The Threat is from Christians, Not Muslims

The right wing keeps warning about the non-existent threat of Sharia law taking over this country.  The real theocratic threat is not from Islam, but from Christianity, specifically the doctrine of Dominionism/Reconstructionism, which calls for all of us to be ruled by biblical law.  These nutjobs are pursuing an alliance with the Libertarians to take over the GOP and the country.

From “Why the GOP’s civil war is only going to get uglier,” C. J. Werleman, Salon:

“The battle for the heart and soul of the GOP is more than social conservatives parrying with establishment Republicans.  It is a pantomime that has many actors performing on a number of stages, but with only one clown: libertarians.

“Libertarians are a funny bunch.  By funny I mean ignorant not only of basic economics but also the ride they’ve been taken on by the Christian Right and the neo-Confederates within the Republican Party.

“Nullification is the common cause that drives this anti-establishment triumvirate.  Nullification of the federal government is the weapon of choice for theocrats, libertarians and white supremacists.  Since 2010, state legislatures have put forward nearly 200 bills challenging federal laws its sponsors deem unconstitutional.

“Libertarianism and the nullification movement merge seamlessly with the Christian Right, because the ‘sacralized lost cause of the South is often undergirded by Christian Reconstructionism,’….  Reconstructionism, or Dominionism, is an ideology that calls on Christians to take over the federal government and then make the laws of the nation ‘biblical.’

“Reconstructionism merges Christianity with laissez-faire capitalism to arrive at a vision of government that endorses biblical law at the local level, alongside a limited federal government.  Essentially that makes it the perfect philosophy for wedding theocrats in an unholy marriage with libertarians and Old Dixie.

“Ultimately, the Republican Party’s civil war will be long and protracted, especially given the vast sums of money involved in determining a winner.  The Chamber of Commerce’s war chest and Karl Rove’s epic fundraising will only go so far in overcoming a triumvirate that not only has boots on the ground in the form of enthusiastic ballot box lever pullers, but also the financial backing of America’s most prominent libertarians:  Charles and David Koch.”

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What’s Wrong with This Picture?

Both the U. S. and our enemy Shiite Iran are on the same side in Iraq — supporting Shiite al-Maliki against Sunni Al Qaeda.

To a large extent, our frenemy Maliki brought his Anbar province troubles on himself by mistreating the Sunnis there and creating an opening for Al Qaeda.  Now he’s struggling to get the Sunni tribal leaders to turn against Al Qaeda and turn back to him, hoping they hate his guts a little less.

The violence spreading out from Syria shows that the Mideast right now is just fighting the Sunni-Shiite battle that’s been going on since the seventh century.  At this moment, it’s led by Saudi Arabia and Iran fanning proxy wars, just as the U. S. and Russia had their client states during the Cold War.  The Sunni Saudis are trying to fight both the Shiites and Al Qaeda, a monster they helped create.  Good luck with that.

We have to fight Al Qaeda and its affiliates, and we have to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons, which would lead to Saudi Arabia’s getting nuclear weapons.  Resolving the Sunni-Shiite thing? Fuhgeddaboudit.

Why Didn’t We Hear This from Obama?

The NYT has an in-depth, knock-your-socks-off, must-read story about Benghazi  by David Kirkpatrick:

“Months of investigation by The New York Times, centered on extensive interviews with Libyans in Benghazi who had direct knowledge of the attack there and its context, turned up no evidence that Al Qaeda or other international terrorist groups had any role in the assault.

“The attack was led, instead, by fighters who had benefited directly from NATO’s extensive air power and logistics support during the uprising against Colonel Qaddafi.  And contrary to claims by some members of Congress, it was fueled in large part by anger at an American-made video denigrating Islam.”

I’m sure Darrell Issa and Fox News will be quick to apologize!

Shhhhhh! We’re Suspending Aid to Egypt

Josh Rogin has an exclusive at The Daily Beast that Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT) told him that President Obama has quietly suspended military aid to Egypt, although without finding that there was a coup.  But we are acting, at least temporarily, as if there was a coup.

I have no problem with sending a message by delaying aid briefly, just as we would send a message by recalling our ambassador temporarily.  But I think overall we should support the military.

Neither side reflects our values, so we need to go with the folks who represent our interests, and that is clearly the military.

Just as I oppose political Christianity here, I oppose political Islam there.  The Muslim Brotherhood is awful for the 10% of Egyptians who are Christian, awful for women’s rights, and awful for the many, many Egyptians who are Muslim, but want a modern, secular goverment.

After waiting for 85 years to take power, the Muslim Brotherhood did a miserable job.  Morsi refused to reach out and run an inclusive government that tried to represent all Egyptians, he refused to be bound by the Constitution, and basically steered the country more and more toward a theocracy.  I’m sure the military did all it could to “help” him fail, but he did a pretty spectacular job himself.

It would have been better to postpone elections until moderate, secular forces had an opportunity to organize, but that didn’t happen.  After Mubarak was overthrown, there was no Jeffersonian alternative waiting in the wings.  If the choice is between autocracies, and right now it is, I’ll go with the secular one, thank you very much.

It makes no sense that much of the GOP has been criticizing Obama, other than that whatever he does, they automatically feel obligated to oppose him.   I can’t help but believe that if Obama had immediately taken a hard line against the military and called for the reinstatement of Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, the right would have asked, “What do you expect from our Muslim, terrorist-supporting President?”  They would have been yelling and screaming about the threat to our fly-over rights, to our ability to jump the line at the Suez Canal, to Israel’s security.   Instead, you had the bizarre spectacle of John McCain and Lindsey (“Butters”) Graham defending Morsi against the military.  Do they really believe Egypt is better off in the seventh century?

These Would Have Been Guys to Get Diana

The new allegations about Princess Diana’s death don’t just vaguely claim she was murdered by the British military, but specifically by the elite special forces Special Air Service (SAS).

They are analogous in terms of training and missions to the work U. S. special forces (Navy Seals, Army Rangers, Green Berets) do.

The SAS hunted down and took out suspected Al Qaeda members in Iraq and Taliban in Afghanistan in daring and dangerous raids.  Taking out a royal who was seen as a threat for her romance with and possible marriage to a Muslim, resulting in Muslim siblings for the future king, Prince William?   Would have been a piece of cake for these guys.  Aside from her relationship with Dodi, Diana was seen as too much of a loose cannon.

I didn’t expect anything to come out while the Queen and Prince Philip are alive, and I still really don’t.

 

We Knew This Was Coming

As expected, the Egyptian military is clearing out the pro-Morsi demonstrators in Cairo.  There are reports of hundreds killed and wounded.  They have also declared a state of emergency, which imposes a curfew and means that people can be arrested and held without charges.

Counter demonstrations are occurring all over the country.

The Obama Administration has condemned both the violence and the state of emergency.