Kansas Legislators Treated to “vacation of a lifetime” by Turkish Advocate Group.

15 10 2016

Over the last several years Kansas Legislators have been among some 6000 American officials and civic leaders treated to expense paid vacations by Turks seeking to gain political favors.

Kansas Legislators among guests of Turkey in 2010:  Rep. Sidney Carlin (center), Rep. Joan Pottorf (4th from r.), Rep. Nile Dillmore (2nd from r.)

Kansas Legislators among guests of Turkey in 2010: Rep. Sidney Carlin (center), Rep. Joan Pottorf (4th from r.), Rep. Nile Dillmore (2nd from r.) Also pictured is Dr. Selahattin Aydin, TCAE (Photo credit, Raindrop Turkish House, Kansas City, Ks.)

According to Sophia Pandya & Nancy Gallagher in their 2012 book “The Gulen Hizmet Movement and Its Transnational Activities”,   “To date more than 6000 Americans have traveled to Turkey at the invitation of Hizmet institutes and have returned to support the activities of the Turkish immigrant circles.”

The typical Gulenist trip is 9-10 days.  The costs reported run from $3400-$9,000.[1] If the average trip runs $5000, Turkish/Gulen organizations have already invested over $30 Million in American politicians from the local, to state, and national levels.  This doesn’t count campaign contributions from these organizations, or individuals within those into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.[2]

This begs the question, “What is Turkey’s interest, or the interest of Gulen organizations in Kansas, the United States, and other Western nations?”  No other foreign national delegation or organization has been so aggressive or shown such interest in Kansas officials.

Consider the following possible answers:

  • Winning the hearts and minds of American officials to favor Turkey friendly legislation
  • Charter Schools – Gain more charters in more states (Already 151 Turkish run charter schools in 26 states) worth millions in taxpayer funding and contracts for foreign based companies.
  • Improved perception of Islam through “Interfaith Dialog” (Another Fethullah Gulen founded institution) by American politicians.  Islam calls it “dawah”, their version of “missionary work”. Gulenists refer to it as “Hizmet”.
  • Advancement of the Islamic settlement strategy outlined in the “Explanatory Memorandum on the Strategic Goal for the [Muslim Brotherhood] in North America”, 1991. (Exhibit 003-0085, US vs. Holy Land Foundation, July, 2007) [3]

Turkish Politics and Kansas Ties

The Turkish Friendship Network Resolution (HR6013) offered on Mar 7, 2012, stated many wonderful things about how Turkey shared the United States interests in “cherishing the universal values of freedom, democracy and human rights…and has demonstrated…tolerance of others in the secular and religious venues…”. These statements are misleading if not blatantly false.  Turkey has faced a number of issues which has kept it out of the European Union, not the least of which is human rights issues, including freedom of religion, and freedom of speech. Furthermore, Turkish journalists have been jailed for speaking out against the current government, which has become increasingly “Islamized” in recent years.[4]

The resolution (6013) began by speaking of Turkey as a “secular…republic“, which, while for the previous 70-80 years it was indeed a secular government, balanced by a secular military which enforced that secularist state, in 2002 an Islamist sympathizing party known as AKP (Justice and Development Party) gained a majority of seats in Parliament, and still holds the majority as well as the Presidency and Prime Ministry.

On Feb. 22, 2010, 49 Turkish Military Officers were arrested, preempting military action that had historically kept the government of Turkey balanced in opposition to Islamists, sending a new message that this government will not tolerate opposition from civilian or military dissidents.  (See this article in Foreign Policy Magazine by Turkish writer Sonar Cagaptay.[5])

The Constitution of The Republic of Turkey may be secular in letter but the government itself is no longer secular in practice.[6]   Researcher Bingul Durbas, PhD researcher for the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development, says that “honor killings” in Turkey have risen 14 fold since 2002.[7]

An article by Steven Elwart (The Gulen Movement)[8]gives a good summary of Gulen’s activities in the US revealing that Gulen groups in America such as Raindrop House, have strong ties to AKP politicians in Turkey, and most if not all those Parliament members attending the Turkic-(your state) receptions held in many American cities belong to AKP (Justice and Development Party-a decidedly Islamist majority party in Turkey’s government).

Of late the Turks seem more interested in promoting Azerbaijan than Turkey, perhaps due to a lot of attention Turkey has been getting in the media, concerning not only the Islamization of the government, and it’s slow and tepid response against ISIS, but its own continued human rights violations[9]  that run smack in the face of the “Friendship Resolutions” that are peddled in state houses around the country and are becoming less likely to be received.  It may also run parallel to the Fethullah Gulen’s fallout with the Turkish government [10]  recently, over accusations of “bugging” of government offices resulting in many of his followers in Turkey being arrested, interrogated or imprisoned along with any other journalists who had been criticizing the Erdogen government.

More recently, the alleged “coup” in Turkey has been laid at the feet of Gulen as President Recip Tayyip Erdogen continues his purge of Gulen followers.   The interesting thing is that while the Turkish Delegation in America won’t criticize the Turkish government, they remain in full allegiance to Fethullah Gulen, who owns some 20 media outlets and at least 300 schools inside Turkey, and over 1,000 worldwide.  These institutions inside Turkey have been banned since Erdogen’s purge began.  The “coup” attempt led to 240 deaths in July of 2016.  Since then, Erdogen’s Islamist government has fired 100,000 people and jailed 32,000 in an effort to root out Gulen supporters accused of sedition.  The “coup” has been a prime opportunity for Erdogen to eliminate his chief rival’s support system and consolidate his own power base.  (The two basically want the same thing, a caliphate, but Erdogen felt threatened by Gulen’s huge support mechanism and popularity, so he had to be rendered a non-threat.  If there is to be a caliphate absorbing post-Assad Syria, Iraq, and whatever else comes together, Erdogen wants to be the Sultan.  Swirling allegations of Gulen being used by CIA[13] to effect a change in the attitudes of the students, particularly in Central and Southern Asia may also be fueling Erdogen’s aggressive actions toward Gulen’s massive network.)  Erdogen has also begun to attack Gulen schools around the world as terror cells, and has, once again appealed to President Obama to extradite Gulen.  He has filed a formal complaint with the Texas Education Agency against Harmony Public Schools, and asked education officials in California and Texas to investigate any schools tied to the Gulen organizations.

The Gulen School network, known as Hizmet (Service), has flourished in the United States
since Gulen’s arrival in 1999.  Names like Harmony Public Schools, Horizon Academy, Frontier, Daisy, Magnolia, and a plethora of other unimposing, monikers take in the Hizmet schools.  The largest, Harmony, has over 45 charter schools in the state of Texas alone.  So far, there are none in Kansas, although they are in Missouri, Oklahoma, and Colorado.

fethullah-gulen

Fethullah Gulen

These charters are publicly funded with tax dollars, and have been subject to FBI investigations, continuous audits, and several school closures due to illegal mishandling of funds. Contracts to build schools usually go through Cosmos Foundation and are awarded to Turkish construction companies.  In the two year period from 2009 to 2011, six charter school contracts worth over $50 million were given to a new company called TDM and one other.  TDM was only one month old when awarded its first charter school contract worth over $8 million.[12]

Besides the huge contracts going to foreign companies, faculty is being brought in from Turkey on H1B1 visas, because the administrators claim there are no qualified American teachers.  Thousands of Turkish teachers have been rotated through this program, some whose English is unintelligible, as revealed in a CBS 60 Minutes segment by Leslie Stahl in 2012[14].  This particular individual was hired to teach English.  This appears to be a money maker for the Hizmet as well, since the Turkish teachers, well paid, are required to give large percentages of their salaries back to the organization [Sometimes 40-50%].  (State auditors in Ohio found that a number of schools had “illegally expended” public funding to pay legal, immigration, and air-travel fees for nonemployees and retained teachers who lacked proper licenses. Audited records from the Horizon Science Academy in Cincinnati in May 2009 also say that “for the period of time under audit, 47 percent (nine of 19) of the school’s teachers were not properly licensed.”)[11]

Gulen network groups like Raindrop Turkish House and Turquoise Council of American Eurasions (TCAE) continue their public relations campaign on the local and state level throughout the United States.  Award dinners and breakfasts will continue to be held to stroke public servants from the city council to the fire department, from the local library to the university deans.  They will continue to walk the halls of the Capital building in Topeka and other states, shaking hands and politicking legislators, winning friends who will carry resolutions, which may eventually lead to binding legislation allowing Harmony or Horizon to build their first charter school in Kansas.  Several Kansas Legislators including Sidney Carlin, Joan Pottorf, Niles Dilmore, James Todd, Chris Steineger, Vern Swanson, and Tom Moxley have already seen the tour of Turkey compliments of their hosts led by Sellahattin Aydin, a regular at Topeka.  Unlike other tours though, the legislators had to pay their own airfare, which would have constituted a “gift” illegal to elected officials.

Kansas Watchdog published an article on May 11, 2010 entitled “Ethics: Legislators cannot pay for Turkey trips with campaign funds”.

                “The Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission in a special teleconference meeting scheduled for Monday afternoon ruled that Kansas legislators could not use their campaign accounts to pay a $1300 portion for a trip to Turkey organized by the Turquoise Council of Americans and Eurasians.
“The Commission could not find a connection between the trip, which was largely for site [sic] seeing, and a legislator’s duties as an elected official.” [1]

[All other expenses inside Turkey were paid by the TCAE, Institute for Interfaith Dialog, and/or affiliates.]

Besides the FBI investigations into the school network, these organizations have been subject to media investigations, including USA Today’s most recent release[15], revealing Congressional ethics violations and irregularities in reporting Congressional travel expenses for those members who took advantage of the offers of travel.

Ultimately, according to some scholars, the Gulen movement is about more than just teaching children.  “The main purpose right now”,  says Dr. Hakan Yavuz, a Turkish-born assistant professor at the University of Utah’s Middle East Center, “is to show the positive side of Islam and to make Americans sympathize with Islam.” [12]

References:
[1] http://turkishinvitations.weebly.com/ethics-concerns-public-officials-turkey-trips.html
[2] http://turkishinvitations.weebly.com/investing-in-us-politicians.html
[3] http://www.investigativeproject.org/documents/misc/20.pdf
[4] http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/04/world/europe/04turkey.html
[5] http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/02/25/whats_really_behind_turkeys_coup_arrests

[6] http://tribune.com.pk/story/196723/turkey-back-in-the-muslim-world

[7] http://www.aina.org/news/20110710160625.htm

[8] http://www.khouse.org/articles/2011/971/

[9] http://www.aina.org/news/20110710160625.htm

[10] http://www.eurasianet.org/node/66364

[11] http://articles.philly.com/2011-03-20/news/29148147_1_gulen-schools-gulen-followers-charter-schools

[12]http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/07/education/07charter.html?_r=2&adxnnl=1&pagewanted=2&adxnnlx=1346341199-LaaU7ico1GP/Rt0X2qFILw

[13]   http://www.kurdishaspect.com/doc043011am.html

[14] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktl–IDnM7I

[15]  http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2015/10/29/turkish-faith-movement-secretly-funded-200-trips-lawmakers-and-staff/74535104/

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The Curious Case of Kansas, Azerbaijan, and the Turkish Connection

15 02 2015

Not long ago I wrote a post that included a few paragraphs about the Armenian Genocide  of 1914-15 in which about 1.5 million Armenian Christians were slaughtered, along with 1 million Greek and 300K Syriac Christians, by Turkish and Ottoman Kurdish forces.  By 1923, most of the survivors had been displaced, running for their lives, or in deportation pogroms.

It was a true genocide,   perpetrated by Muslim Turks seeking to eliminate the Armenian and other Christian/ethnic  groups  in the region.

Turkish Ottoman Interior Minister Mehmet Talat Pasha is on record ordering, “Their [Armenians] existence must come to an end, however tragic the means may be; and no regard must be paid to either age or sex, or to conscientious scruples.”   Turkey’s government still refuses to recognize the holocaust perpetrated by its own early 20th century governments, initiating the bloodiest century in world history and has banned books discussing the matter and continues its denial.

Armenia has been relegated to a small sliver of mostly mountainous country less than 12,000 sq miles sandwiched between Turkey, Iran, and Azerbaijan, with Georgia (now Russian) on the north in a region which was part of the old Soviet Union, and had been unstable for several years following USSR’s dissolution in the ‘80’s.

Modern Armenia, population 3 million, has good foreign relations with pretty much everyone other than its Turkic neighbors (Turkey and Azerbaijan) who have blockaded the Armenians for 20 years following a hot war, and has a security relationship with Russia for protection against its two hostile neighbors.  It continues an armed standoff in Nagorno-Karabakh (NK)   a small province of Armenian enclave between Armenia proper and Azerbaijan.  In 1988 NK had voted to either merge with Armenia or declare independence from Azerbaijan.  They warred for 2 years, leaving Armenia in control of NK, and Azerbaijan unwilling to let it go.  Russia had brokered the cease fire, which thus far has held, and was also key in Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh’s survival as sovereign states.

Armenia and NK had fielded a combined force of about 20,000 with support of materials and Russian troops against Azerbaijan’s combined allied forces of 64,000 including Chechen and Afghan Mujahideen (Islamic Holy Warriors), Turks, and a Turkic Nationalist terrorist group known as “The Grey Wolves” (responsible for the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul in 1981).  It was a deadly war with Azerbaijan’s allied force losing about 5 for every 1 Armenian lost.  While sniper fire is still felt along the lines, the Armenian populous of the defacto Nagorno-Karabakh Republic  is hoping to hold NK long enough for a new generation of Azeri to refuse to fight any longer, and they continue to develop as a free and independent state.

Oil and gas rich Azerbaijan is busy enjoying its developing wealth and may indeed one day, refuse to return to the fight, but as long as friend Turkey continues to remind them of those “evil” Armenians, the fires of hatred are not likely to burn out.

The Turkish Delegation have been busy since at least 2002 conducting public relations programs across the United States, working to win the “hearts and minds” of American civil servants at all levels, from local city councils and police and fire departments, to state Legislators, sheriff’s offices, and local FBI offices.  They extend an invitation to an awards dinner, then present the targeted individual or group with some award concerning community relations.  They normally operate through a local Turkish organization such as Raindrop Turkish House or other TCAE (Turquoise Council of American Eurasians) affiliates.  All these organizations are associated with Fethullah Gulen, the Turkish Imam who lives in Pennsylvania. They have a growing number of Turkish Charter Schools (146) around the USA, and continue to expand that movement, lobbying state legislators.  During the legislative session these groups will host a “Legislative Reception” or “breakfast” where elected officials are enticed with Turkish food, culture and entertainment.  They are then encouraged to join the hosts for a “trip of a lifetime” to their home country of Turkey, (or Azerbaijan) usually about 10 days, expenses paid of course.   These Turkish emissaries then continue to bring resolution after resolution into legislatures of many states which either praise Azerbaijan or subtly condemn Armenia, or seek to expand current relations with the Turkish government itself.  Check your state legislature and most likely you’ll find them there.

“To date, more than 6000 Americans have traveled to Turkey at the invitation of Hizmet institutes and have returned to support the activities of the Turkish immigrant circles.” – Sophia Pandya & Nancy Gallagher-The Gulen Hizmet Movement and Its Transnational Activities

The typical Gulenist trip is 9-10 days.  The costs reported run from $3400-$9,000.  If the average trip runs $5000, Turkish/Gulen organizations have already invested over $30 Million in American politicians from the local, to state, and national levels.  This doesn’t count campaign contributions from these organizations, or individuals within those, of over a million dollars.

Of late the Turks seem more interested in promoting Azerbaijan than Turkey, perhaps due to a lot of attention Turkey has been getting in the media, concerning not only the Islamization of the government, and it’s slow and tepid response against ISIS, but its own continued human rights violations that run smack in the face of the “Friendship Resolutions” that are peddled in state houses around the country.  It may also run parallel to the Fethullah Gulen’s fallout with the Turkish government recently, over accusations of “bugging” of government offices resulting in many of his followers in Turkey being arrested, interrogated or imprisoned along with any other journalists who had been criticizing the Erdogen government.  The interesting thing is that while the Turkish Delegation in America won’t criticize the Turkish government, they remain in full allegiance to Fethullah Gulen, who owns some 20 media outlets and thousands of schools inside Turkey.

Recently Kansas Legislators received an invitation from the Turquois Council of American Eurasians Kansas City affiliate, the Assembly of AFAZ InvitationFriends of Azerbaijan to attend a meeting in the Capital building on February the 25th, 2015, 11am-1pm, to “Remember the Khojaly Tragedy”.  Naturally, curiosity led to some historical research to ascertain why the Turks would be interested in “educating” our legislators with an hour and a half presentation about a battle between the Armenians and the Azer’s.

There are, of course, more than one side to any story, so the best approach is to find out what both sides say, then get some objective reporting on the matter and formulate an educated opinion based on facts available.

The Azer’s and the Turks are calling this Khojaly battle everything from a tragedy, to a massacre, to genocide.  The information surrounding this controversial event is wide and varied, depending on the source, and historical events surrounding the war itself are a bit confusing, as can be many wars.   Suffice to say that Turkey’s persecution and displacement of the Armenians in the early 20th century led to conflicts with the Azeri (also Turkic) which both came under control of the Soviet Union soon thereafter.  Indeed the tensions ran high between the two groups as the Azeri are Muslim (Shiite) and Armenians of course mostly Christian.  The boot of Communism precluded any infighting and promises were made to both Armenia and Azerbaijan that they would each indeed be awarded Nagorno-Kharabak for their cooperation with the Soviets.

After the breakup of the Soviet Union the old conflicts began to re-emerge until NK declared their independence from Azerbaijan in 1988.

The particular event in question, that of Khojaly in February of 1992 resulted in somewhere between 161 and 613 civilian deaths.  That’s quite a difference of account for the numbers used, and likewise the details vary as much.  The loss of civilian life in a war-zone is indeed a tragedy, no matter where, or who the victims are, but this hardly constitutes a “genocide”.  Especially, if the town of 6,000 had been warned the day before the attack, to evacuate, and a safe corridor was available for that purpose.  It should also be noted that Khojaly was home to the only airstrip in the region and was held by Azeri allied forces.

This excerpt from the Human Rights Watch 1993 Report posted on UNHCR (United Nations High Commission for Refugees) website shows that the war had become a smash-mouth affair, with indiscriminate attacks from both sides leading up to Khojaly:

“Whichever side held the strategic advantage in Nagorno Karabakh at any given moment was the one that most egregiously violated the rules of war. While Azerbaijani forces held outposts in Shusha and Khojaly, they pounded the capital of Nagorno Karabakh, Stepanakert, and other Armenian towns and villages with shells and grenades. The indiscriminate shelling and sniper shooting killed or maimed hundreds of civilians, destroyed homes, hospitals and other objects that are not legitimate military targets, and generally terrorized the civilian population. During the winter of 1992, Armenian forces went on the offensive, forcing almost the entire Azerbaijani population of the enclave to flee, and committing unconscionable acts of violence against civilians as they fled. The most notorious of these attacks occurred on February 25 in the village of Khojaly. A large column of residents, accompanied by a few dozen retreating fighters, fled the city as it fell to Armenian forces. As they approached the border with Azerbaijan, they came across an Armenian military post and were cruelly fired upon. At least 161 civilians are known to have been murdered in this incident, although Azerbaijani officials estimate that about 800 perished. Armenian forces killed unarmed civilians and soldiers who were hors de combat, and looted and sometimes burned homes. In its counter offensive, launched in the summer, Azerbaijani forces indiscriminately bombarded Armenian towns and villages from SU-25 aircraft and ground-launched missiles. The Armenian government does not categorize civilian casualties according to the circumstances of their death or injury. Based on interviews conducted in November with more than 50 civilians who were witnesses to or casualties of indiscriminate air bombings, Helsinki Watch estimates that at least 56 civilians were killed as a result of these attacks in August and September alone.

Both sides in the conflict seized and exchanged civilian hostages, and also held corpses hostage, so frequently that the practice became an institution involving private individuals and military and government officials. Both sides held hostages, including women, in prisons or detention centers and distributed hostages as “insurance” among private families whose members were being held by the other side.”

According to British journalist Thomas De Waal the tragedy in Khojaly was a result of a spontaneous, rather than “deliberately planned” action by the Armenians.   Also, noted was that the forces were not acting on orders from the command.

Sadly enough, to coin a cliché, “War is hell”.  A tragedy, indeed.

But Azerbaijani websites such as azerbaijan.az serve as a propaganda tool to absolve Azerbaijan of any wrong doing, playing the victim, while placing all the blame for Khojaly at the feet of Armenia.  Did I mention there were somewhere between 1000-3000 Jihadi mercenaries from Afghanistan and Chechnya fighting with the Azeri’s during the war?  There was also a contingency of Russians fighting with Armenia (the 366th Motor Rifle Regiment) at Khojaly.

I did a bit of checking on the foundation who created the Azerbaijan.az  website, the Heydar Aliyev Foundation.

Heydar Aliyev was the 3rd President of modern Azerbaijan and is known as the “Father of the Azeri Nation”, attaining a cult of personality on par with Kemal Attaturk of Turkey.  The president of Azerbaijan is head of state, while the PM is head of government.  He was successful in establishing an autocratic system which relies heavily on family, clan, oil/gas money and patronage.  After his death, his son was aptly elected to the office and will most likely be there for life, in light of the constitutional amendment that was passed after his re-election in 2008 that eliminated Presidential term limits.  (More in that vein to follow.)

Heydar Aliyev is seen as the name for a street in every town, some  60 museums and centers in the small country, and virtually every major facility in the country from the largest airport to oil refineries, to a major sports complex, and of course the Foundations large and elaborate Cultural Center, an architectural wonder, as are many of the ultra-modern buildings and skyscrapers in the large city of Baku, the pearl of the Caspian Sea.

Aliyev was responsible for developing the petroleum resources and building modern Azerbaijan from the ground up, into what some compare to Dubai.  So, basically, the name Heydar Aliyev is synonymous with Azerbaijan and its government.  The Heydar Aliyev Foundation is at the cutting edge of every aspect of Azeri life, social, economic, academic, and governmental, including worldwide promotion of the country.  The First Lady is in charge of the Foundation.

Her husband, the President of Azerbaijan and son of the late Heydar Aliyev, Ilhem Aliyev, was, prior to following his father’s footsteps into the Presidential mansion, appointed as Vice President of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR), (yes, the state owned oil company), and became a key player in organizing the “Contract of the Century” which brought a dozen Western  and Asian oil developing companies into the country, solidifying its wealth for decades to come.  He was then appointed to the Olympic committee (AZ has bid on the 2020 summer Olympics), and became Prime Minister just a few months before his father stepped down for health reasons and then became President in 2003.

The government has managed to maintain a strictly secular environment, in spite of 85% of the population being Shiite Muslim, the same as their southern neighbor, Iran, with minority populations of Sunni Muslim, various Christian sects, Jewish, and several other minority religions.  Today only 21% of the population profess that religion plays and important role in their personal lives.  It is being touted as a perfect model of coexistence by many Westerners.  So was Turkey for many years.

However, there may be trouble in paradise.  For all its outward sparkle and shine, some of the natives are restless.   Azerbaijan’s human rights record has been called into question on numerous occasions.  Human Rights Watch published violations ranging from corrupt elections, politically motivated prosecutions, prosecution of journalists who favor opposition groups or those who are a little to “investigative”, torture and ill treatment, violation of freedom of association and freedom of peaceful assembly, forced evictions and demolition of property without fair compensation, and so on.  You can check out the HRW 2014 report on Azerbaijan here.

President Ilham Aliyev has been compared to a Mafia crime boss.  Consider the following referenced and footnoted excerpt from Wikipedia:

“In 2012 the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) named Ilham Aliyev Person of the Year (a title bestowed for figuring prominently in 2012 on stories on crime and corruption) after “well-documented evidence” revealed that “his family has secret ownership stakes in the country’s largest businesses including bank, construction companies, gold mines and phone companies”.[40] According to ICIJ latest report, Aliyev’s family has been a shareholder of big offshore companies.[41] As reported by The Washington Post and Mail Online, Aliyev’s two daughters share a property portfolio of about £50 million – across Dubai, Paris and London and Aliyev’s 11-year-old son in Dubai owns “nine waterfront mansions” with a total price of “about $44 million – or roughly 10,000 years’ worth of salary for the average citizen of Azerbaijan”.

And concerning Armenia:

“Aliyev has been cited as calling all Armenian people in the world as the enemies of Azerbaijan, and as regularly threatening to take over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh and the entire Armenian Republic through military force.”  [See full article here]

So let’s review what we have so far-

Azerbaijan is run by an autocratic family who controls just about everything including the banks, the oil, the government, education and the media propaganda machine.  The family run Foundation propagates a favorable narrative to perspective international partners and allies. Not only that but the family’s oil company, SOCAR, through the Turquois Council for American Eurasians (TCAE) a Fethullah Gulen organization, funded and hosted a large-scale lobbying event in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, organized by various other member organizations of the Gulen-affiliated Turkic American Alliance.  The event was billed as the “US-Azerbaijan Convention: Vision for Future” and was held at, you guessed it, the Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center.

According to a Washington Diplomat article posted June of 2013:

“No doubt this was among the biggest concentrations of American political star power ever seen in the Caucasus — 317 delegates from 42 states, including 11 sitting members of Congress and 75 state representatives, not to mention the former governors of New Mexico and Oklahoma as well as three ex-Obama White House insiders: political strategist David Plouffe, former press secretary Robert Gibbs and ex-deputy chief of staff Jim Messina.

In fact, Plouffe, Messina and Gibbs were all called out in a Washington Post story that was published at the height of our trip. The article, “For Obama’s ex-aides, it’s time to cash in on experience,” said all three were given five-figure checks to speak at the forum as part of Azerbaijan’s charm offensive to woo Americans.”  [Washington Diplomat article here]

That same article went on to say that certain media were banned from covering the event.

C.A.S.I.L.I.P.S (Citizens Against Special Interest Lobbying In Public Schools) also reviews the Diplomat article and makes some startling connections between the players mentioned in the article and the Gulen School movement taking place in the United States.  The following excerpt from CASILIPS:

“The Washington Diplomat quoted organizer Kemal Oksuz as stating that “95 percent of [the attendees] received honorariums of $2,500 each. The remaining 5 percent — including Plouffe, Gibbs and Messina — were paid no more than $10,000 or $15,000.”  Luxner’s article then goes on to mention that each participant received “pricey gifts” “including a hand-woven Azeri carpet, an executive briefcase and a set of Czech-made tea glasses….”

“ Kemal Oksuz (a.k.a. “Kevin” Oksuz), the man who organized the convention, is a major player in the US Gulen Movement.  He is a former Executive Director of the Niagara Foundation, which has Fethullah Gulen as its honorary president.  As “Kevin” Oksuz, he was involved in applying for building permits for a complex at 501 Midway Dr in Mt Prospect, Illinois which now houses the Science Academy of Chicago, and is an address that has also been used by the Turkish American Federation of the Midwest, the Turkish American Society of Chicago, Niagara Educational Services, and United Strong Construction.  The latter firm was owed $72,000 by Concept Schools, according to its 2006 IRS Form 990.  Concept Schools manages 27 Gulen charter schools in the Midwest.  Memphis mayor Myron Lowery met “Turkish representatives” Kemal (a.k.a. Mark) Namver and Kemal Oksuz in 2009; Namver has ties to several Texas Gulen charter schools.  Other positions on Oksuz’s resume include Executive Director of the Institute of Interfaith Dialog, CEO of the Gulen Institute, and Vice President of the PTO of Harmony School of Innovation, a Gulen charter school in Houston.  Oksuz is currently director of the Turquoise Council of Americans and Eurasians and he also represents the Assembly of the Friends of Azerbaijan.  Kemal Oksuz’s company TDM (Target Design Management) was the subject of a June 6, 2011 New York Times article on insider deals at Gulen charter schools in Texas.  Oksuz managed to give $13,500 in political contributions in 2012 alone.  In Jan 2011, Oksuz was interviewed along with another high-profile Gulen follower, Yuksel Alp Aslandogan, in a PBS piece on the Gulen Movement.  In July 2011, Today’s Zaman, known to be a media outlet of the Gulen Movement, ran a piece on the Turkey trips organized by Oksuz.”

The Diplomat article gives a quote of $1.5 million as the price tag for the conference.  This includes the aforementioned speaker fees, gifts, and all travel, room, and board for all the attendees.  CASILIPS again asks:

“Where did the $1.5 million come from?  The conference website shows the “organizers” as the Turquoise Council for Americans and Eurasians and the Assembly of the Friends of Azerbaijan.  Listed “sponsors” are SOCAR (the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic), Practical Solutions Group, British Petroleum, Caspian Drilling Company, McDermott, Kellogg Brown & Root,  M-I Swaco, Conoco-Phillips, Chevron, and Azeri M-I Drilling Fluids Ltd.  It cannot be assumed with certainty that all these corporations provided funds, since the Gulen Movement is notorious for stretching the meaning of the word “sponsor” as it seeks to legitimize itself by putting the names or logos of as many respectable organizations as possible on its websites.”

CASILIPS goes on then to expose several ethics violations of elected officials accepting money or gifts from lobbying groups and shows post travel disclosure forms that have apparently been falsified by both the two Congressmen and Kemal Ozkuz, denying he is a lobbyist or a foreign agent of a sponsor of the trip.  [SEE CASILIPS page links and documentation here]

So what has all this to do with a presentation in the Kansas Capital building to Legislators about Khojaly?

To my friends in the Kansas Legislature I would caution this:

First, do not be misled.  Khojaly was not a genocide by any stretch of the imagination.  It was a trajedy, indeed, and could be easily called a massacre allegedly perpetrated by an out of control, emotionally charged contingent acting independently of its own command structure.   Keep the presentation in context with the historical information presented in this article.

Secondly, many of the photos that will probably be included have been shown to be falsified – Oh, they are real photographs; just that some were taken in other places, such as Kosovo in 1999 and attributed to the Khojaly trajedy, in the same manner that HAMAS has done.

Thirdly, do not fail to question why the Turks are so supportive of Azerbaijan, and what is their ultimate objective.  The Turks are in the education business.  They run 146 Charter Schools in the US and are seeking to establish in Kansas.  That is the objective.





Dateline: 11/14/14

20 11 2014

Most news stories have a dateline which includes the date, location, and today the news service which first published the story (Reuters, AP, ect.)
Most important is the publishing date and the location.  This story has several locations, but only one eventful date. Well, technically two dates exactly a hundred years apart.

November 14, 2014

Islamic State Dinar design, 2014 via WSJ

This date passed most Americans by with nothing more than a “TGIF”.  But Islam was celebrating.  Just as it did exactly 100 years prior, on November 14, 1914.  First we’ll look at a few “insignificant” stories that (barely) made the news, all on 11/14/14:

Dateline Iraq: Islamic State leader, “Caliph” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi announces plans for IS (Islamic State) to begin minting  its own official Dinari coinage in various denominations for use across the newly established, and Sharia governed “Caliphate”.

This announcement came within 24 hours of a speech released by al-Baghdadi, wherein he vowed to press on in establishing the Caliphate and fight “to the last man” in order to fulfill Allah’s directive, calling on Muslims everywhere to join the Jihad.  This following rumors that he had been wounded in a coalition force bombing.

According to this USA Today story, the coins carry the words in Arabic: “The Islamic State / A Caliphate Based on the Doctrine of the Prophet.”  Nothing Islamic about that, Mr. Obama.

Dateline Washington DC:  The United States House of Representatives was re-convened by praises given to Allah in the official opening prayer by a New Jersey Imam, Hamad Ahmad Chebli of the Islamic Society of Central Jersey with these words:

“In the name of Allah, the most gracious, the most merciful,” he began. “Praise be to Allah, the cherisher, the sustainer of the world, the most gracious, the most merciful master of the Day of Judgment. Thee do we worship and thine do we seek.”

“Guide us to the safe path,” Chebli continued. “The god of the prophets and the messenger says in the Koran [that] he does not place a responsibility on you greater than you can bear. Everyone will receive the good they have earned and vice versa.”

He then asked that Allah bless and guide Congress. [Courtesy JewsNews]

No, this was not the first time that a Muslim opened Congress in prayer, but it was the first time the name of Allah was invoked, and the first time Quran was quoted in that prayer.  I wonder, when was the last time even a Christian prayer was allowed to invoke the name of Jesus Christ in the US Congress?

Dateline Nigeria:   Boko Haram, the Islamic Terrorist organization who kidnapped 276 schoolgirls from a single town, has now seized control of that town of Chibok, as well as Hong and Gombi as it continues its Jihad to establish Nigeria as an Islamic State.

Dateline Washington:    One hundred and two years ago (1912) the first services were held in Bethlehem Chapel, the first completed portion of the National Cathedral, which incidentally has been the longest construction project in US history, spanning 83 years with the cornerstone laid in the

National Cathedral, Washington DC via Wikipedia

presence of President Theodore Roosevelt (bearing the scripture “The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14)  and the final “finial” placed in 1990 in the presence of President George H W Bush.  The National Cathedral quickly became the center of services of prayer, thanksgiving,  memorials and funerals of Presidents and other state dignitaries, as well as national prayer services such as the 9/11/2001 terrorist attacks on the US.  It has been designated by the United States Congress as a National House of Prayer.

Friday, November 14, 2014 the National House of Prayer became a mosque.  The administrators rearranged furnishings and laid prayer rugs for the 200 Muslim attendees in a fashion where they faced Mecca and did not have to view any Christian icons or symbols while praying to Allah.  How nice.  I am continuing to wait with bated breath the day when a Christian Pastor is invited into a Mosque to preach the Gospel and pray in the name of Jesus Christ!

The service was officiated by South Africa’s ambassador to the US, and Muslim scholar, Ibrahim Rasool.

Dates are not coincidental when it comes to Islam.  Symbolism of events and dates in history are very important and are used often to make a statement.  Take for instance, this date, 11/14/14.

Dateline Constantinople, Ottoman Empire, November 14, 1914:  The Caliph, Sheikh Ul Islam declares Jihad and urges Muslims to take up arms against the European Allies in World War One in its own alliance with Germany.  When the Caliph Mehmet II entered Constantinople in conquest in 1453, after 3 days of butchery, pillage and destruction, he rode to the Hagia Sophia, the greatest church of Eastern Orthodox Christianity, and halted its defacement.  He immediately called for dedicatory prayers and as the Adhan was echoing off the interior walls of the church, it was transformed into a Mosque, as a sign of conquest.  This has historically been the pattern, especially concerning any church of importance or grandeur, to take possession of and declare it a waqf (Islamic possession), which is forthwith and forever Islamic property.  The Grand Mosque of Mecca (The Kaabah), the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, and the Great Cordoba Mosque are all historical examples of this.

Armenian girls crucified by Turks, 1915

In that Fatwa, or declaration of Jihad, the Turkish Caliph Mehmet Ul Islam, outlined the Quranic rules for jihad which were instructions to “take no friends of the Jews or Christians” and “kill them wherever you find them”, driving the infidels from the Land.

In 1914, Turkey was home to about 2 million Armenian Christians, 1.8 million Greeks, and 750K Assyrian (or Syriac Christians).  By 1923, a million Greeks, 300K Syriac’s, and 1.5 million Armenian Christians had been slaughtered by Turkish and Ottoman Kurdish forces.  Most of the survivors had been displaced, running for their lives, or in deportation pogroms.

Ottoman Interior Minister Mehmet Talat Pasha is on record ordering, “Kill every Armenian man, woman, and child without concern.”

Yet, even today Turkey’s government refuses to recognize the holocaust perpetrated by its early 20th century governments, initiating the bloodiest century in world history.  The Turkish government has banned books discussing the matter and continues its denial, with PM Recip Tayyip Erdogen calling for “an impartial study by historians” as to the fate of the Armenian People during WW1.  Maybe we could loan him a few of our “historians” who have revised our own American History for today’s consumption.

While the Pogroms, the “death marches” and the extermination orders began to be fulfilled in 1915, November 14, 1914 was the date of issuance of this official Fatwa which gave not only official authority, but moral prejudicial purpose according to the tenets of Islam, as directed in the Quran and Hadith composing the legal basis of Islamic Jurisprudence (Sharia).   It was modeled after the last words of the Prophet Muhammad himself, “O Lord, perish the Jews and the Christians. They made churches of the graves of their Prophets. Beware, there should be no two faiths in Arabia. (Hadith – Muwatta Imam Malik, p. 371)  Stands to reason that the Turkish Caliph would emulate that Prophet above all Prophets, and seek to eliminate all faiths in Turkey, except Islam.

As far as genocides go, the Armenians don’t get much press.  We all have heard of the Jewish Holocaust.  We’ve heard of the short-lived Rwanda genocide where 800,000 were killed in just a couple of months in 1994.  We know of the “Killing Fields” of Cambodia in the late ’70’s when Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge wiped out over 2 million ethnic minorities and anyone who was a threat to the Communist ideology.  Maybe you’ve even heard of the Ukrainian genocide when Stalin starved or executed 7 million, mostly farmers who refused to “Collectivize” after the Communist Revolution formed the USSR, although he was responsible for several genocides that never made Western attention.

But the Armenian genocide continues to resonate for the United States and other Western nations who are increasingly faced with Islamic infiltration and confrontation.   It is amazing how the Turkish Delegation continues to work effectively in statehouses around the United States, with little or no resistance.  Turkey’s “cold war” on Armenia continues, even though Armenia has been relegated to a small sliver of mostly mountainous country less than 12,000 sq miles sandwiched between Turkey, Iran, and Azerbaijan, with Georgia on the north in a region which was part of the old Soviet Union, and had been unstable for several years following USSR’s dissolution.  Modern Armenia, population 3 million, has good foreign relations with pretty much everyone other than its Turkic neighbors (Turkey and Azerbaijan) who have blockaded the Armenians for 20 years following a hot war, and has a security relationship with Russia for protection against its two hostile neighbors.

Meanwhile, the Turks are busy conducting public relations programs across the United States, working to win the “hearts and minds” of American civil servants at all levels, from local city councils and police and fire departments, to state Legislators, Sheriffs offices, and local FBI offices.  They extend an invitation to an awards dinner, then present the targeted individual or group with some award concerning community relations.  They normally operate through a local Turkish organization such as Raindrop Turkish House or other TCAE (Turqoise Council of American Eurasians) affiliates.  Most, if not all these organizations are associated with Fethullah Gulen, the Turkish Imam who lives in Pennsylvania. They have a growing number of Turkish Charter Schools around the USA, and continue to expand that movement, lobbying state legislators.  Every legislative session these groups will host a “Legislative Reception” where elected officials are enticed with Turkish food, culture and entertainment.  They are then encouraged to join the hosts for a “trip of a lifetime” to their home country of Turkey, usually about 10 days, expenses paid of course.   These Turkish emissaries then continue to bring resolution after resolution into legislatures of many states which either praise Azerbaijan or condemn Armenia, or seek to expand current relations with the Turkish government itself.  Check your state legislature and most likely you’ll find them there.

The Kansas Legislature has dealt with a couple of these resolutions.  The first was a blatant attempt to deceive lawmakers into passing a “Turkish-Kansas Friendship Resolution” which was fraught with false claims of Turkey’s great human rights policies.  That was an embarrassment to our Turkish “friends” in attendance, being refused before it even came to a vote, so the next attempt was to get a Representative to carry a pro-Azerbaijan resolution the next year.

[Now Kansas has a long-standing mutually beneficial relationship with Armenia.  In 2003, The Republic of Armenia signed a bilateral affairs agreement with the U.S. Department of Defense and the state of Kansas establishing the Kansas-Armenia State Partnership Program, which includes services and training in a number of security and strategic defense issues including counter-terrorism.  Armenian troops have also served in Iraq and Afghanistan as part of the international Coalition Forces against Islamic Terrorism.]

Off floor debate and discussion became quite controversial once again, and one Kansas Democrat Representative who had just recently returned from one of those junkets to Azerbaijan and sponsored the resolution was overheard saying of the Armenians, “Those people don’t matter and their land is just desert”!  The Turks and the Azerbaijani’s had done their job well, but the resolution failed to accomplish the desired outcome, prompting two of the same sponsors to bring a pro-Armenian Resolution immediately.

The Armenians are a tough, resilient people.  For centuries they have been the subject of pogroms, genocide, persecution and wars.  They are a Christian culture on the border between atheism and Islam.  They are an ancient people with a proud heritage and an uncertain future in a part of the world where nothing is taken for granted.  Today they face the additional threat of the Islamic State, or the latest Caliphate, who has already targeted Armenians in Iraq and Syria.  American politics notwithstanding, the Armenian people will likely remain when the American people are scattered.

I have attached a short video of one Armenian-American family’s story.  Please take a look and reflect.  The world is not what it seems.  Coincidence, or political statement?





More Dangerous than bin Laden? Protestors to Descend on Gulen’s Mountain Fortress in Pennsylvania

30 08 2013

I have been writing about Fethullah Gulen on this site for a few years now, just recently including an article about a recent demonstration organized by Armagan Yilmaz, one of many Turkish-Americans who were trying to attract some media light on the Gulen (Islamist) agenda here at The Protest That Wasn’t , which was overshadowed by the trial of George Zimmerman.
Thanks to The Counter Jihad Report, included on my blogroll at right, for posting this article by Dr. Paul Willams.

For other background and history on Fethullah Gulen and the Turkish Islamist movement see my 3 part series
“Turkish Connection”.





The Protest That Wasn’t (…in the News)

18 07 2013

While all of America’s Mainstream Media (MSM) outlets had their cameras trained on the George Zimmerman trial in Florida awaiting the jury’s decision, and just a few hours before Americans across the country streamed into the streets in protest of that verdict, there was another protest under way in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania.

130 people, many of Turkish origin or Turkish descent, were protesting Fethullah Gulen, an Islamic cleric, who came to the US in the late ’90’s to escape the then secular government who wanted him for sedition. Gulen had been arrested and served jail time previously for the same charge many years prior.  I have written a series called “Turkish Connection”  which give some background and history on Turkey’s once secular government established by Kemal Attaturk in the early 1920’s, which has now been Islamized since Gulen’s AKP party took control of the Parliament  in 2007 and both the President and Prime Minister are AKP as well.  Charges were dropped against Gulen in 2008.

637px-OttomanEmpireIn1683

(You may have heard of the recent protests in Istanbul and Ankara which have lasted for weeks and still continue in some degree, regardless of lack of American media attention, to protest Erdogen’s Islamist government which is dragging the country back under Sharia Law.)

You see, up until WW1 the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) dominated all the Middle East and was the seat of the Islamic Caliphate.  The Islamists are now in power in government once again and want it back!

fethullah-gulen

Fethullah Gulen

 

Fethullah Gulen has been very influential in the Islamist movement in Turkey, in spite of his residence in the US for the last 14 years.  He owns many media outlets there and organized and established many schools there. But his influence does not stop in Turkey.  He has established a plethora of Turkish groups and charter schools in the United States as well as many other countries.  This excerpt from a previous article I wrote in 2010:

“The Gulen Institute, Institute of Interfaith Dialog, Turquoise Center, and more locally the Raindrop Turkish Houses, along with others either directly or indirectly affiliated with Gulen have, as their apparent mission, to seek out leadership positions and officials at all levels of government and shape bonds of friendship and trust by providing a myriad of social functions from breakfasts to award dinners, to summit meeting with dignitaries and civil servants alike. One of the frequent provisions to these folks is the all expense paid trip to Turkey for the official and family members for a vacation of a lifetime. Some elected Kansas legislators recently returned from one such junket.

On the world stage, the Institute has hosted many high profile names such as James Baker, Kofi Annan, Madeline Albright, and received praise from Bill and Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, and others.

FGC (Fethullah Gulen Community) built and runs hundreds of schools and seven universities around the world. Just one phalanx of what is known as “education jihad”, these schools mainly focus on secondary and college level students, imposing and inciting discipline and good social order, (that’s all good, but…) all the while extolling the virtues of the Islamic religion. This is a calculated effort and will indeed have huge effects on American culture and society in a generation or two. There are currently 130 such schools inside the United States.” 

These are mostly, if not all, in the form of charter schools, utilizing US taxpayer money for funding scattered across 26 states.  Other funding comes from international foundations such as Cosmos Foundation, based in India and according to this article in the NY Times, contracts for building them mount into the scores of millions of dollars for contractors, many with roots in Turkey.  Many of these schools, such as the 42 in Texas, operate under the Harmony Public Schools name.  Several of these schools have fallen under Federal investigation for misuse of funds.   The teachers are also Turkish and come here on H1B visa’s specifically to teach in Gulen’s schools.

The Saylorsburg protests were reported only locally as in the Pocono Record:

“Protesters came from across the U.S. to draw attention to Gülen’s residence in Saylorsburg. He is a polarizing figure in Turkey whom critics accuse of trying to turn the country into an Islamic regime from a secular democracy.

Men, women and children waved Turkish flags, often emblazoned with the face of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, founder of the republic and secular hero in Turkey. Some also held American flags and posters with slogans in English and Turkish.

“USA wake up, sharia is here,” read one, warning of sharia law. “Stop stealing our taxes for your jihad,” another said.

Birgul Oncu, of New York, said she hoped the protest would make Americans more aware of who Gülen is and his influence in Turkey and in America through charter schools affiliated with the Gülen movement…

Protesters said they were in favor of a secular Turkey, and in solidarity with protesters on the streets of major Turkish cities over the last few weeks who have criticized Turkey’s leader for what they see as an Islamization of the country.

Huriye Altan, of Long Island, said she is an American citizen of Turkish origin whose husband fought in the Vietnam War. She said the protesters were not anti-American, but fighting what she said is Gülen’s misuse of tax dollars from charter schools connected with the Gülen movement…

Ersin Bayraktar said he came with family from New York City and is an American citizen.  “He is trying to control the politics and the future of Turkey,” he said. “And he is using our country, the United States, as his base.”

Armagan Yilmaz, who organized the protest, led Turkish chants and held up posters of young people he said had been killed by forces under Gülen’s control.”

The commanding State Police officer at the protest commented of his appreciation for the peaceful attitude of the group, and one protester thanked the officer for the troopers’ attitude saying “In Turkey the police are violent”.

You can read the entire story in the Pocono Record and view accompanying photos here.  H/T Pocono Record and H/T Creeping Sharia





Barack Obama: Foreign Policy Disaster

1 07 2013

Just a short two years after President Obama stepped into Egypt’s political theater supporting the ousting of Hosni Mubarak, his choice for President of Egypt is now being asked to leave.

Exactly a year ago the President called the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate, Muhammed Morsi, to congratulate him on his win in the election replacing former President Mubarak.  Mubarak was no friend to the Muslim Brotherhood, same as his predecessors dating back to Nassar who actually had Brotherhood members arrested, executed, or run out of Egypt after their failed attempt to assassinate him.  Anwar Sadat was not so lucky, being killed by Brotherhood members within his own army in 1981.

Yesterday, June 30, estimated “millions” of Egyptians flooded the streets of Cairo and other cities to tell Morsi to “Get Out”.  This follows a year of increasing Islamist governmental oppression foisting Sharia Law upon the citizens of Egypt and failure to improve economic conditions, and persecution of those who speak out against Islamism including the Coptic Christians, secularists, and “moderate” Muslims alike.  At the time of this writing there were 7 dead, 253 injured in Sunday’s rallies, and protesters had set the MB Headquarters afire, while President Obama has steadily increased Brotherhood access to American Government agencies since his own election in 2008.

Obama, along with most of the Western media dhimmi’s, where touting the “Arab Spring” of 2011 as the new era of freedom, giving both moral support and/or military aid to the

H/T @skytwitius via twitter

Protesters in Egypt 6/30/13 H/T @skytwitius via twitter

likes of Islamist MB groups in Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Algeria, Yemen, Bahrain, etc.  Egypt is perhaps the most strategic nation due to proximity to Israel and the Suez Canal, and has, since Anwar Sadat, been an ally to the US.  The people of Egypt may be rethinking that association now in light of the fact that Barack Obama has become the first American President in history to support an Islamist government regime for Egypt.

The now laughable “Red Line” threat to Syria and ensuing policy there has led to further erosion of American standing in the Middle East.  Now the US Government (including Dem/Rep Congress) is on record as supporting and arming Islamist radicals who butcher their foes like pigs and eat their organs raw, and beheading others including a Catholic Priest.  Not sure how we got to the point that the Russian President Vladimer Putin is questioning the American choice to support such barbarism, giving our arch-rival the high moral ground on the global stage.  I do not advocate supporting Assad but since we waited so long to see where the Muslim Brotherhood was going to be on Syria, can’t we just stay the hell out of one of these?  Israel can take care of itself, and would probably feel much more secure with out this Administration constantly creating “situations” for them.  We already have a thousand Marines in Northern Jordan as “advisers” and Obama just recently deployed 400 US Army troops to Egypt, trained in “riot control”.  The US has an additional 400 troops in Turkey manning Patriot missile batteries along the Syrian border.

Just a few days ago Turkey’s PM Erdogen pulled the rug out from under the Obama plan to channel weapons through Turkey to the Syrian rebels by shutting that corridor down.  Erdogen told Obama he was afraid of retribution from the Russians if he continued to allow aid to the Syrian Rebels.  From DEBKAfile:

“Until now, the Erdogan government was fully supportive of the Syrian opposition, permitting them to establish vital command centers and rear bases on Turkish soil and send supplies across the border to fighting units. He has now pulled the rug out from under their cause and given Assad a major leg-up

This about-turn is a strategic earthquake – not just in terms of the Syrian war but also for the United States and, as time goes by, for Israel too.”

Iraq has devolved into Shia vs. Sunni sectarian violence since US withdrawal, leaving its government questionable.  We will be completely withdrawn from Afghanistan by the end of next year, currently holding “talks” with Taliban leaders there.  Are we that naive to believe the Taliban will simply put their AK’s down and leave the villagers to go back to growing poppies?  (Sometimes I think the reason we invaded Afghanistan was to get the product from those poppies and distribute it to Washington.  They sure act like they’re stoned out of their gourds up there!) Saudi Arabia now has free access to any airport in the US; Unlimited flights with DHS deferring to the Saudi government to screen those travelers to the US.

Today, since the “Arab Spring” began, the Muslim Brotherhood has gained control of much of North Africa, bringing their chartered goal of the “Khalifa” (Islamic Caliphate) much closer to fruition.  MB continues its efforts in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria, working toward the caliphate.  Turkey’s Islamist AKP (Justice and Development Party) Government wants the Caliphate, which until 1922 had been held by the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) for 500 years.  The Saudi’s want the Caliphate, which according to Sharia Law is the common directive to every Muslim.  The Saudi King, after all, is charged with advancing the Islamic religion to the world. He is the keeper of the faith and protector of the Kaaba, in Mecca, the most holy site in Islam.  The Saudi Flag bears the “Shahada” declaration of faith, “There is but one god Allah, and Muhammad is his Prophet” along with the sword of Islam.

For all practical purposes, it would appear that the US President also wants the caliphate.  Vladimer Putin, however, does not want the caliphate.  He understands that a unified Islamic Caliphate will command the petroleum reserves of the entire Middle East, not to mention strategic and commerce lanes.  He also understands that Syria is the keystone in forming that confederacy.  And don’t forget Iran!

Will the Syrian civil war ultimately lead to Russia becoming militarily engaged bringing Iran and Turkey against Israel, at the end of the day?

This chessboard is looking more like Ezekiel 38 every day.  Is this American President helping to bring it?

His policies are setting the Middle East on fire.





“The Future Must Not Belong to Those Who Would Slander the Prophet of Islam”

1 10 2012

“The future must not belong to those who would slander the prophet of Islam.”

A friend had called and told me of this quote by the President of the United States and I must admit, I did not believe it.  This friend calls me often to discuss world events and usually has his facts right.  He is the only person I know who can read a newspaper, listen to the television, and carry on a coherent conversation all at the same time, and tell you detailed information from all three sources.  I am jealous!

I asked him to see if he could confirm that with another source while I began to research myself.  A news break confirmed it, and I still couldn’t believe it!  I began to text a few close and trusted friends who hadn’t yet heard it.  Then a while later they began texting back that “…Obama also spoke against violence against Christians.”  So I watched the entire speech at the UN myself. Then again.  And finally a third and fourth time, rewinding and replaying several key points.  So here is my analysis of Barack Obama’s speech before the UN General Assembly on Sept. 25, 2012.

The underlying theme of the entire speech was “Tolerance”.  This should not surprise anyone, anywhere, as it is the prevailing theme of Leftist/Progressive/Socialist ideology around the world, particularly in the West.  The only problem with those who preach tolerance, is they aren’t.  Most of the time when someone demands your tolerance of something be it speech, morality, or behavior, is not asking for your mere “tolerance” of them, but demand your codification of whatever it is. But I digress!

While the “overt” theme was tolerance and “mutual respect”, the main subject matter related directly to the stupid little Youtube video which made fun of Muhammad and Islam.  It looked like something high school kids might come up with. Very poorly done and amateurish.  I question not only the source of production, but also the fact that United States Government officials are bending over backwards to disavow the stupid thing.  As Shakespeare would say, “Methinks he doth protest too much”.

The President did the right thing by formally paying tribute to Ambassador Chris Stevens killed by terrorists in Benghazi, Libya.  Next he posed a valiant effort in standing up for freedom of speech, especially as we know and understand it in America, while recognizing that “not all countries” share our belief in free speech.

Mr. Obama then addressed the violent reactions to the video, blaming the actions of a few backward extremists for the attacks and calling them to leave the cause of violence  and politics of destruction behind and join with us to create a better future….Kumbayah!  Oh, I have no problem with what he said, and he said it well, but either his naivety or his chronic narcissism has clouded his view of the real world.  Especially, the Islamic world.  You see, these “extremist impulses” which “divide the world into us and them”, are part and parcel of the Sharia which all Muslims are obligated to establish so that there is no more “us and them”; that is Dar al-Harb (“House of War”-anywhere that is not under Islamic control) has been absorbed by Dar al-Islam  (“House of Submission”) and “Allah’s religion shall reign supreme!” (Quran 8:36)

No Mr. President, this violent Islamic extremist activity has been going on now for over 14 centuries, and will not ever cease until the 2nd Coming of Christ!  It is not the result of the infidel Americans casting aspersions upon the “prophet”, nor the result of American or even Western intervention in Islamic lands or Colonialism of 3 centuries gone by.  It has been going on since the “Prophet” was exiled from Mecca in 623 AD!

Back to the speech.  Nearly 20 minutes into the speech, Mr. Obama began a series of comments about “the future”.   Now, lest I be accused of taking the lead quotation out of context, I will include the whole of these comments here in block quotes and follow each phrase with commentary in [brackets].

The future must not belong to those who target Coptic Christians in Egypt, it must be claimed by those in Tahrir Square who chanted ‘Muslims/Christians, We are One!’.

[I have no problem with this statement and commend the President for drawing attention to the Coptic’s plight at the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood.]

The future must not belong to those who bully women, it must be shaped by girls who go to school, and those who stand for a world where our daughters can live their dreams just like our sons.  [Again, the words of the President are spot on.]

The future must not belong to those corrupt few who steal a country’s resources, it must be won by the students and entrepreneurs, the workers and business owners who see a broader prosperity for all people. Those are the women and men that America stand with. Theirs is the vision we will support.  [Not quite sure what Mr. Obama is driving at here but will assume that he is speaking to historic European Colonialism.]

The future must not belong to those who would slander the prophet of Islam. But, to be credible, those who condemn that slander must also condemn the hate we see in the images of Jesus Christ that are desecrated,  or churches that are destroyed, or the Holocaust that is denied.  [I want to come back to this!]

Let us condemn incitement against Sufi Muslims, and Shia Pilgrims.  [Let’s do that!]

It’s time to heed the words of Gandhi, “Intolerance is itself a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit.” [Gandhi also said, “A religion which takes no account of practical affairs and does not help to solve them is no religion.”]

In analyzing this portion of the speech, which in my opinion was the most interesting, I consulted with an attorney friend of mine.  As we went through the points about “The future must not belong to _____”, she brought to my attention that each of the crimes pointed out; violence/assault/murder (specifically here against the Copts) against any  people, beating/bullying women, stealing, these are all crimes recognized quite objectively by any legal system.

Slander on the other hand, i.e. “The future must not belong to those who would slander the Prophet of Islam.”, is quite subjective and as Muhammad has been dead for, well a long time, a dead man cannot be slandered or defamed.  Especially under American jurisdiction, where an opinion is freely expressed about anything or anyone.  Free Speech according to our First Amendment of the Constitution.  Legally, a plaintiff charging slander must prove in court that he/she has been defamed by the defendant at a personal cost, be it economic or social.  Muhammad cannot do that and since no one is alive who actually knew him to speak on his behalf, the charge is not provable.  If I call Muhammad a pedophile I am not slandering, because he actually had sexual intercourse with a 9 year old girl, molesting her much earlier at the age of 6.  If I call him a robber and a thief, I am not slandering because his raids of caravans are documented.  If I call him demon possessed, I am not slandering because Muhammad himself thought he was demon possessed and contemplated suicide.  If I call him an idiot, that is my opinion, and as such that is all it is worth.  Sharia cannot stand either historical fact or the opinion of a dissident!

Only under Islamic Law, ala the Sharia, can someone be charged with slander by criticizing Muhammad, or Islam, or even Muslims.  In America you can criticize any religious figure, book, government official, teacher, neighbor, or family member without fear of retribution.  It is an essential and inherent right, and the Founders understood freedom of speech to be so, in order to arrive at the truth of any matter and specifically to maintain personal liberty without fear of an oppressive governmental authority.  In Islam, Sharia is the government.

The other thing about this sentence in Mr. Obama’s speech is this.  This is a stand alone statement.  Anything that he adds afterward is merely window dressing, but taken at face value, all he is saying here is “if you condemn the slander of Muhammad you must also condemn hate.”  Hate, which presumably results in actions of desecration of icons, destruction of churches, or denying the Holocaust.  So are we to simply condemn the hate and not the action, or should we include hate as a crime, or what about prosecuting those who actually committed the crimes of destruction of property or causing personal injury?

Sometimes I wonder what planet these ideologues come from where they deny basic human instinct and behavior!  They never consider that aspect of human nature which, as fallen from the original state of Creation, is selfish, driven by his own lusts, and violent.  In the Psalms, King David writes the rhetorical question, “Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?”  The answer of course is “Because they are heathen and people are vain!”   But David says it better, “The kings of the Earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying, ‘Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.'”  Rebellion against God always results in destruction, whether personal, or national, or cultural.  Islam has chosen another god from the God of the Bible and the result is darkness, blood and pain, not only for those who are in it, but now it has come to all the world.

Barack Obama’s eloquent speech was just so much white noise in the chambers of the UN General Assembly.  Immediately following Obama, Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari demanded insults to religion be criminalized.  Over a dozen people were killed there in protests against the film, while they burned President Obama in effigy.  “The international community must not become silent observers and should criminalize such acts that destroy the peace of the world and endanger world security by misusing freedom of expression,” he said.

Mohamed Mursi, the new Muslim Brotherhood President of Egypt echoed that sentiment on Wednesday.  “Egypt respects freedom of expression, freedom of expression that is not used to incite hatred against anyone,” he said. “We expect from others, as they expect from us, that they respect our cultural specifics and religious references, and not impose concepts or cultures that are unacceptable to us.”

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said it was time to put an end to the protection of Islamophobia masquerading as the freedom to speak freely.

Outside the United Nations in New York, about 150 protesters demanded “justice” and chanted “there is no god but Allah” outside the U.N. building on Thursday. One placard read: “Blaspheming my Prophet must be made a crime at the U.N.

Islamic leaders in Dearborn, MI, held a protest on Friday, Sept 28, protesting freedom of speech, demanding laws that criminalize hurting the feelings of Muslims.

Yeah, me too…








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