Obama’s Is­lamist agenda

Pres­i­dent has backed ev­ery up­ris­ing ex­cept Iran’s one

The Washington Times Daily - - Opinion - By Jef­frey T. Kuh­ner By An­drew P. Napoli­tano

Rad­i­cal Is­lam is on the march. It is be­ing aided and abet­ted by the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion. Sec­re­tary of State Hil­lary Rod­ham Clin­ton re­cently warned at a con­fer­ence in Tu­nisia that the Arab Spring is back­slid­ing. The demo­cratic trans­for­ma­tion of the Mid­dle East and North Africa is not work­ing out as Mrs. Clin­ton and Pres­i­dent Obama had hoped. Lib­eral re­form­ers are be­ing eclipsed by Mus­lim mil­i­tants. Is­lamist par­ties are com­ing to power. Mr. Obama has no one to blame but him­self.

He has en­cour­aged Arab street re­volts against cor­rupt au­toc­ra­cies. Long-stand­ing Amer­i­can al­lies, such as for­mer Egyp­tian strong­man Hosni Mubarak, were aban­doned. Yet, con­trary to his sim­plis­tic nar­ra­tive of free­dom fight­ers bat­tling tyranny, Mr. Obama has helped pave the way for the triumph of Shariah democ­racy — the drive to es­tab­lish a global Is­lamic caliphate. At his core, Mr. Obama is a rad­i­cal sec­u­lar pro­gres­sive. Like all mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ists, he be­lieves in one sem­i­nal myth: Mass poverty and op­pres­sion in the Third World is Amer­ica’s fault. Hence, he cham­pi­ons anti-colo­nial “lib­er­a­tion move­ments” — the up­ris­ings of re­pressed peo­ples, es­pe­cially those in the Mus­lim world, chaf­ing un­der au­thor­i­tar­ian rule. Yet he never both­ers to ask: What comes next? What kind of regime re­places the pre­vi­ous one? The re­sults are of­ten even worse.

The Arab Spring is turn­ing into an Is­lamist win­ter. Tu­nisia, Egypt and Ye­men are now be­com­ing Wah­habi Sunni theoc­ra­cies. Shariah law is be­ing im­posed. Mi­nori­ties, es­pe­cially Chris­tians, are be­ing erad­i­cated. Dis­si­dents are im­pris­oned. Women are op­pressed. The Mus­lim Brother­hood and its al­lies are in the sad­dle. One-man, one-vote is be­ing used by re­li­gious fa­nat­ics to im­pose Is­lam­o­fas­cist rule.

In par­tic­u­lar, two coun­tries are driv­ing the Arab Spring — Saudi Ara­bia and Qatar. The House of Saud has largely fi­nanced the Mus­lim Brother­hood and the street protests con­vuls­ing the re­gion. Their goal is to pro­mote Wah­habism, a pu­ri­tan­i­cal strain of Sunni Is­lam. Wah­habism is pro­foundly re­ac­tionary; it is at war with the mod­ern West, seek­ing to reim­pose the Dark Ages. This is why it is vir­u­lently in­tol­er­ant of Jews, Chris­tians, women, athe­ists and even other Mus­lims such as the Shi­ites. The Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion has al­lied it­self with wacky Wah­habis in the name of democ­racy and hu­man rights. Yet the very op­po­site is tak­ing place: Re­li­gious fa­nat­ics are seiz­ing power. There is now an un­holy al­liance be­tween the post­mod­ern sec­u­lar left and rad­i­cal Is­lam.

Take Libya. The U.S.-NATO in­ter­ven­tion that top­pled Moam­mar Gad­hafi has led to an Is­lamist state. Shariah is spread­ing. Young mil­i­tant men with heavy fire­power con­trol the coun­try’s airports, har­bors and ma­jor roads. Mili­tias roam the coun­try­side. For­mer al Qaeda ter­ror­ists and Tal­iban fight­ers have in­fil­trated the coun­try, tar­get­ing mod­er­ate Mus­lims and blacks. The na­tion is on the verge of splin­ter­ing along ide­o­log­i­cal, sec­tar­ian and tribal lines. This is not a vic­tory for hu­man­i­tar­i­an­ism but an­ar­chy.

Now the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion wants to re­peat the Libya fi­asco in Syria. Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clin­ton are pub­licly back­ing the rebels in their bat­tle against Syr­ian dic­ta­tor Bashar As­sad. Qatar and Saudi Ara­bia are fund­ing the Free Syr­ian Army. Al Qaeda fight­ers and the Tal­iban are com­ing from Libya and Iraq through Turkey to join the swelling ji­hadist move­ment. The emir of Qatar has been open about his aim: Top­ple the last sec­u­lar Arab regime. Washington is con­tem­plat­ing arm­ing the in­sur­gents, thereby tip­ping the mil­i­tary scales in their fa­vor.

Con­trary to me­dia spin, how­ever, the op­po­si­tion is not full of Western-style democrats; rather, it wants to forge a Sun­nidom­i­nated Syria. Wah­habi rule would lead to mass killings and re­li­gious cleans­ing. The rebels vow to mas­sacre the mod­er­ate Alaw­ites. They call for Syria’s Chris­tians to be ex­pelled to Le­banon. Mr. As­sad is a butcher, who has trans­formed Da­m­as­cus into a proxy of Iran. His fa­ther, Hafez As­sad, slaugh­tered more than 20,000 mem­bers of the Mus­lim Brother­hood at Hama in 1982. I have lit­tle sym­pa­thy for this cruel dic­ta­tor­ship. Yet the rebels do not rep­re­sent the ma­jor­ity. Most Syr­i­ans de­spise the Wah­habis even more than they do Mr. As­sad. They fear their coun­try will re­vert to the 14th cen­tury. Mr. Obama is not in­ter­ested in the wishes of or­di­nary Syr­i­ans. In­stead, he wants the United States to part­ner with al Qaeda, the Tal­iban and the Mus­lim Brother­hood in an anti-as­sad coali­tion. In the end, the only win­ners will be the Is­lamists.

Mr. Obama has sup­ported ev­ery ma­jor up­ris­ing in the Mus­lim world — ex­cept the only one that truly sought to es­tab­lish a pro-amer­i­can, sec­u­lar democ­racy. In 2009, Ira­ni­ans protested stolen elec­tions. The Green Rev­o­lu­tion wanted an end to the mul­lahs, their im­pla­ca­ble hos­til­ity to the West and the de­sire for a nu­clear-armed Iran. Mil­lions poured onto the streets of Tehran and other cities. Mr. Obama re­mained silent. He did not wish to of­fend the ay­a­tol­lahs, hop­ing to ap­pease Ira­nian Pres­i­dent Mah­moud Ah­madine­jad. This act will go down in his­tory as the most craven, reck­less decision of the Obama pres­i­dency; the mo­ment when Amer­ica blinked in its con­fronta­tion with Iran, squan­der­ing a golden op­por­tu­nity for its be­sieged peo­ple to over­throw the vile cler­i­cal fas­cist regime. For this treach­ery, Is­rael — and the Jews — may pay the ul­ti­mate price. Mr. Obama turned his back on the Ira­nian op­po­si­tion — un­like Tu­nisia, Egypt, Ye­men, Libya and now, in­creas­ingly, Syria. He has be­trayed our friends while re­ward­ing our mor­tal en­e­mies.

Whether this is a de­lib­er­ate ex­pres­sion of anti-amer­i­can­ism and na­tional self-ab­ne­ga­tion, or naive mul­ti­cul­tural lib­er­al­ism, is ir­rel­e­vant. The pat­tern is clear: Mr. Obama’s for­eign pol­icy has di­rectly em­pow­ered the Is­lamist agenda. Fu­ture gen­er­a­tions will ask: Who lost the Mid­dle East? His­to­ri­ans will write: Mr. Obama did.

On June 2, 2009, a jan­i­tor in an of­fice build­ing in New Brunswick, N.J., no­ticed what he thought was ter­ror­ist-re­lated lit­er­a­ture and so­phis­ti­cated sur­veil­lance equip­ment in an of­fice he had been as­signed to clean. He told his boss, who called the lo­cal po­lice, who no­ti­fied the FBI. Later in the day, the FBI and the New Brunswick po­lice broke into the of­fice and dis­cov­ered five men busily op­er­at­ing the equip­ment. Four of the men were of­fi­cers from the New York City Po­lice Depart­ment, and the fifth was a CIA agent.

The co­nun­drum faced by all of these public ser­vants soon be­came ap­par­ent. Who should ar­rest whom?

Should the FBI agents and the lo­cal cops ar­rest the NYPD and the CIA agent for vi­o­lat­ing the U.S. and New Jer­sey con­sti­tu­tions, both of which pro­hibit searches and seizures with­out search war­rants, and for vi­o­lat­ing fed­eral and New Jer­sey laws against wire­tap­ping and sur­veil­lance? Should the NYPD and the CIA agent ar­rest the FBI agents and the lo­cal cops for break­ing and en­ter­ing and ob­struct­ing a gov­ern­men­tal func­tion with­out a search war­rant? Did the FBI and the lo­cal cops even have a search war­rant? Was the NYPD/CIA sur­veil­lance a law­ful gov­ern­men­tal func­tion?

No one at the scene of this unique en­counter was ar­rested. In re­turn for not be­com­ing a de­fen­dant, ev­ery­one agreed not to be­come a com­plainant. The FBI and the New Brunswick po­lice went home, and the NYPD cops and their CIA men­tor went back to their sur­veil­lance — even though ev­ery­one in that of­fice had sworn the same oath to up­hold the U.S. Con­sti­tu­tion and the laws writ­ten pur­suant to it.

Among those laws are the state statutes that limit the au­thor­ity and ju­ris­dic­tion of lo­cal cops to the mu­nic­i­pal­ity that em­ploys them, and the fed­eral statutes that limit the le­gal abil­ity of CIA agents to steal se­crets only from for­eign­ers out­side the United States. Stated dif­fer­ently, the NYPD has no au­thor­ity or ju­ris­dic­tion to en­gage in sur­veil­lance in New Jer­sey, and the CIA has no au­thor­ity or ju­ris­dic­tion to en­gage in sur­veil­lance in the U.S.

Nev­er­the­less, we now know from the can­did ad­mis­sions last week of NYPD Com­mis­sioner Ray­mond W. Kelly that his depart­ment has been spy­ing with­out search war­rants on Mus­lim groups in New Jer­sey and else­where for 10 years. For­mer New Jer­sey gov­er­nor and cur­rent state Sen. Richard Codey re­calls au­tho­riz­ing the NYPD — and not the CIA — to in­spect rail­roads and fer­ries that travel back and forth be­tween New Jer­sey and New York in 2005. He says he never au­tho­rized sur­veil­lance. No public of­fi­cial in New Jer­sey has come for­ward to ac­knowl­edge aware­ness of all this, and Mr. Kelly says the spy­ing will con­tinue. But he needs a search war­rant.

Can the po­lice spy on us? Only if they have prob­a­ble cause to be­lieve crim­i­nal be­hav­ior is tak­ing place and a search war­rant signed by a judge. Short of prob­a­ble cause about the very per­sons on whom they are spy­ing, not about a group to which those per­sons be­long by birth or by choice, the po­lice may not law­fully spy, and judges will not sign search war­rants with­out spe­cific prob­a­ble cause about spe­cific per­sons. The speci­ficity is re­quired by the lan­guage of the Fourth Amend­ment. That lan­guage also guar­an­tees that quintessen­tially Amer­i­can right — the right to be left alone — by es­tab­lish­ing ar­tic­u­la­ble sus­pi­cion as the linch­pin of all po­lice pur­suit of any­one for any­thing, and prob­a­ble cause as the trig­ger for search war­rants.

Can the po­lice choose a tar­get upon whom to spy based on the tar­get’s re­li­gion? No. The courts have been clear that un­der no cir­cum­stances may re­li­gion law­fully be the sole or even the prin­ci­pal ba­sis for sur­veil­lance. That’s how World War II got started: Ger­man po­lice tar­geted Jews be­cause they were Jews, and for no le­git­i­mate law en­force­ment pur­pose and with­out prob­a­ble cause.

Was the New Brunswick op­er­a­tion crim­i­nal? Yes, it was. It’s not too late to charge the NYPD of­fi­cers or the CIA agent in state or fed­eral court for spy­ing. It’s also not too late to charge the FBI agents and the New Brunswick cops in state or fed­eral court for fail­ing to ob­tain a search war­rant (if they didn’t have one), and for malfea­sance in of­fice by not ar­rest­ing the spies.

The sac­ri­fice of lib­erty for safety is il­lu­sory. The lib­erty lost does not re­turn. The safety gained is not real. Who in New Jer­sey vol­un­tar­ily gave up his lib­erty? Who can feel safe or free with gov­ern­ment agents se­cretly and un­law­fully mon­i­tor­ing them? What is the re­li­a­bil­ity and vi­tal­ity of con­sti­tu­tional guar­an­tees if those in whose hands we re­pose them ac­tively vi­o­late them? What re­li­gious group might law en­force­ment tar­get next? How dan­ger­ous to per­sonal free­dom is a ca­bal of law en­force­ment when it looks the other way to avoid prose­cut­ing its own?


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