Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Importing the Values of the Middle East. By Daniel Horowitz.

Importing the Values of the Middle East. By Daniel Horowitz. Conservative Review, December 15, 2015.


Ask any American if they think the Middle East is a place that reflects our political, cultural, and societal values. You will find unanimity of opinion that the Middle East is a raunchy place to live and that they are thankful to live far away from that bad neighborhood. Violence, sharia law, subjugation of women, and hatred for Jews are just a few things that come to mind when conjuring up an image of that region. Which begs the obvious question, why then should we import the Middle East to our shores?

Just today, all LA schools are closed due to a widespread terror threat. A young Muslim was arrested in Harford County, MD yesterday on charges of giving material support to ISIS, which itself comes on the heels of a slew of similar arrests over the past week. Although the government and media, once again refuse to divulge the immigration status of this and almost every other radical jihadist arrested by the FBI, it is clear that there are an endless number of jihadists among us, even in rural areas such as Harford County, MD.

There is a lot of discussion about the lack of vetting that Tafsheen Malik underwent when applying for an immigrant visa from Pakistan. DHS prohibited their agents from searching her social media records. But the broader problem is even if we did “vet” their views, what do you think we would find? A love for America, Jewish people, and democratic values? Undoubtedly, there are some individuals yearning to escape the Middle East mentality. But take a look at the percentage of those from selected Muslim countries who dislike Jews and/or Support Sharia law.

Now take a look at some of those numbers from selected countries juxtaposed with the number of immigrants we’ve admitted since 2001.

It doesn’t take a genius to understand that when such large numbers of immigrants are invited from countries with such anti-democratic, anti-enlightened, and anti-Jewish sentiments, on average we will be importing their culture, too. At that point, it becomes a cumulative effect and a numbers game. It’s not just about the tedious task of vetting each one individually.

As a nation, over the past few decades, our political leadership has violated a principle of immigration policy that was shared by all our Founders and early leaders. They all understood that America was a better place than any other country in the world and that many regions of the world were downright repugnant to the values we champion. As such, they never encouraged immigration as a mass institution because they liked the America they had conceived and didn’t want to import the undesirable characteristics of other countries. With that said, they welcomed individuals of merit who would assimilate into our values system and benefit the country.

During the debate over the Naturalization Act of 1790, Rep. Theodore Sedgwick (Federalist-MA), who served as a delegate to the Continental Congress and later as Speaker of the House, warned that mass migration would import the values of the countries of origin. “The citizens of America preferred this country, because it is to be preferred,” said Sedgwick. Speaking of European immigrants who actually shared similar ancestry, Sedgwick feared “their sensations, impregnated with prejudices of education, acquired under monarchical and aristocratical Governments, may deprive them of that zest for pure republicanism.” [1]

Was Sedgwick anti-immigrant? No. And this is why he desired to admit “reputable and worthy characters; such only were fit for the society into which they were blended.” But it was a no brainer to him that carte blanche importation even of Europeans would result in bringing anti-republicanism to our shores. One could only imagine what he’d say of today’s mass migration from the Middle East.

This is why numbers, time and origin matter in immigration. It matters how many individuals are admitted over a short period of time and from which regions of the world. That equation will determine whether we are importing the values of other countries or selectively inviting meritorious immigrants to share in our values.

As it relates to the Middle East, it should not be controversial or divisive to say that this region represents an anathema to American values. With the successful growth of cyber-jihad, those values are more widespread and dangerous than ever. Liberals should certainly feel that way, given the views of these countries towards women and homosexuals. That is why, following the dictates of our Founders, we should be more judicious about immigration from that part of the world than anywhere else. Yet, without the consent of the citizenry, it has become the fastest growing source of immigration.

Any politician who suggests that barring the values of the Middle East (not necessarily all immigrants) is against our values and traditions lacks a basic understanding of our values and traditions.

[1] Annals of Congress. The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States. “History of Congress.” 42 vols. Washington, D.C.: Gales & Seaton, 1834-56. Feb 3, 1790.

K.T. McFarland on National Security and Foreign Policy Strategies at the GOP Debate.

Candidates clash on national security at GOP debate. K.T. McFarland interviewed by Martha MacCallum. Video. America’s Newsroom. Fox News, December 16, 2015. YouTube.

K.T. McFarland: Bomb ISIS, destroy their resources. Video. Stossel. Fox Business, December 14, 2015. YouTube.

Rubio vs. Paul vs. Cruz on Foreign Policy. By Conservative Review.

Rubio vs. Paul vs. Cruz on Foreign Policy. By CR Editors. Conservative Review, May 14, 2015.

CR Editors:

After many years without a clear direction on foreign policy, Republicans are now engaging in a robust and healthy debate over principles related to national defense and military intervention.

Unlike conservative domestic policy, which is clearly directed by ideological principles of governance within the confines of the Constitution, U.S. foreign policy is more complex and contains a broader philosophical approach.  There is no single doctrine to fully dictate the particulars of all foreign policy initiatives or questions of military intervention.  Foreign policy decisions are ultimately governed by prudence and discernment based on the subjective assessment of each individual conflict and how it affects the strategic interests of America and our allies.  The aforementioned assessment must weigh the potential costs and benefits through the prism of likely outcomes.

In recent years, right-leaning commentators and media figures have discussed competing foreign policy visions in broad and vacuous terms, offering false choices between so-called neo-conservatives vs. libertarians, hawks vs. doves, or interventionists vs. isolationists.  But these labels fail to capture the reality of the decisions America must confront.

Most mainstream conservatives are not Ron Paul libertarians who rule out supporting a robust foreign policy to combat emerging threats to our strategic interests, such as Islamic terrorism and the growing threat from Russia and China.  At the same time, most conservatives (and most Americans across the board) reject the notion that we can or should spread democracy to the Arab world and engage in nation-building, especially in countries that lack the building blocks of a civil society.  The challenges in Iraq and Afghanistan, along with the colossal disaster of the Arab Spring, have certainly laid waste to the democracy project we see today in the Middle East.

Due to the after-effects of 9/11 and the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, what we are seeing within the Republican Party are three predominant camps forming, most prominently on display through the informal doctrines of three presidential candidates: Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz.


It would probably be more accurate to ascribe the following foreign policy views to Ron Paul rather than Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) simply because the younger Paul seems to be “evolving” on many foreign policy issues.

At its core, this capital “L” Libertarian view is seemingly rooted in the belief that Islamic terrorists and terror-supporting regimes only hate America because of endless U.S. interventions in their part of the world. Many in this camp argue that if only the U.S. military would stop engaging in either projections of military power or the use of soft power against them, and the U.S. would end its overt support for Israel, America would not be facing an existential threat from Islamic Jihad.

Not only do the Paulites oppose any military intervention in the Middle East, they vehemently oppose the use of soft power and sanctions against Iran.  They also typically believe our military and defense spending are well over the line of what is necessary to defend national security.

As Rand Paul’s CR Presidential Profile highlights, the lowercase “l” Libertarian view that defines Rand’s foreign policy is best described as “realism.” Rand Paul is a staunch advocate of U.S. sovereignty and has consistently opposed sending aid to nations hostile to the U.S. However, Paul has exhibited questionable positions that are cause for concern for conservatives including his support for Obama’s call for normalized relations with communist Cuba and his opposition to new sanctions on Iran.


Senator Marco Rubio’s (R-FL) foreign policy views are rooted in the notion that Islamic terror is an existential threat.  However, much like Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), he believes that the way to combat the threat is by getting involved in Islamic civil wars and attempting to spread democracy.  Yesterday, Rubio delivered a major foreign policy speech unveiling the “Rubio doctrine.”
We must recognize that our nation is a global leader not just because it has superior arms, but because it has superior aims,” Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants, intends to say. “As president, I will support the spread of economic and political freedom, reinforce our alliances, resist efforts by large powers to subjugate their smaller neighbors, maintain a robust commitment to transparent and effective foreign assistance programs, and advance the rights of the vulnerable, including women and the religious minorities that are so often persecuted, so that the afflicted peoples of the world know the truth: the American people hear their cries, see their suffering, and most of all, desire their freedom.
It is clear that Rubio feels the U.S. has a responsibility not only to combat Islamic terror through the spread of democracy via interventions, but has an obligation to get involved in other regional skirmishes on behalf of persecuted minorities or bullied nations.

To that end, Rubio has supported the Arab Spring interventions, such as the ouster of Muammar Gaddafi.  He also supports a “boots on the ground” intervention in Syria and the arming of the Syrian rebels along with an endless flow of foreign aid to many Arab countries and rebel armies.

Rubio’s CR Presidential Profile provides the full spectrum of his foreign policy record and position on national defense. He has made a name for himself in conservative circles as a leader on foreign policy as a result of his calls for decisive U.S. action against the Islamic State, his unyielding support for Israel, spearheading the passage of the Venezuela sanctions and introducing legislation that would place further sanctions on Iran and Russia. Unlike Senator Paul, Rubio – a Cuban-American – sees the dangers of normalizing relations with Cuba and has been an instrumental leader in sounding the alarm on the president’s plans.  However, the profile also details his eagerness to support involvements in civil wars that have often strengthened Islamic groups instead of weakening them.


To some, Cruz appears to be charting a new course that is neither “isolationist” nor “neo-conservative.”  But in fact, he argues that there is nothing new about his views, as they represent the authentic Reagan approach to foreign policy – one that emphasizes ‘peace through strength’ with robust defense, control of the seas, and effective use of soft power, but one that also eschews endless interventions and nation building.

As Cruz said Tuesday night on Fox News’ Kelly File, “Our military’s job isn't to transform foreign nations into democratic utopias — it's to hunt down & kill terrorists.”

The Cruz contemporary foreign policy is rooted in the same starting point as Rubio’s in that the threat of Jihad is viewed as the consummate challenge of our time.  However, those subscribing to the Cruz doctrine vehemently opposed the Arab Spring interventions, not because of isolationist sensibilities, quite the contrary, they would argue that opposition to tossing out relatively secular dictators is the true “hawkish” position.  Cruz would contend, much like Rand Paul, that those interventions helped strengthen the Islamic terrorists.  

The foundation for this view is built on the premise that there are two equally serious threats to our national security – Sunni Jihadists and Shiite terror groups and regimes, most prominently, Iran.  As such, every foreign policy decision in the Middle East has to be weighed against the logical outcome of how it strengthens or weakens one or both of those threats.

In the case of Libya, supporters of intervention swapped a nasty dictator, albeit a man who kept the radical Islamists in check, for a power vacuum that has been filled by ISIS and Al Qaeda.

Highlighted in his CR Presidential Profile, Cruz’s foreign policy record is one of the most impressive especially given his short tenure in the Senate. He has consistently led efforts to impose stricter sanctions on Iran and Russia, is a firm supporter of Israel, and continues to be a leader calling for the U.S. to take action to combat terror from the Islamic State without engaging in a protracted ground operation.

In Iraq, Cruz recently said that the 2003 invasion and regime change, in retrospect, was a mistake.  This is because Saddam Hussein, although a brutal dictator, was in fact the only person who served as a counterbalance to both existential threats – Sunni Jihadists and Iran.  It is certainly clear that Obama’s reckless pullout led to a quicker rise of ISIS and Sunni jihadists, but it is unlikely that the Iraq story would have ever ended well regardless of Obama’s actions.  Even before Obama’s irresponsible withdraw, Iraq had become a proxy for Iran.  Was it worth expending 4,500 of our finest soldiers plus over a trillion dollars to deliver Iraq into the hands of Iran?

Moreover, even without Obama’s pullout, it would have been hard to stem the tide of Sunni insurgents in the face of Iranian Shiite dominance.  U.S. “leadership” and the spread of democracy will never hold these volatile and unstable countries together without eastern countries standing against them and their radical Islamic terror regimes. Now we are seeing the vacuum being filled by entities that pose a much graver threat to us than Saddam Hussein did over a decade ago.

It is this guiding lesson from the Iraq war that is fueling the view of the Cruz faction that the U.S. military should stay out of the civil war taking place in Syria and parts of Iraq.  With a tangled web of Iranian-backed Assad forces, al-Nusra, ISIS, and dubious or ineffective “Syrian rebels” engaged in conflict, there is no good outcome for U.S. strategic interests.  With Iran and ISIS fighting each other in Iran, why risk our lives and war chest to tip the scales to one side, only to see that side eventually become the next volatile regime? Why not let our two biggest enemies slug it out?  It is for this reason that Cruz would oppose any boots on the ground beyond decisive air strikes against those threatening the Kurds or Christian minorities.

The aforementioned view can best be described with the following doctrine: A president should only use military force if the end result will bolster our allies and weaken our enemies, preferably when those allies have built a civil society and have their own military for which our efforts will result in a positive outcome and territory gained or preserved for our allies.              

But while Cruz would take a hands-off approach to some of the Islamic civil wars, he is as hawkish as they come on Iran.  That is because Iran represents an existential threat and is responsible for killing more U.S. soldiers since 1979 than any other regime.  And the remedy here, unlike in other geopolitical conflicts, is not to referee a civil war and nation-build a balkanized country; it is the effective use of soft power through sanctions, freezing assets, control of the seas, and other covert activity at our disposal.

This also explains why the Cruz camp wants to bulk up our military, increase our deterrent power and control over the seas, but save a lot of money by refraining from endless national-building escapades that have cost the U.S. trillions.  It’s why Cruz often cites the Reagan paradigm of increasing defense spending but never wasting money and lives with protracted military interventions.  After all, as Cruz also frequently points out, Granada was the largest country Reagan invaded during his tenure.

Those subscribing to this worldview also believe that securing our border and limiting the immigration of security threats is at least as vital, if not more important, than any projection of power overseas.  The same certainly cannot be said of the Rubio, Graham, and McCain camp.

If nothing else, the fact that conservatives are now debating some of the past and present foreign policy decisions is a welcome development.  A lack of coherent principles on domestic policy has gotten Republicans into trouble in the past.  Although foreign policy is more complex, it would be wise for the party to develop some cogent principles before they reassume power as the governing party.

Enemies. By Michael Lumish.

Enemies. By Michael Lumish. Israel Thrives, December 14, 2015.


The western-left refuses to stand up to the cruel bullies of political Islam.

In doing so, the Left has abandoned women in the Muslim-Middle East, gay people in the Muslim-Middle East, all non-Muslims in that part of the world, as well as freedom of speech even in Europe.  As a direct consequence, as I have argued ad nauseum, they have flushed adherence to the ideal of universal human rights directly down the toilet.

In this way, the progressive-left has abandoned its very reason to be because it has abandoned the heart of its movement in favor of the multicultural ideal.

When I think of the joyous escapades of our friends in the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) – such as, for example, burying Yazidis alive in mass graves or using young non-Muslim prepubescent girls as sexual slaves or the mass chopping off of “infidel” heads or the destruction of ancient antiquities, such as we recently saw in Palmyra - one word comes immediately to mind:


The thing about the western-left, in general, and the American-left, as well, is that it recognizes no such category of human being – beyond Republicans, Evangelical Christians, or conservatives – as an enemy.  They may actively and loudly despise people such as former president George W. Bush, but they can live with the Muslim Brotherhood or Islamic Jihad or Boko Haram.  This is because they tend to have little, or no, sense of ethical proportionality.  Sure, Boko Haram might kidnap hundreds of young girls for the purpose of raping them and selling them into sexual slavery but, aghghg!, George W. Bush is a Texas Republican!

The Left knows who their real enemy is and it is definitely neither Boko Haram, nor the Islamic State.

I understand, of course, that the concept of “enemy” is not a pretty one.  When a people or a nation have an enemy then their leadership is obligated to defeat that enemy.  This requires a willingness to stand up, put oneself forward, and actually do whatever is necessary to win the war.  People on the Left, however, have no such inclination unless they are spitting hatred at the likes of Dick Cheney or that heinous Zionist, Benjamin Netanyahu.

The rise of political Islam represents the single most significant geopolitical event since the downfall of the Soviet Union.  The crazed and vicious denizens of organizations like ISIS or Hamas despise essential western values such as the equality of women, freedom of speech or, even, freedom of thought, and they are perfectly happy to use even the most horrendous forms of violence to prove it.

And, needless to say, political Islam is the most violently anti-Semitic political movement that we have seen in the world since the Nazis were pulling gold out of Jewish teeth.  This makes them unequivocally my enemy and they should be the acknowledged enemy of anyone who believes in western-liberal values... which the Left no longer does, if it ever did.

There are at least two important reasons why the progressive-left finds it difficult to acknowledge groups like ISIS as an enemy.  The first is because the United States is a powerful, largely white country, and people “of color” in the Middle East are considered underdogs and the natural instinct is to protect the underdog even, apparently, if the underdog is burning people alive in cages.

The second reason is because most progressives blame the West for the rise of political Islam due to unjust material factors imposed by Europe for centuries and by the United States since early in the twentieth.  That is, they believe that western and American imperialism destabilized traditional societies, subjecting them to war, poverty, and thereby encouraged a rational hatred of the West.

There is only one major problem with this analysis.  It infantilizes Arabs in an exceedingly bigoted and prejudicial manner and it fails to acknowledge the linkage between strongly held religious beliefs and behavior.  ISIS, whatever else it may be, is a religious-political movement drenched in the Salafist form of Islam.  When they say that they wish to carry out the violent Jihad for the purpose of establishing the Caliphate, they mean it.  When they say that head-chopping is the pleasure of Allah and that if they die in Jihad they will go to paradise, they mean that, as well.

They act on their beliefs and those belief are not due to the fact that sometimes Jewish people build housing for themselves beyond the Green Line.  Their beliefs are grounded in their religious faith and the primary sources of that faith are the Qur’an and the hadiths.

Drop Sam Harris a line.

He will have a few words.