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Brigitte Gabriel: Open Letter to Obama

Brigitte Gabriel was born in Lebanon to Christian parents in 1965.  Only 10 years old at the beginning of the Lebanese Civil War, she learned first-hand what it’s like to be a victim of Islamic militants.  As a child, she was spent months in a hospital recovering from wounds suffered at the hands of militants who destroyed everything her family owned.  She survived and emigrated to the US in 1989 where she founded a television production company.  Following the 9/11  attacks by radical Muslim terrorists, she founded American Congress for Truth, an organization which seeks to educate the public to the constant threat to the US and the West by radical Islam in the hopes those threatened will recognize and defend against these dangerous zealots.

The following is her response to President Obama’s speech to the Muslim world, in which she refutes the President’s version of the history of US-Muslim tensions.

An Open Letter to President Obama

by Brigitte Gabriel

Dear Mr. President,

You face difficult challenges in matters such as achieving peace in the Middle East and protecting America from the threat of radical Islam and terrorism. These are challenges that have vexed past presidents, going as far back as our second president, John Adams. I have no doubt you appreciate both the gravity of these challenges and the enormous obstacles that exist to solving them.

I also have no doubt that you and your staff understood that, no matter what you said in your speech last Thursday in Cairo, there would be those who would take issue with you. That is always the case when attempting to solve problems that are as deep and emotionally-laden as these challenges are.

I am assuming it is your sincere hope that the approach you have chosen to take, as evidenced by what I’m sure was a carefully crafted speech, will ultimately prove successful. However, it pains me to say this sir, but, while you said in your speech that you are a “student of history,” it is abundantly clear that, in these matters, you do not know history and thus, as Santayana noted, you are doomed to repeat it. In doing so your efforts, however well-intentioned they may be, will not produce what you profess to hope they will produce.

A wise man once said that if you start with the wrong assumptions, no matter how logical your reasoning is, you will end up with the wrong conclusion. With all due respect Mr. President, you are starting with certain assumptions that are unsupported by history and an objective study of the ideology of political Islam.

You began in your speech by asserting that “tensions” exist between the United States and Muslims around the world, which, of course, is correct. Unfortunately, you then proceeded, incorrectly, to lay virtually all the blame for these tensions at the feet of America and the West. You blamed western colonialism, the Cold War, and even modernity and globalism.

A student of American history, who is not trying to reconstruct it to fit a modern politically correct narrative, would state that tensions between America and Muslims began with the unprovoked, four-decades long assault by the Muslim Barbary pirates against American shipping in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. I find it telling that you mentioned the Treaty of Tripoli in your speech but ignored the circumstances that led to it. That treaty was but one of numerous attempts by the United States to achieve peace with the jihadists of the Barbary Coast who were attacking our shipping and killing and enslaving our citizens and our soldiers – and who by their own admission were doing so to fulfill the call to jihad.

These jihadists were not acting to protest American foreign policy, which was decidedly isolationist, and there was no state of Israel to scapegoat. They were doing what countless Islamic jihadists have done throughout history – acting upon the hundreds of passages in the Qur’an and the Hadith that call upon faithful Muslims to kill, conquer or subjugate the infidel.

A student of world history would know that, for all the acknowledged evils of Western colonialism, these evils pale in comparison to the nearly 14 centuries of Islamic colonialism that began in Arabia under the leadership of Mohammed. The student of history would know that Islamic forces eradicated all Jewish and Christian presence from Arabia after Mohammed’s death, and then succeeded in conquering all of North Africa, most of the Middle East, much of Asia Minor, and significant portions of Europe and India – eventually creating an empire larger than Rome’s was at its peak.

The number of dead and enslaved during these many centuries of Islamic imperial conquest and colonialism have been estimated to total more than 300 million. What’s more, the wealth of many of the conquered nations and cultures was plundered by the Islamic conquerors, and millions of millions of non-Muslims who did survive were forced to pay onerous taxes, such as the “jizya,” a humiliation tax to the Islamic caliphs. Indeed, in some areas Christians and Jews were made to wear a receipt for the jizya around their neck as a mark of their dishonor.

These facts have not been invented by Christian or Jewish historical revisionists, but were chronicled by Muslim eyewitnesses throughout the past 14 centuries and are available to be researched by any person seeking an objective understanding of how Islam spread throughout the world.

You say in your speech that we must squarely face the tensions that exist between America and the Muslim world. That is a laudable notion with which I agree, but by casting Islam as the historical victim and the West (and by implication, America) as the aggressor, you do not face these tensions squarely, but alleviate the Muslim world from coming to grips with the jihadist ideology embedded in its holy books and acted upon for 1,400 years.

Even worse, you empower and embolden militant Islamists who regard your gestures as signs of weakness and capitulation.

The issue is not that all Muslims are terrorists or radicals or extremists. We all know that the majority of Muslims are not. We also know that many peace-loving Muslims are victims of Islamist violence.

The issue is this: what drives hundreds of millions of Muslims worldwide to call for the death of Jews?

What drives millions of Muslims to riot, destroy property, and take innocent lives in reaction to the Danish cartoons?

What drives tens of thousands of Muslims to demand the execution of a British teacher whose only “crime” was allowing her students to name their teddy bears “Mohammed”?

What drives countless Muslims worldwide to actively participate in, or fund, or provide nurture to, terrorist organizations?

What drives Muslims in mosques in America to proclaim and distribute materials that call for hatred of and the destruction of infidels?

What drives entire Islamic countries to prohibit the building of a Christian church or synagogue?

To assume, as you apparently do, that what drives these actions is not an ideology embedded in the holy books of Islam, but rather other “root causes,” most of which you lay at the feet of America and the West, is at best naïve and at worst dangerous.

Lastly, I must address your statement that “Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance.” Unfortunately, the examples you gave are the exception rather than the rule.

Historically speaking, I seriously doubt the Egyptian Copts, the Lebanese Maronites, the Christians in Bethlehem, the Assyrians, the Hindus, the Jews, and many others who have been persecuted by Islamic violence and supremacism, would agree with your assertion.

For instance, Christians and Jews became “Dhimmis,” a second class group under Islam. Dhimmis were forced to wear distinctive clothing; it was Baghdad’s Caliph Al-Mutawakkil, in the ninth century, who designated a yellow badge for Jews under Islam, which Hitler copied and duplicated in Nazi Germany nearly a thousand years later.

I witnessed first-hand the “tolerance” of Islam when Islamists ravaged my country of birth, Lebanon, in the 1970’s, leaving widespread death and destruction in their wake. I saw how they re-paid the tolerance that Lebanese Christians extended toward them. My experience is not an isolated one. When you make an unfounded assertion about the “proud tradition” of tolerance in Islam, you do a great disservice to the hundreds of millions of non-Muslims who have been killed, maimed, enslaved, conquered, subjugated or displaced – in the cause of Islamic jihad.

Mr. President, those of us like me who are ringing the alarm in America about the threat of radical Islam would like nothing better than to peacefully co-exist with the Muslim world. Most Americans would like nothing better than to peacefully co-exist with the Muslim world. The obstacle to achieving this does not lie with us in America and the West. It lies with the hundreds of millions of Muslims worldwide, including many of their spiritual leaders, who take seriously the repeated calls to jihad in the Qur’an and the Hadith. Who regard “infidels” as inferior and worthy of conquering, subjugating and forcibly converting. Who support “cultural jihad” as a means to subvert non-Muslim societies from within. Who take seriously the admonitions throughout the Qur’an and the Hadith to convert the world to Islam – by force if necessary – and bring it under the rule of Allah.

Unless you are willing to courageously and honestly accept this, your aspirations for worldwide comity and peace in the Middle East are doomed to fail.

Sincerely,

Brigitte Gabriel

June 12, 2009 Posted by | Foreign Policy | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Abbas: “I do not accept the Jewish State.”

President Obama has chosen sides in the quest for peace in the Middle East?  But has he chosen wisely?

Speech of a Muslim cleric who identifies the mosque as a factory for jihadists. Last month.

The supposed moderate Palestinian Authority president and chairman of Fatah, Mahmoud Abbas, made the following statement at a Palestinian Youth Parliament conference:

“I say this clearly: I do not accept the Jewish State, call it what you will.”

In this video at the same conference, Abbas reiterates his refusal to accept a two-state solution:

In the same conference, Abbas was presented with a framed map of “Palestine” that covered the entire state of Israel.

Muslim children have been indoctrinated in their mosques, schools, by their media and leaders to believe that Israel has no right to exist.  In these videos we see this indoctrination is perpetrated by radical and moderate Muslims alike.  Yet, our President has chosen sides in this battle and he’s chosen to be on the side of those who deny Israel has any legitimate right to the Jewish homeland, those who call for the destruction of Israel.

Obama calls for a two-state solution, but refuses to acknowledge that Muslims like Abbas, who’ve formerly stated they’re open to such a solution, continue to fan the flames of hate and discord among their own populations.  Using an old American Indian metaphor, they speak with a forked tongue. 

The simple fact is, Israel’s enemies view Obama’s willingness to abandon the long-time American ally as a further sign of American weakness–and an opportunity to step up their attacks.  Iran continues to pursue nuclear weapons, and just this morning yet another assault on Israel was launched from Gaza.

June 8, 2009 Posted by | Foreign Policy | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Israel knows how to win a war


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Israel continues to pound away at Hamas targets in Gaza while it amasses troops on the border in preparation for a possible ground attack.

The typical response from the international community is coming in as well.  Iran is calling for volunteer Muslims around the world to fight in Palestine.  French President Sarkozy has condemned the Israeli attacks as disproportionate to the Hamas rocket attacks on Israeli civilian targets.  The Egyptian foreign minister referred to Israel’s military response as “blind military action” in the same breath in which he extended his condolences to the Palestinian “victims.”   Protests throughout the Arab world are calling for more agressive action against Israel and America.

Such hypocrisy has come to be expected anytime Israel responds to Palestinian or Arab aggression.  But, Israel knows how to take care of itself.  Since the United Nations created the State of Israel in 1948, the geographically tiny and isolated country has fought and won several wars with its surrounding Arab neighbors.

War of Independence 1947-1949

1947 Boundaries

1947 Boundaries

During the War of Independence from 1947-49, the tiny state fought and defeated an Arab coalition consisting of Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Egypt.  Troops of these nations were supplemented by Palestinian and Sudanese contingents as well.  Over 6,000 Israeli troops lost their lives to defeat the Arab aggressors who greatly outnumbered the fledgling nation’s armed forces.

This was not to be the war to end all wars however, as Israel’s neighbors retreated to lick their wounds and develop new strategies.  During this time, Palestinian terrorism was born as Egypt funded suicide troops who operated from bases in Jordan.  The U.N. Security Council condemned every Israeli response to this terror, but condemnation of the Arab’s who sponsored violence against Israel was blocked by the Soviet Union’s veto.

Sinai Campaign of 1956

In 1956, Israel launched an offensive against Egyptian forces in the Sinai Desert in response to the Arab nation’s stockpiling of Soviet arms in preparation for war against the tiny Jewish state.  When Egytptian President Nasser blockaded the Suez Canal, Britain and France backed the Israeli action.  Israel launched the campaign with paratroops who quickly conquered the Egyptian airfields in the Sinai and cleared the path for Israeli ground forces to march to the Suez Canal.

The United States sponsored a Security Council resolution demanding an immediate withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Sinai that was subsequently vetoed by Britain and France.  The next day, these two countries launched air attacks against Egyptian airfields along the canal allowing Israeli ground troops to pummel their opponents.  These operations resulted in the capture of the Gaza Strip, along with virtually the entire Sinai Desert.  It had taken this tiny, isolated Jewish nation only 8 days to relieve Egypt of the heavily fortified Sinai.

Both the United States and the Soviet Union condemned the Israeli assault and demanded it remove its troops to pre-war borders.  Israel complied after 6 months of negotiations produced a U.N. agreement to take control of the Gaza Strip and station a U.N. Emergency Force in the Sinai to protect Israeli shipping in the Gulf of Aquaba and Suez Canal.

The Arab states were surprised by Israel’s quick victory, but not ready to accept its right to exist.  This war was not yet over.

The Six Day War–1967

Over the course of several weeks in 1967, anti-Israeli rhetoric comprised of threats of annihilation of the small Jewish state was spewed by Arab leaders of Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Yemen, Algeria, and Syria, as well as Palestinian leaders.  This rhetoric was followed by the massing of Arab troops on Israeli borders in the Sinai, the West Bank, and the Golan Heights.  Egypt sent 100,000 troops into the Sinai, blockaded Israel’s southern port, and demanded the withdrawal of the U.N. Emergency Force, while Syria staged its forces in the Golan Heights, and Jordan in the West Bank.

Israel launched a preemptive attack on and quickly crushed Egyptian forces in the Sinai and Gaza.  A Syrian air attack was quashed by the Israelis on the first day of the war.  Jordanian troops then launched an offensive from the West Bank.  After six days of fierce fighting, Israel had routed the Arab forces and expelled them from their staging areas (now known as the Occupied Territories.)

War of Attrition 1968-1970

Egypt, seeking to recapture the Sinai, launched artillery attacks against Israeli Defense Forces on the east bank of the Suez.  Israel responded with a cross border commando attack that knocked out the main source of electricity for Egypt.  President Nasser spent the next few months fortifying strategic targets in Egypt before again escalating the conflict.  In the interim, Israel had refortified its positions along the Suez which came to be known as the Bar Lev Line.

In February 1969, Nasser ordered a massive artillery and air attack against the Bar Lev Line, resulting in heavy Israeli casualties.  Israel again responded with cross border attacks deep into Egyptian territory.  In July, Israel launched a massive air assault that continued into December and destroyed Egyptian anti-aircraft defenses.

With nothing standing between Egypt and the Israeli Air Force, Nasser appealed to the Soviet Union for assistance in the form of arms and troops.  The United States, fearing superpower involvement could lead to a nuclear confrontation, then became involved in cease-fire negotiations and Israel accepted the U.S. brokered cease-fire agreement in July of 1970.

Yom Kippur War 1973

On the holiest day of the Jewish calender, The Day of Atonement–October 6, 1973, this attack caught the Israeli Defense Forces totally off guard and the initial action went heavily for the attacking Syrian and Egyptian forces.  Egypt launched an all out attack on the Sinai coordinated with a similar attack by the Syrians in the Golan Heights.  Israel’s 500 troops in the Suez Canal zone faced an 80,000 strong Egyptian force while 150 Israeli tanks battled 1,400 Syrian tanks in the North.

Though Egypt and Syria bore the brunt of the campaign, they had help from many of Israel’s Arab enemies.  Iraq supplied the Syrian force with 18,000 troops, which were further bolstered by two Jordanian armored brigades.  Libya and Iraq had previously supplied Egypt with Russian-built MIG and French-built Mirage fighter jets which were employed in the campaign.  Saudi Arabia and Kuwait financed much of the operation.  In a sense, Israel was once again fighting the entire Arab world.

Caught totally unaware of the impending attack, the first two days of the war were disastrous for Israel.  Egypt had marched 15 miles into the Sinai and Syria had taken the Golan Heights by the 7th of October.  However, Israel’s geographic disadvantage of being surrounded by its enemies and the numerous wars fought before had left it in a heightened alert status, always ready to respond quickly to enemy activity.

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) were quickly mobilized and reserves called up.  On October 8, this small, isolated Jewish nation lauched a counterrattack that rapidly forced the Egyptian forces back across the Suez and expelled the Syrian forces from the Golan Heights.  The IDF marched to within 65 miles of Cairo and 35 miles of Damascus before a U.N. brokered cease-fire interrupted the Israeli rout of its enemies on October 24.  A peacekeeping force of 1,200 U.N. troops was sent to the Golan Heights and Israel maintained control of the Sinai.

Once again, the outnumbered Israeli forces had defeated a numerically superior force of allied Arab enemies in a few short days.

Operation Peace for Galilee–1982

Palestinian terror groups, most notably the Palestinian Liberation Organization, had sprung up since before the Six Day War and had expanded their base of operations to include southern Lebanon.  Israel had launched smaller scale attacks against these bases prior to 1982, like Operation Litani in 1978 in response to a terror attack on civilian buses that killed 37 and wounded another 76.

In response to an assassination attempt on the Israeli ambassador to Britain in 1982, the IDF once again attacked the terror bases in southern Lebanon.  This time, the mission was expanded an Israel captured the capital city of Beirut.  The Syrians interceded in June.  Though Israel’s success against Syrian ground forces came with a high price, this small Jewish state dominated in the skies.  Syrian anti-aircraft batteries were quickly destroyed which allowed the superior Israeli Air Force to down 29 Syrian aircraft in one day without a single loss of its own.

The Gulf War–1991

During the 1991 Gulf War against Iraq, Israel obliged American requests to not become actively engaged.  However, Saddam Hussein, facing an international coalition devoted to wresting recently conquered Kuwait from Iraqi hands, ordered Scud missile attacks against Israel in an effort to garner support of Arab members of the coalition.  More than 80 Scud missiles resulted in 31 Israeli fatalities.  These Israeli citizens died at the hand of the Arab state of Iraq even though Israel was not in any way involved in the war.

Lebanon/Hezbollah War–2006

By July 2006, the Palestinian terror organization Hezbollah had established bases in Lebanon once again.  An IDF patrol was attacked, inside Israeli territory, by Hezbollah terrorists who killed three and captured two Israeli troops.  This attack coincided with coordinated rocket and  mortar bombardments of Israeli settlements and military installations in the north.

Israel then launched a counterattack against Hezbollah positions throughout Lebanon.  Once again, the international community revealed its hypocrisy in criticism of Israel’s disproportionate use of force.  The war concluded on August 14 with a U.N. brokered cease-fire.

Once again, Israel is forced to respond to unprovoked attacks by terrorist organizations funded and supported by its Arab enemies.  And, once again the world is condemning Israel for responding too harshly.

If the United States and the rest of the international community will stand aside and let the Israelis finish this, the Palestinian problem will be resolved.  Either there will be no terrorists left, or they will come to realize that failure to recognize Israel’s right to exist can only lead to their annihilation.

The Israelis knows how to deal with this.  We need to let them finish it.


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