Posted by Steve Markowitz on November 6, 2014
A few weeks ago Campus Reform went to Harvard University and asked students who they felt was the greater risk to the world; the United States or ISIS. Some indicated that the US was the greater threat and claimed that American policies were responsible for the creation of radical Islamic movements such as ISIS. Some Harvard students then followed up on this “study” creating their own video questionnaire and found similar responses, videos posted below.
Harvard University is renowned as perhaps the most famous and supposedly intellectual colleges in the United States. The skills exhibited by some of the students in the videos bring into questions these conclusions.
It is remarkable that students from this prestigious University believe the United States responsible for radical Islam and the infighting within its subgroups. Had these students studied world history instead of the phony academics that make up much of today’s college curriculums they would have been taught that the Sunni–Shia divide that is led to so much conflict within the Islamic world began shortly after the death of the Islamic Prophet Mohammed in 632 with infighting over the secession to the Prophet. They would also learned that this conflict began over 1100 years before the founding of the United States.
Posted in Education, Islam | Tagged: Harvard, ISIS, Islam, Peace, Shia, Sunni, UNited States, US | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Steve Markowitz on July 30, 2014
The narrative proffered on Israeli-Palestinian (Hamas) conflict by Progressives including President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry borders on the absurd. This often infers moral equivalency between the actions of Israel and Hamas. In essence they conclude that if both sides would restrain their actions, an environment could be created that would lead to a peaceful solution. This view ignores history, as well as the actual goals of each party. It also uses the same logic for the Middle East proffered by Western diplomats since World War I that has proven to be fallacious.
The broader Middle East conflict has been ongoing since long before the modern state of Israel was created in 1947. It predates the Crusades and began with a schism between Sunni and Shia Muslims for the control of Islam. The current crisis in Syria and Iraq is a continuation of this centuries-old battle. It is also the basis of the regional conflict between Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shia Iran. Compared to this conflict, the Israeli-Palestinian issue is in the noise. Assuming away the State of Israel would likely eliminate one of the few coalescing issues within Islam that kept the Sunni-Shia conflict from becoming a full-blown war in recent decades.
Now back to the current Israeli-Hamas issue and the lame logic from Progressives. From Israel’s perspective, most Israelis desire a two state solution, but one that includes security for a Jewish nation. Ideas concerning the final borders a two state solution vary within Israel depending on political views. This varies from an accommodating position, to others that are unreasonable.
From the Palestinian (Hamas) perspective, while they might give lip service to a two state solution, this is not possible within their charter. Hama’s charter includes the following comments about Israeli’s/Jews:
“The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: 0 Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him! This will not apply to the Gharqad, which is a Jewish tree.”
Progressives will make excuses for Hamas’s incendiary and anti-Semitic language, just as they did for Adolf Hitler prior to World War II. Cutting through the diplomatic jargon, it will relate to a theory that negotiations are always better than the alternative. However, actual negotiations require willing partners for a negotiated outcome. In addition, as Roosevelt and Churchill correctly concluded once World War II commenced, negotiations with the Nazis was never an appropriate choice.
Finally, the idea of a two-state solution sometimes promoted by Palestinians and Hamas is a red herring. The Palestinians have stated that they will never give up their “right of return”. Under the right of return, any Palestinian with a claim that their ancestors once lived in Israel will have the right to return to that country. This guarantees the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state, if not by force, then by demographics. Obama, Kerry and their Progressive allies are well aware of the issues involved with the right of return, but ignore them as it would disrupt their narrative.
Some light on the true motivations of Hamas was recently shed by Mosab Hassan Yousef, a son of one of Hamas’ founders, during a recent CNN interview with Don Lemon included the video below. Yousef, who was being groomed for Hamas leadership when growing up, defected from Hamas and has since been disowned by his father. His comments below, while chilling, are at least comforting in their candor.
- “Hamas does not care about the lives of Palestinians, does not care about the lives of Israelis, or Americans; they don’t care about their own lives. They consider dying for sake of their ideology a way of worship.”
- “Hamas is not seeking coexistence and compromise; Hamas is seeking conquest. The destruction of the state of Israel is not the Hamas’ final destination.”
Posted in Hamas, Islam, Israel | Tagged: Hamas, Israel, Kerry, Mosab-Hassan-Yousef, Obama, Shia, Sunni, Yousef | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Steve Markowitz on June 19, 2014
Below is a posting originally included on this Blog on November 6, 2011. For President Obama and his administration to now act as if the current catastrophe in Iraq was not predictable strains credibility.
U.S. Fears Surge of Qaeda Terror in Iraq (Originally Posted November 6, 2011
The New York Times published an interesting and disturbing story on Iraq and the potential for future terrorism emanating from that country. Following are quotes from the Time’s article:
- As the United States prepares to withdraw its troops from Iraq by year’s end, senior American and Iraqi officials are expressing growing concern that Al Qaeda’s offshoot here, which just a few years ago waged a debilitating insurgency that plunged the country into a civil war, is poised for a deadly resurgence.
- “I cringe whenever anybody makes a pronouncement that Al Qaeda is on its last legs,” said Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan, the American military’s top spokesman in Iraq. “I think one day we are going to look around and say it’s been a long time since we have heard from Al Qaeda, and maybe then we can say it is on its last legs.”
- Iraqi analysts express fears that ties between Al Qaeda and members of the former ruling Baath Party may be re-forming.
- According to General Buchanan, there are 800 to 1,000 people in Al Qaeda’s Iraq network, “from terrorists involved in operations to media to finance to fighters.”
- A Defense Department official familiar with the Qaeda affiliate said that the group’s leaders and foot soldiers are Sunni Arabs from central, western and northern Iraq.
The Times articles both is curious and perplexing. This publication, along with many Left-leaning news media, was quite vocal during the Bush Administration with their position that Iraq under Saddam Hussein’s Iraq had no connections to international terrorism. Now, the media takes a contradictory position. While disappointing, this is not surprising for the mainstream media that has become a mouthpiece for the Left.
Posted in Iraq | Tagged: al Qaeda, Arabs, Iraq, Shia, Sunni, troops, Turmoil | 1 Comment »
Posted by Steve Markowitz on April 14, 2010
President Obama has proven naive when it comes to foreign policy. This should not come as a surprise given his lack of experience in the international arena. Nowhere is this weakness more evident than his approach to the Middle East and the greater Islamic world.
Mr. Obama’s Middle East policies are based on the Progressives’ belief that the United States and Israel are at the center of the West’s poor relations with many Islamic countries. Taking this further, the President believes that by distancing himself from Israeli and taking a more “kumbaya” approach to Islamic countries will result in better US–Islamic relations and a more peaceful world. This strategy is flawed and has already failed for two reasons.
- First, it incorrectly assumes that Islam is monolithic. How naive it is to think that peace between the Israelis and Palestinians will somehow mollify the Taliban who are fighting American forces in Afghanistan or the Chechnyians who are fighting the Russians for very different reasons.
- The President’s strategy assumes that Iran, Syria and other rouge states want better relations with the United States. That is not only incorrect, but ignores the strategic issues these countries have. First and foremost, the Shia Iranians want nukes to dominate the Sunni Arabs and Syrians want to dominate Lebanon. Neither Kumbaya nor an Israeli/Palestinian peace would help them achieve either strategic goal.
The proof is in the pudding. Let us review what President Obama has done to pursue his polices and then the results of those efforts.
I. Reaching Out to Islam
Speech to Iran – On March 20, 2009, the Iranian New Year, President Obama issued a speech to the Muslim world stating: “we seek a new way forward.” This admits the U.S. was the problem in the first place.
Bowing to Saudi King – On April 1, 2009, President Obama bowed to the Saudi Arabian King as a show of deep respect.
Speech in Cairo – On June 4 2009, President Obama gave prepared remarks to the Muslim world in a Cairo speech calling for a “new beginning between the United States and Muslims”. Again, the U.S. was previously wrong.
Iranian Political Protests – In June 2009, Obama was silent as protesters were being killed by their government. Instead, he made weak statements such as: ” we respect Iranian sovereignty.”
Relations with Israel – While Obama remains silent on Iranian indiscretions, he has no such difficulty criticizing our ally, Israel, when he disagrees with them. Relations between the U.S. and Israel have become very frosty since Obama took office.
II. Obama’s Policies Results
Iran – Iran continues marching down the path of producing nuclear weapons, the biggest threat to the West and the Middle East. This month Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called Obama an “inexperienced amateur” who was quick to threaten to use nuclear weapons against U.S. enemies. Hmmm.
Israelis and Palestinians – These parties are no closer to peace today than they were under President Bush’s tutelage.
Afghanistan – The United State’s participation in the Afghanistan War has escalated under Obama. After committing to sending more American troops, the Afghan government headed by Hamid Karzai repaid Obama by first inviting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Kabul for a political love feast. A few days later Karzai suggested that he himself would be compelled to join the Taliban if the United Nations didn’t back off looking into his government’s corruption. Starting to sound like another Viet Nam.
Turkey – The one Muslim country that has historically had good relations with our Middle East ally, Israel, has more recently gotten closer to our adversaries, Syrian and Iran. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan described Israel as “the principal threat to peace” in the Middle East. So now Turkey sees Israel as a greater problem than an Iranian bomb. Seems he is taking his cue from Obama.
Syria – President Obama has made reconciliation between Syria and the United States a cornerstone to his Middle East policy. Besides more of Obama’s Kumbaya approach to Syria, he has nominated an ambassador to that country, eased sanctions for Syrian import of airplane parts and software, and sought to increase military contacts with Damascus. Syria’s payback for this approach? Today the Wall Street Journal reported that Syria has sold long-range Scud missiles to the terrorist group Hezbollah in Lebanon. This move increases the likelihood of another Middle East War.
It is evident that President Obama’s attempts at appeasing the Islamic world have not led to one tangible benefit for the United States. In fact, the evidence is just the opposite. History has shown that tyrants never react favorably to weakness shown by any country or its leader. While President Obama can be excused for his initial naivety, he cannot be excused for continuing a policy that has obviously failed.
Posted in Appeasement, Foreign Policy, Islam, Middle East | Tagged: Afghanistan, Appeasement, Chechnyians, Hamid Karzai, Hezbollah, Iran, Islam, Israel, Lebanon, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Middle East, Palestinians, President Obama, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Russians, Saudi King, Shia, Sunni, Syria, Taliban, Turkey, United Nations, UNited States | Leave a Comment »