Wednesday, 02 November 2011

President Obama's Role in the Arab Spring

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Having been officially recognized as a “drive for human rights” by the European Parliament, the movement known as the “Arab Spring” is now extending itself into other nations and being re-branded as the “Arab Winter.”

The boundaries of the Arab Spring are difficult to define precisely. Most reports set the birth of the movement on December 18, 2010. On that date, protests erupted in Tunisia following the self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi, an act taken to draw attention to and protest the corruption of police and the mistreatment of citizens by the same. Emboldened by this uprising, citizens of Jordan, Egypt, Yemen, and Algeria joined in similar protests of government corruption and authoritarianism. 

Libya, as has been well-chronicled, is the latest country to witness the toppling of an autocratic regime. Moammar Gadhafi, the ruler of Libya since taking office in a coup in 1969, was deposed by anti-government rebels on August 23, 2011 and was killed by the transitional governing body of Libya after that group took control of Gadhafi's hometown, where the former dictator was hiding out.

While the spirit of freedom undoubtedly resides in all men, often there is as much to be feared from “democrats” as despots. Tyranny of the many is no less oppressive than tyranny of the few. In the case of the Arab world and the supposed “liberation” of its people that comes with the Arab Spring/Winter, there seems to be as much corruption in the liberators as in the former oppressors whose palaces they now occupy.

Credible investigative reports indicate that there are many Islamic extremists among the claques of democratic leaders now seizing control of the Arab governments that have suffered the Spring. Some describe these self-proclaimed “jihadists” as “Trojan Horses” being led inside the walls of freedom surreptitiously as part of a greater strategy to infiltrate the new regimes and thereby tighten the grip of Islamic militancy throughout the region.

There is evidence that President Obama is aiding and abetting these designing democrats in their quest to expand the scope of Islamic fundamentalism. In Libya, for example, the United States aided the National Transitional Council (NTC) in drafting a pro-Sharia constitution, as well as providing more direct and lethal support of the insurgents in the form of missiles and munitions. 

It is unlikely that the U.S. government’s active participation in and perpetuation of these revolutions will chill as the Arab Spring becomes the Arab Winter. Despite the rhetoric, it is America's own government and agents thereof that have done more than any so-called Islamic extremist to permanently enshrine Sharia as the constitutional law of the land throughout the Muslim world.

Inertia and a lust for power will propel the movement into the remaining nations of the Middle East. In Tunisia, for example, the Ennahdha party, a group ideologically indistinguishable from the Muslim Brotherhood, won 41 percent of the vote in last week's elections, swept into power by a people convinced that they offer reform and renewal. The sobering truth, however, is less ennobling. Reports from that country indicate that the group’s primary aim is to dismantle wholly all vestigial remnants of French civil institutions and laws and replace them with a fundamentalist version of Sharia. 

Egypt soon will follow suit as upcoming elections will see the parliament filled with representatives of the aforementioned Muslim Brotherhood. The intents of that organization are well-known, including its goal of establishing a multinational Islamic caliphate and deliver Cairo into the hands of imams who meet its very strict Sharia-based leadership criteria. There will be no tolerance of dissenting sects or voices, including of the Coptic Christians, who have witnessed the murder of many of their adherents, as well as the burning of their churches and expulsion of more than 100,000 believers. There has been no mention from the professing Christian President of the United States, much less renouncement, of this indefensible pogrom being carried out by this “terrorist organization.”

Not that Americans should be actively engaged in the governing of foreign nations. There is no grant of such authority in the Constitution and therefore such power is reserved to the states and to the people. For example, no constitutionalist would argue that Colonel Gadhafi was worthy of U.S. protection. It will be recalled that he was responsible for the murder of 270 innocent people as a result of the bombing in 1988 of Pan Am Flight 103. He was no friend of freedom. 

That said, however, there is no authority for the overt intervention of the U.S. military in the affairs of those trying to overthrow a dictator. As stated above, the U.S. Constitution is rightly silent on the issue of “foreign entanglements” and, in fact, the father of our country wisely warned his countrymen to avoid such at all costs, while remaining active allies of liberty.

The problem now is that Barack Obama consistently disregards President Washington’s admonition. The military might of the United States has been placed at the disposal of “freedom fighters” throughout the Middle East, and the talent and treasure of the United States of America are being spent to arm, train, and finance the nascent Libyan army — an army that is peopled with recruits from the very insurgent forces that have for over a decade killed American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

And, more urgently, what has become of the more than 20,000 surface-to-air missiles that have gone missing from the former Libyan regime’s arsenal? Can the newly minted masters of Tripoli be trusted to account for those weapons and not use them to carry out their repression of those opposed to their policies?

Answers to these questions may be found in the clauses of the recently drafted constitution likely to become the law in Libya.

Now that the U.S. military, under the auspices of NATO, has “liberated” Libya, that country is on a path to become the third such nation to establish Sharia as the principal basis for all future constitutional legislation.

With the pen of power placed in their hands by the armed forces of the United States, the members of the Libyan Transitional National Council (TNC) have released a draft of a proposed new constitution that enumerates Islamic Sharia law as its foundation. 

Sharia, which means “path” in Arabic, is the sacred law of Islam. The precepts of Sharia have two sources: the Koran and the writings of Mohammed. Sharia is the code that is responsible for the stoning of adulteresses; the caning of rape victims; and the restrictions on dress, rights of inheritance, and marital status of women.

The irony of the situation was elegantly described by one writer thus:

The rebels openly acknowledge that their ideological soul mates are members of the Muslim Brotherhood, not America’s Founding Fathers. Contrary to Mr. Obama’s spin, George Washington has not crossed the Mediterranean. Instead, the Prophet Muhammad has — paid for by U.S. taxpayers and backed by U.S. bombs. The Muslim crescent is on the march.

In a recent appearance on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, President Obama glowed as he lauded his role in bringing down Gadhafi and laying down cover fire for the rebels that now govern that nation. Said the President, “but I think it [the killing of Gadhafi] obviously sends a strong message around the world to dictators that people long to be free, and they need to respect the human rights and the universal aspirations of people."

And, the logical inference of President Obama’s statement would be that the armed forces of the United States will continue to deliver that message in the form of missile strikes and aided assassinations. All the while, the Constitution and its enumeration of limited powers is found buried among the rubble of regime change.

As the writer quoted above said:

Like emperors in the final days of Rome, our leaders can pretend that the barbarians pose no imminent threat. Everyone knows, however, that Mr. Obama is simply managing America’s decline. 

Photo: AP Images

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