Ahmadinejad, addressing a conference in Tehran a year ago, proclaimed that "those who doubt, to those who ask is it possible, or those who do not believe, I say accomplishment of a world without America and Israel is both possible and feasible." The Saudis agree with half that statement; for them, the eradication of Israel is a mutual goal, but it would rather convert the U.S. into an Islamic nation, instead of destroy it.
"Saudis and Iran prepare to do battle over corpse of Iraq," read the headline in the Sunday Telegraph (London, December 3), and in my previous commentary, "The Sandstorm of Western Confusion," I quoted one interesting paragraph from that article:
"Saudi Arabia, America's closest ally in the Arab world, is considering backing anti-U.S. insurgents because it is so alarmed that Sunnis in Iraq will be left to their fate - military and political - at the hands of the [Iranian-backed] Shia majority."How would the Saudis accomplish such backing without alienating the prostituted affections of the Bush administration and the State Department? The Associated Press provided an answer in an article headlined, "Saudis reportedly funding Iraqi Sunnis." The report is that of the Iraq Study Group.
"Private Saudi citizens are giving millions of dollars to Sunni Muslim insurgents in Iraq, and much of it is used to buy weapons, including shoulder-fired [Russian Strela] anti-aircraft missiles, according to key Iraqi officials and others familiar with the flow of cash."This is an interesting subject in the ISG's report that hasn't received the attention it deserves by the American news media, whose news anchors and Washington correspondents are barely able to contain their joy over the bipartisan recommendations that President Bush abandon the idea of victory in Iraq and begin talking with Iran and Syria with the goal of "stabilizing" the chaos in Iraq.
The article reports that the Saudis claim to be tracking "suspicious financial operations." Tracking and policing such operations, however, are two distinct actions. The AP article continues, "The ISG report said that 'funding for the Sunni insurgency comes from private individuals within Saudi Arabia and other (Persian) Gulf states.'" Oman? Kuwait? Qatar? Bahrain? The United Arab Emirates?
"Saudi government officials deny that any money from their country is being sent to Iraqis fighting the government and the U.S.-led coalition. But the ISG report said Saudis are a source of money for Sunni Arab insurgents. Several truck drivers interviewed by the Associated Press described carrying boxes of cash from Saudi Arabia into Iraq - money they said was headed for insurgents."
"Two high-ranking Iraqi officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the issue's sensitivity, told the AP most of the Saudi money came from private donations, called zaqat, collected for Islamic causes and charities."
In the moral dustbowls of all these medieval enclaves, such "private individuals" must have close political and economic connections to their royalist governments to be wealthy enough to indulge in such generosity. Their "charitable" donations must have the tacit approval and knowledge of the powers in the royal palaces and compounds.
As evil and perversely bizarre as the notion is that an alleged American ally would condone or sanction its citizens enabling "insurgents" to kill American soldiers - but not incite the rage of either the Bush administration or the news media or members of the ISG - the Saudis are also funding another kind of insurgency in the U.S. itself. Its chief front organization is the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
The goal of this "insurgency" is two-fold: to whitewash Islam by projecting it as a benign creed deserving of special dispensations and treatment vis-à-vis American law; and to insinuate the Islamic ethos into American society with the ultimate goal of transforming it from a secular to an Islamic society (which means discarding the Constitution and replacing it with the Koran). Its chief weapons until now have been lawsuits and press releases.
CAIR is a lobby-cum-"civil rights" organization that advances Saudi interests in the U.S. It is staffed by Wahhabists and financially supported by surreptitiously donated Saudi and other "Gulf" money. That is, by American motorists, without their knowledge, at the gas pump.
Now CAIR has allies in Congress. Up to now, it has counted on the gullibility and short-ranged mentalities of the news media and even the White House to lend it an air of innocence and concern. Up to now, the rule has been dinners for Muslim guests at the White House, receptions for them in swank hotels, and a congenial first-name-basis camaraderie.
When Congress reconvenes next year, CAIR and its phalanx of interlinked Muslim organizations in the U.S. will expect their leftist and Democratic allies in the Senate and House to work for and deliver legislation that will protect the Islamic beachhead in America. For a detailed summary of the goals and backgrounds of the "usual suspects" - Nancy Pelosi, John Conyers, and Keith Ellison - see Robert Spencer's article, "CAIR's Congress" in FrontPage Magazine of November 13, 2006; Robert Novak's article in the Chicago Sun-Times of December 10 on Zalmay Khalilzad, the outgoing U.S. ambassador to Iraq and a Muslim who will likely become the U.S. envoy at the United Nations; and "John Conyers and the Muslim Caucus" in the Investor's Business Daily of November 9.
More disturbing, however, is another article from the December 4th FrontPage Magazine, "CAIR KOs '24'," by Henry Mark Holzer.
"Early in 2005, CAIR met with representatives of the Fox television network and producers of the hit drama '24' to discuss concerns about the depiction of a 'Muslim' family at the heart of a terror plot on that popular program," cites Holzer from CAIR's Annual Report, titled "The Status of Muslim Civil Rights in the United States 2006, The Struggle for Equality." "CAIR was concerned that the portrayal of the family as a terrorist 'sleeper cell' would cast suspicion over ordinary American Muslims and increase Islamophobia.
"Rabiah Ahmed, spokeswoman for CAIR, said that the show was 'taking everyday American Muslim families and making them suspects. It's very dangerous and very disturbing."CAIR's Annual Report continues:
"At the meeting, which included CAIR and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), Fox officials agreed to distribute a CAIR public service announcement to network affiliates and ask that it be aired in proximity to '24.' Network officials also agreed to air a disclaimer stating the American Muslims reject terrorism."Mr. Holzer writes:
"Although many Americans were rightly enraged at Fox's capitulation to CAIR, they wrongly complained of 'censorship.'" Holzer, Professor Emeritus at Brooklyn Law School, correctly counters that Fox's submission - and remember that "Islam" means "submission" - did not constitute censorship. "Only the government has the power to censor (subject to whatever protection that might be afforded by the federal First Amendment and state constitutions)."What Fox's decision did constitute was: cowardice.
CAIR insisted that Kiefer Sutherland, who plays the intrepid Jack Bauer, a counter-terrorism agent, issue the politically correct version of a parental guidance warning: "...Now while terrorism is obviously one of the most critical challenges facing our nation and the world, is important to recognize that the American Muslim community stands firmly beside their fellow Americans in denouncing and resisting all forms of terrorism. So in watching '24,' please, bear that in mind."
Which Sutherland did. Technically, it was called a "disclaimer." What it disclaims and abdicates, however, is the right of Fox in "24" to portray Muslims as it sees fit, regardless of the accuracy of such a portrayal, regardless of the fact that most American Muslims are an alien fifth column of manqués, conditioned by the Koran and their clerics to do the bidding of Allah, Mohammad, and CAIR. CAIR's Annual Report could just as well have been titled, "The Status of Muslim Civil Rights in the United States 2006, The Struggle for Supremacy."
Holzer then lets fly at CAIR:
"Wrapping itself in the flag, invoking the Constitution, and hiding beneath its veneer of a self-styled 'civil liberties' organization - modeled on its anti-American mentor and template, the American Civil Liberties Union - CAIR is the preeminent domestic mailed fist of Islam in the velvet glove of civil liberties....CAIR is using the American legal system to intimidate the exercise of free speech, to undermine our homeland defense and to advance Muslim cultural infiltration of our domestic institutions by seeking special dispensations concerning dress, national holidays, educational texts, the content of books, movies, television, and more. In addition to its incessant intimidating complaints about the alleged violation of 'Muslim Civil Liberties.'"(The balance of Holzer's article is a description of the extent of CAIR's legal activism in the U.S., to which the news media and our elected representatives are either oblivious or criminally ambivalent.)
While Fox's decision to "submit" to Islamic sensibilities indeed does not constitute censorship (see Ayn Rand's definition and discussion of censorship in The Ayn Rand Lexicon), it is symptomatic of what could be called "mirror censorship," that is, self-censorship from fear and moral cowardice without the excuse of being subjected to or threatened with government force. In the fog-bound ethics of approximations, relativism, and non-absolutes, the one absolute that pragmatists, "realists" and the "practical" fear to encounter in that fog is: the necessity of opposing censorship. Censorship is the forcible suppression of free speech by the entity that has a monopoly on force, the government. Facing naked censorship, they know they must take a moral stand.
So one must wonder about the moral stature of men who readily submit to faux force, that is, to the whims and wishes of a "community" that threatens lawsuits, demonstrations, or boycotts. Since force is not threatened, the pragmatists and "realists" feel comfortable by acknowledging a group's "displeasure" and claims of "persecution" and by calling their penance "public service." One cannot but conclude that they would rather not face a moral decision at all, and that, confronted with genuine censorship, they would sanction that, as well, in the name of the "public good."
Let us not forget the power behind CAIR, which is chiefly Saudi money. That money has been funding gangs of tribalist killers who target American soldiers in Iraq, as well as funding "civil liberties" insurgents in this country who target the First Amendment. And now the Baker-Hamilton team of compromisers is proposing that the U.S. hold direct talks with Iran and Syria, which have also been sending other tribalist killers money and weapons to Iraq to kill American soldiers.
One of Bush's gravest errors was not asking Congress for a declaration of war against the "axis of evil." As a friend explained, such a declaration would give the U.S. the right to deem an organization like CAIR an enemy agent and to take the appropriate wartime punitive actions. But no such declaration has been made; one consequence of that failure is that the moral behavior of private individuals and organizations like Fox has too often mirrored that of our foreign policy: cowardice and appeasement. Remember the Danish cartoon imbroglio?
At least American soldiers can fight back and kill the enemy in Iraq. But where, Holzer asks, are the "dedicated lawyers with the desire to meet CAIR on the legal battlefield...?" Are they all dead? Are they too busy passing statist legislation in Congress, such as the selective censorship of the Campaign Finance Law, or cooking up class action suits against businesses?
In Book Four - Empire of my Sparrowhawk series, Patrick Henry, a lawyer and freshman burgess, about to introduce his Stamp Act Resolves in the Virginia General Assembly in May of 1765, states:
"We propose that this House adopt and forward to those parties [Parliament and King George the Third], not genuflective beseechments or adulatory objurgations, but pungent resolves of our understanding of the origins and practice of British and American liberty, resolves which will frankly alert them to both the error of their presumptions and our determination to preserve that liberty. These resolves, in order to have some consequence and value, ought not to be expressed by us in the role of effusive mendicants applying for the restitution of what has been wrested from them, but with the cogently blunt mettle of men who refuse to be robbed."The historical irony is that when Henry made his speech, the Wahhabist Saudis were engaged in the conquest of the Arabian Peninsula, which they completed in 1806. Who could have predicted then that their descendants and their hired fellaheen would invade America unopposed two and half centuries later with the express purpose of gagging the likes of Henry in the name of Allah?