Islamic terrorism threatens United States
Assorted articles submitted by Dr. Jim Vineyard, July 7, 2010
Border: When the Justice Department sued Arizona Tuesday for the grievous crime of protecting its border, it did more than just signal a softer policy on immigration. It also put our national security at risk.
‘A state may not establish its own immigration policy or enforce state laws in a manner that interferes with the federal immigration laws,” the U.S. wrote in its complaint. But Arizona isn’t “interfering” at all. It’s just doing what should be Uncle Sam’s job — protecting our border.
Arizona should get a presidential commendation, not a lawsuit. It’s bad enough that bankrupt U.S. states have found their budgets hemorrhaging red ink due to the costs associated with runaway illegal immigration, as a number of recent reports show.
That in itself is enough for us to limit the illegal flood. But there’s a greater, often overlooked reason: terrorism.
IBD has reported a number of times on the efforts of Islamic terrorists to infiltrate the U.S. through its porous southern (and occasionally northern) border. The U.S. has become an easy target.
Just this week, a Kuwaiti newspaper reported that Mexico’s security forces had broken up an attempt by Hezbollah operative Jameel Nasr to set up a terrorist network in South America, using Mexican nationals with family ties to Lebanon to do the job.
Nasr’s bust came after Rep. Sue Myrick, a North Carolina Republican, warned in June that Hezbollah and Iran were increasing their operations in the region — including working with drug cartels who take advantage of lax border controls to smuggle drugs, people and terrorists into our country.
This problem has been brewing for years. Since its founding in 1982, Iran-backed Hezbollah has been involved in literally hundreds of terrorist attacks, including the 1983 truck bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, which killed 243 troops.
In 2002, not long after 9/11, here’s what Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage had to say: “Hezbollah may be the A-team of terrorists, and maybe al-Qaida is actually the B-team.”
Writing in FrontPage Magazine in 2006, Lt. Col. Joseph Myers and Patrick Poole called attention to the growing terrorist networks that threaten the U.S.: “In the past 20 years Hezbollah has created an extensive web of operations within the United States itself — a sophisticated terror network better established here than any other terrorist organization in the world.”
In 2006, former FBI Director Robert Mueller announced that U.S. agents had broken up a Hezbollah smuggling ring that had actually infiltrated the U.S. It got little press at the time. But as Vice President Joe Biden might say slightly differently, “It’s a big deal.”
Hezbollah is a terrorist arm of the fundamentalist Islamic regime in Iran. Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has made it clear that he sees the U.S. as an enemy, and he has stated repeatedly his desire to convert the entire world to Islam — by force if necessary.
One can’t speak of Hezbollah without Iran. Hezbollah has been funded, trained and ideologically motivated by its Tehran puppet masters, receiving as much as $100 million a year from Iran.
Its founding statements include a section titled “The Necessity for the Destruction of Israel.” Lest you think it has nothing to do with us, it states: “We see in Israel the vanguard of the United States in our Islamic world.” In other words, we are the enemy.
In this context, the U.S. government’s suit against Arizona for wanting to find out if those who’ve committed a crime are here illegally or not doesn’t just sound foolish and petty; it sounds downright dangerous, an intentional abdication of the federal government’s explicit obligation to protect us from our enemies.
If a Hezbollah operative crosses the Arizona border and detonates a bomb that kills American citizens, the blood won’t be on Arizona’s hands, but on the Justice Department’s.
The Voice Of Tehran
Axis Of Evil: Voice of America’s mission is to promote U.S. interests abroad, which includes freedom in Iran. But VOA’s Persian newscast has been hijacked by pro-Tehran broadcasters.
The Obama administration’s sole strategy for defanging the Ahmadinejad regime is talk and more talk. Only, the propaganda that VOA is piping into Iran is helping the regime — thanks to deep-seated bias in favor of Tehran by Persian editors and producers whose salaries are paid by American taxpayers.
They’ve banned stories that cast the regime in a negative light, such as last year’s violent postelection crackdown on protesters in Tehran. They even refused for several days to air video footage of Neda Agha-Soltan, the young Iranian woman whose murder became an international cause celebre.
More, VOA has retaliated against broadcasters who’ve complained it’s too soft on the Iranian regime. One popular Persian-speaking broadcaster lost her anchoring job, having been demoted by a managing editor who happens to be the son of one of the Iranian mullahs.
Elham Sataki, former Washington-based anchor of VOA’s “Straight Talk,” says she was a victim of an effort to silence her pro-American, pro-democratic-reform views. She’s now suing her boss — Ali Sajjadi, executive managing editor of VOA’s Persian News Network — and other VOA defendants for millions.
“Defendants have mismanaged and intentionally propagated anti-American propaganda and supported the Islamic regime in Iran through their control of broadcast content,” her lawsuit charges.
On VOA/PNN’s show “Static,” Sajjadi admitted his father is an Iranian mullah. And in response to a question from a viewer, he trashed the Iranian opposition movement by saying that it was not his job to support the opposition. Sajjadi added it doesn’t need support since it gets “a lot of grants these days” — grants being regime code word for CIA money.
Recent reporting flaws have prompted calls from Congress for an investigation of VOA’s Persian desk. “We implore you to investigate the anti-American rhetoric reported to be coming from Voice of America — Persian,” Rep. Trent Franks earlier this year wrote President Obama. The letter was signed by 68 other lawmakers.
Washington lawyer Larry Klayman, who’s suing VOA on behalf of Sataki, says he recently met with FBI agents to discuss the case.
Who are the Persian managers of VOA really working for?
If China Can Make Google Heel, Other U.S. Firms Will Pay A Price
By JOHN R. BOLTON
Google’s unfolding confrontation with China may be nearing critical mass. Its efforts to stand its ground involve high stakes for both foreign businesses and governments facing Beijing’s ire. China’s leaders will draw important conclusions about whether they have essentially unfettered sway over outsiders, as over their own subjects.
In an accommodating gesture to Beijing last week, Google’s mainland China searchers must now specifically “click” on a link to be redirected to Google’s Hong Kong facilities, which are not subject to Chinese censorship.
Since Google first threatened to exit the China search market unless censorship obligations were lifted, and then explicitly repudiated the censorship in March, mainland-originated searches had been automatically routed to Google Hong Kong.
Google’s license to operate in China expired June 30, with Beijing considering its renewal application. Google’s recent, essentially insignificant concession might be enough for China to extend the license, thus allowing both sides to avoid an all-or-nothing outcome, certainly for Google.
Just as Henry IV casually embraced Catholicism to become France’s King, noting that “Paris is well worth a Mass,” Google perhaps concluded, in Internet terms, that “China is well worth a click.”
Despite the conciliatory move, China responded by partially blocking some of Google’s mainland search functions. Moreover, Beijing sycophants quickly rejected the one-click model. “Google needs China more than China needs Google,” as one Chinese professor at Oxford put it, toeing the customary Chinese line.
In contrast, the New York Times, editorially siding with free expression if not necessarily with American business, rightly observed, “a censored Google is worse than no Google at all.” Censorship alone, however, is not the issue, but rather the broader problem of unfettered, apparently limitless Chinese regulatory and trade restraints, and the heretofore largely supine reaction of foreign firms and governments.
Although not directly related to Google’s struggle, other businesses are now publicly expressing their own discontent. Shortly after Google’s March refusal to censor searches, GoDaddy.com rejected new regulations requiring disclosure to Chinese authorities of considerable personal data from prospective Internet domain holders.
As the largest global registrar of Internet domain names, GoDaddy’s decision not to register new Chinese Web sites, although purportedly unrelated to Google, was nonetheless another significant outburst of “just saying no” to Beijing’s control efforts.
Last week, General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt said he felt Chinese “hostility” toward foreign investors, and complained, “I really worry about China. … I am not sure that in the end they want any of us to win or any of us to be successful.”
Immelt’s assessment was nearly a 180-degree turn from his boastful assessment last year: “I don’t think anybody has played China better than GE has.”
Immelt’s comments echoed Joerg Wuttke, former head of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, who said in April, “many foreign businesses in the country feel as though they have run up against an unexpected and impregnable blockade.”
Moreover, the EU chamber’s just-released 2010 business confidence survey reflects earlier complaints by the U.S. chambers in Beijing and Hong Kong that foreign firms trying to do business in China faced increased discrimination in favor of Chinese-owned firms.
And ominously, on July 5, an American citizen was sentenced to eight years in prison for dealing in “state secrets” relating to China’s oil industry, over personal protests from President Obama to President Hu.
Considering these various puzzle pieces together, a clearer perception emerges about China’s objectives, which are both political and economic.
On Internet issues, for example, Beijing’s censorship and identity requirements could force foreign firms out of China, thus affording a WTO-proof protectionist strategy benefiting indigenous companies, under political camouflage that much of the non-Western world will simply shrug off.
Beyond the Internet, nontariff Chinese protectionism comes in many forms: reverse engineering technology and then duplicating it without licensing; ignoring copyright and trademark protections; discriminatory transportation, storage and marketing regulations; harsh criminal punishments, and other techniques in a lengthy list which China seems to be mastering.
Most individual companies, even mighty global icons, or foreign business associations have until now deemed it impossibly risky or economically unacceptable to launch a head-to-head struggle with Beijing’s authorities. But the issue today is whether this recalcitrance is changing, and whether China’s apparent implacability is real, or rests on the shared perception that foreign business can be intimidated before a fight even starts.
That is why Google’s initially routine regulatory dispute has potentially profound implications. The ramifications extend to whether capitalists in China, particularly foreigners, will perennially be mere supplicants in Beijing.
Governments in policy disputes with China should also wonder if that is forever their fate, or whether a little spine now might pay off later. As Lady Thatcher might say to Washington once again, now is not the time to go all wobbly.
• Bolton, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and author of “Surrender Is Not an Option: Defending America at the United Nations and Abroad” (Simon & Schuster, 2007).
Are Overdue Reports Concealing ObamaCare Impact On Medicare?
By PETER FERRARA
Are Overdue Reports Concealing ObamaCare Impact On Medicare?
By PETER FERRARA Posted 07/06/2010 06:04 PM ET
Every year, the Annual Report of the Social Security Board of Trustees comes out between mid-April and mid-May. Now it’s July, and there’s no sign of this year’s report. What is the Obama administration hiding?
The annual report includes detailed information about Social Security and its financing over the next 75 years, produced by the Office of the Actuary of the Social Security Administration.
The Congressional Budget Office reported last week in its Long Term Budget Outlook that Social Security was already running a deficit this year. According to last year’s Social Security Trustees Report, that was not supposed to happen until 2015, with the trust fund to run out completely by 2037.
With the disastrous Obama economy, the great Social Security surplus that started in the Reagan administration is gone completely.
Every year, the federal government has been raiding the Social Security trust funds to take that annual surplus and spend it on the rest of the federal government’s runaway spending, leaving the trust funds only with IOUs backed by nothing but politicians’ promise to pay it back when it’s needed. Now even that annual surplus is gone. How soon will the trust funds run out completely now?
President Obama keeps telling us a fairy tale that he saved us from another Great Depression. But he is actually leading us into another Depression.
The National Bureau of Economic Research scores the recession as officially starting in December 2007. Thirty-one months later, with unemployment still near 10% and the work force still declining, the NBER says it still cannot determine an official end to the recession.
The longest recession since World War II previously was 16 months, with the average being 10 months. By next month, it will be twice as long as the previous postwar record since the latest recession started. The markets echoed by many pundits are now suggesting a renewed double-dip downturn may be starting, with the comprehensive Obama tax rate increases next year poised to pour napalm on this developing bonfire.
How soon will the trust funds run out with this utter failure of 1930s-style Obamanomics?
The implications for Social Security aren’t what the Obama administration is hiding by delaying the annual trustees reports. Those annual reports also include information regarding Medicare over the next 75 years. What the administration is trying to hide are sweeping draconian cuts to Medicare resulting from the ObamaCare legislation, which the annual report will document.
The administration is trying to delay the report until mid-August, when it’s hoping the country will be on vacation and won’t notice. Or maybe the delay is because the White House is trying to bludgeon the chief actuaries for Medicare and Social Security into fudging the numbers.
Those chief actuaries are dedicated, career professionals who have worked their way up the bureaucracy over decades.
During the Reagan administration, the congressional Democrat majorities and the New York Times made clear to us that tampering with the work of the government’s career professionals, let alone the career number crunchers, would be grounds for impeachment.
I’m not certain the rule of law applies to this administration, where the Justice Department cites “payback time” as its reason for not prosecuting Black Panther Voting Rights Act violations.
The CBO confessed to $500 billion in Medicare cuts in the first 10 years of Obama-Care alone. Based on those calculations, the minority staff of the Senate Budget Committee estimated the Medicare cuts as $800 billion in the first 10 years of implementation and $2.9 trillion over the first 20 years of ObamaCare. Truthful annual trustees reports would further document these cuts.
These draconian Medicare cuts are primarily how the president got his claims that ObamaCare would reduce the deficit by over $100 billion over the first 10 years, and a trillion dollars over the next 10 years. The cuts involve slashing payments to doctors and hospitals for the medical care they provide to seniors, and decimating the private option Medicare Advantage program that close to one-fourth of seniors have chosen for their coverage because it gives them a better deal.
Such Medicare cuts would create havoc and chaos in health care for seniors. Doctors, hospitals, surgeons and specialists providing critical care to the elderly will shut down and disappear in much of the country, and others would stop serving Medicare patients. If the government is not going to pay, seniors are not going to get the medical treatment they expect.
Yes, Medicare is more than bankrupt over the long run and needs a fundamental overhaul. But the answer is not to tell seniors their guaranteed benefits will not be cut while the government refuses to pay doctors and hospitals for their care.
Nor is it to decimate Medicare Advantage, which instead should be expanded to all of Medicare. Nor is it to trash Medicare and use the money for a whole new entitlement instead, which is what ObamaCare does.
• Ferrara is director of entitlement and budget policy for the Institute for Policy Innovation, general counsel of the American Civil Rights Union and a senior policy adviser on health care to the Heartland Institute.
U.S. Space Program Bows To Mecca
Priorities: NASA’s chief says his mission is not to return us to space but to help the Muslim world feel good about its scientific contributions. The moon we should be landing on should not be crescent-shaped.
At a time when the only missile programs in the Arab world, namely in Syria and Iran, are aimed at hitting Israel with chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, NASA administrator Charles Bolden goes on Al Jazeera to tell the Muslim world his “foremost” goal was to make them feel good about their achievements in math, science and engineering.
Citing the International Space Station as an example, Bolden described space travel as an international collaboration of which Muslim nations must be a part.
As much as we are excited about the prospect of U.S. tax dollars going to encourage young Jordanians and Egyptians to become astronauts, we’d much rather not see Americans abandoning the final frontier to the Chinese while we hitch rides with the Russians.
Bolden’s one small step for Islam comes after presiding over the demise of the space shuttle program and the cancellation of the Constellation program, which was to put America back on the moon and restore America’s space dominance.
This administration does not believe in American exceptionalism and has said at conferences such as the G-20 that we would just like to be one of the 20. We no longer seek to lead, but we yearn to apologize. Hey, fellas, forget that American flag on the moon. Sorry about that. It won’t happen again. Welcome aboard the starship Kumbaya.
“When I became the NASA administrator — or before I became the NASA administrator — he (Obama) charged me with three things,” Bolden said in an interview. “One was he wanted me to help re-inspire children to want to get into science and math, he (Obama) wanted me to expand our international relationships, and third, and perhaps foremost, he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science … and math and engineering.” Say what?
Foremost? Feel good? Time was, the job of NASA and its administrator was to direct America’s exploration of and dominance in space. Sure, we launched foreign satellites and carried foreign astronauts, scientists and their experiments into space. But always using America’s launch vehicles and space shuttle. NASA’s mission statement said nothing about esteem-building in the Arab world.
Hey, Mr. President, how about our esteem? How about our space program and the thousands of highly trained American engineers about to lose their jobs? How about educating American kids in science, math, and engineering so they don’t consistently fall behind other nations in international tests?
Bolden said better interaction with the Muslim world would ultimately advance space travel, allowing us to boldly go where no imam has gone before.
He also said no nation, not even ours, could make it any more without foreign help. Maybe he was thinking about the missiles and warheads Iran was building to vaporize Tel Aviv. Some neat technology there.
The NASA administrator spoke in June at the American University in Cairo. The occasion was the one-year anniversary of President Obama’s apology to the Muslim world, also in a speech in Cairo. Only this administration celebrates an apology and sends the space agency chief to do it.
We are reminded of how many jihadists here and abroad actually cheered the space shuttle Challenger disaster as a blow against the Great Satan. Typical was Ali Al-Timimi, a noted imam and native Washingtonian who had government clearance — even worked with a former White House chief of staff.
He called it a “good omen” for Muslims because it was a blow to their “greatest enemy.”
We’d suggest that if this is NASA’s new mission — to abandon American manned space flight and American leadership while embarking on some sort of global community organizing — Congress should defund it and transfer its staff to the Peace Corps or something.
America’s pride is now America’s embarrassment.
YEDIDIM OF ISRAEL