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Behind Islamic Terror - The New American Magazine - 9-3-07.pdf

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    Behind Islamic Terror - The New American Magazine - 9-3-07.pdf Behind Islamic Terror - The New American Magazine - 9-3-07.pdf Document Transcript

    • Wind Power: Blown Away • Funding Infrastructure • History: Religion by the Sword September 3, 2007 www.thenewamerican.com $2.95 BEHIND ISLAMIC TERROR
    • Let Freedom Ring In God We Trust Offering quality brands including 3M, Signode, Bostitch, Sealed-Air, Tesa, and IPS products. Corporate office in Fountain Inn, South Carolina with Distribution and Sales facilities throughout the SouthEast 1.800.277.7007 www.ipack.com • sales@ipack.com
    • FEATURED PRODUCTS NAU Pamphlet This NAU pamphlet is an eye opener. It lists the road signs that reveal we’re on a journey to being governed by a North American Union, shows what North American leaders have said about the NAU, and explains how the NAU will NEW! impact you and your family. This pamphlet is long on graphics and short on text and will most certainly grab the attention of any freedom-loving American. (2007, gatefold, 4/$1.00, 100/$22.00, 500/$100.00) PNAU A Case for Repealing NAFTA A merger of the United States, Mexico, and Canada enabled through NAFTA and called the North American Union is arguably the greatest current threat to our freedoms under the U.S. Constitution. Learn about this threat via a 36-minute video presentation or an audio CD and find out the reasons why the American people must take action. DVD: (2007, 36min., 1/$2.00ea, 2-10/$1.50ea, 11-20/$1.25ea, 21-99/$1.00ea, and 100 or more/$.75ea) DVDCFRN Audio CD: (2007, 36min., 1/$1.00ea, 2-10/$.90ea, 11-20/$.80ea, 21-99/$.70ea, and 100 or more/$.60ea) CDCFRN Man, Freedom and Government Public Service Edition Overview of America Public service version of the enhanced video remake of Ezra Taft Benson’s 1968 filmstrip Public Service Edition classic. This video provides a road map for What makes freedom and prosperity restoring our freedoms and rights through possible? Find out in this newly revised creating sufficient understanding of the prin- public service edition of Overview of ciples enshrined in our nation’s founding doc- America. Great for viewing in all ven- uments. (2005, 24min., 1/$1.00; 25/$20.00; ues. (2007, 29min., 1/$1.00; 25/$20.00; 50/$37.50; 100/$70.00) DVDMFGPS 100/$70.00 50/$37.50; 100/$70.00) DVDOOAPS ✁ ✁ ✁ ✁ ✁ ✁ ✁ QUANTITY TITLE PRICE TOTAL PRICE Name ______________________________________________________________ Address ____________________________________________________________ City _____________________________ State __________ Zip ________________ Phone ____________________________ E-mail ______________________________ ❑ Check ❑ VISA ❑ Discover 000 0000 000 000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 ❑ Money Order ❑ MasterCard ❑ American Express VISA/MC/Discover Three Digit V-Code American Express Four Digit V-Code SUBTOTAL WI RESIDENTS ADD 5% SALES TAX SHIPPING/HANDLING (SEE CHART BELOW) TOTAL Make checks payable to: AMERICAN OPINION BOOK SERVICES ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ # _________________________________________ Exp. Date ________________ For shipments outside the U.S., please call for rates. Order Subtotal Standard Shipping Rush Shipping Signature ___________________________________________________________ $0-10.99 $3.95 $8.95 Standard: 4-14 $11.00-19.99 $6.75 $11.75 business days. Mail completed form to: $20.00-49.99 $8.95 $13.95 Rush: 3-7 business American Opinion Book Services AOBS • P.O. BOX 8040 days, no P.O. Boxes, APPLETON, WI 54912 $50.00-99.99 $100.00-149.99 $11.75 $13.95 $16.75 $18.95 HI/AK add $10.00 Order Online: w w w . a o b s - s t o r e . c o m $150.00+ call call Credit card orders call toll-free now! 1-800-342-6491 070903
    • 10 Vol. 23, No. 18 September 3, 2007 COVER STORY TERRORISM 10 Behind Islamic Terror by William F. Jasper — Syria and Iran are scorned in much of the Western world for supporting terrorism, but neither one is the puppeteer directing the worldwide terror network — Russia is. AP Images 16 The Real Terror Paymasters by William F. Jasper — The KGB has long sponsored the Muslim fundamentalist groups that are now carrying out the Marxist-Leninist revolution in Muhammad’s name. 16 FEATURES ENERGY 22 Blown Away by Ed Hiserodt — Wind power is floating high on the political AP Images winds as the country’s answer to its power needs, but, in reality, it’s an idea whose time has come … and gone. CULTURE WAR 22 25 “For God, Spain, & El Cid” by William F. Jasper — During the centuries-long struggle of the Spanish Reconquista against the Muslim occupiers of Iberia, one name stands out above all others as the exemplary Christian knight. HISTORY — PAST AND PERSPECTIVE 31 Religion by the Sword by Dennis Behreandt — In the century following the death of AP Images Muhammad, the religion of Islam formed the basis for the rapid conquest of the Christian lands of Europe, North Africa, and the Near East. THE LAST WORD 25 31 44 Funding Infrastructure by Kurt Williamsen DEPARTMENTS 5 Letters to the Editor 28 The Goodness of America 6 Inside Track 39 Exercising the Right Newscom 9 QuickQuotes 41 Correction, Please! COVER AP Images
    • ... Serving the Chicagoland area for over 90 years 38 2 E a s t 1 1 6 t h S t . • C h ic ago, IL 60628 • (773) 785-3055
    • LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Publisher John F. McManus Editor Appreciated John Wayne resist the temptation to fall silent in the face Gary Benoit Thank you for the tribute to John Wayne of evil and tyranny and — with God’s help (“John Wayne: Mr. America,” May 28 issue), — we too can prevail. Let us all remember Senior Editor but I have a comment about the article. “Mr. America” and what he stood for. William F. Jasper In his excellent biography, John Wayne: ROYCE L. BOUNDS The Man Behind The Myth, Michael Munn Lenexa, Kansas Copy Editor acknowledges that there has always been Kurt Williamsen controversy surrounding Mr. Wayne’s lack Contributors of military service, as your article observed. Open Borders, Not Amnesty Dennis J. Behreandt But Munn states that Mr. Wayne had always The Senate is not debating the problem of Christopher S. Bentley wanted to join some branch of our military, illegal aliens in our country (“Will Congress Steven J. DuBord even though his producers and agents did not Turn Its Back on You?” June 11 issue); it is Jodie Gilmore William P. Hoar want him to. deciding whether or not to promote the “open Warren Mass According to Mr. Munn, John Wayne tried border” agenda of the internationalists. Michael E. Telzrow to enlist, but a back injury from his college Even mentioning the word “amnesty” Joe Wolverton II, J.D. football days kept him out of the service. Mr. causes thousands more illegals to cross over Wayne did not publicize the back injury or — hoping to get in on the good deal, further Editorial Assistant his unsuccessful attempt at enlisting, which breaking down our border. We have created Ann Shibler of course led to speculation regarding his amnesty programs every few years and have Art Director lack of military service. This injury was a tied the hands of our Border Patrol agents. Joseph W. Kelly continual source of difficulty, especially We are basically already allowing unchecked because he did his own riding and most of immigration. Desktop Publishing Specialist his own stunts. Indeed, in one scene from If the global community can get the United Steven J. DuBord his movie The War Wagon, a back brace is States to officially open its borders, it will set Research clearly visible beneath his long underwear. such a huge precedence that they will then Mary Benoit Interestingly, a “contract” was put on Mr. try to force this upon everyone — with dis- Brian T. Farmer Wayne’s life in direct response to his unwav- astrous consequences. Bonnie M. Gillis ering and vociferous condemnation of com- Uncontrolled emigration/immigration munism. Munn’s biography documents at might appear to work for a while, but when it Marketing least one attempt on Mr. Wayne’s life by So- nears the breaking point of accommodation, Larry Greenley viet operatives, who were acting on Stalin’s as mass migration shifts occur, conditions Public Relations orders to “kill John Wayne.” Mr. Wayne had become very challenging for all — both the Bill Hahn known of this threat and was tipped off by the sending and the receiving nations. FBI that some Soviet operatives were on their Unless we strongly support protection of Web Manager way to his office with phony FBI credentials. the American Republic as it exists now, most Brian Witt Mr. Wayne and some of his coworkers sub- of the western part of the United States will Advertising/Circulation dued the Soviets and held them at gunpoint be back in Mexican control in a few short Julie DuFrane until the FBI could take them into custody. years. Thousands of immigrants (both legal Mr. Wayne did not publicize this incident to and illegal) are already vociferously rally- protect the privacy of his family. ing in our own streets for this very objec- This private chapter in Mr. Wayne’s life tive. These agitators and academics, calling underscores his sense of honor and his pa- for the retaking of Aztlan here in the United triotism (if indeed that is necessary). It also States, are guilty of sedition according to our Printed in the U.S.A. • ISSN 0885-6540 P.O. Box 8040 • Appleton, WI 54912 emphasizes the character of tyranny (if that law and should be charged. 920-749-3784 • 920-749-3785 (fax) is necessary) and the lengths to which tyrants Unfortunately, our weak-kneed Congress www.thenewamerican.com will travel when they feel threatened. Just as is not only tolerating the insurrectionaries Rates are $39 per year (Hawaii and Canada, Mr. Wayne refused to be silenced by a threat but giving them the “scent of victory.” add $9; foreign, add $27) or $22 for six months (Hawaii and Canada, add $4.50; foreign, add and was able to prevail over the attempt on CAPTAIN JAMES CARLYLE GREEN $13.50). Copyright ©2007 by American Opin- his life, we too can Salt Lake City, Utah ion Publishing, Inc. Periodicals postage paid at Appleton, WI and additional mailing offices. Post- master: Send any address changes to THE NEW AMERICAN, P.O. Box 8040, Appleton, WI 54912. EXTRA COPIES AVAILABLE THE NEW AMERICAN is pub- lished biweekly by Ameri- ➧ Additional copies of this issue of THE NEW AMERICAN are can Opinion Publishing available at quantity-discount prices. To order, visit www.thenew Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of The John Birch Society. american.com/marketplace/ or see the card between pages 38-39. THE NEW AMERICAN • SEPTEMBER 3, 2007 5
    • Inside Track Losing Control at Home, Iraqi Leader Visits Friendly Iran The dominant Muslim sect in Iran is Shiite. Suspicions that Shi- Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Tehran. Iran’s government spokesmen ite-dominated Iran has been supplying weapons to its co-religion- confirmed their country’s plans to continue supplying Iraq, but ists in Iraq have been confirmed in recent weeks. U.S. military didn’t specify the type of support. leaders have found sophisticated Iranian-produced weaponry Bush discounted the obviously cordial relations between the being used against our forces. countries’ leaders as he repeated his President Bush has warned Tehran confidence in the America-backed AP Images to cease its efforts contributing to the Iraqi leader. If it turns out that Iran is destabilization of Iraq. Labeling Iran “a contributing to the Shiite-Sunni vio- very troubling nation,” he announced lence in which Americans are being that there would “be a price to pay” if killed, said Bush, “I will have a heart- Iran’s meddling continues. to-heart with my friend [Maliki].” He It had to be upsetting for Bush to see defended Maliki’s smile in the photo photos of a smiling Iraqi Prime Minis- with Iran’s leaders saying, “You don’t ter Nouri al-Maliki, a Shiite Muslim, Iranian President want the picture to be kind of, you standing alongside Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad know, duking it out.” (right) with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki Disney/ABC Receive Top Rating From Homosexual Activists For regular viewers of network television dramas, soaps, and sit- of the population is missing from the storytelling and unscripted coms, it might appear that Hollywood has been on a “gay” binge programming that comes into our homes every day?” in recent years. After all, the number of lesbian, homosexual, GLAAD gave ABC, owned by Walt Disney Co., the highest bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) TV characters in major and rating of the five networks: ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, and CW. minor roles has exploded in the past decade. The Gay & Les- The GLAAD report noted: “Of the five broadcast networks, ABC bian Alliance Against Discrimination (GLAAD) website even leads the way in LGBT inclusiveness. In the 2006-2007 broadcast features a “TV GAYED: GLAAD’s Weekly Guide to What’s season, ABC offered more LGBT series regulars than any other LGBT on TV.” network, with Brothers & Sisters and Ugly Betty as particular However, the GLAAD activists are not glad about the progress standouts.” According to the GLAAD study, ABC committed 15 of LGBT themes and characters on network television. In the in- percent of its prime time to LGBT “inclusive” programming. troduction to its Network Responsibility Index issued on August The youth-oriented CW network was second with 12-per- 6, GLAAD President Neil G. Giuliano complained: “Millions of cent LGBT programming. CBS and NBC followed, with “gay” television viewers are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.... programming of 9 percent and 7 percent, respectively. Fox had What kind of message does it send when such a large segment “only” 6-percent GLAAD-approved LGBT programming. Russia Stakes Claim on North Pole On August 2, two deep-diving Russian mini-submarines descend- but to keep com- ed more than 2 1⁄ 2 miles under North Pole ice to plant a Russian modities out of the flag on the ocean floor. hands of others. Russia portrayed the event as a technical achievement, with its For some time goal being the peaceful advancement of “scientific research.” But now, Russia has the only “science” Russia appears to have in mind is exploiting already been the oil and natural-gas deposits under the polar seabed. using access to The absurdity of Russia’s “achievement” was that it occurred energy sources in an area that has already been apportioned by international as an instrument treaty among Arctic nations like Norway, Denmark, Canada, and of coercion. It of- the United States. Russia is trying to change the treaty’s terms by fers preferential claiming that the Lomonosov ridge under the water is part of a natural-gas rates to those countries that support it, and cuts off Russian range, and therefore rightfully Russia’s to claim. those that don’t. Russia’s past actions show that its real aim is to gain control Russia’s voyage to the North Pole ought to be seen as a warn- over ever more natural resources so as to exert greater leverage on ing of how far it will go to intimidate the nations that are its global buyers. Russia seeks not to discover, develop, and share, neighbors. And, in the case of the North Pole, that includes us. 6 THE NEW AMERICAN • SEPTEMBER 3, 2007
    • Stealth Passage of “Protect America Act” A newly crafted piece of legislation will expand the Foreign Intelli- tions believed to be gence Surveillance Act (FISA). The legislation, entitled the Protect between a U.S. America Act of 2007 (S. 1927), was authored mostly by the White citizen and a mem- House and submitted to Congress by Mike McConnell, the Direc- ber of al-Qaeda or tor of National Intelligence. With little room for public debate, the another terrorist or- bill to expand the wiretapping surveillance program has not only ganization. The re- been passed by Congress, but also signed by President Bush. As vised version of the the final hours of the 2007 summer congressional session came to a warrantless surveil- close, Congress passed the Protect America Act by a vote of 60-28 lance program will in the Senate on August 3, and 227-183 in the House on August 4. now be directed at any person “reasonably believed to be located The president signed the legislation into law on August 5. outside of the United States” — despite the Fourth Amendment’s With the signing of S. 1927, the federal government has been prohibition against “unreasonable searches and seizures.” given the authority to monitor American citizens’ e-mails and The Protect America Act is set to expire in six months due to phone conversations, providing they are corresponding with or a sunset clause. With growing public opposition to the Protect speaking to persons outside of the United States. The law was America Act, as well as opposition from some key members of created in response to the 2005 revelation that President Bush se- Congress, it is likely that this law could be allowed to expire in cretly allowed warrantless electronic surveillance on communica- February of 2008. Leaks Lead to Investigations in German Rendition Inquiry A German parliamentary panel is investigating whether and to information contained in those classified reports. But it wasn’t what degree German government agencies assisted the American the journalists who were responsible for the leak. “With re- CIA’s “extraordinary rendition” efforts to move captured illegal spect to the sensitivity of the information published, whoever enemy combatants from the “War on Terror” to secret interro- leaked the classified documents should be investigated, not the gation sites. According to The Independent, a British paper, the journalists. It is their duty to publish matters of public interest. “parliamentary panel is also looking into the alleged involvement They should not be criminally charged for doing their job,” said of the German foreign intelligence service BND with the CIA at Joel Smith, head of the New York-based Committee to Protect the start of the Iraq war. The remit also includes investigating the Journalists. kidnapping and rendition of Khalid el-Masri, a German citizen Who knows, though, what an investigation into who actually of Lebanese origin, and the detention at Guantanamo Bay of a leaked the material might uncover. Why were there leaks? Who German-born Turkish citizen Murat Kurnaz.” authorized them? How high does culpability reach? And how A number of details from classified reports have been leaked about the culpability of the policymakers behind the extraordi- to the German press during the inquiry, and now several re- nary rendition program, particularly in cases where prisoners are porters face prosecution for quoting from and publicizing the renditioned to regimes to be tortured? Iowa Straw Poll Has Interesting Results The Iowa Straw Poll In the end, Romney beat Mike Huckabee by less than a two-to- was expected to attract one margin (32 percent to 18 percent). as many as 40,000 Compared to the millions spent by Romney, Huckabee es- people this year, with timated that he spent only $150,000 for the votes he received. about 30,000 of them Huckabee has been struggling to get the attention of social con- AP Images voting. But on the day servatives, who have come to dominate the Republican Party. of the event, the heat His second-place finish could attract their support and give his index soared to 102 campaign a badly needed financial boost. If that happens, then it degrees, discouraging a big turnout, and the final vote tally totaled may very well turn out that Mike Huckabee was the real winner only 14,302. of the Iowa Straw Poll. With top GOP contenders Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, and Ron Paul was another surprise story. A week before the straw Fred Thompson giving the Iowa Straw Poll a pass, it was pre- poll, other polls of Iowa voters had put him near the back of the dicted by some analysts that well-heeled Mitt Romney might beat pack with less than 3 percent. After a mere six days of campaign- the second-place finisher by as much as an eight-to-one margin. ing, Dr. Paul finished fifth with 9 percent. THE NEW AMERICAN • SEPTEMBER 3, 2007 7
    • Inside Track Building the New Chinese Police State China, many might be surprised to learn, is still a communist usual activity,” the New York Times reported on August 12. nation. As such, it has a long and rich history of oppressing the Another measure involves forcing the Chinese people to carry Chinese people. Most of the techniques of oppression practiced electronic ID cards that can be used to help track their where- by the regime in Beijing were learned from Soviet advisers and abouts and activities. “If they do not get the permanent card, were modeled on the Soviet example. they cannot live here, they cannot get Now, often with the help of Western Chinese worker government benefits, and that is a way technology firms, China is installing checks a surveillance for the government to control the popu- the latest hi-tech gadgetry available in camera in Beijing’s lation in the future,” stated Michael Lin, diplomatic district. an attempt to stifle dissent and con- vice president for investor relations at trol information. China, says a Wired China Public Security Technology, the News summary of the situation, is “well company, according to the Times, that is down the road to enacting some of the providing the technology. Orwellian technology that is just now That company, like many others helping being debated in the U.S.” build the hi-tech police state in China, has China, for instance, is rapidly fol- deep roots right here in America. China lowing the British trend, still somewhat Public Security is incorporated in Florida, lagging here in America, of installing the Times noted, and “has raised much of massive numbers of surveillance camer- the money to develop its technology from as. “At least 20,000 police surveillance two investment funds in Plano, Texas — cameras are being installed along streets Pinnacle Fund and Pinnacle China Fund. … in southern China and will soon be Three investment banks — Roth Capital guided by sophisticated computer soft- Partners in Newport Beach, Calif.; Op- ware from an American-financed com- penheimer & Company in New York; and AP Images pany to recognize automatically the First Asia Finance Group of Hong Kong faces of police suspects and detect un- — helped raise the money.” Chinese Officials Threaten to Pull the Plug on the U.S. Dollar China possesses as much as $900 billion worth of U.S. bonds. ominous shift in his government’s policy. As pressure mounts here at home for placing tariffs on the Chi- He Fan, a Chinese Academy of Social Science official who is nese goods continuing to flood America, officials in Beijing have highly regarded as a forecaster of policy, told the China Daily threatened to sell their U.S. holdings. If they carry out the threat, on August 7 that “China has accumulated a vast sum of U.S. the value of the dollar will shrink and our nation could be plunged dollars. Such a big sum, of which a considerable portion is in into a depression. U.S. treasury bonds, contributes a great deal to maintaining the Xia Bin, who holds a cabinet-level post in the Chinese gov- position of the U.S. dollar as a reserve currency.” He noted that ernment, recently referred to Beijing’s U.S. bond holdings as a “Russia, Switzerland and several other countries have reduced “bargaining chip” that can be used in talks with the United States. their dollar holdings.” Should China follow suit, he suggested, a His mere mention of this possibility is viewed worldwide as an collapse of the dollar would occur. He added that China doesn’t want to create any undesirable phenomenon in the global finan- cial order. But his veiled threat should not be ignored, especially because Japan and other large holders of U.S. debt might follow China’s lead. While there is no military force that could bring America to its knees, those who increasingly hold our economic and political well-being in their hands have a weapon that could prove to be more powerful than any accumula- tion of bombs and soldiers. ■ 8 THE NEW AMERICAN • SEPTEMBER 3, 2007
    • QUICKQUOTES Canada Reinforces Its Claim on the Arctic “Canada has a choice when it comes to defending our sovereignty over the Arctic. We either use it or lose it. And make no mistake, this government intends to use it.” Prime After Russia staked a symbolic claim over the North Pole by sending subma- AP Images Minister Harper rines into the region, Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper completed a three-day trip to the area and reasserted his country’s claims. British Leave and Basra Becomes a War Zone “It’s hard now to paint Basra as a success story. The British have basically been defeated in the South.” The British sent 40,000 troops into the war against Iraq, and they occupied the area around the southern city of Basra. As recently as February of this year, Vice President Cheney pointed to Basra as one place “where things are going pretty well.” But only 5,500 British troops remain in the region where Shiite versus Shiite militias are fighting each other. The statement above was made by an unnamed senior U.S. official in Baghdad. Joint Chiefs Nominee Not Optimistic About Success in Iraq “No amount of troops in no amount of time will make much of a difference.” Testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee on July 31, Admiral Michael G. Mullen gave his bleak outlook because of the poor performance of the Iraqi government that has neither quelled AP Images Admiral the sectarian violence nor unified the country’s warring factions. Mullen Columnist Asks Why Ron Paul Isn’t Noticed by Major Media “So why, I am often asked, doesn’t Ron Paul get more coverage? You might think the mainstream media would pay more respect to a guy who ended up the recent fundraising quarter with more cash on hand than John McCain.” Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page also notes that, if the nomination were decided online, Ron Paul would probably win it. General Retired General Says the Core of Terrorism Jones Can Be Found in Afghanistan, Not Iraq “Symbolically, it’s more the epicenter of terrorism than Iraq. If we don’t succeed in Afghanistan, you’re sending a very clear message to the terrorist organizations that the U.S., the UN, and the 37 countries with troops on the ground can be defeated.” Former NATO supreme commander General James L. Jones claims the action in Iraq has caused the United States to “take AP Images its eye off the ball” and downplay the serious threat coming from within Afghanistan. A European Sends a Warning About Granting Amnesty to Illegal Immigrants “The European experience teaches us that governments always underestimate the number of people who can apply for an amnesty, and that amnesties do not close the floodgates, they open them.” Paul Belien is the editor of the outspokenly anti-European Union Brussels Journal. Sale of Wall Street Journal to Murdoch Not Welcomed “It’s sad. We stood around a pile of Journals and drank whiskey.” A veteran reporter for the Journal spoke his mind but asked not to be named for fear of losing his job. Muslim Terror Increasing in the Philippines “They have bombed buses carrying workers, food markets where people were shopping, airports where relatives were waiting for loved ones, and ferryboats carrying families.” Human Rights Watch spokesman John Sifton issued his statement about Muslim terrorism while releas- ing a report entitled “Lives Destroyed: Attacks on Civilians in the Philippines.” ■ — COMPILED BY JOHN F. MCMANUS THE NEW AMERICAN • SEPTEMBER 3, 2007 9
    • TERRORISM AP Images BEHIND ISLAMIC TERROR Syria and Iran are scorned in much of the Western world for supporting terrorism, but neither one is the puppeteer directing the worldwide terror network — Russia is. by William F. Jasper Counter Terrorism Center (NCTC), the finding that al-Qaeda is “considerably op- A ‘‘ five-page report entitled Al-Qaeda Better erationally stronger than a year ago,” and l-Qaeda Stronger than Ever.” Prepared to Strike the West paints a picture that it has “regrouped to an extent not seen “U.S. Concern at Al-Qaeda of a revived, more dangerous terror net- since 2001.” The terror group is “showing Strength.” These and simi- work led by Osama bin Laden and Ayman greater and greater ability to plan attacks lar titles accompanied news stories that al-Zawahiri. in Europe and the United States,” the same began breaking during the second week The Associated Press reported on July official reportedly said. of July, announcing leaks of a disturbing 11 that an unnamed counterterrorism of- John Kringen, who heads the CIA’s new classified intelligence report. Pre- ficial familiar with the still-unreleased analysis directorate, echoed this same pared for President Bush by the National report paraphrased the briefing paper as grim assessment of al-Qaeda’s resurgence 10 THE NEW AMERICAN • SEPTEMBER 3, 2007
    • during his July 11 testimony to the House Armed Services Committee. “They seem to be fairly well settled into the safe haven and the ungoverned spaces of Pakistan,” Kringen said concerning al-Qaeda. “We see more training. We see more money. We see more communications. We see that activity rising.” The same week, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff set off a po- litical furor when he expressed a “gut feeling” that the United States faced a heightened risk of terror attacks from al- Qaeda this summer. Accentuating reports of a revitalized al-Qaeda is a noticeable upswing in the group’s propaganda cam- AP Images paign over the Internet, radio, and televi- sion. As the Christian Science Monitor reported on July 16, there is “no question Ayman al-Zawahiri and Osama bin Laden in an image from a videotape allegedly taken on that Al-Qaeda propaganda outlets have September 11, 2001 and released by Al-Jazeera television on October 5, 2001. been working at a high rate over the past year, with frequent and timely broadcasts Group, Taliban, Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, dination, and critical intelligence. Virtually from the group’s No. 2, the Egyptian doc- Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, Jamaat ul-Fuqra, Abu all counterterrorist authorities recognized tor Ayman al-Zawahiri.” Sayyef — to name but a few. that, with few exceptions, terrorist orga- The Monitor story noted that al-Qae- And those are only the “Islamist” ac- nizations were merely cats’ paws for the da’s media production unit, known as As- tors. There are other important terrorist Soviet Union, which was both the primary Sahab, has released at least 63 audio and groups as well, despite the fact that the benefactor and beneficiary of their violent video messages so far this year, compared “radical Muslim” or “Islamic fundamen- campaigns. with 58 in all of 2006. And in many of talist” organizations appear to be the only However, a little over 15 years ago, those messages, it points out, “Mr. Zawa- ones that obtain the terrorist label or news conventional wisdom has it, a geopolitical hiri has been able to respond to the news mention these days. Communist-oriented paradigm shift occurred that changed all events within days,” indicating not only terrorist organizations seem to be com- that. That 1991 sea-change event, usually a high level of technological sophistica- pletely off the mental radar screen, even referred to as the “collapse” of the Soviet tion by the media-savvy Zawahiri, but a when they are murderously active (like Union, not only dramatically altered the high level of confidence in his ability to the Basque ETA in Spain) or when they East vs. West dimension that had domi- get his message out without giving away control a vast narcotics empire and a geo- nated global political dynamics through- his location. graphical area the size of Switzerland out the 20th century, but, supposedly, also Thus, six years after the 9/11 terror at- (like the FARC in Colombia). brought an abrupt end to Russian sponsor- tacks on America, and after enormous ex- Modern international terrorism, espe- ship of terrorism worldwide. penditures of U.S. military and economic cially as it came to the fore in the 1960s Henceforth, the primary terror threats resources in the “war on terror,” we appear and ’70s, was exemplified by Marxist- would emanate not from Moscow, Ber- to be back to square one. At an October Leninist “liberation” groups that more or lin, Havana, and Prague, but from Tehran, 25, 2006 White House press conference, less openly aligned themselves with Mos- Damascus, Beirut, and Khartoum. They President Bush was asked: “Are we win- cow and/or Beijing. They operated out of would march not under the red banner ning?” He responded: “Absolutely, we’re the Soviet-bloc countries or winning. Al-Qaeda is on the run.” But as Moscow’s surrogate Third Georgetown University terrorism expert World regimes in Africa, A five-page report prepared for President Bruce Hoffman noted recently, “Al-Qaeda the Middle East, or Latin is not on the run, it is on the march.” The America. The Soviet KGB Bush by the National Counter Terrorism new National Counter Terrorism Center and its proxy intelligence Center paints a picture of a revived, more report appears to agree with Professor services in East Germany, Hoffman’s assessment. Romania, Czechoslovakia, dangerous terror network led by Osama Al-Qaeda, of course, is not the only Bulgaria, and Cuba were in- bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri. Thus, kid on the terrorist block. Dozens of other dispensable to the terrorists’ after six years of waging a “war on terror,” groups are also very active and noteworthy existence, providing arms, players on the global terror stage: Hezbol- money, training, explosives, we appear to be back to square one. lah, Hamas, PLO/al-Fatah, Islamic Jihad passports, safe houses, coor- THE NEW AMERICAN • SEPTEMBER 3, 2007 11
    • TERRORISM on a clash of civilizations has accept globalization and become part of become the working blueprint the “Core.” That means, for starters, most- The Litvinenko assassination for the policy elites of both the ly Muslim countries. However, Barnett — apparently an act of state terror — Republican and Democratic advocates using the troops of “Leviathan” parties. According to this es- (his term for a U.S.-led global army) to should shine a very important spotlight tablishment-favored hypoth- subjugate Christian countries as well. The on our budding relationship with Putin’s esis, our longtime strategic Muslim problem, he says “only accounts Russia and call into question just how adversary, (Soviet) Russia, has for about 40 (max, 50) percent of the become our new strategic ally Gap’s total population. The rest is largely “mutual” the concerns of our two in the war on terrorism. After Christian (Catholics and Protestants, with nations are when it comes to terrorism. all, beneath Russia’s decades- evangelicals and Mormons gaining fast), long encrustation of communist whose version of those religions is like- repression bestirs an Orthodox wise far more fundamentalist than their and hammer and sickle of communism, Christian heritage. And, like us, our new counterparts in the Core.” but rather, under the green banner and Russian “partners” also are beset by Mus- Following the September 11, 2001 at- sword and crescent of Islam. Muhammad, lim extremists and terrorists, including al- tacks, Russian President Vladimir Putin not Marx, the Q’uran, not the Communist Qaeda. was one of the first foreign leaders to call Manifesto, would provide the motive force One of the most forceful exponents of President Bush to offer condolences and to move the new revolutionaries. the clash of civilizations is Thomas P.M. support. For those of the Huntington/Bar- The new dynamic in world conflict, Barnett, controversial author of The Pen- nett school of thought at the Council on many now insist, is no longer the clash of tagon’s New Map: War and Peace in the Foreign Relations and similar centers of ideologies, as typified by the Cold War, but Twenty-First Century (2004) and Blueprint influence, this was a transformational mo- the clash of civilizations, as exemplified by for Action (2005). Barnett, a professor at ment signaling an epochal opportunity to the 9/11 attacks, the continuing wars in Iraq the U.S. Naval War College who has had turn the former chief sponsor of global and Afghanistan, and the increasing mili- a great influence on the Bush administra- terror into our main ally against the new tancy of “fundamentalist” Muslims world- tion, divides the world into regions labeled terror threats. wide. “The Clash of Civilizations” is, of the “Functioning Core” — the United This amazing transformation of the old course, the title of a seminal 1993 article by States, European Union, Russia, China, world order began almost immediately. Professor Samuel P. Huntington for Foreign and the Pacific Rim countries, and others Several months after the 9/11 attacks, Affairs, the journal of the Council on For- that are adapting to “globalization” — and leaders at the June 2002 G8 Summit in eign Relations. “It is my hypothesis,” wrote the “Non-Integrating Gap,” comprised of Kananaskis, Canada, launched the Global Huntington, “that the fundamental source countries that must be forced militarily to Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons of conflict in this new world will not be primarily ideological or primarily economic. The great divisions among humankind and the dominating source of conflict will be cultural.” “The clash of civilizations will domi- nate global politics,” he averred, and “the fault lines between civ- ilizations will be the battle lines of the future.” The chief battle line in this global vision is the one be- tween Western civilization and a militant Islam aligned with China. Huntington developed this theme more fully in his 1996 book, The Clash of Civi- lizations and the Remaking of World Order, hyped by some as the most influential politi- President Vladimir Putin, a former KGB/ cal treatise of the post-Cold FSB chief, greets Russian police officials War era. at a July 27, 2005 Kremlin meeting on AP Images worldwide terror threats. Huntington’s hypothesis of a realigned world order based 12 THE NEW AMERICAN • SEPTEMBER 3, 2007
    • G8 Summit on terrorism in 2002 included “former” terrorist leaders Thabo Mbeki of South Africa (front row, far left), Abdelaziz Bouteflika of Algeria (front row, second from right), and KGB/FSB chief Vladimir Putin (top row, between Tony and Materials of Mass De- Blair and George Bush). struction. The main feature of this partnership was a $20 billion investment by the G8 members toward the objec- tive of “preventing terrorists, or those who harbour them, from acquiring or developing nuclear, chemical, radiologi- cal, and biological weapons.” The bulk of this treasure chest was targeted first and foremost for Russia, which was deemed the most at risk to lose WMDs and related technology to terrorists. Vladimir Putin and Rus- sia are, arguably, the biggest beneficiaries of the 9/11 at- tacks, both monetarily and politically. More valuable to AP Images the Kremlin than the multi- billion-dollar booty men- tioned above are the diplo- matic, trade, defense, and intelligence doors that have been opened our budding relationship with Putin and having that conclusion confirmed by Lit- to Russia as our purported valued partner called into question just how “mutual” the vinenko undoubtedly unnerved the Rus- in the war on terror. In fact, President Bush concerns of our two nations are when it sian commissars. and other U.S. leaders are so solicitous of comes to terrorism. Lt. Col. Litvinenko’s However, Litvinenko upped the ante in Putin’s “aid” in this regard that they are murder was obviously intended to silence 2005 when he revealed, from his ex-FSB more than willing to either ignore his ag- him as well as to set an example that would contacts, that “Islamic fundamentalist” gressive installation of Soviet-style gover- dissuade others from defecting. Regarding Ayman al-Zawahiri had been trained by nance, or to let it pass with perfunctory the former, Litvinenko was bringing out the Russian FSB. This is incredibly signif- verbal criticism. many disturbing charges and facts show- icant since Dr. al-Zawahiri is the reputed Consider, for example, the mounting ing that Putin’s KGB/FSB is continuing to operational mastermind behind al-Qaeda evidence that former KGB/FSB chief sponsor the global terror network launched and is second only to Osama bin Laden Putin was behind the very public execu- by the Soviet KGB in the 1960s and nur- on the FBI’s “Most Wanted Terrorists” list. tion-by-poison in England of FSB defector tured by them through the 1980s. That in- “Ayman al-Zawahiri trained at a Federal Lt. Col. Alexander Litvinenko. Despite the cludes current sponsorship and direction of Security Service (FSB) base in Dages- evidence, the Bush administration has said al-Qaeda and its two top leaders, Osama tan in 1998,” Litvinenko told the Polish and done little to nothing in response, ap- bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri. newspaper Rzeczpospolita, in a July 17, parently unwilling to risk upsetting Putin 2005 interview. “He was then transferred and the supposedly vital U.S.-Russian FBI’s “Most Wanted” Terrorists to Afghanistan, where he became Osama “relationship” in the mutual effort against Very likely, one of the specific reasons for bin Laden’s deputy,” the defector said. “I Islamic terrorism. Alexander Litvinenko’s liquidation was was working in that section at the time For, as a November 24, 2006 Reuters the publication of his exposé, Blowing and I can confirm the fact Zawahiri was report on the Litvinenko assassination Up Russia: The Secret Plot to Bring Back not the only link between the FSB and Al pointed out, “Putin has been an ally of the KGB Terror. Litvinenko’s explosive book Qaeda.” West against Islamic extremism since the provided an FSB insider’s confirmation Bin Laden and Zawahiri had been September 11, 2001 attacks on the United that the sensational terrorist bombings in closely associated in jihadi activities for States,” even though “relations have been Russia attributed to Chechen Islamic na- more than a decade by that time. By 1998, strained in recent years over what Western tionalists were actually the work of Putin’s Zawahiri formally merged his Egyptian governments call Moscow’s slide towards FSB Special Operations Groups, part of Islamic Jihad with bin Laden’s al-Qaeda, authoritarianism.” the restructured and renamed Soviet KGB. creating a single unified command. However, the Litvinenko assassination Extensive evidence already published by Is there anything besides Litvinenko’s — apparently an act of state terror — should independent investigators and journalists sensational charge indicating that Zawahiri have shined a very important spotlight on had pointed to the same conclusion, but might actually be an FSB operative? As a THE NEW AMERICAN • SEPTEMBER 3, 2007 13
    • TERRORISM of toppling secular rule in Egypt, became instead the biggest component of al-Qaeda and major agent of a global war against America. “Eight months after the Russian fiasco,” Higgins and Cullison continue, “Dr. Zawahiri and Mr. bin Laden announced an alliance dedi- cated to killing Americans, a task they called the ‘duty of every Muslim.’” Another news account quotes an FSB spokesman named Sergei Ignatchenko who says that Zawahiri Afghani Mujahedeen and Afghan-trained “had four passports, in four Arabs who originally saw the Soviet communists as their main enemy have been different names and nation- alities. We checked him out AP Images turned by al-Zawahiri and bin Laden to view America as the main enemy of Islam. in every country, but they could not confirm him. We could not keep him forever, matter of fact, yes. We will digress to 1996 The authors of the 2002 Wall Street so we took him to the Azerbaijani border and an account of three travelers in Azer- Journal article, Andrew Higgins and Allen and let him go.” Which is even more fan- baijan. Parts of this story have been told Cullison, are inexplicably willing to accept tastic than the Journal’s account. in various public sources ranging from the at face value Dr. Zawahiri’s wildly implau- Keep in mind that this episode takes Wall Street Journal to the websites of intel- sible explanation for his travels in Russia place during a period when the FSB and ligence analysts from the Jamestown Foun- and his even more unbelievable account of the Russian military were waging a vicious dation and Axis Information and Analysis his release. Higgins and Cullison write: genocidal war against Chechnya because, (AIA). We have drawn from these and other they said, the Chechens, aided by outside sources to put together this brief rendering The [Russian] judge rejected pros- Islamic fundamentalists, were carrying out of a very telling episode. ecution demands for a three-year a terrorist campaign against Mother Rus- In December 1996, a minivan carrying sentence and gave the men only six sia. Now think in terms of how the Russian three men was headed toward Chechnya, months. They’d already been in jail FSB might respond to three foreign Arabic making its way across the narrow strip of five months, so the Russians soon men who are traveling under false identity, Russian territory between the Caucasus freed them. have multiple aliases and passports, claim Mountains and the Caspian Sea. Near the “God blinded them to our identi- to work for a non-existent company, pos- city of Derbent, the men ran into a Rus- ties,” Dr. Zawahiri wrote later, in his sess sophisticated communications equip- sian roadblock. Lacking visas, they were account of his trip. “God’s mercy ac- ment and a laptop with coded messages, arrested and turned over to the FSB for companied us during these months.” and are detained trying to sneak through a interrogation. One member of the trio, a The Russians returned the cash, the little-used back door to the embattled area, “businessman” traveling on a Sudanese communications gear, and the com- under the pretext of checking out the mar- passport, carried $6,500 worth of cash in puter, its mostly Arabic-language doc- ket potential for health foods and leather several currencies, a satellite phone, a lap- uments nearly all unread. Abulkhalik goods. After their arrest, guards report that top, and other electronics equipment. The Abdusalamov, their court-appointed the men are visited by Islamic radicals who laptop contained many coded messages in lawyer, says he never got close to his petition for their release and leave coded Arabic. The Sudanese “Mr. Amin” was, in clients and couldn’t figure out what messages that investigators cannot deci- reality, the head of Egyptian Islamic Jihad they were up to or why they were car- pher. Would the FSB not have uncovered — Ayman al-Zawahiri. According to the rying so much electronic equipment. their identities, and have let them go? Wall Street Journal, “Dr. Zawahiri spent Freed from Russian jail in May “Perhaps most difficult to believe from the next six months in a crumbling jail, 1997, Dr. Zawahiri found refuge in Zawahiri’s version is that his captors would fretting that the Russians would discover Afghanistan, yoking his fortunes to not have read the Arabic information con- his true identity.” But, in the end, “his Mr. bin Laden. Egyptian Jihad, previ- tained within his laptop computer,” com- cover held, and he was freed.” ously devoted to the narrow purpose mented Dr. Evgenii Novikov, a Russian 14 THE NEW AMERICAN • SEPTEMBER 3, 2007
    • defector and scholar in Islamic affairs who slots around both bin Laden is now a senior fellow at the Jamestown and Azzam. Zawahiri tried Foundation in Virginia. “Russian intel- to get Azzam to change his Litvinenko revealed in 2005 that “Islamic ligence has probably the best Arabists in focus from fighting the Soviet fundamentalist” Ayman al-Zawahiri the world.... These individuals would have invaders and their communist been able not only to read Zawahiri’s Ara- Afghan appointees to instead had been trained by the Russian FSB. bic text, but also to decode his encrypted directing the Mujahedeen to This is incredibly significant since Dr. messages without any problem.” attack America and overthrow But we are supposed to believe that a secular Arabic regimes. When al-Zawahiri is the reputed operational generous Russian judge and some kindly Azzam adamantly refused, mastermind behind al-Qaeda. KGB/FSB guys simply said: “Gee, fel- Zawahiri began spreading ru- las, you’ve really stumped us with your mors that Azzam was a CIA codes here, and nothing in your stories spy. On November 24, 1989, Azzam and virulently anti-American terrorist group. checks out, and everything else about you two of his sons were killed when their car Space permitting, much more could be is incredibly suspicious, but we’re in an was blown up while on the way to the Pe- said to support Mr. Litvinenko’s thesis that especially good mood. So here’s all your shawar mosque. Ayman al-Zawahiri is a Russian agent, money, fake IDs, computer, and spy stuff. Many who were close to the situation rather than an Islamic fundamentalist. And Be sure to be more careful next time. So have expressed their beliefs that Zawahiri he is not unique in this regard. In fact, as long now and drive safely.” was the one who ordered the hit. Finnish we show in “The Real Terror Paymasters” More likely, says Dr. Novikov, the KGB/ terrorism expert Aansi Kullberg is among (next page), many other important leaders FSB would have realized very quickly who those who state it as a fact. Regardless, of “Muslim” terrorist organizations pos- Zawahiri was and would have applied to we do know for sure that the murder of sess similar pedigrees, demonstrating that him the torture and blackmail techniques Azzam resulted in bin Laden and Zawa- Islamic terrorism is joined at the hip with for which they are infamous. Zawahiri, hiri inheriting Azzam’s Mujahedeen army. the international terror network sponsored after all, was a well-recognized and much- They began its radical reorientation into a by the Soviet Union/Russia. ■ photographed leader of one of the world’s major terrorist groups, Egyptian Islamic Jihad. Novikov believes Zawahiri “broke” under torture and became an asset of the FSB. Which makes much more sense than the Journal’s story. However, there is another explanation that makes even more sense, and that is that Zawahiri was already working for the FSB when he was “arrested” in 1996. That is, he was thrown in jail as a cover (a com- mon ploy of police and intelligence agen- cies) while he and his superiors worked out future terror plots. This fits with earlier suspicions among the Afghan Mujahedeen concerning Zawahiri’s ascendance there following the assassination of Sheikh Abdullah Azzam. Sheikh Azzam, a Palestinian profes- sor who had mentored young Osama bin Laden, urged Arabic Muslims to declare jihad against the Soviets for their inva- sion of Afghanistan in December 1979. Setting up camp in Peshawar, Pakistan, Sheikh Azzam, backed by the wealth of bin Laden, soon was the recognized leader of the Arabic Mujahedeen. Newscom Zawahiri sought Azzam’s influence over the wealthy bin Laden, and with that ob- jective in mind Zawahiri soon became the Marina Litvinenko, widow of poisoned defector Alexander Litvinenko at a 2007 London press young billionaire’s personal physician. He conference beneath before-and-after photos of her husband. Alexander exposed Russian also began placing his Egyptians in critical President Putin’s role in terrorism, including training and supporting al-Qaeda. THE NEW AMERICAN • SEPTEMBER 3, 2007 15
    • TERROR TERRORISM THE REAL PAYMASTERS Yuri Andropov, former KGB chairman and former general secretary of the Soviet Communist Party (and Vladimir Putin’s boss at the time), launched the USSR’s “Islamic” terrorist offensive. AP Images The KGB has long sponsored the Muslim fundamentalist groups that have now become a global terror network carrying out the Marxist-Leninist revolution in Muhammad’s name. by William F. Jasper against Israel and its main supporter, the In the mid 1970s, the KGB ordered United States. No one within the Ameri- my service, the [Romanian] DIE In 1972, the Kremlin decided to turn can/Zionist sphere of influence should any — along with other East European the whole Islamic world against Is- longer feel safe.” sister services — to scour the coun- rael and the U.S. As KGB chairman Gen. Pacepa, who defected to the Unit- try for trusted party activists belong- Yuri Andropov told me, a billion ad- ed States in 1978, recounted this story in ing to various Islamic ethnic groups, versaries could inflict far greater an August 24, 2006 article for National train them in disinformation and ter- damage on America than could a few Review entitled “Russian Footprints.” “Ac- rorist operations, and infiltrate them millions. cording to Andropov,” said Pacepa, “the into the countries of our “sphere of Islamic world was a waiting petri dish in influence.” Their task was to export I n the quote above, Gen. Ion Mihai which we could nurture a virulent strain a rabid, demented hatred for Ameri- Pacepa, head of the DIE, the KGB’s of America-hatred, grown from the bacte- can Zionism by manipulating the little sister in communist Romania, re- rium of Marxist-Leninist thought. Islamic ancestral abhorrence for Jews felt by veals a conversation he had with chairman anti-Semitism ran deep. The Muslims had the people in that part of the world. Andropov, the Soviet leader. “We needed a taste for nationalism, jingoism, and vic- Before I left Romania for good, in to instill a Nazi-style hatred for the Jews timology. Their illiterate, oppressed mobs 1978, my DIE had dispatched around throughout the Islamic world,” Andropov could be whipped up to a fever pitch.” 500 such undercover agents to Islam- told Pacepa, “and to turn this weapon of Gen. Pacepa explained how this was put ic countries. According to a rough the emotions into a terrorist bloodbath into operation: estimate received from Moscow, by 16 THE NEW AMERICAN • SEPTEMBER 3, 2007
    • Hamas militants hold a press conference in the Gaza Strip in October 2004. Hamas operates its Internet sites out of Russia and enjoys good relations with the Kremlin, while Putin’s Russia continues Soviet persecution of Muslims. AP Images 1978 the whole Soviet-bloc intel- Egypt’s leading Islamic thinkers.” Titles ago drew the ire of religious Muslims be- ligence community had sent some like Socialist Integration, On Communism, cause their Marxist disavowal of God was 4,000 such agents of influence into and Planning in the U.S.S.R. by leading seen as the biggest threat to Islam,” Shadid the Islamic world. Marxists, notes Mr. Shadid, “speak more reported. “Today, they are often the public of class struggle than the hand of God.” face of Islam — writing in leading Ara- Likewise, Anatoliy Golitsyn, one of the Like a surprising number of others bic newspapers, speaking at conferences most important KGB defectors to come across the Arab and Muslim world, Adel and on television talk shows, enjoying the to the West, noted in his 1995 book, The Hussein “is a one-time Marxist and non- support of many younger, more political Perestroika Deception, “Under concealed believer who has turned to Islam, part of a Muslims interested in their attempts to Russian guidance, the Muslims of the for- new intellectual generation reshaping the rethink Islam’s relationship to democracy, mer Soviet Union … will seek to coop- religion.” “I benefited from Marx in both minorities and the West.” erate and ally themselves with Muslims theory and practice,’’ Hussein told Shadid, Evidence for the existence of an ongo- in Iran and the Arab states while Russia “but now, Islam is my starting point and ing Soviet/Russian strategic plan to fo- maintains its open policy of cooperation my framework.” That doesn’t mean he’s ment and use Islamic extremism is very and partnership with the West. In this way abandoned Marx, however. “Hussein, for extensive and goes far to explain the inor- China openly and Russia secretly will instance, says his goals have not changed,” dinate hatred of Muslim fundamentalists jointly attempt to swing the balance of Shadid reported. “But he now sees Islam, for America and the West. Not only is al- power in their favor in the highly strate- through its ability to persuade gic, oil-producing Arab/Iranian areas of and to mobilize, as the best the Middle East.” tool.” In other words, Islam Putin continues to build Iran’s nuclear A July 1997 article by Associated Press for Hussein is a means to an writer Anthony Shadid provides one mea- end, and the end is a Marxist program and upgrade its long-range sure of the impact of this Soviet KGB (and world. missile program, not to mention provide ongoing Russian FSB) strategy. The AP Adel Hussein, says AP’s story, “Marxism Makes Way for Islam,” Shadid, is representative of a Ahmadinejad’s regime with all of the profiles a number of influential Marxist- significant number of today’s conventional weapons that Tehran and Muslim intellectuals. It begins with the influential imams and mullahs. observation that “on the bookshelf of Adel “In a jarring twist, they are the its surrogate terrorists can use. Hussein sits an odd collection for one of same thinkers who a generation THE NEW AMERICAN • SEPTEMBER 3, 2007 17
    • TERRORISM the immense assistance they forgave 73 percent of the $13.4 billion receive from Iran and Syria, debt owed by Syria to Moscow. Then, a Is the ongoing Soviet/Russian propaganda regimes that were primary couple months later, he sold Strelet sur- and terror strategy really at the heart of client-state terror sponsors face-to-air missiles to Asad and has been for the Soviets and continue showering him with weapons. the militant jihadist hatred directed at in that role for Russia under the United States? The overwhelming Putin. Moscow Masterminds Putin continues to build In the 2005 action film Lord of War, evidence would seem to answer Iran’s nuclear program and Nicolas Cage plays Russian arms dealer resoundingly in the affirmative. upgrade its long-range mis- Yuri Orlov, whose merchandise — guns, sile program, not to men- tanks, grenades, missiles, planes, bombs tion provide Ahmadinejad’s — spreads slaughter and genocide across Qaeda aligned with the Kremlin (see the regime with all of the conventional weap- Africa. The fictional Orlov is a portrayal article on page 10), so are the other major ons that Tehran and its surrogate terrorists of the real-life Viktor Bout, a “former” “Islamist” terror groups including PLO/ can use. Likewise for the longtime terror- KGB officer who has built a global em- al-Fatah, Hamas, and Hezbollah (see the ist-sponsoring regime of Bashar al-Asad pire with his fleet of Soviet transport sidebar below). Of course, none of those in Damascus. In January 2005, Putin wel- planes and helicopters and his unmatched groups would amount to much if not for comed President al-Asad to Moscow and access to a bottomless supply of Soviet WHO’S WHO IN TERRORISM P by William F. Jasper and head of PLO intelligence, Hani Hassan, was actually an agent of the DIE, the Romanian subsidiary of the KGB. LO/al-Fatah. For nearly four decades, the PLO has been Former DIE chief General Ion Pacepa reported in a 2003 Wall the largest, wealthiest, and most politically connected ter- Street Journal article: rorist organization in the world. For most of that time, it was held in the firm grip of Yasser Arafat’s iron fist. But Arafat was not I was given the KGB’s “personal file” on Arafat. He was an the fierce, independent actor he posed as; he was completely depen- Egyptian bourgeois turned into a devoted Marxist by KGB for- dent on the Soviet KGB and its surrogate Warsaw Pact intelligence eign intelligence. The KGB had trained him at its Balashikha services for arms, training, logistical support, funds, and direction. special-ops school east of Moscow and in the mid-1960s de- His KGB handlers included Vasali Samoylenko, Vladimir Buljakov, cided to groom him as the future PLO leader. First, the KGB and Soviet “Ambassador” Alexander Soldatov. Arafat’s closest friend destroyed the official records of Arafat’s birth in Cairo, replac- ing them with fictitious documents saying that he had been born in Jerusalem and was therefore a Pal- estinian by birth. During the 1960s and ’70s, Arafat and the PLO did not hide their Marxist ideology and openly proclaimed their solidarity with the Soviet Union, Com- munist China, Communist Cuba, and every other Marxist dictatorship. But in recent years, as communist-backed “Islamic fundamentalist” groups like Hamas have gathered more popular support, the PLO leadership has at- tempted to portray itself as authenti- Hezbollah militia carry the coffin of Ghaleb Awali through the streets of Beirut on July 19, 2004. Hezbollah has close ties to Moscow and Russia’s clients, terror sponsors Iran and Syria. AP Images
    • cally Muslim. It has adopted more religious rhetoric and used Muslim names and sym- bols, even naming Islam as the official and exclusive religion of Palestine in the 2003 Palestinian constitution. Since Arafat’s death in 2004, veteran PLO hand Mahmoud Abbas has tried, unsuccessfully, to fill his shoes. Hamas swept to power in the 2006 par- liamentary elections (winning 76 seats to Fatah’s 43), and in June 2007 Hamas’ military took control of the Gaza Strip in a series of gun battles through the streets of Gaza’s cities that left 120 people dead and hundreds more wounded. Three of the four so-called Quartet of Middle East peace bro- kers — the United States, United Nations, Yevgeniy Primakov (right), the Soviet Union’s former terror and European Union — announced their master in the Middle East, now fronts as chairman of AP Images backing for Abbas and the PLO and their Russia’s Chamber of Commerce. He is seen here with Putin. rejection of Hamas. The remaining mem- ber of the quartet, Russia, has been playing both sides. During the last week of July, Mahmoud Abbas visited Hezbollah. In Arabic, Hezbollah means “Party of God.” But there Putin in Moscow, seeking his endorsement. Putin gave it, but didn’t is little that is godly about the group, which has exploded in size, rule out continuing negotiations and relations with Hamas. “I want power, and influence since first coming to Western attention by to assure you that we will support you as the lawful leader of the bombing the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, killing over Palestinian people,” Putin told Abbas at their July 31 meeting. 300 Marines. It is supported chiefly and directly by Iran and has adopted the revolutionary theology and ideology of Iran’s Ayatollah Hamas. The Arabic acronym for Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islami- Khomeini. It also receives military aid directly and indirectly from yya, or Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas is a Palestinian Sunni Syria and Russia, as manifested by the weapons cases abandoned terrorist organization founded in 1987 by Sheikh Ahmed Yassin. One by Hezbollah after their rocket attacks on Israel last summer. The of Hamas’ claims to infamy is its popularization of suicide bombing containers were clearly marked: “Customer: Ministry of Defense of as a terror weapon, pioneering in recruiting females and children as Syria. Supplier: KBP, Tula, Russia.” suicide killers. Although posing as the ultimate in Islamic funda- Sheikh Hasan Nasrallah, who has been General Secretary of Hez- mentalism, like al-Qaeda it has a curious relationship with Putin’s bollah since 1992, keeps in touch with Moscow through regular com- KGB/FSB. According to a March 2006 report by Axis Information munications with Russia’s Beirut embassy. This was confirmed in a and Analysis, “At present, five of the seven biggest Hamas websites 2006 interview with Russia’s Ambassador to Israel, Mikhail Bogda- are functioning from the territory of the CIS member-states. Three nov. That is not the only channel by which Moscow and Beirut stay of these sites use services of the Russian providers.... There are two in touch. In a detailed 2005 report by Axis Information and Analysis, more smaller but rather well-known websites that are functioning entitled Dangerous Liaisons: Covert “Love Affair” Between Hezbol- from Russia’s territory.” This is especially noteworthy since the Putin lah and Russia, author Michel Ebaz reports: regime has clamped down on all media and Internet access by its political opposition and all unapproved parties. Hamas’ Internet sites, Hezbollah’s special operations unit (“Muntamat al-Jihad al-Is- which have been so essential in building Hamas’ stature, recruiting, lami” — MJI or “Islamic Jihad Organization”) emissaries have and propaganda prowess globally, are clearly operating with Putin’s been active in Russia since the middle of the nineties. Resid- approval. ing in Moscow, Imad Hadj Hassan Salame heads this special Russia does not include Hamas on its list of terrorist organizations. operations unit. His men were an integral part of Hezbollah’s Not surprisingly, Hamas’ political director, Khaled Mashal, has re- international network for smuggling weapons to Lebanon. peatedly affirmed the organization’s close friendship with Moscow. Mashal presides over the Hamas “Politburo,” which, in name, struc- Yevgeniy Primakov’s appointment in 1996 as Russia’s Foreign Min- ture, and function, is much more in line with Marxist-Leninist than ister was a critical step in propelling the Hezbollah-KGB relationship Islamist thought. Mashal has led Hamas delegations to Moscow for forward. As the KGB’s most experienced hand in Middle East terror- talks with Putin and has met with Putin and Yevgeniy Primakov, the ism matters, he was the perfect choice for insuring a smooth transi- KGB’s top Middle East scholar, at other forums in Khartoum, Teh- tion when the KGB transformed into the FSB. His official meetings ran, and Ankara. Although Hamas never provided any significant aid in the 1990s with Lebanon’s political leaders also provided him (and to its fellow Muslims who were being slaughtered by the Russians in his assistant, Viktor Pasovaluk) with opportunities to meet secretly Chechnya, it did, up until 2004, offer them rhetorical support. Since with representatives of Hezbollah. In the 2005 elections, Hezbollah 2004, though, it has urged the Chechens to “heal the wound” and and its allies in the Resistance and Development Bloc won 35 seats surrender in the interest of “a strong and integrated Russia.” (27 percent) of the Lebanese parliament. ■ THE NEW AMERICAN • SEPTEMBER 3, 2007 19
    • TERRORISM and shell companies out of Hezbollah in Lebanon and the forces of Belgium and the United Arab the radical Islamic Courts Union in So- The real paymasters of terrorists aren’t in Emirates, Bout has always malia. Bout’s status as a private entre- Damascus and Tehran; they’re in Moscow maintained a home base and preneur provides protective deniability safe haven in Russia. to his bosses in the Kremlin — including and Beijing. They will not try to engage When the Belgian govern- the top KGB/FSB man himself, Vladimir us in head-on military conflict when they ment issued an international Putin — but it is obvious that they are can more easily wear us down by leading arrest warrant for him in 2002, supplying him and protecting him so he Bout fled to Moscow. “Asked can continue stoking the fires of terror us into many “quagmire” conflicts with if Bout was in the country and revolution that they have sparked and their surrogates. when the arrest warrant was fed for decades. Incredibly, Western gov- issued, the Russian foreign ernments that verbally condemn Bout’s ministry said no, even though sinister blood trade are more than willing armaments. It would be difficult to find a Bout was giving live radio interviews to do business with his companies. For in- war, civil war, revolution, terrorist orga- from studios in downtown Moscow,” note stance, the U.S. Defense Department has nization, dictatorship, coup, or attempted Douglas Farah and Stephen Braun, au- paid Bout’s air transport companies mil- coup in Africa, the Middle East, or Cen- thors of Merchant of Death: Money, Guns, lions of dollars to fly supplies into U.S. tral Asia over the past decade and a half Planes, and the Man Who Makes War Pos- bases in Afghanistan and Iraq. that hasn’t been fueled by Bout’s deadly sible. “The next day, officials grudgingly As indispensable as Viktor Bout has merchandise. acknowledged he might be in Russia but been — and is — to the Kremlin’s ongo- Viktor Bout was for years the main arms said they had seen no evidence that he had ing terror strategy, there are others who supplier for the Taliban and al-Qaeda in committed any crime, and therefore could are even more important. One of the most Afghanistan and Pakistan. He subse- not act.” important is Yevgeniy Primakov, the for- quently became a major supplier to the According to Farah and Braun and mer KGB chief in charge of Middle East U.S.-backed Northern Alliance. While other investigative reporters, Viktor Bout terrorism during the Cold War. Primakov operating a dizzying array of companies more recently has been running arms to has been at the pinnacle of Soviet politics for decades: Soviet Politburo member, former Russian Foreign Minister, head of the Russia For- eign Intelligence Service (SVR), and Russian prime minister. Now he is Putin’s right-hand man as a “private citizen.” As head of the Russia Chamber of Commerce, he continues his role directing Russia’s client terror states and terrorist groups while on com- mercial visits throughout the Mideast. In 2006, Primakov presided at the founding meeting of Russia’s new forum for Muslim coun- tries, the “Russia-Islamic World Strategic Vision Group.” The new group held its first session in Moscow on March 27-28, at- tended by delegates from Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt, Pakistan, Iran, and 12 additional Muslim states. Putin greeted the del- egates. Significantly, the “states- man” who presided at the meet- AP Images ing was Primakov, a renowned Arabist who played a key role in Oil and terror: Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is greeted in Caracas in 2006 by Hugo Chavez, who has also formulating the Soviet Union’s made a home for Hezbollah in Venezuela. The Caracas and Tehran regimes are both supported by Moscow ties with the Muslim world dur- and Beijing. ing the cold-war era. 20 THE NEW AMERICAN • SEPTEMBER 3, 2007
    • Jihadist Hatred for America Is the ongoing Soviet/Russian propaganda and terror strategy really at the heart of the mili- tant jihadist hatred directed at the United States? The over- whelming evidence would seem to answer resoundingly in the affirmative. After all, the jihad- ists should have good reason to view as enemies the regimes in Moscow, Beijing, and the Commonwealth of Independent States that have killed Muslims on a daily basis. In fact, the So- viet Union murdered over one million Muslim Afghans and made over five million of them refugees. Post-Soviet Russia brutally subjugated Muslim AP Images Chechnya, killing tens of thou- sands of civilians and leaving hundreds of thousands home- Curious silence and inaction: Russian troops patrol devastated Grozny, the capital of Chechnya. The most less. The Soviet Union perse- militant “Muslim” terror groups not only ignore the plight of Chechnya’s Muslims, but ally themselves with cuted (and present-day Russia Moscow and focus all their hatred against America. continues to persecute) tens of millions of Muslims in Kazakhstan, Ta- Hollywood’s ubiquitous and depraved lens, succumb to their arguments that we should jikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turk- is offensive to devout Muslims (as it is to accept new waves of Muslim immigrants. menistan, and Azerbaijan. The current devout Christians). But Russia is not pris- But neither should we allow ourselves to openly communist government of Islam tine by comparison. Putin’s Russia boasts be further dragged into a military “clash Karimov in Uzbekistan carried out the one of the largest pornography industries of civilizations” (as we already are in Iraq Adijan massacre of 2005, slaughtering in the world, featuring the most hard-core and Afghanistan) by “Muslim” front men as many as 5,000 Muslim civilians, with kiddie porn. Russia’s mainstream media for our so-called allies in Moscow and Moscow and Beijing both publicly voic- is much more salacious than its coun- Beijing. ing support for Karimov’s action. Com- terparts in the United States. Russia and In his October 11, 2001 news confer- munist China has carried out a decades- the Muslim-populated (but non-Muslim- ence, President George W. Bush charac- long ruthless persecution of its Muslim ruled) countries of the Commonwealth of terized the new global conflict as “a war Uighar minority. Independent States (C.I.S.) are also notori- against all those who seek to export terror, Communist regimes have forbidden ous for forced prostitution, gambling, and and a war against those governments that study of the Q’uran, publicly burned the production, consumption, and export support or shelter them.” Striking the same countless copies of this sacred text of of drugs and alcohol, all of which should theme, but with greater specificity, Weekly Muslims, imprisoned and tortured Muslim earn them condemnation from the mili- Standard editor William Kristol declared believers, and beaten Muslim clerics and tant Muslim faithful. Instead, the leaders in a July 21, 2006 article, “Radical Islam then paraded them in public humiliation. of Hamas, Hezbollah, al-Qaeda, al-Fatah, Takes On Democracy,” that “our focus Contrast that with the Western countries, and other “Islamic fundamentalists,” not should be less on Hamas and Hezbollah, where Muslims are granted full political only ignore the transgressions of their in- and more on their paymasters and real and economic rights, can worship freely, fidel sponsors in Russia and China and the commanders — Syria and Iran.” and can obtain a Q’uran at any library or cries of their persecuted Muslim brothers, But why stop with the middlemen? The local bookstore. Yes, the jihadists have but they regularly break bread with and real paymasters and commanders aren’t in used our military presence in Iraq to fan publicly support the atheist persecutors of Damascus and Tehran; they’re in Moscow the flames of hatred against the United Islam. and Beijing, as they have been for decades. States, but how about the communists? We in the Christian West should not kid These paymasters and commanders are Do the jihadists hate America more than ourselves — as certain “liberals” would also patient strategists. They will not try the non-Muslim communist states because have us do — into accepting the false to engage us in head-on military conflict we are uniquely decadent? It is true that proposition that Islam is perfectly com- when they can more easily wear us down Western post-Christian culture, especially patible with our social-political system. by leading us into many “quagmire” con- as seen in popular fashions and through It is not (see page 31). And we must not flicts with their surrogates. ■ THE NEW AMERICAN • SEPTEMBER 3, 2007 21
    • ENERGY Blown Away AP Images Wind power is floating high on the political winds as the country’s answer to its power needs, but, in reality, it’s an idea whose time has come … and gone. by Ed Hiserodt “energy efficiency methods,” this means kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity. As a that as “little” as 11 percent would need to comparison a 100-watt light bulb operat- H ardly a stump speech goes by come from renewable sources. The dead- ing for a year (8,760 hours) would con- without a political candidate call- line for this conversion is 2020, with the sume 876,000 watt-hours of power, or 876 ing for “more renewable sources threat of millions of dollars in penalties for kWh. Taking the lesser figure from the of energy such as wind or solar” to either those not meeting the requirement. House Bill of 11 percent of “renewable” stop our dependence on foreign oil or to With only a Democrat-controlled Sen- energy required, Arkansas utilities would slow the CO2 emissions that mean certain ate to temper the House bill, and a presi- be forced to provide 6.9 billion kWh from doom for our planet. The politicians are dent who has shown a reluctance to veto “renewable sources,” which is clearly doing what most politicians do: spewing terrible legislation, e.g., the Campaign meant to be either wind or solar. (We will rhetoric that they know voters want to Finance Law, the House bill represents a concentrate in this article on wind power hear; proposing programs they know little clear and present danger to the economy because it is in much wider use than solar or nothing about. of the Republic — and will not lead to any electrical production. More on solar power But as of August 3, the rhetoric was reduction in our dependence on foreign oil in the next issue.) backed by action and the stakes became or to any decrease in global warming. serious — as they say, “The price of poker To bring the scope of what is being pro- Looking at Wind Generators just went up.” On that day the U.S. House posed closer to home, let’s use my home News stories about wind generation gener- of Representatives voted to require electri- state, Arkansas, as a microcosm of the ally follow something like this: “The G.E. cal utilities to obtain 15 percent of their country as a whole. The State of Arkansas 1.5 megawatt [1,500 kW] wind turbine power from renewable sources. Since in has almost exactly one percent of the U.S. will provide enough electrical energy for some cases four percent of the renewable population and is about midway in terms 1,200 homes.” And if you were to go look requirement could be satisfied by some of area. at the generator section of a wind turbine At a 2.2-percent growth rate in electri- that is some 18 stories above ground level, Ed Hiserodt is the author of Under-Exposed: What If cal consumption, the total for Arkansas in it would indeed say 1.5 megawatts. Multi- Radiation Is Really Good for You? 2020 would be approximately 63 billion plying this by the hours in a year gives 13 22 THE NEW AMERICAN • SEPTEMBER 3, 2007
    • million kWh. Since the average U.S. home in all of Arkansas, the capacity consumes 11,000 kWh per year, it indeed factor would not be 30 percent but appears the figures are correct. Except for something in the neighborhood of Wind turbines cannot be lined up in a the fine print that notes the generator ca- five percent, but let us generously row as the resulting turbulence would pacity is when operating in a wind of 26 to assign a 15-percent capacity factor lower the downwind turbines to zero 55 miles per hour (above which the blades to a 1,500 kW turbine with a blade must be “feathered” to avoid destruction diameter four-fifths the length of a production if not destroy them from of the machine). football field. This one unit would asymmetrical wind forces. So there The amount of electrical power gener- produce 1,971,000 kWh of elec- ated by a wind turbine is a function of the tricity over a year. is just so much power that can be cube of the wind speed. If the speed drops Remember how many kilowatt- generated per acre of wind farm. by one half, then the generating capacity hours we need for that 11 percent falls to (1⁄ 2) 3 or one-eighth. Obviously se- of green power? Yes, 6.9 billion. lection of a site with steady winds in the Dividing 6.9 billion by 1,971,000 gives The figure given by the EPA, assuming 26 to 55 mph range is a major factor in the us the number of wind turbine generators a 30-percent capacity factor, is 1.23 watts output of a wind turbine generator. Unfor- needed: 3,516. per square meter, or about 5 kW per acre. tunately many parts of the country have At our lower capacity factor, this becomes few if any locations that meet this crite- Farming the Wind roughly 2.5 kW per acre so that over a rion.* So how do we determine what the Wind turbines cannot be lined up in a row year’s time there would 21,900 kWh per actual generating capacity of a particular as the resulting turbulence would lower acre of electrical generation. wind turbine is? We measure the kWh de- the downwind turbines to zero produc- Returning to our 6.9 billion kWh re- livered to the network and compare that to tion if not destroy them from asymmetri- quired by the politicians, we see that the the output if the system had been operating cal wind forces. So there is just so much wind farms would require 316,400 acres at its full capacity for the entire year. This power that can be generated per acre of to meet their demands — a mere 494 figure is known as the capacity factor. wind farm. And remember, these will square miles. Well, there goes The Natu- Capacity factors can run as high as 35 have to be sited in areas that some en- ral State. percent in mountain passes and ridges, vironmentalists will go to the wall for to But at least we could get rid of some but more commonly in the mid-twenties, prevent development, including the con- of our polluting coal power plants, right? though often falling below 15 percent even struction of transmission lines. Well actually, no we couldn’t. The weath- in areas where the wind er in the United States is was predicted to be brisk often dominated in both and relatively constant. For summer and winter by now let us use 30 percent, what is known as a “dome the same capacity factor of high pressure.” Such a used by the Environmental condition leads to winds Protection Agency (EPA), that are “light and vari- Slice and dice: Raptors, such and reexamine the claim as eagles and hawks, appear able” — certainly not of of 1,200 homes. Obvious- particularly susceptible to being a quality to turn a wind ly, the number of homes struck by blades with tip speeds turbine. Consequently, all provided power drops by approaching 200 mph. the existing power plants 70 percent, to 360 homes. would have to remain. There are other factors that How can I possibly make even this number un- claim that every kilowatt realistically high since it’s hour generated by wind based on average, not peak power doesn’t elimi- loads. nate that much pollution Meanwhile back in Ar- from a coal-fired plant? kansas, let’s see what it will Because it’s true. Most take to convert 11 percent of our country is tied to- of the electrical output to gether in electrical grid so wind power. First we will that power can be routed have to estimate the capac- from one area to another ity factor of a particular as demands change from turbine generator used in an expected wind envi- * See a wind map at http://www AP Images ronment. Because of less- .bergey.com/Maps/USA.Wind than-optimal wind speeds .Lg.htm SEPTEMBER 3, 2007 23
    • ENERGY large numbers of birds. Wind- is the old standby: follow the money trail. power promoters point out While no estimates have surfaced regard- Without government interference in the that good aerodynamic de- ing the costs of this project nationally, we marketplace, wind power would be a thing sign and the noise produced can look at Arkansas as representative of naturally by the wind masks the country and use it to determine how of the past. But politicians are playing the “whooshing” sound of much money will be spent to meet the to the emotions of voters who have been the turbines that some peo- needs of this junk science. You may recall erroneously led to believe that the United ple consider objectionable. that Arkansas, which represents about one But there’s more to turbine percent of the energy equation, requires States can lower its dependence on oil noise than a mere “whoosh- 3,516 1.5-megawatt turbines to produce imports and stop global warming. ing” sound. Left unaddressed the required capacity for that state’s “re- is the low frequency thump- newable” energy. The average cost of wind ing noise caused as each turbine generators is about $1.5 million per blade passes the support- megawatt. Catch your breath and do the GE Wind Energy ing structure. In rural areas, math: $7.9 billion. And that’s just Arkan- President Steve Zwolinski particularly at night when sas! Nationwide the taxpayers would need ambient noise levels are to cough up $790 billion to implement this low, the thumping interrupts scheme. In 1991, the Interstate Highway sleep and leads to related System was considered complete at a cost health issues. This noise has of $129 billion. Taking into account infla- led the French Academy of tion since 1991, the proposed cost of wind Medicine to call for a halt power would be over 4 times the cost of of turbine projects within the interstates. 1.5 kilometers (0.9 miles) You may wonder, “If wind turbines of any residence. Similarly, aren’t useful as a source of power, why the U.K. Noise Association were so many being built even before the recommends a one-mile set- House passed its legislation?” The answer back from residential areas. is government subsidies. As for birds killed by A case study of how wind power is turbines, it has been noted dependent on government subsidies and Underpowered: Based on average home that an unusual number of dictates is the Cape Wind project, a pro- use of electricity, it is claimed that wind raptors — hawks, owls, posed wind-turbine complex slated to be turbines — such as the ones shown that eagles — along with bats built offshore from Cape Cod in Nantuck- are slated for installation off the coast fall victim to the 200-mile- et Sound. That project became notorious of Nantucket — can each provide per-hour turbine blades. because of opposition from ultra-liberal enough electricity to power 1,200 homes. But wind turbines only One theory behind the sig- U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy, who was deliver rated power 30 percent of nificant numbers of raptors not concerned about the cost but didn’t the time, and they don’t work at all killed, as opposed to other want the view from his yacht infringed during blackouts. birds — say songbirds — is upon. David G. Tuerck, executive direc- that birds of prey have eyes tor of the Beacon Hill Institute, analyzed oriented in a forward direc- the pro forma information on the project tion, while other birds (the and noted: “What we found was quite re- preyed upon) have eyes on markable. Cape Wind stands to receive AP Images the sides of their heads and subsidies worth $731 million, or 77 per- are able to detect the motion cent of the cost of installing the project of the blades more readily. and 48 percent of the revenues it would place to place. Electricity is not stored on Whatever the reason for the deaths, it has generate.” This project was given final ap- the grid. If a portion of the power comes caused the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proval by the State of Massachusetts last from wind generation, there must always to issue siting guidelines recommending March, and is now awaiting other govern- be a backup in the event this drops sig- that wind turbines not be installed near ment approvals. nificantly — like perhaps to zero. These wetlands, mountain ridges, or shorelines Without government interference in the backup plants must be kept running as it where birds tend to concentrate. marketplace, wind power would be a relic requires hours if not days to bring them up If wind power is so unreliable, doesn’t for our historical entertainment. Do U.S. to a level where they can provide power. replace power plants, and promises to have congressmen have any idea of the physical Wind power enthusiasts become very many siting restrictions, why would any- realities of what they have just voted for or defensive when reminded that wind tur- one support it? Perhaps the most reliable its costs or consequences? Obviously not. bines produce annoying noise and kill method of analyzing a government project Guess it’s time we told them. ■ 24 THE NEW AMERICAN • SEPTEMBER 3, 2007
    • CULTURE WAR “For God, Spain, & El Cid” During the centuries-long struggle of the Spanish Reconquista against the Muslim occupiers of Iberia, one name stands out above all others as the exemplary Christian knight. by William F. Jasper O n a sandy beach on the north coast of Africa sit a dozen richly robed men, surrounded by scimitar-wielding men-at-arms, some stand- Newscom ing, some mounted. From their opulent raiment and be- jeweled fingers, the seated men are obviously individuals of some importance. In fact, they are the emirs of Spain, the Moorish kings who have been ruling the petty Muslim kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsula since the collapse of the unified Caliphate of Cordoba. They are rulers who are accustomed to issuing com- mands and expecting obedience without delay. They are accustomed to being feared by others. But a shadow of fear steals across their faces as they behold a black-robed figure approach at the gallop, his dark Arabian steed kick- ing up sand like a whirlwind. The dark rider, Ben Yusuf ibn Teshufin, jumps from the saddle and confronts the emirs, eyes blazing. Like a coiled steel spring releasing its pent-up energy, Ben Yusuf unleashes his venom on the pampered Iberian princelings: The Prophet has commanded us to rule the world. Where in all your land of Spain is the glory of Allah? When men speak of you they speak of poets, music- makers, doctors, scientists.... Where are your warriors? You dare call yourselves sons of the Prophet? You have become — women! Burn your books! Make warriors of your poets! Let your doctors invent new poisons for our arrows — let your scientists invent new war machines! And then — Kill! Burn! Infidels live on your frontiers — encourage them to kill each other. And when they are weak and torn — I will sweep up Charlton Heston stars as the larger-than-life Spanish knight Rodrigo de Vivar in from Africa — and the empire of the One God — the the 1961 cinematic epic El Cid. True God, Allah — will spread, first across Spain, then across Europe, then — the whole World! as Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar, El Cid (The Lord), and Sophia Loren as his wife, Chimene. Boasting a cast of thousands, stunning Thus opens the 1961 movie spectacular El Cid, one of the cinematography, and a magnificent musical score by Miklos great epic films of all time. Produced independently by Samuel Rozsa (who also composed the scores for King of Kings and Bronston and directed by Anthony Mann (famed for his Hol- Ben Hur — which won him an Academy Award), El Cid brings lywood westerns), El Cid stars Charlton Heston in the title role to the screen the riveting story of one of Christendom’s great- THE NEW AMERICAN • SEPTEMBER 3, 2007 25
    • CULTURE WAR While film critics and conversely, Muslims in Christian (or post- movie buffs will argue over Christian) lands are increasingly demand- Without succumbing to political El Cid’s artistic merits (or ing that their newly adopted countries correctness, we can acknowledge that alleged lack thereof), it is change their age-old customs and laws to the lessons of history the accommodate Islamic sharia law. Such many Muslims are honorable, sensible, film imparts that concern aggressive intransigence virtually guaran- temperate human beings who hold to a us here. tees escalating social conflict. And when live-and-let-live attitude not unlike our own. Unlike many of Holly- it comes to the really militant followers wood’s “historical” films of al-Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, and other And, where possible, we can and must live that bear no resemblance groups who believe that Allah wills unre- peaceably and tolerantly with them. to historical reality, El Cid mitting jihad against all unbelievers, the had the benefit of Ramon conflict inevitably becomes violent. Menendez Pidal, one of However, should all Muslims be viewed est champions against an enduring foe. Spain’s greatest medieval scholars, as ad- as murderous zealots like Ben Yusuf, Rodrigo de Vivar, Spain’s most revered viser. Senor Pidal, who was then in his 90s, against whom we are locked, unavoidably, hero, was a real person, a Spanish Chris- had devoted more than half a century of his in a life-or-death struggle? Obviously not. tian knight and prince who ranks with life to researching the Cid and the Spain in Without succumbing to political correct- Arthur and Charlemagne in European which the legendary crusader lived, fought, ness, we can acknowledge that many lore. After the Moors swept over Spain loved, and died. Bronston and Mann wisely Muslims are honorable, sensible, temper- (711-715), it took nearly 800 years (until availed themselves of Pidal’s vast knowl- ate human beings who hold to a live-and- 1492) for the Christians to finally win edge of the subject, as well as his incom- let-live attitude not unlike our own. And, back complete control over their country parable library of books, maps, portraits, where possible, we can and must live from the invaders. Historian Warren Car- letters, journals, and historical documents. peaceably and tolerantly with them. roll has called this Reconquista (Recon- The Muslim vs. Christian conflict that One of the strengths of El Cid is its quest) of Spain “the longest war in the forms the backdrop of El Cid will have a illustration of this principle of vigilant history of the world.” Launched by King more personal resonance Pelayo from his tiny mountain kingdom for Western audiences of Asturias in the far north of Spain, the today than it did when On location: Actor Charlton Heston mails his vote for Reconquista moved back and forth in fits the movie was released. the Oscar nominees as a Spanish Civil Guard watches and starts over the centuries, as the Span- The 9/11 terror attacks, near Madrid, Spain, during the 1961 filming of El Cid. iards fought the Moors and fought among the ongoing wars in Iraq (Inset: DVD cover of El Cid) themselves. and Afghanistan, and the Rodrigo de Vivar appears at about the daily images of turbaned, midpoint in the lengthy saga of the Re- Qur’an-wielding Muslim conquista. Born in 1043 near Burgos, his fanatics make the filmic eventful life culminates with his capture villain Ben Yusuf a very of the city of Valencia from the Moors believable and relevant in 1094 and his successful defense of character. the kingdom against an immense Mus- To many viewers, no lim horde in 1099, the same year that the doubt, the central story of Christian armies of the First Crusade re- El Cid confirms the convic- captured Jerusalem. El Cid saves Valencia, tion that conflict between but at the cost of his own life. Ever the true Islam and Christianity is knight, he finds a way to fight on for God ineluctable. On one level, and country even after death. Mortally of course, that is true; the wounded and knowing that his army may two faiths are in- lose heart and the enemy forces will rally compatible and if he does not take the field on the morrow, fundamentally in with his dying breaths Rodrigo extracts a opposition to each vow from Chimene and his most trusted other. Christians officers. El Cid pays homage to the legend living in Muslim (which is very probably true) that Rodrigo lands today are fac- had his corpse dressed in full armor and ing an increasing mounted on his horse to lead his men into amount of discrimi- battle. The ruse worked and the enemy, be- nation and persecu- lieving the invincible Cid had recovered, tion from a newly fled in terror and was routed. militant Islam. And, 26 THE NEW AMERICAN • SEPTEMBER 3, 2007
    • tolerance, as exemplified in the rela- tionship between Rodrigo and Emir Moutamin, the Muslim king of Zara- S upporting the growing goza (Saragossa), Spain (played in the film by Douglas Wilmer). Moutamin — a real, historical character — is a spirit... very intelligent, cultured, courageous, moderate, and honorable man who is shown in the movie as a dissident emir very much at odds with the fanatical Ben Yusuf. Nevertheless, Moutamin’s fellow emirs convince him that it is his duty as a Muslim to support them in their battles against the Christians. of small Rodrigo defeats and captures them. But in a move that surprises all concerned, rather than executing the emirs, he of- fers them mercy and freedom if they will vow never again to draw the sword American against Christian Spain. Moutamin does so vow, with the full enterprise. intent of keeping that vow. He is so struck by the honor and virtue of Ro- The John Birch Society drigo that he dubs him al-Sayyid (El Standing for Family and Freedom Cid, The Lord) and becomes Rodrigo’s most loyal and trusted ally JBS.org/Freedom against Ben Yusuf and his Almoravid Moors from Af- rica. This is historically accu- rate, and as the film portrays, Moutamin does more to help AP Images El Cid rid Spain of the fanati- cal elements and take back Valencia, than does El Cid’s “Christian” sovereign, the treacherous King Alfonso. Of course, there were other Muslim emirs who also pledged their loyalty to Ro- drigo and then betrayed their vows. Moutamin, however, proved himself and showed that there are honorable men of all faiths. The Moutamin- El Cid alliance also demon- strated the necessity at times of a temporary alliance with a less-than-ideal partner against a more manifestly, more deadly mutual enemy. In this regard, the villainous Ben Yusuf is a rough analog to Putin’s communist regime in Russia and its “Islamic” ter- rorist surrogates who present an ongoing threat to Christian and Muslim alike. ■
    • THE GOODNESS OF AMERICA Goodness of Minneapolis During her dives, the fire- The collapse of the Interstate 35W bridge fighter concentrated mainly in Minneapolis on August 1 made news on staying away from live headlines around the world. As we go wires and “widow makers,” to press, the official death toll stands at as precarious overhangs nine, with several more still missing. that threaten to collapse are However, such emergency situations called. often cause our fellow humans to react Hanson said of the over- swiftly and heroically. Here are a few all rescue effort: “It was not such examples: frantic; it was pretty orga- Following a 911 call, Sergeant Ed Nel- nized.” The brave firefighter son and two other police officers were Minneapolis residents attend seemed to dread the media AP Images among the first to arrive at the south side a memorial service for the more than the mighty Mis- of the I-35W bridge. The officers could bridge-collapse victims. sissippi as she told reporters: hardly believe what they saw. “The media part of it is very “I don’t think anybody quite expected bridge beams, it shifted, and they could difficult for us.” the scene we encountered,” Sergeant Nel- hear rivets popping, but also the victims’ One of the most emotionally charged son told reporters at a news conference held cries for help. stories to come out of this tragedy was the afterwards. “It was utter chaos at that time “We were forced to make a decision: Do presence of a school bus on the bridge. — bridge smoking, dust in the air.... We we stand back and watch, or do we take One witness interviewed by the media had knew it was a bad, very bad situation.” action?” Nelson said, in a report carried by been riding alongside the bus in her car, Acting instantly, Nelson and a fellow CNN. “It’s not a place that I would care to and exited just before reaching the bridge. officer cast off their gun belts and radios go again, but you take a calculated risk and Afterward, learning of the collapse, she and climbed onto a section of the bridge you do your job.” prayed that the children would be safe. that had fallen into the river, along with As additional rescue workers arrived, Thanks to several rescuers, they were. countless vehicles and people. Some peo- they placed victims with possible back Construction worker Gary Babineau ple were still in their vehicles; others were injuries on boards to carry them to safety. had just driven his blue Chevy truck onto clinging to bridge girders or had fallen into Nelson related: “Basically, we just told the bridge when it started collapsing. As the river. them to be calm. A couple of girls were the deck rippled like a deck of cards, his As the officers crawled along one of the somewhat hysterical. They couldn’t un- truck went into a concrete chasm, falling derstand how they got to that 30 feet. point. I just explained to them that “I heard a rumbling, like a jackham- they fell. They seemed somewhat mer, and then it completely gave way,” amazed by that fact.” Babineau told a reporter for the New York Nelson employed humor to Daily News. “I ended up nose-diving. I help the girls relax: “It’s not the remember seeing the concrete coming fall that hurts you — it’s the sud- toward me.” den stop at the end. They found Babineau left his truck and helped es- that amusing, and it calmed them cort a dazed woman to safety, but then down.” heard children’s screams from somewhere Meanwhile, according to CNN, above him. firefighter and diver Shanna Han- “The bus was teetering off the guard- son, who has been a member of rail,” he said. “I didn’t know if it was going Girls who were the Minneapolis Fire Department to fall. That’s why I wanted to get the kids stranded in a since 1991, arrived on the north out of there.” school bus on the side of the bridge. She dove re- The brave man jumped off the now-col- collapsed bridge peatedly into the water searching lapsed bridge onto the rocks below and hug while recalling vehicles for possible survivors, positioned himself closer to the bus. He their rescue. her only safety device being a climbed up the railing and began picking rope tied around her waist. up children and carrying them to safety. When asked by reporters about “They were crying, screaming, a couple the danger she exposed herself to, of them were in shock,” he said. “I just AP Images Hanson replied: “You don’t think kept grabbing more kids.” about it much until afterward.” Riding the same school bus was Jeremy 28 THE NEW AMERICAN • SEPTEMBER 3, 2007
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    • HISTORY— PAST AND PERSPECTIVE Religion by the Sword Battle of Poitiers: Charles Martel, “The Hammer,” led the Franks against the invading Saracen army in 732 A.D. in a battle that saved Christendom from destruction. In the century following the death of Muhammad, the religion of Islam formed the basis for the rapid conquest of the Christian lands of Europe, North Africa, and the Near East. by Dennis Behreandt more and more arrived, until the invading tives without number. And that army went T host outnumbered the Frankish infantry by through all places like a desolating storm.” he fate of Christendom hung by a as many as two to one. Buoyed by that success, the invading gen- thread. It was October 732 A.D. Ar- Yet Karl had been shrewd, to the same eral was not terribly concerned about what rayed on a hill, partially obscured degree that the enemy commander of the the Franks might do — they would be, as by forest, the flower of Frankish chivalry Saracen army had been careless. The Sara- others had been, fodder for his archers and stood waiting for the bloody onset of battle. cen general, overconfident as the result of cavalry, heretics and infidels to be put to Their leader, a fearsome Germanic warrior previous victories, had not invested the the sword. named Karl, the illegitimate son of the for- time or the effort to determine if the Ger- This, perhaps, would be a fatal mis- mer commanding warlord of the Franks, manic warriors of the north would stream take. In an earlier and glorious age, Karl’s watched with trepidation as the number- south to resist his invasion. After all, as ancestors had swept down from the cold less enemy, the same Saracens who had one sympathetic chronicler of the time forests of the north to become the bane of conquered Visigothic Spain, gathered far noted, his armies “smote their enemies … the Roman Empire. They had known con- below the slope of the hill. As days passed, and laid waste the country, and took cap- tinual warfare ever since, and though they THE NEW AMERICAN • SEPTEMBER 3, 2007 31
    • HISTORY— PAST AND PERSPECTIVE now had long adopted the veneer of civili- zation, the blood-lust of the barbarian still simmered just beneath the surface. In the German warlord’s veins, and in the veins of his hardened infantrymen, the blood of conquerors still flowed hot and strong. For six days the Frankish infantry wait- ed for the charge of the Saracen army. The Franks were clad in rude armor and armed with the infantry weapons of the time, in- cluding the much feared francisca throw- ing axe, a spear known as the angon, which was similar to the ancient Roman pilum, and the three-foot-long scramasax sword. They were, Edward Gibbon recounted in his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, “with stout hearts and iron hands” ready to assert “the civil and religious freedom of their posterity” against the invading sons of Arabia. On the seventh day, the battle was joined. The Saracen general, ’Abd ar-Rahmân al-Gafîqî (often given as Abderrahman or Abderame by historians like Thomas Hodgkin or Edward Gibbon, respectively), the governor of Moorish Spain, ordered a charge up the hill against the Franks. “A terrible battle followed,” recalled Hodgkin in his monumental study, The Barbarian Invasions of the Roman Empire. “The Medina: Having left a hostile Mecca behind, Muhammad and his followers traveled to fervour of the sons of the desert, who Medina, the city from which they would begin to build an empire. perchance like the first warriors of Islam deemed that they already saw the flashing world-historical importance. The Frank- capable of both intense spirituality and eyes of the houris waiting to receive them ish repulse of the Saracen army preserved intense ferocity in the pursuit of political into paradise, was met, was chilled, was Western Europe as a Christian land and power. Following his example, set person- broken by the stolid courage of the sol- Charles Martel was then, and in the words ally within his own life, the early leaders diers from the Rhineland, who stood … of Hodgkin continues to be regarded as of Islam used religious fervor and terror rigid and immovable as a wall of ice.” “the great deliverer of Christendom.” Ac- to extend their dominion over the former Again and again the spears and swords cording to modern historian Efraim Karsh, Christian lands of the Byzantine Empire of the Frankish defenders repulsed the in- had the invaders “not been contained in and Western Europe, setting the template vaders. The heavy and lethal blows dealt Northwest France by … Charles Martel at for a strategy of conquest that continues to by Karl, better known as Charles, earned the battle of Poitiers, they might well have be used by some of the followers of Mu- him the legendary surname “Martel”: The swept deep into Europe.” hammad to this day. Hammer. On the bloody field of battle be- But the victory of the Franks, great tween Poitiers and Tours so many Arabs though it was, could hardly have been The Beginning of Political Islam fell that Saracen chroniclers named the bat- noticed by the Caliph Hisham from his The political variant of Islam, that which tlefield “the pavement of martyrs.” Among Syrian palace. The leader of the Umayyad seeks to build a political entity on a reli- the dead was ’Abd ar-Rahmân al-Gafîqî. Caliphate, the Empire of Islam, ruled over gious foundation, is not a new phenom- Though the numbers are heavily exagger- lands stretching from Pakistan through enon. It was, in fact, part of the original ated, the lopsided nature of the Frankish the Middle East and North Africa and into work of Muhammad himself. victory can be distilled from the report of Spain. It was an empire built in the century Born, approximately, in 570 A.D., Mu- the near-contemporary chronicler Paulus after the death of Muhammad, not on the hammad’s stature among his people as a Diaconus, who reported that the Franks spiritual elements of the new religion of prophet solidified in about 610 when he killed 375,000 of the enemy while suffer- Islam, but on the sword. And that conquest began having religious visions during his ing only 1,500 casualties themselves. was made possible because Islam itself is customary periods of contemplation. He The blow struck that day, many his- characterized by its retention of the dual gradually came to believe that these rev- torians have since concluded, was of nature of its founder, a man and a prophet elations were real and that he was God’s 32 THE NEW AMERICAN • SEPTEMBER 3, 2007
    • messenger. At this time living in Mecca, versity of Chicago’s Oriental he began preaching against the prevail- Institute in the Oxford History ing polytheism of the city and calling for of Islam, “Muhammad consoli- The political variant of Islam, that prayer, almsgiving, and kind treatment of dated his control over the town’s which seeks to build a political entity the poor. disparate population.” on a religious foundation, is not a new In Mecca, his followers grew in num- Once in Medina, Muhammad ber and influence, eventually drawing became more than the leader phenomenon. It was, in fact, part of the the increasing ire of the ruling Quraysh of a new religion. According to original work of Muhammad himself. clan. Due to Quraysh opposition, condi- scholar John L. Esposito, pro- tions for Muhammad’s followers gradu- fessor and director of the Center ally deteriorated to such an extent that a for the Study of Islam and Democracy at share of the plunder. By sharing the spoils number of them crossed the Red Sea to Georgetown University, he began build- of military victories with the warriors who seek refuge in the ancient and venerable ing a theocratic state on the foundation of fought the battles, early Islam ensured Christian kingdom ruled from Aksum in Islam (a word meaning, literally, submis- the growth of aggressive military power modern Ethiopia. There, the Christian Ak- sion) and “he oversaw and governed its in Arabia. “From all sides,” said Edward sumites were favorably impressed by the affairs, serving as its political and military Gibbon, “the roving Arabs were allured piety of the early Muslims and agreed to leader, judge, and social reformer.” Mark to the standard of religion and plunder: grant them asylum and protection from A. Gabriel, a former Egyptian Imam turned the apostle [Muhammad] sanctified the their persecutors. Christian and author of the book Islam and license of embracing female captives as Still facing further opposition in his Terrorism, puts a finer point on the devel- their wives or concubines, and the enjoy- home city of Mecca, in 622 Muhammad opment of the Islamic state under Muham- ment of wealth and beauty was a feeble and his followers traveled to the Arabian mad: “Sent to show the mercy of God to type of the joys of paradise prepared city of Yathrib. There, in the city that was the world,” Gabriel wrote, Muhammad “be- for the valiant martyrs of the faith. ‘The to be renamed Medina — “the Prophet’s came a military dictator, attacking, killing sword,’ says Mahomet, ‘is the key of heav- city” — Muhammad found a more wel- and taking plunder to finance his empire.” en and of hell; a drop of blood shed in the coming atmosphere. In Medina, wrote More troubling still, the new conquer- cause of God, a night spent in arms, is of professor Fred M. Donner of the Uni- ing religion attracted others eager for a more avail than two months of fasting or Invasion: Following a route used centuries earlier by the Persian Emperor Xerxes to attack the Greek cities of Sparta and Athens at Thermopylae, Muslim armies maneuvered to attack the Byzantine Empire THE NEW AMERICAN • SEPTEMBER 3, 2007 by crossing the Dardanelles. 33
    • HISTORY— PAST AND PERSPECTIVE was “with extreme reluctance mad chose as his concubine one Raihana that [Muhammad] yielded to bint Amr, whose father and husband were By sharing the spoils of military victories the importunity of his allies, both slaughtered before her eyes only with the warriors who fought the battles, and consented to spare the hours earlier.” lives of the captives. But their It hardly needs to be noted that Muham- early Islam ensured the growth of riches were confiscated … and mad’s behavior stands in stark contrast to aggressive military power in Arabia. a wretched colony of seven the behavior of Jesus Christ, the founder “From all sides,” said Edward Gibbon, hundred exiles was driven, of the Christian faith, who spread the word with their wives and children, of God by means of peace, love, and char- “the roving Arabs were allured to the to implore a refuge on the con- ity rather than by the sword. standard of religion and plunder.” fines of Syria.” Another group of nearby The Great Conquest Jews was not treated nearly so Perhaps cowed by this reign of terror, the prayer: whosoever falls in battle, his sins well. These, the Qurayzah, were accused Quraysh, Muhammad’s old enemies in are forgiven: at the day of judgment his of disloyalty and attacked. According to Mecca, were unable to resist his grow- wounds shall be as resplendent as vermil- Gibbon, they resisted for 25 days but then ing strength, and in 630 A.D. Muhammad lion, and odoriferous as musk; and the loss surrendered. They then “trusted to the in- added Mecca to his small but growing em- of his limbs shall be supplied by the wings tercession of their old allies of Medina.... pire. This, though, could have been the end, of angels and cherubim.’” This is a martial A venerable elder, to whose judgment they for Muhammad took ill and died just two faith, ripe for use as means toward con- appealed, pronounced the sentence of their years later. But his followers, having tasted quering innocent peoples and establishing death: seven hundred Jews were dragged blood, looked northward and saw two swol- political hegemony. in chains to the market-place of the city; len and anemic empires ripe for conquest. Already in the seventh century, the new they descended alive into the grave pre- These were the remnants of the Byz- Islamic state was willing to use terror to pared for their execution and burial; and antine Roman and Sassanian Persian em- achieve its ends. Among the first victims the apostle [Muhammad] beheld with an pires. Old rivals, they had lately come to were local Jewish communities. Accord- inflexible eye the slaughter of his helpless blows. The Byzantines under the emperor ing to Gibbon, a Jewish community in Me- enemies.” This brutality was accomplished Heraclius, at the end of a long and bru- dina was seized “on the occasion of an ac- in front of the victims’ wives and children. tal struggle, were thoroughly victorious. cidental tumult.” Muhammad “summoned But even then the horrors were not over. While the remains of the once-powerful them to embrace his religion, or contend According to Serge Trifkovic, author of Persian empire fell into chaos, Heraclius with him in battle.” The resulting conflict the book The Sword of the Prophet, “The returned to Constantinople in victory, en- was no contest. According to Gibbon, it women were subsequently raped; Muham- tering the city in a chariot drawn by four elephants. This should have marked the height of Byzantine power, but the formerly energetic Heraclius was as diminished by long campaigns against the Persians as were his treasury and his army. Some 200,000 soldiers had perished accord- ing to Gibbon, and the empire was made subject to new and onerous taxes to pay for the expenses the war incurred. In its weakened state, the Byzan- tine Empire probably did not immediately notice events on its southern frontier. Never- theless, “while the emperor triumphed at Constantinople or Jerusalem, an obscure town on the confines of Syria was pillaged by the Saracens, the peoples of the Islamic Arab Jerusalem: The holy city was besieged for months by Muslim invaders. The city surrendered to the Empire and they cut in pieces invaders in 638 A.D. some troops who advanced to 34 THE NEW AMERICAN • SEPTEMBER 3, 2007
    • its relief.” This was, said Gibbon, “an ordinary and trifling occurrence, had it not been the prelude of a mighty revolution.” Buoyed by their successes and hungry for more, Muhammad’s fol- lowers billowed up from the south like a mighty sandstorm threatening to bury the world. No force of arms could stop the onrushing storm. “The chronology of the military events of the thirties and forties of the seventh century is obscure and confused,” noted Russian historian A.A. Vasiliev in his two-volume History of the Byzantine Empire, but one thing is abundantly clear: no one could withstand the Arab onslaught. “In the year 634,” Vasiliev recounts, “the Arabs took possession of the Byzantine fortress Bothra (Bosra), beyond the Jordan; in 635 the Syr- ian city of Damascus fell; in 636 the battle on the River Yarmuk led to the Arabian conquest of the entire province of Syria; and in 637 or 638 Jerusalem surrendered after a siege which had lasted for two years.” Within only six years of Muhammad’s death, his followers had carved out a significant chunk of the Byzantine Christian heartland. The Persia of the Sassanids, debilitated and plunged into chaos by the Byzantines, was likewise easy picking for the new Muslim armies. Immediately after Muhammad’s death, the Arabs began to move into the Persian territories. They were led initially by the Lieutenant of the Caliph, a man named Caled who had earned, presumably by both his piety and ferocity, the appellation “Sword of God.” Under his leadership Constantinople: The real object of the Muslim invasion of the Arabs poured into the ancient domain of the Persians. So success- Christendom was Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine ful was the invasion, noted Gibbon, “The conquerors, and even their or Eastern Roman Empire. The Christian city was besieged historians were astonished … : ‘In the same year,’ says Elmacin, ‘Caled repeatedly by the armies of the Caliphate, but under Emperor Leo fought many signal battles: an immense multitude of the infidels was the Isaurian, the Byzantines thoroughly routed the invaders in slaughtered; and spoils infinite and innumerable were acquired by the 717 A.D., preserving the Byzantine Empire for many centuries. victorious Moslems.’” This is the boast of court historians from throughout the ages. Ugly Truths of History But here, where the Muslim conquest of the Persian and Byzantine Empires is concerned, the well-known outcome of events is more than adequate to confirm the boast. That well-known outcome, however, would not be achieved without a final at- tempt at resistance from the Persians. Al- I t is not uncommon for critics of Islam who recount the history of the early Islamic conquests to be themselves criticized for attacking a religion that has otherwise also had a beneficial impact in important ways on the development of civilization. Those ways able to raise great, polyglot armies, who focus on Islam’s salutary effects make a good point that should not be overlooked. the Persians this time assembled, accord- The Islamic world, particularly under the leadership of the Abbasid Caliphate, the suc- ing to Gibbon, an army of 120,000 troops. cessors to the Umayyads, did make many important contributions. This is particularly These met the much smaller, but much true in the encounter of Arab thinkers with the works of Aristotle and in other areas of more ferocious, army of invaders at a plain scholarship and exploration. Men like the scientist and philosopher Avicenna and the known as Kadesíya in 638. The battle was cartographer Al-Idrissi were just two who made signal contributions to the growth of fierce, but the Persian general was over- knowledge and science. confident and was caught unawares in his Perhaps based on this legacy, it is often claimed that Islam is, at its root, solely a reli- tent. Injured, his attempt to flee failed and gion of peace, and that any wars that it engaged in were no different from the wars, like the Arabs brought his head back to the bat- the Crusades, that were begun by Christians. Historically, however, that isn’t true. War tlefield. The Persians, at the sight of their certainly existed in Christendom prior to the birth of Muhammad, but it was almost al- leader’s demise, presumably lost heart and ways conducted on political grounds rather than religious ones. Medieval Christendom’s next lost the battle. Iraq, hitherto a Persian turn to arms in the cause of religion, if viewed properly, was a reaction to the Islamic province, submitted to the Caliph. conquest, an attempt to recover Christian territories lost to jihad. The rest of the Persian Empire would Still, it is wrong to condemn the entire Islamic world. There are many good and decent follow soon enough. “The [Persian] king people who find peace, beauty, and spiritual comfort and guidance in the Muslim faith. fled precipitately from his capital,” re- Nevertheless, failure to examine the aggressive elements of Islam and to put them into called historian H. St. L. B. Moss in his proper historical perspective is to make a perilous mistake at a time when those elements book The Birth of the Middle Ages. “The are increasingly at the center of the world’s conflicts. ■ Arab forces advanced on Ctesiphon [the — DENNIS BEHREANDT THE NEW AMERICAN • SEPTEMBER 3, 2007 35
    • HISTORY— PAST AND PERSPECTIVE states,” Donner noted. auxiliaries,” Gibbon said of the Bulgar- The final attempted conquest ians, carried out “the defeat and slaughter By the time the Islamic wave had of Constantinople came in 716 of twenty-two thousand Asiatics.” More- crested at Constantinople and and 717 A.D. An enormous over, “A report was dexterously scattered, Arab army approached through that the Franks, the unknown nations of the been repulsed at Poitiers, it had Asia Minor — today’s Turkey Latin world, were arming by sea and land demonstrated that the faith of — and encamped outside the in the defence of the Christian cause.” Muhammad was at its origin a crusading city’s walls prepared for a long The defeat and the rumor of a rising siege. They were reinforced by storm from the northwest induced the and militaristic religion dedicated to an armada from Egypt, “a mov- Caliph to order a final retreat. For many spreading by terror and sword. ing forest” according to Gibbon, centuries to come, Christendom’s eastern that discharged yet more troops. flank would be spared the Arab onslaught. But inside the city, a shrewd ad- The Byzantine success, historian H. St. Persian capital], which was taken and pil- ministration had prepared for the siege and L.B. Moss concluded, “may well rank laged. Mesopotamia was soon overrun, a new emperor, Leo the Isaurian, a capable as one of the decisive battles of history. and Muslim bands pushed up the Tigris and efficient military leader, was prepared When the discomfited invaders turned and Euphrates valleys, and penetrated the to resist. The initial action was naval, and homewards, after a year-long siege which Armenian mountain ranges. Meanwhile Byzantine fire ships, using the legend- had seen their transports burnt or captured, in the south and east the remaining prov- ary incendiary material known as “Greek their troops numbed by the bitter weather inces of the Persian Empire were steadily Fire,” laid waste to the Egyptian armada. or ravaged by plague and famine, they re- reduced to obedience, and the last of the Denuded of that support, the invaders linquished their last serious enterprise for Great Kings, fleeing eastward before the settled in for the winter, hoping to starve many centuries against the capital of the invader, found a miserable end at Merv, on the city into submission, but unspeakable Roman Empire.” the confines of Turkish territory.... By 650 cold and unusual snows weakened their By the time the Islamic wave had crest- the Persian Empire was no more.” resolve. ed at Constantinople and been repulsed In spring, Leo’s skilled diplomacy at Poitiers, it had, however, demonstrated Constantinople’s Last Stand brought in an army of Bulgarians from the that the faith of Muhammad was not solely The next 50 years saw the continuation of north. With a providential victory foreshad- one of contemplation of and reverence for the Saracen conquests. The Byzantines lost owing the one that would be won a little God, but was at its origin a crusading and Egypt, long the breadbasket of the Roman more than a decade later by Charles Martel militaristic religion dedicated to spreading Empire. After the invading army captured and the Franks, the Byzantine world was by terror and sword, its early conquests a Alexandria, its leader wrote to the Caliph saved in a pitched battle. “These savage warning for centuries to come. ■ Omar: “I have captured a city from the de- scription of which I shall refrain. Suffice Library of Congress it to say that I have seized therein 4000 Ruins of empire: The remains of the palace at Ctesiphon, the capital of the Sassanian villas with 4000 baths, 40,000 poll-tax- Persian Empire, an empire extinguished by Muslim invaders. paying Jews and four hundred places of entertainment for the royalty.” They then moved through the rest of North Africa and finally into Spain where the weak Vi- sigoths succumbed. All the while, however, the real gem yet to be conquered was Constantinople. To that end, the Umayyad Caliphate, rulers of the Islamic empire, began launching a series of huge campaigns against the city, first in 669 and again in the years 674-680. The motivation was as much political as religious: the Umayyads sought to expand their empire. The attempted conquest was “motivated by a desire to extend Islamic rule,” Fred M. Donner wrote in the Ox- ford History of Islam. But there were other benefits sought as well: “The caliphs also doubtless hoped to affirm their legitima- cy among Muslims by sponsoring such campaigns of jihad against non-Muslim 36
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    • “... the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” EXERCISING THE RIGHT One Man’s Trash Can Be a Virginia, prosecuting attorney has decided reported on the incident: “Remembering not to charge her in the shooting, telling how he scared a previous robbery suspect Treasure Worth Defending the Register & Bee, “It was self-defense. If and held her at bay, Colaco said he walked One might think that a poor person would someone’s breaking into your house after out to confront the men while holding his not have to be too concerned about being threatening to kill you, that’s getting pretty shotgun. But instead of being scared, one robbed because he doesn’t have much to close.” She was home with three children of the men approached him as if he didn’t steal. However, some thieves in Athens, at the time of the incident. care about the gun.” Colaco backed away Alabama, proved once again that such a from the bold intruder, and the man dashed belief is wrong — thieves will steal what- outside. The next robber in line was even ever you have. Robbed Before more bold. Before simply walking out of On July 26, Robert Shoulder, a disabled Robert Cushingberry, a 72-year-old man the store as the gun-wielding Colaco told man who collects aluminum cans to “sup- from North Texas, and a friend were ap- him to stop, the man hoisted one of the plement his income,” noticed that “sacks proached by two men demanding money. trash cans filled with cigarettes. full of cans turned up missing,” reported Because he had been robbed before, Cush- The final thief took things a step too far. WAFF.com. The next day Shoulder dis- ingberry kept a gun under the seat of his He threw his trash can at Colaco and then covered two young men stealing more of truck. When he reached under the seat began to advance toward Colaco, despite his cans. He told them to stop, but they to get it, the two robbers opened fire. He repeated warnings. Colaco shot the man, did not. One of the men advanced on quickly shot back. 44-year-old Thomas Candeloro, Jr., in the Shoulder, so he drew a pistol and made He described the scene for cbs11.tv.com: side. After being shot, the brash thief tried the man lie on the ground. Shoulder also “I was standing at the … back of my truck to walk away, but collapsed near the door. corralled the man’s partner and held him where my pistol was … when he saw me Candeloro continued to try to escape, call- for police. reach in there to get it. That’s when he shot ing for his friends and crawling away, but When police took the two men, 24- the first two times. After that it was just his efforts proved futile. Then he looked year-old Timothy Maynor and 20-year- one on one.” Cushingberry was unscathed at Colaco and said, “You shot me … I’m old Shaun Holley, into custody, it soon in the exchange, though his truck was gonna sue you.” became apparent that the men had also riddled with bullet holes. One robber was Whether Candeloro wins a lawsuit committed other burglaries. In their car, shot in the stomach and has as yet not faced or not, Colaco might be in a great deal they had two rifles and a backpack that charges; the other was arrested. of trouble because his store is in Penn- were stolen in an earlier incident; “the two sylvania, a state where, according to the men were also charged for theft in another Herald-Mail, “The use of deadly force is home burglary”; and Maynor was charged Criminal Arrogance not justified under this section unless the in the “burglary of a home last October,” Merlony Colaco, who owns a convenience actor believes that such force is necessary reported the News Courier. store in Greencastle, Pennsylvania, has to protect himself against death, serious been busy catching criminals lately. But bodily injury, or other substantial physical he may not get the medal he is owed; he harm,” and “deadly force is not justified if Brutally Honest may get jail time instead. a person can avoid doing so ‘with complete After Tashia Lovelace ran into her ver- Several months ago after a series of safety by retreating.’” The entire incident bally and physically abusive estranged break-ins at his store, Colaco began sleep- was caught on tape by the store’s secu- husband at a high-school graduation, he ing at the store, keeping a shotgun handy rity camera, and though District Attorney called her several times that day and told to catch the criminals. He did catch one of John F. Nelson has watched the tape, he her that he was going to kill her. Appar- them too, after she broke glass to enter the has not said whether or not Colaco will be ently, he meant it. store. The woman, Erica Lynch, turned on charged. It’s no wonder why the intruders At just before 10 p.m. on June 9, Joel her two partners in crime, Josh Ingream largely shrugged off the presence of a gun Lovelace, from whom Tashia had been and James Byrd, Jr., thus putting an end to — if a gun owner in Pennsylvania actually separated for more than a year, arrived at a burglary spree the three were on. shoots someone to stop a crime, he faces Tashia’s mobile home, threatened her once In July, a new series of burglaries erupt- possible imprisonment. again, and then kicked in her front door, ed at Colaco’s store. The thieves stole cig- For his part, Colaco is tired of crime armed with a knife. When he entered the arettes and ice, and threw a rock through and doesn’t know how long he’ll be able mobile home, she began firing her pistol a window. At 1:46 a.m. on August 2, three to put up with it. His insurance deductible at him, striking him five times before he men bashed their way through the door is $500, and so it makes better financial fell to the floor. with a crowbar and, though the store’s sense for him to eat the loss of some of the She then called the police, who arrived alarm was buzzing loudly, began filling break-ins, rather than to report them to his about 10 minutes later. Now, nearly two two trash cans with cigarettes. insurance company. ■ months afterward, the Pittsville County, The Chambersburg Public Opinion — KURT WILLIAMSEN THE NEW AMERICAN • SEPTEMBER 3, 2007 39
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    • Children’s Health Insurance Insurance] legislation with [Utah GOP children and your wallet. What the House ITEM: “The Children’s Health Insurance Senator] Hatch in 1997,” asserting, “This Speaker called the “children’s hour” could Program has suddenly become a vehicle is a matter of enormous importance.” well lead to many years of pillaging of tax- for an ideological struggle between Presi- Continued Kennedy: “If we are interested payers. This proposed multi-billion dollar dent Bush and Congress over the future in educating the children of this country, expansion of government health programs of the health care system,” reported Rob- we have to make sure that children can would inflict another wound on private in- ert Pear in the New York Times for Au- hear the teacher, that children can see the surance, and actually lead to poorer care gust 1. “But in the short term, members blackboard.” for many children. Other potential side-ef- of both parties say, the broader outline of ITEM: After SCHIP’s approval by the fects include cutting programs for seniors that struggle is likely to be reduced to a House, the Washington Post reported on and imposing higher taxes on the poor. simple question: ‘Are you for or against August 2: “The legislation would launch This is being done under the pretext of children.’” the most significant growth in federal saving the State Children’s Health Insur- ITEM: Syndicated columnist David Broder health care in a decade, and Democrats ance Program (SCHIP), which is due to ex- commented in the Houston Chronicle for hope it will fortify their members as they pire at the end of September. This scheme July 31: “The Democrats have the easy head home soon for the summer recess was instituted after the vaunted Hillary side of the argument, promising to in- amid voter perceptions that they have ac- Care universal health coverage program sure more kids from low-income families complished little since taking control of ran aground and sank. SCHIP is a joint who are too well-off for Medicaid but not Congress. ‘This is the children’s hour,’ federal-state program that was sold under wealthy enough to afford private insur- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) the premise that the government should ance policies.” declared last night. ‘We are able to meet subsidize health insurance for children ITEM: The Boston Globe for July 31 our moral obligation to our children.’” who live in families that earn too much quoted Senator Edward Kennedy, “the CORRECTION: When politicos in Washing- to qualify for Medicaid but not enough Massachusetts Democrat who cospon- ton start talking about how much they want for private insurance. Federal taxes pay sored the SCHIP [State Children’s Health to do for your kids, it’s time to grab your for about 70 percent of the program, with state taxes supplying the balance. States are permitted to set eligibility guidelines. Some already have dramatically expanded the intent and scope of the program, opt- ing to supply coverage to families with incomes as much as four times above the designated poverty level. This is the case in New York state, which permits coverage at 400 percent of official “poverty.” As a result, under the SCHIP legislation that recently passed the House, families of four with incomes of more than $80,000 a year would be eligible for pub- lic assistance. Enrolling Adults in Children’s Program A number of states — including many of the 14 states that have driven their programs into the red — have extended coverage to adults. In 2005, according to the Government Accountability Office, “Adults account for an average of 55% of enrollees in the shortfall states.” So much AP Images for the “children’s hour” balderdash. In Minnesota, for example, 87 percent of the Everybody say awwww! Senator Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) and his young protégés would have program’s enrollees in 2005 were adults. In people believe that nine million kids can’t get healthcare because they are not “properly insured,” Wisconsin and Arizona, there are also more but the New England Journal of Medicine reported last year that “health insurance status was insured adults than children in SCHIP. largely unrelated to the quality of care.” From the picture painted by liberals, who THE NEW AMERICAN • SEPTEMBER 3, 2007 41
    • House-passed bill, as pointed out by oppo- nents on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, “the more individuals a state signs up — regardless of their income or legal eligibility — the more money a state would receive.” Taxpayers carry the extra burden when private insurance is dropped in favor of public coverage. As it is, up to half the en- rollees in SCHIP dropped their coverage to get on the public program, a number bound to increase under the new legislation. More- over, keep in mind that almost three-quar- ters of the uninsured children are already eligible for SCHIP or Medicare, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The crowding-out phenomenon aimed AP Images at private insurance will not only drive more recipients to the taxpayer-supported program, it will also push up the cost of Healthcare for the world: If the new and expanded Children’s Health Insurance Program that was premiums for those sticking with private passed by the House Democrats is enacted into law, it will repeal the federal law that bars illegals from receiving federal benefits, though illegals’ use of healthcare facilities is already causing plans. These incremental steps lead toward many hospitals to close nationwide. more fully socialized medicine. John Goodman, president of the Nation- also misleadingly equate insurance cover- Entrepreneurship Council, “if you are not al Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA), ex- age with treatment, one would think there in favor of vastly expanding the program plained the progression in the Wall Street were tens of millions of American children to middle-income children, and changing Journal: suffering and dying for lack of care. Un- the fundamental nature of the program to true. There are, points out Representative an entitlement, and paying for it all with Studies by MIT economist Jonathan Joe Barton (R-Texas), “fewer than 1 mil- a tax increase on smokers that will never Gruber show that public insurance lion uninsured children in the United States materialize on the revenue end — you are substitutes for private insurance and between the 100 percent of poverty, which against the children. If you don’t believe the crowd-out rate is high. In general, Medicaid covers, and 200 percent of pov- 25-year-olds are children — you’re against for every extra dollar spent on Med- erty, which is the official poverty line for kids. Same if you don’t believe SCHIP icaid, private insurance contracts by SCHIP. That’s out of 78 million children.” should provide health benefits to illegal 50 cents to 75 cents. For Schip, de- A showdown is expected soon in Wash- immigrants, cover childless adults, or take pending on how it is implemented, ington, as the more expensive and expan- away health care plans (Medicare Advan- private insurance could contract by sive House legislation needs to be recon- tage Plans) from 3.2 million seniors to pay about 60 cents. ciled with the Senate bill. President Bush, for SCHIP’s massive expansion. And, fi- These findings make sense. Why who has promised a veto if the result is too nally, if you are like most Americans who pay for something if the government expensive, backs an increase of $5 billion don’t like the idea of the federal govern- offers it for free? Under congres- annually for the next five years, and would ment taxing your health insurance plans sional proposals to expand Schip, place a cap on eligibility for SCHIP at 200 (oh, you didn’t know about this?) — you, the crowd-out would likely be much percent of “poverty,” or $41,300 for a fam- my friend, are against ‘the children.’” worse. The reason: Almost all the ily of four. Once again, most Republicans newly eligible beneficiaries already have put themselves in the position of sup- Private Coverage Gets Crowded Out have insurance. porting a less grandiose socialist measure. Insidiously, the legislation would be forc- The Senate bill would expand the The Democrats are fighting on their own ing taxpayers to foot the bill for public eligibility for coverage under Schip grounds where they happily claim to be insurance for children who are already to families with incomes 300% above more bighearted on behalf of the children privately insured. The states are given the federal poverty level ($62,000), than the supposedly tightfisted GOP. a financial incentive to sign up as many from its present ceiling, 200% above You see, comments Karen Kerrigan, children as they can, whether they are the poverty level. House Democrats the president of the Small Business & from poor or well-off families. Under the want to push coverage to 400% 42 THE NEW AMERICAN • SEPTEMBER 3, 2007
    • ($83,000 annual income). Yet almost eight of every 10 chil- dren whose parents earn from 200%- 300% more than the poverty level already have private health-care cov- erage, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). At incomes between 300% and 400% more than poverty, nine of every 10 children are already insured. Even the expressed aim of the legislation — to provide better care for children — will be hindered, not helped. Many health- care providers, often paid the same under SCHIP as under Medicaid, avoid Medicaid patients (because they are the worst pay- AP Images ers) in favor of those who have private insurance. Doctors who don’t want to be left holding the bag are already dropping Covering kids? House Democrats recently passed legislation renewing and expanding the public patients, a trend that can be expect- Children’s Health Insurance Program, ostensibly to help poor children. Yet in many states the ed to accelerate. It’s one thing to provide plan now often covers more adults than children and would cover families making 400 percent of public insurance; it’s another matter to find the official poverty level. a doctor willing to accept it. Actual access to healthcare for SCHIP and Medicaid pa- to expand SCHIP, while encouraging more “Worse yet, they would effectively re- tients can be expected to deteriorate. people to stop smoking. It is absurd to argue peal the federal law that bars people who that a tax hike will decrease the number of are in this country illegally from receiving Dependency on Smokers people buying tobacco and that it will si- federal benefits. Section 143 of the legisla- The method of ostensibly paying for this multaneously increase tax revenues.” tion would give the states the option of re- legislation, which is heavily dependent on quiring proof of citizenship for enrollment more tobacco taxes, is highly regressive, Rewarding Illegal Aliens in the program. It will be touted as an act since smokers as a group are less affluent The steppingstone to socialism is being of compassion providing care to those who than the population as a whole. Low-in- boosted by much of the press, sometimes need it, but in reality it will be a huge car- come smokers spend a much larger pro- by how matters are reported and some- rot to illegal immigration, which in many portion of their income on tobacco than do times by what is not mentioned. For ex- border states has brought the healthcare wealthy smokers. ample, there’s little coverage about how system to the breaking point.” Yet the Senate legislation is based on this “children’s” health bill is a federal Yes, liberals love our children so much slapping an additional 61 cents per pack giveaway to aliens who are breaking fed- that they are willing to hand a new enti- on cigarettes, raising the federal tax to a eral law. Nevertheless, said Kentucky Rep- tlement to illegal aliens, cut Medicare to full dollar. As pointed out by Ed Feulner, resentative Ron Lewis, the House bill, “if provide welfare to wealthy adults, cripple president of the Heritage Foundation, “The it becomes law, would take $197 billion the care of millions, and coerce the poor only way the tax would raise the required out of the Medicare trust fund, from our to fund health insurance for the middle $35 billion would be to get 22.4 million seniors, to give to illegal aliens.” class. These altruists would drive up taxes more folks puffing away over the next dec- Democrats in Congress, as noted by for the general population and reduce our ade. Encouraging smoking — now that’s a Investor’s Business Daily, “know that with healthcare choices. Meanwhile, the young sure way to improve children’s health.” the help of a willing media they can cast supposed beneficiaries will be burdened in In essence, these added taxes on the poor any GOP resistance to their plan as ‘anti- the future with an unsupportable budget, would support a new entitlement for the children’ and ‘anti-immigrant.’ Their Chil- since federal health spending is already middle class. As pointed out by Elizabeth dren’s Health and Medicare Protection Act, projected to jump to about one-third of the Karasmeighan in the San Francisco Exam- or CHAMP, would triple annual funding of gross domestic product by 2050. iner, “The basic reasoning behind tobacco SCHIP to $15 billion by 2012 and expand That’s a lot of love. Can you imagine tax increases is flawed. Proponents argue its coverage to include children from fami- how much damage liberals could do if that Congress can have increased revenues lies that make up to $83,000 a year.” they hated children? ■ THE NEW AMERICAN • SEPTEMBER 3, 2007 43
    • THE LAST WORD BY KURT WILLIAMSEN Funding Infrastructure I n a 2006 report to The fact is that “infra- Congress, Secretary structure” is a top priority of Transportation Nor- at both the federal and state man Y. Mineta claimed that levels — just not infra- U.S. transportation infra- structure meant to ensure structure was improving, America’s competitive- but it wasn’t. He was cher- ness. For instance, in the ry-picking facts. While it is “comprehensive immigra- apparently true that since tion reform bill” (S. 1639) the mid-1990s the percent- that was recently before age of highways provid- the Senate, monies would ing “acceptable” rides in- have been allotted to as- creased and bridges having sist “in the development deficient ratings decreased, of economic opportunities in terms of miles of high- and [provide] job training AP Images way and total numbers of for citizens and nationals bridges that need serious in Mexico.” The same bill upgrades or replacement, included financial support the numbers have gone up dramatically. for Mexico to secure its southern border. At about the same time For instance, according to the Federal Highway Administra- that the immigration bill was being debated, Judicial Watch, a tion in 1992, the number of bridges that were deemed func- group that investigates government corruption, released docu- tionally obsolete or structurally deficient stood at a grand total ments obtained through the Freedom of Information Act from of 33,519. By 2006, that number had grown to 153,990. The the Department of Health and Human Services. These docu- reason the percentage went down was because many new roads ments outline how that department, under auspices of the Se- and bridges were added to the transportation system. Clearly, curity and Prosperity Partnership, plans to enhance “Mexico’s infrastructure in the United States is being allowed to deteriorate competitive position through the establishment of a grant fund instead of being fixed or replaced. for … development of infrastructure in Mexico.” These docu- The deteriorating infrastructure is creating a safety concern, ments also list other methods through which U.S. funds will be to be sure, but it is also causing an economic problem as well. sent to Mexico. Meanwhile, a NAFTA superhighway is begin- According to an article entitled “US Urban Highways’ Condition ning to be implemented, which would run from lower Mexico Worsening; Repair Fund Waning,” rough roads alone cost urban through Canada. During the past year, the funding and initial motorists “$383 [per motorist] annually in additional vehicle op- construction of this highway has been the focal point of con- erating costs due to accelerated vehicle deterioration, additional tention in the Texas and Oklahoma legislatures. (See Kelly maintenance needs and increased fuel consumption.” Taylor’s article “Taking the High Road,” available online at A Forbes article reported that “conservative estimates by www.jbs.org/node/4134.) the DOT say the U.S. loses $168 billion yearly from highway The plans for the stages of the NAFTA superhighway in congestion [and] the nation’s trucking system in 2004 lost Texas, called the Trans Texas Corridor, call for the corridor to 243,032,000 hours due to traffic delays.” bypass major cities in Texas, doing little to alleviate traffic con- And, according to Aggregates Manager, “the inland waterway gestion — hence doing little to solve a legitimate traffic prob- system through the heart of the United States — the Upper Mis- lem in the United States and almost nothing to help us compete sissippi-Illinois Waterway System — [which] is responsible for internationally. The highway does wonders for our competitors, transporting nearly 116 million tons of commodities valued at though, promising to flood our roads with Mexican trucks driv- $23 billion each year … is in disrepair.” en by cheap Mexican drivers, carrying imported goods. So our This shoddy infrastructure reduces the United States’ ability to present highway system, which is mainly an east/west system compete in world trade by raising our manufacturing and shipping intended to get goods to and from our coastal ports, is being al- costs. The reason, we are told, behind the decrepit infrastructure lowed to degrade, while a mainly north/south highway system, is lack of money. Most Americans, knowing that our politicians which is meant to use Mexican ports, labor, and trucking (by- concentrate their efforts on whatever topic is politically correct at passing American workers), is being built. Our present highway the time, would likely attribute the sad state of our highways and systems languish while our political elites build a highway that bridges to simple ignorance by politicians. The politicians don’t is only useful to the United States if we combine with Mexico take care of the problem because it is not on their radar screen and and Canada in a North American Union similar to the EU. is not a topic that draws votes. But is this the truth? Political brilliance, huh! ■ 44 THE NEW AMERICAN • SEPTEMBER 3, 2007
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