is simply an insult to the intelligence of anyone who has read the report.

I couldn't put it any better than one of my readers did this in an e-mail to me this morning:

Kerry doesn't need an "October surprise," the Republicans are doing it to themselves!


The White House comment line is 202-456-1111.

The Senate conferees are:

* Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) - 202-224-2523
* Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH) - 202-224-3353
* Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN) - 202-224-5641
* Sen. John Sununu (R-NH) - 202-224-2841
* Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) - 202-224-4774
* Sen. Mike DeWine (R-OH) - 202-224-2315
* Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS) - 202-224-6253
* Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) - 202-224-4041
* Sen. Carl Levin(D-MI) - 202-224-6221
* Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) - 202-224-2152
* Sen. John Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) - 202-224-6472
* Sen. Bob Graham (D-FL) - 202-224-3041
* Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) - 202-224-3224
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Mark Noll: The Evangelical Mind Today

Copyright (c) 2004 First Things 146 (October 2004): 34-39.

Ten years after the publication of The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, I remain largely unrepentant about the book’s historical arguments, its assessment of evangelical strengths and weaknesses, and its indictment of evangelical intellectual efforts, though I have changed my mind on a few matters. Some readers have rightly pointed out that what I described as a singularly evangelical problem is certainly related to the general intellectual difficulties of an advertisement-driven, image-preoccupied, television-saturated, frenetically hustling consumer society, and that the reason evangelicals suffer from intellectual weakness is that American culture as a whole suffers from intellectual weakness. Another helpful criticism is that the book lumps together fundamentalists, Pentecostals, and holiness advocates as culprits in the stagnation of evangelical thinking and that it ignores certain mitigating circumstances and worthy exceptions that one could cite from each of these sub-traditions.

Yet on the whole, The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind still seems to me correct in its descriptions and evaluations. What is true throughout the Christian world is true for American Christians: we who are in pietistic, generically evangelical, Baptist, fundamentalist, Restorationist, holiness, "Bible church," megachurch, or Pentecostal traditions face special difficulties when putting the mind to use. Taken together, American evangelicals display many virtues and do many things well, but built-in barriers to careful and constructive thinking remain substantial.

These barriers include an immediatism that insists on action, decision, and even perfection right now, a populism that confuses winning supporters with mastering actually existing situations, an anti-traditionalism that privileges one’s own current judgments on biblical, theological, and ethical issues (however hastily formed) over insight from the past (however hard won and carefully stated), and a nearly gnostic dualism that rushes to spiritualize all manner of bodily, terrestrial, physical, and material realities (despite the origin and providential maintenance of these realities in God). In addition, we evangelicals as a rule still prefer to put our money into programs offering immediate results, whether evangelistic or humanitarian, instead of into institutions promoting intellectual development over the long term.

These evangelical habits continue to hamper evangelical thinking. We remain inordinately susceptible to enervating apocalyptic speculation, and we produce and consume oceans of bathetic End Times literature while sponsoring only a trickle of serious geopolitical analysis. We are consistently drawn to so-called "American Christianities"—occasionally of the left, more often of the right—that subordinate principled reasoning rooted in the gospel to partisanship in which opponents are demonized and deficiencies in our friends are excused. (Defense of the right to life remains the shining exception to that generalization about politics.) Capitulation to disembodied ideals of spirituality incapacitates our struggling band of novelists and poets. And far too many of us still make the intellectually suicidal mistake of thinking that promoting "creation science" is the best way to resist naturalistic philosophies of science. When it comes to the life of the mind, in other words, we evangelicals continue to have our problems.

That being said, it must also be noted that were I to attempt such a book as The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind today, it would have a different tone—more hopeful than despairing, more attuned to possibilities than to problems, more concerned with theological resources than theological deficiencies. The major reason for this alteration in perspective is itself theological; a secondary reason is that many developments on the ground now also seem auspicious. The theology, though vastly more important and deserving of extensive exposition, I will treat succinctly below. The signs of life on the ground I will explore at somewhat greater length. Foundational theology and proliferating portents, taken together, make me more hopeful now about Christian thinking by evangelicals than I was a decade ago. And, for reasons that should become apparent, I do mean to say "Christian thinking by evangelicals" rather than "evangelical thinking" as such.

Theological reasons to hope for better things from evangelical intellectual effort spring from the resources of classical trinitarian Christianity. Even if those resources are unused or abused, they continue to exist as a powerful latent force wherever individuals or groups look in faith to God as loving Father, redeeming Savior, and sustaining Spirit. Various forms of evangelical Christianity are, in fact, burgeoning around the world; the evangelical proportion of the practicing Christian population in North America continues to expand; where there is evangelical life there is hope for evangelical learning.

The intrinsic reason for that hope lies in the biblical message that evangelicals identify as the bedrock of our faith. Because evangelicals tend to disregard tradition, we are liable to miss the rich contributions that other strands of faithful believers have made to interpreting and applying the multitudinous biblical words that are so potent for the life of the mind. But this can change. If evangelicals are the ones who insist most aggressively that they believe in sola scriptura, and if evangelicals are the ones who assert most vigorously the transforming work of Jesus Christ, then it is reasonable to hope that what the Scriptures teach about the origin of creation in Christ, the sustaining of all things in Christ, and the dignity of all creation in Christ—about, in other words, the subjects of learning—will be a spur for evangelicals to a deeper and richer intellectual life: "He is before all things, and in him all things hold together" (Colossians 1:15-17).

For evangelicals (as for other Christians) the greatest hope for learning in any age lies not primarily in heightened activity, nor in better funding, nor in sounder strategizing—though all of these exertions have an important role to play. Rather, the great hope for Christian learning lies in the Christian faith itself, which in the end means in Jesus Christ. Thus, if evangelicals are the people of the gospel we claim to be, our intellectual rescue is close at hand.

But how will evangelicals pursue goals defined by phrases like "first-rate Christian scholarship" or "the Christian use of the mind," when these phrases sound like a call to backsliding for some in the churches and like a simple oxymoron for many in the broader world? For a Christian in the evangelical tradition, the only enduring answer must come from considering Jesus Christ as sustaining the world and all that is in it. In the light of Christ, we can undertake a whole-hearted, unabashed, and unembarrassed effort to understand this world. In a mind fixed on him, there is intrinsic hope for the development of intellectual seriousness, intellectual integrity, and intellectual gravity.

If there is hope for intellectual life in the theology that evangelicals profess to believe, so also can encouragement be found in several concrete developments of recent decades. Without denying that well-entrenched obstacles continue to frustrate an honorable use of the mind, it is still possible to identify substantial signs of progress. How those developments should be ranked in importance differs depending on place and circumstance, but together they make for an impressive list.

The first source of hope I would point to is the increasing engagement between evangelicals and Roman Catholics that has contributed dramatically to improved evangelical use of the mind. As more and more communication takes place between these once-warring camps, mutual enlightenment on many matters, including scholarship, is the result. So rapidly has the situation changed from the cold war that existed into the 1960s, that it is now barely conceivable that either Catholics or evangelicals could once have thought that either could get along without help from the other. The exchange between these traditions is probably more important to Catholics for reasons other than intellectual, but the life of the mind is where evangelicals benefit most. While evangelicals offer Catholics eagerness, commitment, and an ability to negotiate in a culture of intellectual consumerism, Catholics offer evangelicals a sense of tradition and centuries of reflection on the bearing of sacramentality on all existence.

Whenever evangelicals in recent years have been moved to admonish themselves and other evangelicals for weaknesses in ecclesiology, tradition, the intellectual life, sacraments, theology of culture, aesthetics, philosophical theology, or historical consciousness, the result has almost always been selective appreciation for elements of the Catholic tradition. Whatever Protestants may think of individual proposals, methods, or conclusions proceeding from any individual Catholic thinker, the growing evangelical willingness to pay respectful attention to the words and deeds of a whole host of Catholic intellectuals, beginning with Pope John Paul II, makes an important contribution to better intellectual effort.

The intellectual harvests that evangelicals now reap from better relations with Catholics are well illustrated by personnel and programs at the University of Notre Dame. Although it is not the only place in the country where first-rate intellectuals from both Protestant and Catholic traditions have been recruited to labor together to Christian learning, it is the place where that recruitment has been most successful. Naturally, the kind of Christian learning on offer—even the definition of what Christian learning means—differs considerably from scholar to scholar at Notre Dame. But for a Catholic university to offer graduate students and the wider reading public (whether Catholic, evangelical, or other) a lineup of Appleby, Cunningham, McGreevy, MacIntyre, McMullen, Marsden, Plantinga, Turner, and many more is really something—something for learning itself, but also something for illustrating how evangelicals have benefited from entering intellectual space founded, funded, and fueled by Roman Catholics.

Notre Dame has also been the home of the Pew Programs in evangelical (or Christian) Scholarship, a series of projects (now winding down) that represent a focused effort to spur evangelicals to better Christian thinking. These ventures have provided research fellowships for college and university professors, scholarships for graduate students, and seminars of various sorts for Christian academics at different stages of their careers. Scores of students from evangelical colleges have been guided toward graduate education, dozens of evangelical graduate students have been funded in leading doctoral programs, and many scholars have been assisted in finishing major writing projects. The Pew initiatives at Notre Dame have made evangelicals better scholars and also have leveraged evangelical connections to improve Christian learning in general.

Consideration of evangelical-Catholic cooperation at Notre Dame leads naturally to consideration of a second source of hope for improved evangelical thinking—the ongoing renascence of Christian philosophy. Beginning with a few intrepid Calvinists and independent evangelicals, and stimulated by a large dose of modern neo-Thomism, for several decades Christian philosophers in the United States have been engaged in full-scale, first-order investigation at the highest level. Evangelicals do not dominate this Christian philosophical resurgence, but they have been key participants at every stage. For evangelical graduate students and young professionals, philosophy has become the one academic discipline where strong networks devoted to both intellectual rigor and Christian integrity exist in all regions of the country and for almost every level of higher education.

Results of this resurgence are visible in the quality of work being produced. Philosophers and theologians attuned to modern philosophy provide an unusually high proportion of the serious orthodox theology on offer in the English-speaking world. Faith and Philosophy, the journal of the Society of Christian Philosophers, which is now in its twenty-first year, offers further testimony, with its regular publication of articles and reviews of great intellectual depth, with thirty-eight stellar practitioners on its editorial committee, and with sixteen institutions (including Catholic, evangelical, and mainline Protestant) offering support. For evangelicals, the continuing strength of the Christian philosophy project has provided stimulus, encouragement, models, graduate school mentors, practice in intra-Christian diversity, and much more. Other academic disciplines—including history, the visual arts, economics, political science, sociology, music, and the physical sciences—enjoy active Christian networks, but none has reached as high or mixed as many Christian traditions as has Christian philosophy. No other academic network has contributed so directly to the strengthening of evangelical minds.Evangelical colleges and universities offer a third venue where hope can be glimpsed. Because of how evangelicalism developed in the United States, evangelical institutions of higher learning have often functioned as sectarian enclaves; they have regularly sought purity in isolation rather than public engagement; and they have often been too tightly bound to the rise and fall of their charismatic leaders. These features have not been harmful for all Christian purposes, but for intellectual life they have been restricting. Over the last half-century, however, more institutions of evangelical higher learning—colleges, universities, seminaries, and even Bible schools—have seasoned their sectarian certitudes with commitment to "mere Christianity"; more have expanded goals beyond the socialization of their own group’s rising generation; more have begun to promote the academic life as a legitimate Christian vocation; more are coming to understand that there can be no good teaching without good scholarship.

Evangelical higher education has been given a special boost in recent years by remarkable developments at Baylor University and by less comprehensive but still bold initiatives at Calvin College. As is well known, Baylor’s characteristically Texan announcement that by the year 2012 it would dramatically improve the academic quality of its university and demonstrably raise the Christian salience of its academic programs has met serious internal resistance. A predictable alliance of theological liberals and nervous naysayers has protested, but Baylor’s leaders have forged ahead. Whether Baylor will reach its ambitious goals remains uncertain, but no one should doubt that its efforts constitute the most far-reaching and most important institutional attempt in many decades to do the proper thing for the life of the evangelical mind.

Calvin College’s special contribution to that same end has been its stimulating summer seminars, organized for faculty and graduate students in a wide variety of fields. These seminars, in place for more than a decade now, provide instant networking for often-isolated Christian scholars and for colleagues who, though not Christian themselves, want to engage with those who are. They offer opportunities for scholars from different Christian traditions to address important intellectual questions at the level of a research university, for the duration of a summer term and then through follow-up activities. The Calvin seminars are perhaps most intriguing as an experiment testing whether a college committed to solid undergraduate instruction can also foster serious research without taking on the whole of what has usually characterized America’s comprehensive universities.

In addition, a host of evangelical colleges—and also quasi-evangelical and evangelical-friendly institutions—have started new programs, added faculty, set up institutes, sponsored conferences, raised money for research professorships, and otherwise taken steps to improve their intellectual quality. Many of these institutions are members of the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities, which from its office in Washington, D.C., has worked hard to strengthen its members’ intellectual efforts. Evangelical higher education in North America remains a fragmented enterprise, both nourished and impeded by the sectarian character of American religion. But increasingly these schools are becoming more responsible in sponsoring serious intellectual effort.

A fourth area in which hopeful signs are visible is the domain of science. In the past, warfare over evolutionary theory may have been necessary—especially to protect students from crude philosophical naturalism masquerading as empirical science—but it was regrettable insofar as it transformed questions requiring measured and learned investigation into public arguments favoring simplistic demagoguery by theists and secularists alike. Strife over "creation science" continues to simmer, exacting a high cost in both serious study of nature and serious learning from Scripture, yet several positive influences are evident. Without claiming mastery of the recondite issues involved, I can say I am heartened by the consistent quality of intra-evangelical debate in forums such as the American Scientific Affiliation’s Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith. I am also encouraged by the boldness and clarity with which evangelicals such as Denis Lamoureux and Keith B. Miller spell out why they are evolutionists and why they hold evolutionary theory to be compatible with traditional Christian orthodoxy. It is also heartening that promoters of the intelligent-design theory, such as William Dembski and Jonathan Wells, are trying to raise questions about the Christian stake in science to the levels of metaphysical and teleological debate, where they should have been all along.

A fifth reason for thinking more hopefully about evangelical intellectual life is the multiplying Christian presence in the nation’s pluralistic universities, where far more students of evangelical persuasion receive their higher education than at the evangelical colleges and universities. One sign of that presence is a larger roster of identifiably Christian faculty in the lead ranks of their disciplines. Even though (or, perhaps, because) these visibly believing faculty take up their tasks in many different, not always compatible, ways, their very existence is a sign of hope. To compare the situation just three or four decades ago to the situation today is to see a change for the better. Then there was only a small handful of leading scholars willing to identify themselves as believers; now it is possible to name a long list in many fields. Evangelicals who read and study with such intellectuals are provided with models and mentors.

Other signs of hope at the pluralistic universities are modest but significant. Local churches and individual denominations maintain Christian study centers at many universities, and some of them are effective. Self-standing centers at the University of Virginia, Michigan State University, the University of Illinois, the University of Minnesota, and elsewhere offer encouragement by moving closer to the British and Canadian pattern, where identifiably Christian units are embedded in the broader university. The Veritas Forums that annually convene on many campuses bring further connections and encouragement to wide audiences that include many evangelicals.

At pluralistic colleges and universities, campus ministries of many sorts also encourage evangelical spiritual life. Especially with its major commitment to its graduate and faculty ministry, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship offers reason for hope. By providing Christian nurture and networks for evangelical students and teachers who might otherwise feel isolated as believing scholars, the grad-faculty IVCF may be doing as much in its low-key way to improve evangelical intellectual life as any other ongoing national program.

A sixth arena where favorable developments in recent years have helped evangelicals toward greater intellectual responsibility is the world of publishing. Serious periodicals such as First Things, Books & Culture, and Touchstone provide meaningful Christian engagement with significant issues of contemporary life. Whether such journals do so from explicitly evangelical angles or from the perspective of other believing traditions, their net effect is to demonstrate how essential it is for communities of faith to think their way through the modern world rather than just reacting to it.

The number of serious books that can be identified as Christian, near-Christian, or Christian-friendly also continues to increase. Presses such as Eerdmans, Baker, and InterVarsity Press were midwives at the birth of postwar evangelicalism, and they have continued to make Herculean efforts. They have now been joined by many other religious, commercial, and university presses willing to publish books written by evangelicals or treating seriously the subjects that most concern evangelicals.

Beyond question, evangelical intellectual life is being strengthened by developments in these six areas. Yet when assessing the current situation, realism is also required, as well as precision about what is actually taking place. We are indeed witnessing some advances by evangelicals in Christian intellectual life, but these improvements do not point toward the development of a distinctly evangelical mind. Common, generic evangelicalism and the activistic denominations that make up evangelicalism do not possess theologies full enough, traditions of intellectual practice strong enough, or conceptions of the world deep enough to sustain a full-scale intellectual revival.

Without strong theological traditions, most evangelicals lack a critical element required for making intellectual activity both self-confident and properly humble, both critical and committed. In order to advance responsible Christian learning, the vitality of commitment must be stabilized by the ballast of tradition. Tradition without life might be barely Christian, but life without tradition is barely coherent.

Part of what makes it possible for a particular stream of Christianity to support vigorous intellectual life is simply the passage of time: an older movement obviously has had more opportunities to broaden out into fruitful scholarship. But another part is a self-conscious commitment to learn from the teaching and experience of past believing generations. The current dilemma for Christian learning in North America could be broadly described as follows.

On the one side, Pentecostals, Southern Baptists, members of Holiness movements, seeker-sensitive churches, dispensationalists, Adventists, African-American congregations, radical Wesleyans, and lowest-common-denominator evangelicals have great spiritual energy, but they flounder in putting the mind to use for Christ. On the other side, Lutherans, Catholics, Anglo-Catholics, the Reformed, and the Eastern Orthodox enjoy incredibly rich traditions that include sterling examples of Christian thought, but they often display a comatose spirituality.

This picture is, of course, a generalization. Yet think how natural it sounds to talk of Pentecostal Signs and Wonders, intense holiness spirituality, vigorous seeker-sensitive evangelism, a dispensationalist devotion to Scripture, and Baptist missionary zeal. It seems equally self-evident that we can speak of such things as an estimable tradition of Lutheran sacred music, art history pursued from a Kuyperian Reformed perspective, profound social theory from Catholics, and a solid trajectory of Anglo-Catholic belles lettres. But try to shift and mix the categories and hear how unexpected some of the combinations sound: Kuyperian Reformed Signs and Wonders? Vigorous Catholic evangelism? An Anglo-Catholic devotion to Scripture? Intense Lutheran spirituality? Or, to run it the other way: Art history pursued from a Baptist perspective? A solid trajectory of seeker-sensitive belles lettres? Profound social theory from the holiness movement?

Active Christian life of the sort that defines evangelicalism is a prerequisite for responsible Christian learning. But unless that activity is given shape, it will remain ineffective. The older Christian traditions provide depth, because they are rooted in classical Christian doctrine, and they offer breadth, because they have nurtured outstanding examples of faithful Christian thinking. There is, in other words, no neo-Thomist personalism without centuries of God-honoring moral casuistry; no J. S. Bach without Luther’s theologies of the Incarnation and the Cross; no Dorothy L. Sayers without Anglo-Catholic sacramentalism; no Flannery O’Connor without a Catholic theology of redemption; and no contemporary revival of Christian philosophy among American evangelicals without the legacy of Kuyperian Calvinism.

Evangelicals of several types are beginning to learn the lessons taught by such exemplars. As they do so, many are becoming more serious Christian thinkers. To embrace the energy of American evangelicalism, but also to move beyond the eccentricities of American evangelicalism into the spacious domains of self-critical, patient, rooted, and productive Christian tradition, remains the great challenge for the evangelical mind.

Mark Noll, Professor of History at Wheaton College, is the author most recently of America’s God: From Jonathan Edwards to Abraham Lincoln (Oxford University Press).

Phyllis Chesler: Duke University's Terror Conference: A Postmortem

By Phyllis Chesler October 22, 2004

Let us praise the many good Jewish organizations and activists who came to Duke (or were already at Duke) to infiltrate and protest last week's Palestinian Solidarity Conference.
We must also praise Rabbi Zalman Bluming, the Chabad Rabbi at Duke, who decided to bring the terrorist-destroyed bus #19 to campus for two days. He estimates that at least 4,000 students and community members came to see it. Rabbi Bluming said: "When Jews stand up for Israel with clarity, without apology, the world respects this." Rabbi Bluming also provided kosher food for the Jewish activists who came from both coasts.

Rabbi Avi Weiss came from NYC and had the most heartbreaking and chilling encounter with Duke graduate student Ran Bar-On, the Israeli-South African Jew who invited PSM onto the campus (more about this in a future column). Rabbi Weiss also sent about 30 activists from Amcha who, under the responsible and soft-spoken leadership of Rabbi Etan Mintz, stood moral vigil outside the PSM conference. They sang peace movement melodies. In Rabbi Mintz's words: "We had come to honor the souls of the thousands who were murdered by terrorist attacks... (not only were they slain), it was as if now they were being re-murdered." At the PSM conference, "their murderers were being exonerated, even extolled."

We must also praise four Jewish organizations who also heeded Rabbi Hillel's first question and paid for two full-page ads that appeared in the Duke student newspaper several days before the PSM conference began.

StandWithUS, American Jewish Congress, Hasbara Fellowships and the Zionist Organization of America paid for the ads. The first ad showed nine graphic, color photographs of terrorism against Israeli civilians on buses, at religious events, at universities, at restaurants, at nightclubs, at bus stops, at shopping centers, at synagogues, and at cafes.

According to Roz Rothstein, of StandWithUs, this ad's purpose "was to stop the whitewashing of suicide bombing because it is mass murder." The second ad showed thirteen graphic photographs of the Ku Klux Klan-like masked Palestinian indoctrination of children into hatred and martrydom. Its purpose was "to show that the indoctrination of children to hate and murder Jews and to destroy the state of Israel is a crime against humanity."

These groups, StandWithUs, Camera, and American Jewish Congress, also provided the brave activists who infiltrated and documented what went on at the PSM conference. Lee Kaplan was an independent infiltrator (He will be publishing his own report). Through their dedicated, inspired, and combined efforts, we now know the following:

The PSM/ISM speakers proclaimed that Zionism is a "disease" and that Israel is an "Apartheid" state. They viewed "Palestine" as the "epitome of freedom" and terrorists as freedom-fighters. They called for the abolition of the Jewish state through the use of suicide-homicide terrorism and through the adoption of a "one state" solution in which Jews would be demographically overwhelmed, marginalized, persecuted, and ultimately driven out.

The PSM conference again specifically recruited for the International Solidarity Movement. But they also proposed some startling new strategies.

For the first time, they suggested that PSM's Jewish supporters "hijack" Project Birthright, and use it to get free trips to Israel. Upon arrival, they could slip into "Palestine" to assist Israel's enemies. They taught a session on how to lie to Israeli authorities and to the Birthright people.

The PSM/ISM announced a plan to use left-wing Jews, Christians, and Muslims to infiltrate and "take over" campus Hillels--precisely because they are, commendably, democratic--as a way of further indoctrinating American students with their ideology of hate.

They called for a program whereby they would use American public schools and libraries as ideal places to disseminate their "educational" propaganda.

The PSM/ISM also announced the need for a boycott of Jewish companies such as Estee Lauder, Clinique, and Bobby Brown because they donate money to Israel and do business there as well.

In addition, the PSM conference called for the co-optation of mainstream Christian groups like the Presbyterians and the Episcopalians to further the various divest-in-Israel movements.

Who came to hear this message? An activist from StandWithUs told me that the approximately 400 people who attended the PSM conference "did not seem like students. They were people of all ages, on tight budgets."

An activist from the American Jewish Congress provided some more answers: "The conference was made up of mostly white, middle to lower class racists. Supporters of various left-wing groups such as Answer, Sustain, Code Pink, United for Peace and Justice, Rukus.Org were there. Many seemed like flower children gone wrong. In their passion for the Palestinians and for 'human rights' they seem to have lost their way and become anti-Semitic. They hate President Bush, the American governent, large corporations and Israel. They blame Israel for ALL the world's problems. One middle aged African-American woman, a gray panther, said "If Israel ceased to exist the world's problems would go away."

Another activist described the PSM conference-goers as "lost, uneducated, almost-street people who seem to have found new life by supporting the PSM. Many from the Bay area seem to have missing links. Many were members of Brit T'Zedek, and they came with shaved heads, pierced noses, lips, and tongues. Many were older women. They seemed to have no idea that gay women would be killed in the disputed Palestinian territories but not in Israel. They wore keffiyas, political buttons, and tee-shirts that said "We are all Palestinians."

A third activist remembers this sight: "A small number of Arabs, African-Americans, and good old southern white 'boys,' joining members of Aryan Resistance. Seeing white racists support African- and Arab-Americans in support of Hamas and Fatah was a strange sight."

The Freeman Center for Jewish Life, the Hillel affiliate on campus, consciously chose not to infiltrate the PSM conference or to protest peacefully, but to put on alternative programming throughout the time of the conference. This, too, was important. They were trying to respect the feelings of the local Jewish communities, the Duke administration, and the Arab students with whom they were trying to work. They were also trying to honor the "politically correct" views that have come to dominate our campuses.

The Freeman Center held a concert and anti-terrorism rally which was seen, via webcast, around the country. Four survivors of terrorism from Australia, America, the Sudan, and Lebanon spoke out. They also sponsored speakers such as Israeli leftist Avram Burg, author Mitchell Bard, and Rachel Fish from the David Project.

The Conservative Student Union at Duke chose to protest the PSM conference by inviting Professor Daniel Pipes to speak. His talk was also co-sponsored by The Freeman Center.

Brigitte Gabriel, a Maronite Christian from Lebanon--a righteous Gentile if there ever was one--spoke for the Freeman Center about how she survived Palestinian terrorism in Israel and how she was rescued, quite literally, by Israeli soldiers and physicians. (She prepared a special 45 minute video which I have mounted on my website. You may see it at Sadly, she angered some people at Duke for naming the terrorists clearly and accurately.

Rabbi Hillel asked three questions. "If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? If not now, when?"

At Duke, Jews and our Christian supporters, actually answered and honored all three of Hillel's questions. May we all continue to do so.

The author wishes to acknowledge the assistance of Roz Rothstein of StandWithUs, Jerome Gordon, and all the organizations and individuals quoted above.

Phyllis Chesler, Ph.D., is the author of twelve books including her latest, The New Anti-Semitism. The Current Crisis and What We Must Do About It. She is working on a new book about the importance of independent thinking among women for Palgrave-Macmillan (St. Martin’s). She may reached through her website

Jonah Goldberg: The Myth of the Disenfranchised

October 22, 2004

On October 21, The Associated Press reported: "Sen. John Kerry, bracing for a potential fight over election results, will not hesitate to declare victory Nov. 2 and defend it, advisers say. He also will be prepared to name a national security team before knowing whether he's secured the presidency."

The prior Sunday, Eric Holder, a member of the Democrats' "Election Task Force," told Chris Wallace of "Fox News Sunday," "If every vote is allowed to be cast, and if every vote is counted, John Kerry will be president within a day of that election."

Wallace chuckled at what he thought was so much partisan bravado. "Well, I don't know how you can guarantee that," he said.

"You heard it right here," Holder responded coldly. "If every vote is allowed to be cast and every vote is counted, John Kerry will be president."

Meanwhile, in Missouri the Democratic front-group Americans Coming Together hands out fliers depicting an African-American on the receiving end of a fire hose blast. "This is what they used to do to keep us from voting," the piece reads. On the back are a list of alleged incidents of recent voter intimidation, with the line, "This is how Republicans keep African-Americans from voting now."

Let's just skip over the fact that odds are the guy ordering the fire hose treatment was a Democrat.

The Democrats' voter manual instructs party operatives to "launch a pre-emptive strike" by charging voter intimidation even if there is no evidence any such thing is taking place.

And of course, a standard line of John F. Kerry's is, "Never again will a million African-Americans be denied their right to exercise the vote in the United States of America."

That's a nice general sentiment, and I would be in total solidarity with Kerry if he were referring to Jim Crow or the days of slavery. But he's talking about the 2000 election. And there is simply no evidence that 1 million African-Americans were denied their right to vote in 2000. Indeed, John Fund, the author of the eminently comprehensive and thoughtful book "Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud is Threatening Democracy," has implored the NAACP, the ACLU and the Democratic Party to provide him with real life examples of blacks - or anybody else - who were specifically disenfranchised. Alas, like the "real killers" O.J. Simpson is still searching for, Fund's quest has remained unfulfilled.

In 2000, Janet Reno - still the Attorney General - dispatched crack squads to highlight the crimes against democracy the Democrats had been touting. They came up empty, too. Indeed, even Al Gore's lawyers - who saw nothing wrong with trying to squelch the votes of Americans serving in the military - failed to cite a single example of the allegedly "pervasive" disenfranchisement Democrats claimed had taken place. You always know something's fishy when party hacks say one thing in front of cameras and another in front of judges.

Now, obviously, the GOP is hardly pure on such matters. The reports that a firm in Nevada allegedly tore up the registration forms of Democrats and Independents is just one small example of how both sides play games with the rules. And, admittedly, in 2000, Florida Republicans did over-purge the rolls of felons. Yet during the same election, Democrats kept polling places in Missouri open late in Democratic precincts. And in South Dakota they probably stole the Senate election from the GOP by using the Indian vote "creatively." Undeniably, both parties have played fast and loose.

But there's a huge difference between the two sides' tactics. The Republicans' lawyers aren't preemptively declaring the election is fraud if they don't win. Simply put, they aren't trying to undermine the legitimacy of the American political system. The Democrats - who constantly decry Bush's "politics of fear" even as they warn of a draft and tell blacks they'll be disenfranchised - have taken the position that a Bush victory is by its very nature proof of voter fraud. That is the Holder Doctrine. If all the votes are counted, Kerry wins. Period. If Bush wins, the votes must not have been counted.

Already, in state after state, the Democrats have said that voter confusion over how to vote constitutes voter disenfranchisement. But, as George Will recently noted, disenfranchisement is something the government does to you. It's not something you do to yourself. If you can't figure out how to fill in the ovals or punch the chads - and some minority of voters will always botch it - that doesn't mean your right to vote was rescinded. It means that you didn't take your right to vote seriously enough to pay attention to the instructions. Democracy requires two things: an electorate that takes its responsibilities seriously and small-d democrats of all parties who take the process seriously.

Judged on these two criteria, it's hard to see how the Democrats can call themselves democrats.

Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online, a member group.

©2004 Tribune Media Services

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Woj: Curt Pitches Heroically, Now We've Got Game 7

The Bergen County Record

NEW YORK - The blood soaked through his socks, leaving that torn tendon raw and requiring repair, but there was no stopping Curt Schilling. The winds whipped, the temperature dipped into the low 40's and Schilling fired from that bloody stump in the middle of Yankee Stadium and delivered the Sox to the most dramatic Game 7 in the history of the American League.

One more night, one more game, one more chance for the Red Sox to complete the greatest comeback in baseball history.

One more night, one more game and one more chance for the Yankees to complete the greatest collapse in baseball history.

One more night to obliterate all those ghosts.

One more night that promises to be the most unforgettable in the history of the Red Sox and the Yankees.

The Red Sox beat the Yankees, 4-2, in Game 6 on Tuesday night, and the two clubs have pushed past the hype and exploded our expectations. Stephen King can keep writing his baseball books, but it is impossible to recreate the reality of what plays out between these teams.
"I guess it was supposed to come to Game 7," Yankees' manager Joe Torre said. "Sometimes, it just happens in a startling way."

Startling just started to describe Schilling on Tuesday night. Startling just started to describe the Sox' sprint back into this Series. Schilling had one magnificent comeback himself, but it was simply secondary to the spectacular sprint of these Sox, daring the unthinkable of coming back from down three games to none in the American League Championship Series.
"We just did something that has never been done," Schilling said. He was talking about winning three straight to force a Game 7 in the baseball playoffs. "But it ain't over yet."

He would wonder what he had until he dug those spikes into the hole in front of the pitching rubber, reared back and fired his first 94-mph fastball. He wondered before he brushed back Alex Rodriguez, and struck out Ruben Sierra and started to be himself again. Schilling was Schilling again, and he was digging deep to deliver Game 7 for the Red Sox. He had wanted to silence the Stadium and it would be deathly solemn with Schilling starting out the most important start of his season with that nasty disposition and that nasty old stuff.

For the previous two nights at Fenway Park, Schilling felt helpless, like the 35,000 fans surrounding him. He just wanted his shot, just wanted to get back into the Series. He was praying for a second chance.

As usual, it is just beginning between the Yankees and Red Sox. So much would happen between the time Schilling left the game to end the seventh inning, having allowed just one run and four hits, and Keith Foulke finally struck out Tony Clark with two on and two out. There was A-Rod getting called for smacking the ball out of Bronson Arroyo's glove, and Derek Jeter's run was called back and the police in riot gear had flooded the field. It was wild, all the way until the end.

It was 8:16 p.m., when Schilling marched in from the bullpen, holding his glove and a white towel in the swirling Yankee Stadium rain. The boos thundered down on him, and the hate had to feel like such a generous gift for him. Schilling should've been down and out, just like the Red Sox. He should've been finished in the ALCS, just like the Sox. This is a rising revolution of redemption for Schilling and the Red Sox.

They actually sewed the skin around the tendon so tightly that it would be almost impossible to pop. The pain had to be unbearable.
"I don't think people have any idea what he went through to pitch today," Sox' manager Terry Francona said.

Within reach now is everything Boston has ever wanted. The Sox wouldn't just beat the Yankees to reach the World Series, but the greatest comeback in baseball history would also be remembered as the greatest collapse in sports history.
No longer would it be the '86 Sox against the Mets.
No longer would it be the 2003 Sox of Pedro Martinez and Grady Little.

It would be the highest payroll in the history of team sports, the $184 million Yankees blowing a 3-0 lead on the most failed, cursed franchise of our time. Curt Schilling had been hired to deliver the Sox to this day, and there he stood in the middle of Stadium, dragging that bloody ankle around the mound, and dragging the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees to the biggest Game 7 in the history of the American League tonight.


Flu Vaccine Fiasco: La Grippe of the Trial Lawyers

From the October 25, 2004 issue:

Guess who's to blame for the flu vaccine fiasco.

by William Tucker.
The Weekly Standard- 10/25/2004, Volume 010, Issue 07

JOHN KERRY wasted no time jumping on President George Bush about the unexpected shortage in flu vaccines this year. Why wasn't Bush paying attention? He should have done things differently. And of course Kerry had a "plan" to solve the whole mess.

If Kerry thinks he can solve the flu vaccine problem, he need look no further than his own running mate, trial lawyer John Edwards. Vaccines are the one area of medicine where trial lawyers are almost completely responsible for the problem. No one can plausibly point a finger at insurance companies, drug companies, or doctors. Lawyers have won the vaccine game so completely that nobody wants to play.

Two weeks ago, British regulators suspended the license of Chiron Corp., the world's second-leading flu vaccine supplier, for three months. Officials cited manufacturing problems at the factory in Liverpool, England, where Chiron makes its leading product, Fluvirin. Chiron was scheduled to supply 46 million of the 100 million doses to be administered in the United States this year. The other 54 million will come from Aventis Pasteur, a French company with headquarters in Strasbourg.
So why is it that 100 percent of our flu vaccines are now made by two companies in Europe? The answer is simple. Trial lawyers drove the American manufacturers out of the business.

In 1967 there were 26 companies making vaccines in the United States. Today there are only four that make any type of vaccine and none making flu vaccine. Wyeth was the last to fall, dropping flu shots after 2002. For recently emerging illnesses such as Lyme disease, there is no commercial vaccine, even though one has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
All this is the result of a legal concept called "liability without fault" that emerged from the hothouse atmosphere of the law schools in the 1960s and became the law of the land. Under the old "negligence" regime, you had to prove a product manufacturer had done something wrong in order to hold it liable for damages. Under liability without fault, on the other hand, the manufacturer can be held responsible for harm from its products, whether blameworthy or not. Add to that the jackpot awards that come from pain-and-suffering and punitive damages, and you have a legal climate that no manufacturer wants to risk.

In theory, prices might have been jacked up enough to make vaccine production profitable even with the lawsuit risk, but federal intervention made vaccines a low-margin business. Before 1993, manufacturers sold vaccines to doctors, doctors prescribed them to patients, and there was some markup. Then Congress adopted the Vaccine for Children Act, which made the government a monopsony buyer. The feds now purchase over half of all vaccines at a low fixed price and distribute them to doctors. This has essentially finished off the private market.

As recently as 1980, 18 American companies made eight different vaccines for various childhood diseases. Today, four companies--GlaxoSmithKline, Aventis, Merck, and Wyeth--make 12 vaccines. Of the 12, seven are made by only one company and only one is made by more than two. "There are constant shortages," says Dr. Paul Offit, head of the Vaccine Education Center at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. "With only one supplier for so many vaccines, the whole system is fragile. When even the smallest thing goes wrong, children miss their vaccinations."
The intersection between mass vaccinations and the tort system was bound to be messy. When you vaccinate enough people, someone, somewhere, is going to have a bad reaction. You could give a glass of milk to 100 million people and a few would inevitably get violently sick from it.

With vaccines, there will be allergic reactions and a tiny but predictable percentage of people will suffer some kind of permanent damage or even die. Because of liability without fault and the generosity of the tort system, the result is huge damage awards.

The first instance of this came in 1955 with polio vaccinations. Cutter Laboratories, the California company that now distributes Cutter's Insect Repellent, made an early batch of vaccines, some of which had live viruses in them. Almost all the children in Idaho were administered the vaccine and several dozen contracted polio. In 1957, the parents of Anne Gottsdanker, an 8-year-old girl whose legs had become paralyzed, sued Cutter, with famed personal injury lawyer Melvin Belli representing them.

The jury found Cutter's actions were not negligent--the orders had been rushed, standards had not been clear, and safety precautions were still rudimentary at the time. But, using the new doctrine of liability without fault, the jury held Cutter accountable anyway and awarded $147,300. "That decision made Ralph Nader possible," Belli later claimed.

"It was a turning point," says Dr. Offit, whose book The Cutter Incident will be published next year. "Because of the Cutter decision, vaccines became one of the first medical products to be eliminated by lawsuits."

That this would be the outcome wasn't immediately clear. Soon after the trial, the Yale Law Journal published an article arguing that insurance against adverse reactions was the solution. The public wouldn't buy policies because it would be too complicated and expensive, but vaccine makers could. Insurance would cover the cost of bad outcomes and the manufacturers would pass these costs on to their customers. Those few who were harmed by a vaccine would be covered by those who benefited. Everything would work out. Unfortunately, this thesis failed to anticipate how high damage awards would go.

WHEN AN UNUSUAL EPIDEMIC occurred at Fort Dix, N.J., in 1976, for example, the federal government decided to vaccinate the whole country against the new "swine flu." To the astonishment of Congress, the insurance companies refused to participate. Senator Ted Kennedy charged "cupidity" and "lack of social obligation." The Congressional Budget Office predicted that with 45 million Americans inoculated, there would be 4,500 injury claims and 90 damage awards, totaling $2 million. Congress decided to provide the insurance.

As Peter Huber recounts in his book Liability, the CBO's first estimate proved uncannily accurate. A total of 4,169 damage claims were filed. However, not 90 but more than 700 suits were successful and the total bill to Congress came to over $100 million, 50 times what the CBO had predicted. The insurance companies knew their business well.

Adding to the problem are the predictable panics about vaccines that spread among parents and are abetted by trial lawyers. In 1974, a British researcher published a paper claiming that the vaccine for pertussis (whooping cough) had caused seizures in 36 children, leading to 22 cases of epilepsy or mental retardation. Subsequent studies proved the claim to be false, but in the meantime Japan canceled inoculations, resulting in 113 preventable whooping cough deaths. In the United States, 800 pertussis vaccine lawsuits asking $21 million in damages were filed over the next decade. The cost of a vaccination went from 21 cents to $11.

Every American drug company dropped pertussis vaccine except Lederle Laboratories. In 1980, Lederle lost a liability suit for the paralysis of a three-month-old infant--even though there was almost no evidence implicating the vaccine. Lederle's damages were $1.1 million, more than half its gross revenues from sale of the vaccine for that entire year.

In recent years, the most prevalent anti-vaccine rumor has held that Thimerosal, a mercury-containing preservative used in vaccines from the 1930s until just recently, is behind an "epidemic of autism." Once again, scientific studies have disproved the allegation, but hundreds of parents are filing suit, and trial lawyers continue to troll for clients.

Congress tried to stave off liability problems with the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act in 1986. The program functions almost as an ideal "medical court," with panels of scientists, virologists, and statisticians reviewing each complaint and rewarding those that seem legitimate. Unfortunately, the program allows plaintiffs to opt out of the system. Trial lawyers continually bypass it and elect to go to trial--particularly for cases where the review looks unpromising.

With Thimerosal, lawyers have argued that the law does not apply because mercury was an additive, not the actual vaccine. The result is jackpot awards and very little protection for the vaccine companies. In 1998, the FDA approved a vaccine for Lyme disease, which strikes 15,000 people a year. GlaxoSmithKline manufactured it for three years but quit when rumors began circulating that the vaccine caused arthritis.

All this has made the flu an epidemic waiting to happen. Each year flu viruses circle the globe, moving into Asia in the spring and summer and back to North America in the winter. Surface proteins change along the way so that the previous year's vaccine doesn't work against the following year's variation.

Each year in February, the Centers for Disease Control meets with the vaccine-makers--all two of them--and decides which strain of the virus to anticipate for next year. Then they both make the same vaccine. Last year the committee bet on the Panama strain, but a rogue "Fujian" strain suddenly emerged as a surprise invader. A mini-epidemic resulted and 93 children died, only two of them properly vaccinated.

With several companies competing in the field, as was once the case, somebody would have been more likely to produce a dark horse vaccine. If that rogue strain emerged, the dissenting company would hit the jackpot, and there would be ample supplies of an effective vaccine, at least for those most at risk. In the "planned economy" of the CDC, however, there is no back-up for an unexpected turn of events. This year there isn't even a front line.

Are trial lawyers ready to accept responsibility for their starring role in creating this health hazard? Don't hold your breath. "This is just the typical garbage and propaganda from the drug manufacturers," says Carlton Carl, spokesman for the Association of Trial Lawyers of America. "There's absolutely no disincentive for making vaccines. American companies don't do it for the same reason they're sending jobs overseas--because it increases their profits."

Whether doctors are quitting the profession because of an out-of-control tort system, whether malpractice premiums are the cause of health care increases--such hardy perennials of the litigation debate are still a subject of lively controversy. But with vaccines there is no argument. Trial lawyers have all but ruined the market. Yet they are still unwilling to take responsibility.
William Tucker is a fellow at the Discovery Institute. His book on trial lawyers, Civil Lynchings, will be published next year.

© Copyright 2004, News Corporation, Weekly Standard, All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Captain's Quarters On "Franks Fires back"

Tommy Franks Fires Back
19 October 2004

I wondered how long it would take Tommy Franks to respond to repeated accusations from John Kerry that American military commanders allowed Osama bin Laden to escape from their grasp at Tora Bora by "outsourcing" the war on terror, an egregiously false accusation which the SSCI report shows to be a lie. Today, Franks fires back at Kerry from the pages of the New York Times in a scathing essay that underscores Kerry's cluelessness on military matters:

"First, take Mr. Kerry's contention that we "had an opportunity to capture or kill Osama bin Laden" and that "we had him surrounded." We don't know to this day whether Mr. bin Laden was at Tora Bora in December 2001. Some intelligence sources said he was; others indicated he was in Pakistan at the time; still others suggested he was in Kashmir. Tora Bora was teeming with Taliban and Qaeda operatives, many of whom were killed or captured, but Mr. bin Laden was never within our grasp.

Second, we did not "outsource" military action. We did rely heavily on Afghans because they knew Tora Bora, a mountainous, geographically difficult region on the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan. It is where Afghan mujahedeen holed up for years, keeping alive their resistance to the Soviet Union. Killing and capturing Taliban and Qaeda fighters was best done by the Afghan fighters who already knew the caves and tunnels.

Third, the Afghans weren't left to do the job alone. Special forces from the United States and several other countries were there, providing tactical leadership and calling in air strikes. Pakistani troops also provided significant help - as many as 100,000 sealed the border and rounded up hundreds of Qaeda and Taliban fighters."

Quite frankly (no pun intended), I've never understood the "outsourcing" criticism except in the context of cuteness on Kerry's behalf, a glib and superficial way to dig both at Bush's war and domestic policies. On one hand, Kerry chides Bush for not having a big enough coalition and for having too many Americans as a percentage of fighting troops in the war. On the other hand, in an area where American troops clearly would have been at a disadvantage against an entrenched foe in an unknown and difficult terrain with excellent defensive features, he scolds Bush for not going it alone. John Kerry as commander-in-chief would only send American troops into action under conditions where they would almost certainly fail, if this is any indication.

Franks succinctly points out that Bush has approached this war strategically as well as tactically, and upbraids Kerry for not knowing the difference:

"Contrary to Senator Kerry, President Bush never "took his eye off the ball" when it came to Osama bin Laden. The war on terrorism has a global focus. It cannot be divided into separate and unrelated wars, one in Afghanistan and another in Iraq. Both are part of the same effort to capture and kill terrorists before they are able to strike America again, potentially with weapons of mass destruction. Terrorist cells are operating in some 60 countries, and the United States, in coordination with dozens of allies, is waging this war on many fronts."

Again, this is a key difference between the two men, and the fact that terrorist cells exist in 60 nations has demonstrated this difference before. In an impromptu press conference a couple of weeks ago, John Kerry referred to this as a reason why we shouldn't have gone to war in Iraq. "Will we attack all 60 countries?" Kerry asked derisively. Kerry's sarcastic and flippant comment shows that Kerry would have allowed the US to be paralyzed at the scope of the strategic war on Islamist terror, and would have followed the Clinton strategy of making tough speeches followed by little if any action.

It's that strategy of waiting for attacks to occur and then siccing the FBI on them to try to find the one cell responsible before taking any action that emboldened the terrorists to continually escalate their attacks on the US, culminating in 9/11. That difference is the key between Bush and Kerry, which Franks uses as his summary:

"Today we are asking our servicemen and women to do more, in more places, than we have in decades. They deserve honest, consistent, no-spin leadership that respects them, their families and their sacrifices. The war against terrorism is the right war at the right time for the right reasons. And Iraq is one of the places that war must be fought and won. George W. Bush has his eye on that ball and Senator John Kerry does not."

Franks has it right; John Kerry either is incapable of recognizing the strategic implications of the war or refuses to acknowledge them. Either way, we cannot afford a Kerry presidency while we remain under attack by terrorists supported by states waging a proxy war against the West. The first qualification for the Presidency in this era should be the recognition of that fact. Kerry fails.

Posted by Captain Ed at 05:03 AM Comments (9) TrackBack (5)

Avram Hein- Islamism: A Long-Time Threat

A Long-Time Threat
By Avram October 19, 2004

Much of the world saw the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001 as a new threat to America whose perpetrators were a small group of terrorists known as al-Qaeda. They were unaware of the tremendous network and support that the terrorists received from the American Muslim community for many years. They were not aware of the role militant Islamic theology plays in mainstream Muslim groups and, as President Bush referred to Islam as “a religion of peace,” the justifications for 9/11 and cover-ups made by mainstream Muslim groups were all but ignored. In fact, even today many people are still not aware of the dangers of the ideology of “Islamism.”

Like fascism or communism, Islamism is a dangerous ideology (distinct from the religion of Islam but based on some of Islam’s teachings and practiced only by Muslims) devoted to the upheaval of society and the overthrow of the current order. Adherents of Islamism look towards a world run by Islamic religious law, Sharia.[i]

While the Islamic religion and Islamism are fundamentally different, there is significant concern about the growing control of Islamist leaders over mainstream Islamic institutions. The head of the moderate Sufi Islamic Supreme Council Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani noted at a 1999 State Department Open Forum that the extremist Islamists “ took over the mosques.” He notes that “they took over more than 80% of the mosques that have been established in the US.

And there are more than 3,000 mosques in the US.”[ii] Because of his statements, Shaykh Hisham Kabbani has been harassed by Muslim organizations that purport to be mainstream organizations. The Shaykh has been harassed by groups including the American Muslim Political Coordination Council (AMPCC), American Muslim Alliance (AMA), the American Muslim Council (AMC), Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), Islamic Circle of North America, Islamic Society of North America, and the Muslim Student Associations of USA & Canada (MSA).[iii] It must be emphasized that the religion of Islam is not the same as the terrorist ideology of Islamism. According to Dr. Daniel Pipes, “Islam is the religion of the Qur'an and the Sunna; Islamism is the political path of Hasan al-Banna, Abu'l-A`la al-Mawdudi, and Ayatollah Khomeini.”[iv]

While making clear that Islamism is not Islam, there are a significant number of overlaps. These threats are due to the radicalization of the Islamic political leadership – a worldwide phenomenon. According to Matthew Epstein, a lawyer and assistant director of the Investigative Project, the largest non-governmental organization devoted to researching the militant Islamic threat, the Islamic political leadership in the United States have parallels with the radicalization of the Islamic leadership worldwide, including “a ... conspiratorial belief that Western nations, led by the United States, aim to destroy Islamic culture” and “an acceptance that violence in the name of Islam is justified in the face of western aggression against the ummah (Islamic community).” Epstein points out that the institutional Muslim leadership in the U.S. has become anti-Western and anti-American. Numerous mainstream American Muslim organizations have portrayed U.S. counterterrorism policy as anti-Muslim in an attempt to weaken the legitimate and constitutional search for domestic terrorists.[v]

In understanding domestic terrorism, one has to understand that it is defined not just by terrorist attacks which occur on American soil or even on American targets, but must include terrorist financing and backing of terrorists and terrorism which occurs overseas. When understanding Islamism, it is important to remember that the goal to make America a Muslim country, run by Sharia law, does not have to be obtained through force. In 1996, the then-head of the American Muslim Council (AMC) Abdulrahman Alamoudi, spoke about this at a Chicago, Illinois conference of the Islamic Association for Palestine. He said:

It depends on me and you, either we do it now or we do it after a hundred years, but this country will become a Muslim country. And I [think] if we are outside this country, we can say oh, Allah destroy America but once we are here, our mission in this country is to change it. And (the prophet) told us that there are three ways of changing things, either by your hand or your mouth or within yourself, and we can change it by our hand and by our mouth, but positively. There is no way for Muslims to be violent in America, no way. We have other means to do it. You can be violent anywhere else but in America.[vi]

When advocating violence overseas and advocating the Islamification of America, Alamoudi is expressing a view common among Islamists, yet he is a mainstream leader of the American Muslim community. His organization, the American Muslim Council, was addressed by FBI director Robert Mueller at its 2002 conference in Alexandria, Virginia. Mueller’s spokesperson called the AMC “the most mainstream Muslim group in the United States.”[vii] While these organizations are mainstream Muslim groups, according to Matthew Epstein, “they draw support from far fewer American Muslims than they claim fall under their leadership.” Given their funding from Saudi Arabia and other wealthy benefactors, however, militant Islamists garner a disproportionate amount of power and attention.[viii] According to a CIA report, of the more than 50 Islamic non-governmental organizations that existed in 1996, “available information indicates that approximately one-third of these Islamic NGOs support terrorist groups or employ individuals who are suspected of having terrorist connections.”[ix] In analyzing militant Islam one has to understand both that while approximately 16 out of 50 organizations with terror ties is significant, the majority of Islamic NGOs were not suspected of terrorist connections in 1996.

Terrorist activity is perpetrated in America through a variety of techniques. Terror groups recruit American passport holders as it is easier for them to travel undetected in North America and abroad. There are numerous corporations and charitable organizations existing in the United States which fund, assist, and justify terrorism against American targets.[x] Two of the most prominent are connected to Hamas: Internet Service Provider InfoCom corporation (which hosts and has hosted the websites of several terrorist organizations including the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development) and CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, purportedly a civil rights organization for American Muslims.[xi] Osama bin Laden and his affiliates have created “front” organizations under false cover to raise funds for his al-Qaeda network. The most prominent had offices in London, Kansas City, and Denver. The Islamic Jihad terrorist network set up its headquarters under the false cover of an academic institute connected to the University of South Florida. Numerous relief agencies and charitable organizations located in the United States funnel money to terrorist groups overseas, some of which attack American citizens and American targets.

[i].Daniel Pipes, Militant Islam Reaches America. New York: Norton, 2003, xv, 80.

[ii].Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani, “Islamic Extremism: A Viable Threat to U.S. National Security: An Open Forum at the U.S. Department of State.” 9 January 1999.

[iii].Islamic Muslim Council Media Alert, “National Muslim Organizations Incite Modern Day Lynch Mob.” (March 2, 1999)

[iv].Daniel Pipes, “Daniel Pipes Explains ‘Islamism’” The Minaret, September 2000 "> (3 Dec. 2003).

[v].”Saudi Support for Islamic Extremism in the United States.” Testimony of Matthew Epstein before the United States Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology, and Homeland Security. September 10, 2003.

[vi].Abdulrahman Alamoudi. Islamic Association of Palestine Conference, Chicago, Illinois, 1996. Reprinted in Testimony of Matthew Epstein “Saudi Support for Islamic Extremism in the United States.” (September 10, 2003).

[vii].Testimony of Matthew Epstein before the United States Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology, and Homeland Security. September 10, 2003.

[ix].Affidavit of Special Agent David Kane. United States of America vs. Soliman S. Biheiri, 03-365-A (District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, August 2003).

[x].Testimony of Steven Emerson before the House Subcommittee on National Security, Veterans Affairs and Intergovernmental Relations of the House Committee on Government Reform. October 11, 2001.

[xi].Testimony of Matthew Epstein before the United States Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology, and Homeland Security. September 10, 2003.; United States of America vs. Randall Todd Royer et al. 03- (District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, June 2003); United States of America vs. Bayan Elashi, et al. CR NO.3:02-CR-052-R (District Court for the Northern Division of Texas, Dallas Division 17 Dec. 2002).; Steve McGonigle, “Aid Push Made for 5 tied to Hamas,” Dallas Morning News (15 Feb. 2003) - Reprinted at Steven Emerson, American Jihad. 104-105.; Haganah b’Internet -

A Long-Time Threat, Part II
By Avram October 19, 2004

Internet service provider, InfoCom Corporation, based out of Richardson, Texas is known to have ties to the Hamas terror organization.[1] Seven days prior to the September 11, 2001 attacks, the FBI raided Infocom’s offices. The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) froze two of InfoCom’s bank accounts due to a 1993 investment and cover totaling $250,000 from Nadia Elashi Marzook, the wife of Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzook and from Abu Marzook.[i] According to the affidavit:

In or around July 1992, the defendant Mousa Abu Marzook sent, or caused to be sent, $150,000 to the defendants Bayan Elashi, Ghassan Elashi, Basman Elashi, and Infocom, which was recorded on the books and records of ... Infocom as a credit to the pre-existing investment account of ... Mousa Abu Marzook.

It is then alleged that Nadia Marzook gave another $100,000 to the Elashi brothers and Infocom, but Infocom records were altered to make it look like the investment from her husband, a high ranking Hamas official, really came from her, thus obscuring the terrorist financing of Infocom Corporation. Mousa Abu Marzook is named by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) as a terrorist and a threat to US national security.[i]

InfoCom’s export privileges were revoked shortly after the September 5, 2001 search due to suspicions relating to shipments made to Libya and Iran. In addition, the United States government seized the assets of one of its clients – the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development. The Holy Land Foundation is another charity affiliated with Hamas whose funds go to support and reward terrorism. Infocom Corporation clients have included several other organizations, such as the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), which is known to be affiliated with Hamas.[ii]

The founder of InfoCom, Ghassan Elashi, was also a co-founder and board chairman of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, shut down by President Bush due to its terror ties. Two weeks after the Holy Land Foundation was shut down, Elashi and other founded the Muslim Legal Fund of America. The address of the resident agent of the Muslim Legal Fund is the home of a board member of HLF. Its board of directors includes a former board chairman of CAIR, a current CAIR board member, a former president of the Dallas chapter of the Islamic Circle of North America, the president of a Texas Islamic association and the owner of a website business. The Muslim Legal Fund hosted a fundraiser for the Elashi brothers’ legal expenses. The fund brochure was designed by Minaret Management Group. That Group is listed by the State of Texas as operating from the home of Shukri Abu Baker, a former president of the Holy Land Foundation.[iii]

Ghassan Dahduli, a former employee of InfoCom, was taken into custody on September 22, 2001. He refused to answer questions from the US government and has been implicated as an associate of one of the men convicted for their role in the attack on the US embassies in Africa.[iv]

According to federal court affidavits, a corporation in the DC-area, Sana Bell, Inc. was formed to provide funds to the International Relief Organization (IRO), the U.S. arm of the Islamic International Relief Organization (IIRO), shown below to be connected to Saudi financing of terrorism. Sana Bell, also known as the “SAAR” network, was involved in funding of numerous terrorist groups both overseas and domestically. “SAAR” is named after Suleiman Abdel Aziz al-Raghi, the Saudi financier of the Northern Virginia network. He been accused of being one of the original financiers of al-Qaeda. According to the government, SAAR was the primary financial supporter of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad operations in Florida (described below) through their IIRO and Sana Bell affiliates. The network is also suspected of laundering funds to organizations including al-Qaeda and Hamas. [v]

For several years, South Florida had been the American headquarters of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). Run out of a think-tank affiliated with the University of South Florida, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad is responsible for numerous deaths. Upon arriving at the University of South Florida in 1986, Sami al-Arian, a Palestinian professor of engineering incorporated the Islamic Concern Project, soon renamed the Islamic Committee for Palestine (ICP). He was also the chairman of the World Islamic Studies Enterprise (WISE), which, on March 11, 1992, entered into a cooperative agreement with the University of South Florida. At various times, the ICP and WISE shared a post office box, office space, and leadership.

However, it is important to note that the ICP was not formally affiliated with the University of South Florida, whereas WISE was affiliated, although both were operated by al-Arian while he was a professor at USF. In its newspaper Inquiry, the ICP often carried articles about the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, including interviews with PIJ leaders. A board member of ICP is the brother of the late PIJ secretary-general Fathi Shikaki. Every edition of the Arabic-language magazine, Al Mujahid, published by ICP included the Palestinian Islamic Jihad logo and the words “Publication Produced by the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine-Lebanon.” The Islamic Committee for Palestine organized annual conventions throughout the United States. Through these conferences, the ICP brought militant Islamic terrorist leaders into the US, including Sheikh Omar Abdul Rahman and representatives from Hizbollah, the Sudanese National Islamic Front, the Tunisian An-Nadha, Hamas, and Tawheed. ICP also raised funds for Islamic Jihad and other terror groups. They also overtly called for terrorist attacks against Israeli, Egyptian, Tunisian, Algerian, and American targets. ICP overtly solicited funds for families of terrorists, aided known terrorists, and overtly called for terror.

In 1995, Michael Fechter of the Tampa Tribune wrote an prominent series publicizing WISE and ICP’s connections to terror. After a scourge of protest, two weeks later, the University of South Florida suspended its cooperation with WISE.[vi] Yet, less than five months later, after the assassination of Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Dr. Fathi Shikaki, the new leader of Islamic Jihad was none other than Ramadan Abdullah Shallah, a former professor at the University of South Florida who was also a board member of WISE. In fact, several individuals who were associated with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad later came to be associated with WISE and the University of South Florida.[vii] In 1995, the FBI investigated ICP, WISE, and its members.

In November 1995, two Florida bank accounts belonging to Ramadan Abdullah Shallah were frozen by Presidential order and shortly after the home and office of al-Arian were raided by federal agents. In an affidavit, FBI Special Agent Barry Carmody testified that, “located and seized at the residence of Sami al-Arian on November 20, 1995, was a letter written by Sami al-Arian in which al-Arian is soliciting funds for the Islamic movement in Palestine. . . . This letter also appeals for support for the [Palestinian Islamic] Jihad. . . . [T]he Jihad has been declared an international terrorist organization by the Department of State.” When the full letter was declassified in October 2000, it appears that al-Arian was soliciting funds for suicide bombings in Israel. In the late 1990s, numerous evidence existed to show WISE’s connection to Palestinian Islamic Jihad, as well as evidence that a WISE board member, Tarik Hamdi, had delivered a satellite phone and battery pack to Osama bin Laden.[viii] In 2002, Dateline NBC explored al-Arian’s connections to terrorism and the USF filed a lawsuit against al-Arian seeking to dismiss him. The USF had tried several times to terminate him, but he was kept on in the name of “academic freedom” despite proven ties to Palestinian Islamic Jihad.[ix] Al-Arian is currently in jail, awaiting trial.[x]

One mainstream Muslim-American organization, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), bills itself as “dedicated to presenting an Islamic perspective on issues of importance to the American public.”[xi] Despite a seemingly innocuous goal, and many supporters who are unaware of CAIR’s more sinister roots, CAIR and its leadership promote militant Islam in the United States, in accordance with its roots in Hamas. CAIR disguises its support for terrorism and terrorist organizations as legitimate defense of civil rights. Its 2002 Civil Rights Report defends the actions of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, Benevolence Foundation, and other individuals and organizations in which clear evidence has been revealed regarding terror connections.[xii] The roots of CAIR can be found in the Muslim Brotherhood and its offshoot, Hamas. CAIR was founded in 1994 by two officials from the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), a U.S.-based support organization for Hamas. CAIR founder and Executive Director Nihad Awad explained that:

After the Gulf War was over, I was offered a job with the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP) as their public relations director. ... In this effort I worked closely with IAP president Omar Ahmed. ... Omar suggested we leave the IAP. . .. ...In June 1994, we used a modest donation as a starting budget to open the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in Washington, DC.[xiii]

The IAP was founded by the head of the Hamas Political Wing, Mousa Abu Marzook in 1981 IAP has published Hamas communiques, recruitment videos, and hosted conferences raising support for Hamas. At an IAP conference shortly after the 1991 Gulf War, a speaker said that America and the marines were trying “to penetrate the flesh of our girls. And our honor, and our values, in order to turn our society in a perverse nation.”[xiv] That speaker was standing in front of a banner with “Hamas” spelled out in Arabic using images of human skulls, under the words “Islamic Association for Palestine.”[xv] In an August 2002 court order regarding freezing terrorist assets in the U.S., a federal judge found that “the Islamic Association for Palestine has acted in support of Hamas.”[xvi] In 1994, CAIR received a $5,000 initial disbursement from the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development.[xvii] According to the Treasury Department, the “U.S.-based Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development provides millions of dollars each year that is used for HAMAS.”[xviii] CAIR has repeatedly engaged in fundraising activities for the Holy Land Foundation and, in fact, share common board members in Ghassan Elashi.

CAIR’s leadership is a supporter of the terrorist organizations that fund it. In a 1994 speech at Barry University, the current executive director of CAIR, Nihad Awad announced that “I am in support of the Hamas movement.”[xix] That same year he announced his support for Hizbollah.

FBI wiretaps have shown several CAIR board members, including Ghassan Elashi, founding board member of the Texas CAIR chapter and the head of the InfoCom Corporation, announcing support for Hamas.[xx] In 1993 in Philadelphia, future CAIR leadership was present at a meeting that was described by the FBI as “a meeting in the United States among senior leaders of HAMAS, HLFRD, and IAP.” According to the FBI, the meeting was attended by future CAIR board member Omar Yahya Ahmed and Ghassan Elashi, brother-in-law of Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzook. According to FBI notes, “the overal goal of the meeting was ... to continue and improve their [HAMAS] fund-raising and political activities in the United States.” The note continues,

It was mentioned that the United States provided them with a secure, legal base from which to operate. The democratic environment in the United States allowed them to perform activities that are extremely important to their cause. In discussing financial matters the participants stated a belief that continuation of the Holy War was inevitable. [emphasis added]
It was decided that most or almost all of the funds collected in the future should be directed to enhance the Islamic Resistance Movement and to weaken the self-rule government. Holy War efforts should be supported by increased spending on the injured, the prisoners and their families, and the martyrs and their families.[xxi]

According to Khalid DurĂ¡n, a moderate Muslim activist and academic, “CAIR is the principle front organization of a coalition of Islamist (or fundamentalist Muslim) groups that have taken root in America over the past two decades.” He says that “CAIR’s mission has differed from the others: its special assignment is the insinuation of the Islamist agenda into the mainstream American politics. Like the many front organizations established by the Soviet Union in its heyday, CAIR works to give a ‘white bread’ image to advocates of illiberal and even radical ideas.”[xxii]

[1]Hamas is listed by the U.S. State Department as a terrorist organization. Funding groups on the State Department list and U.S. institutions aiding organizations or individuals on these lists is prohibited by federal law.

21. ibid

[i].United States vs. Bayan Elashi et al, CR NO. 3:02-CR-052-R (District Court for the Northern Division of Texas, Dallas Division, 17 Dec. 2002).

[ii].Emerson, American Jihad; Haganah b’Internet’s listing of terror websites, United States of America vs. Bayan Elashi et al.

[iii].McGonigle, Steven. “Aid push made for 5 tied to Hamas.” The Dallas Morning News, (15 February 2003).

[iv].Testimony of Steven Emerson (October 11, 2001).

[v].Matthew Epstein, “Wanting to Stay Sealed: Targets of Terrorism Probe Change their Plea Regarding Records.” The National Review, 19 March 2003. <"> (14 November 2003).

[vi].Steven Emerson, American Jihad: The Terrorists Living Among Us. 109-117.

[vii].ibid, 118.

[viii].ibid, 120-122.

[ix].ibid, 125.

[x].Stefanie Green, “Al-Arian’s hearing reviews case,” The (USF) Oracle, November 10, 2003 (25 November 2003).

[xi].”CAIR - The Council on American Islamic Relations: About CAIR,”

[xii].”The Status of Muslim Civil Rights in the United States - 2002,”

[xiii].Nihad Awad. “Muslim-Americans in Mainstream America,” The Link, February-March 2000.

[xiv].Videotape. IAP Conference on Palestine. Mentioned in Testimony of Matthew Epstein at U.S. Senate.

[xv].Testimony of Matthew Epstein (September 10, 2003).

[xvi].Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development vs. John Ashcroft in his official capacity as Attorney General of the United States. Civil Action # 02-422.

[xvii].IRS Form 1023, Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development.

[xviii].Treasury Department Office of Public Affairs. “Shutting Down the Terrorist Financing Network,” December 4, 2001.

[xix].Statement by Nihad Awad at a panel discussion, “The Road Map to Peace: the Challenge of the Middle East,” Barry University, March 22, 1994.

[xx].Testimony of Matthew Epstein (September 10, 2003).

[xxi].Action Memorandum from Dale Watson, Assistant Director Counterterrorism Division FBI, to Richard Newcomb, Office of Foreign Assets Control. “Holy Land for Relief and Development International Emergency Economic Powers Act,” November 5, 2001.

[xxii].Khalid Duran, “How CAIR put my life in peril,” Middle East Quarterly, Winter 2002, (20 November, 2003)

Avram Hein is a former research assistant at the American-Israel Cooperative Enterprise (AICE), in Chevy Chase, MD. He is currently a graduate student at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His most recent publication “Reflections on the Driving Teshuva” was published in the Spring 2004 edition of Conservative Judaism.

A Long-Time Threat, Part III
By Avram October 19, 2004

Despite that “white bread” image, less than a month after the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, officials of CAIR-New York openly denied that any Muslim individuals had a role in the attacks which were perpetrated by Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda, and several other Saudi nationals.[i] CAIR has a history of defending Islamic terrorists and terror organizations, defending several groups – including the Holy Land Foundation, Benevolence International Foundation – who have been shut down by the U.S. government for engaging in terrorist financing. CAIR has also hosted or co-sponsored rallies that support terrorism. In May 1998, CAIR co-sponsored a rally at Brooklyn College in which one of the speakers said that “he who equips a warrior of Jihad is like the one who makes Jihad himself.” In October 2000, CAIR co-sponsored a rally in Washington, DC in which Abdurahman Alamoudi, the executive director of the American Muslim Council, declared “Hear that, Bill Clinton, we are all supporters of Hamas – Allahu Akbar. I wish they added that I am also a supporter of Hizbollah.”[ii]In the past year, at least three former board members or employees of CAIR have been incited on terrorism, money-laundering, or fraud charges. As mentioned above, Ghassan Elashi, a founding board member of CAIR’s Texas chapter, was indicted on charges of transacting with terrorist entities. In June 2003, CAIR Communications Specialist, Randall Todd Royer (aka Ismail Royer) was indicted on charges of being part of a conspiracy to support violent jihad overseas. According to the indictment, Royers traveled overseas to train at terrorist training camps. According to Matthew Epstein, while he was working for CAIR, he purchased an AK-47 assault rifle, 219 rounds of ammunition, distributed newsletters for a group designated as a terrorist organization, and fired at Indian troops.[iii] He faces federal charges that he “conspired to provide material support to Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda organization and to his Taliban protectors in Afghanistan.”[iv] In January 2003, CAIR’s Director of Community Relations, Bassam Khafagi was indicted on bank fraud charges. He was also a founding member and President of the Islamic Assembly of North America (IANA). While he was in a leadership position, IANA hosted an al-Qaeda recruiter at IANA’s conferences from 1993-1995.[v]CAIR receives significant funding from the government of Saudi Arabia. The Saudi Gazette and Saudi Muslim World League have reported on significant funding received by the World Assembly of Muslim Youth, a radical Muslim organization which is an arm of the Saudi government, for CAIR.

[vi] In 2002, CAIR received $500,000 from Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal according to Arab News. In August 1999, a Saudi Government press release announced that the Islamic Development Bank (founded in October 1975 and inspired by King Faisal of Saudi Arabia, and of which Saudi Arabia was the top contributor in founding capital) approved “$250,000 as a contribution to the purchase of land in Washington DC to be the headquarters for an education and research center under the aegis of the Council for American Islamic Relations.” CAIR also received at least $12,000 from the U.S. offices of the International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO). The IIRO was financed with Saudi money out of Saudi Arabia. The IIRO has been the subject of several federal investigations regarding support to a variety of terrorist groups, including al-Qaeda and Hamas. According to Senior Special Agent David Kane of the Bureau of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement “the terrorists who have attacked or tried to attack the United States around the world have been associated with MWL [Muslim World League]/IIRO.”[vii]According to the Center for Security Policy, “CAIR uses the civil rights issue as a cloak to protect itself and its allies from allegations that they support terrorism, and consistently has denounced federal counterterrorism efforts as being racist and bigoted.”[viii]Mainstream American Muslim organizations have refused to condemn terrorist organizations and terrorist attacks by Hamas, Hizbullah, and others as such. In November of 1994, less than a month after Hamas took responsibility for a bus bombing which murdered 23 men, women, and children, Nihad Awad, the Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations was on CBS’s 60 Minutes.

Mike Wallace: What do you think of the military undertakings of Hamas?Nihad Awad: Well, I think that’s – that’s for the people there to judge.Wallace: I’m asking you.Awad: The – the United Nations Charter grants people who are under occupation to defend themselves against illegal occupation.[ix]

The same support of terrorist organizations is found with those affiliated with the American Arab-Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC). In June 2000, the communications director, Hussein Ibish, was a guest on CNBC. He was asked his view of Hamas and Hizbollah, an organization responsible for the death of 241 American Marines. Both organizations are listed by the State Department as terrorist entities:

Rivera: How do you stand about Hizbollah and Hamas? Do you condemn them?
Ibish: I–it’s not up to me to condemn people. I think he’s absolutely...
Rivera: But I want to know. What do you feel about them?
Ibish: No. I think that Hizbollah fought a very good war against the Israelis, a guerrila war, a popular war that was clearly shown to be a war of liberation and that had the support of the majority of the south Lebanese people.”[x]

The Executive Director of the American Muslim Foundation, Abdrulrahman Alamoudi, besides exhorting his support for Hamas and Hizbollah at a CAIR rally, as shown above, has also extolled the 1994 Iranian-sponsored bombing of the Jewish Community Center in Argentina as “a worthy operation” according to federal prosecutors. He also said, when referring to Islamic attacks overseas, “Many African Muslims have died and not a single American died. I prefer to hit a Zionist target in America or Europe.” He continued, “I prefer honestly like what happened in Argentina,” referring to an attack that killed 86 people and injured more than 300.[xi] Federal officials also disclosed that the American Muslim Council has been providing support for members of the Portland Seven – a group charged with attempted to get to Afghanistan and fight for al-Qaeda, against America. It was also reported that several of the al-Qaeda terrorists held in Guantanamo Bay have granted Alamoudi power of attorney. Yet, his group aides the American military select Muslim chaplains, particularly telling given recent arrests of Americans in Guantanamo.[xii]

As Ambassador Dore Gold pointed out in his groundbreaking book, Hatred’s Kingdom: How Saudi Arabia Supports the New Global Terrorism (Regnery: 2003), the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia plays a very significant role in funding and aiding terrorism, including on American targets. It is a threat that the United States is just beginning to quietly investigate, despite years of documented evidence. The Los Angeles Times reported on November 17, 2003, that U.S. officials are investigating whether Saudi money helped finance international terrorism. This is the first time that US officials are investigating the action of the Saudi government. The investigation may have been brought about by the Congressional investigation of the terror attacks of 9/11 which stated that ties between Saudi Arabia and the attacks “obviously raise issues with serious national implications.”[xiii] The Saudi Arabian government has been paying for lawyers and bail for Saudi nationals detained by the US. Saudi officials have admitted spending over $1 million in providing assistance to those suspected of terrorism and other crimes. Most of the detainments are due to visa violations. John Pistole, assistant director of the FBI counterterrorism division, testified before the Senate that the actions of the government of Saudi Arabia, “is tantamount to buying off a witness... So it gives us concern if the government is supplying money for defense counsel.” The practice of providing legal counsel to nationals overseas is a practice that the United States does not engage in, according to the Associated Press.[xiv]According to Matthew Epstein, the assistant director of The Investigative Project, the Saudi’s have bankrolled a series of Islamic institutions in the United States that actively seek to undermine U.S. counterterrorism policy at home and abroad. In the United States, the Saudi Wahhabis regularly subsidize the organizations and individuals adhering to the militant ideology espoused by the Muslim Brotherhood and its murderous offshoots Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and al-Qaeda, all three of which are designated terrorist organizations. Several of these U.S. based organizations drawing Saudi support have recently been shuttered and many of their leaders indicted, including, the Holy Land Foundation, Benevolence International Foundation and the Islamic Concern Project.[xv]

The Saudi government has also financed the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) which, as was shown above, is a supporter of militant Islam which was a creation of Hamas.[xvi] Epstein writes:

With deep pocketbooks and religious convictions, the Saudi Wahhabists have bankrolled a series of Islamic institutions in the United States that actively seek to undermine U.S. counterterrorism policy at home and abroad. From Islamic centers to student associations, from relief organizations to bookstores, an ideology committed to the destruction of Western civilization is being offered as the only solution to the plight of the ummah.[xvii]

Saudi money has funded the Holy Land Foundation (connected to Hamas), Benevolence International Foundation (related to al-Qaeda) and the World Islamic Studies Enterprise (WISE) (Palestinian Islamic Jihad). These organizations have been shut down in the past three years as terror fronts or conduits. The Saudi government continues to fund the American Muslim Council (AMC), the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) and Mercy International-USA. [xviii]

As Daniel Pipes points out, Islamism is an ideology like totalitarianism, fascism, or Marxist-Leninism.[xix] As an ideology, it is not predicated on specific policy although it may use policy as a justification for its actions. While many -- pundits and politicians alike – blame Israeli policy and U.S. support for Israel as the cause of Islamist rage, such comparisons are inherently false and damage legitimate criticism of Israeli policy. Most people disagree with some aspect of Israeli policy or another (as most people also disagree with some aspect of American policy, or European policy, or some aspect of the policy of any other sovereign state), but are not led to terrorism due to their disagreements with a democratic government. America and Israel are often called “Big Satan” and “Little Satan,” respectively. If Israel were truly the motivating factor behind militant Islam, than it should be the “Big Satan.” Sadly, Islamists hate America and Israel for precisely the same reason – they both have a democratic government that stands for freedom of speech and expression, full voting rights for citizens of all races, creeds, and gender, and other individual freedoms.

The difficulty in garnering alternatives to Islamism is that Islamists are well funded and their American apologist organizations provide a facade of mainstream behavior, confusing Muslim and non-Muslim alike. According to Dr. Khalid Duran, “Organizations like CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) and MPAC (Muslim Public Affairs Council) have deliberately been trying to poison the hearts and minds of American Muslims against America. By subtly suggesting that American policies are controlled by Zionists, they exploit the anti-Semitism that prevails in Islamist - dominated communities.”[xx]According to Pakistan Today, many moderate Muslims are upset and angry at the militant Islamist organizations and their successful attempts to portray themselves as the sole voice of Islam. Jamal Hassan, a writer in Washington, notes that the popularity of extremist Islamist organizations cause Americans to look at all Muslims with extreme suspicion. Tashbih Sayyed, President of Council for Democracy and Tolerance, notes that it is the duty of all American Muslims to condemn American Islamist groups. Sayyed also echoed the words of Hassan, emphasizing that keeping silent about Islamist extremism only furthers anti-Muslim bias.According to Dr. Duran, there are numerous alternatives to Islamic extremism within Islam. He notes that the Congress of Muslim Americans (CMA) (in which he is involved in) seeks to organize non-Islamist Muslims. He notes that they protest against Islamist apologists organizations such as the American Muslim Council (AMC), CAIR, and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC). According to Duran:

The fair-minded, moderate and tolerant majority of Muslims face enormous difficulties in competing with these Islamists – not because the Islamists are more numerous, but because they float on subsidies provided by Islamist millionaires and billionaires. In the United States, the difference between Islamists and common Muslims is largely one between haves and have-nots. Muslims have the numbers; Islamists have the dollars.[xxi]

Duran notes that the Muslim community in America is only recently coming into its own, but he notes “that community can only take its rightful place if it builds upon hope and dialogue, not the fear of defamation.”[xxii]

[i].Testimony of Matthew Epstein (September 10, 2003).
[iii].Testimony of Matthew Epstein (September 10, 2003)

[iv].”CAIR’s Al Qeada Link Exposed,” Center for Security Policy, September 29, 2003. <> (14 November 2003).
[v].Testimony of Matthew Epstein (September 10, 2003).

[viii].”CAIR’s Al Qeada Link Exposed.”
[ix].CBS News Transcript. 60 Minutes, November 13, 1994.

[x].ADC Communications Director Hussein Ibish interviewed on Rivera Live on CNBC, June 5, 2000.

[xi].Colin Miner, “Alamoudi Hailed Bombing of Jewish Center,” The New York Sun, October 1, 2002 (2 November 2003).

[xiii].Josh Meyer, “Saudi Cash Scrutinized by U.S. for Terror Ties,” Los Angeles Times, 17 November 2003, <> (17 Nov. 2003)

[xiv].John Solomon, “FBI Says Saudis Buy Off Witnesses,” The Associated Press, 17 October 2003, (2 November 2003).

[xv].Testimony of Matthew Epstein (September 10, 2003)


[xix].Daniel Pipes, “Daniel Pipes Explains ‘Islamism.’”
[xx].Fatima Sayyed, “Bush Nominates Daniel Pipes to Board of US Institute of Peace: Moderate Muslims Welcome the Appointment.” Pakistan Today, 15 April 2003, <> (2 December 2003).

[xxi].Khalid Duran, “How CAIR put my life in peril”

Avram Hein is a former research assistant at the American-Israel Cooperative Enterprise (AICE), in Chevy Chase, MD. He is currently a graduate student at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His most recent publication “Reflections on the Driving Teshuva” was published in the Spring 2004 edition of Conservative Judaism.