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Old 07-28-2009, 04:32 PM
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Exclamation Ten Questions for Supporters of 'ObamaCare'

Ten Questions for Supporters of 'ObamaCare'
And we're still waiting for the answers.

By: Dennis Prager

1. President Barack Obama repeatedly tells us that one reason national health care is needed is that we can no longer afford to pay for Medicare and Medicaid. But if Medicare and Medicaid are fiscally insolvent and gradually bankrupting our society, why is a government takeover of medical care for the rest of society a good idea? What large-scale government program has not eventually spiraled out of control, let alone stayed within its projected budget? Why should anyone believe that nationalizing health care would create the first major government program to "pay for itself," let alone get smaller rather than larger over time? Why not simply see how the Democrats can reform Medicare and Medicaid before nationalizing much of the rest of health care?

2. President Obama reiterated this past week that "no insurance company will be allowed to deny you coverage because of a pre-existing medical condition." This is an oft-repeated goal of the president's and the Democrats' health care plan. But if any individual can buy health insurance at any time, why would anyone buy health insurance while healthy? Why would I not simply wait until I got sick or injured to buy the insurance? If auto insurance were purchasable once one got into an accident, why would anyone purchase auto insurance before an accident? Will the Democrats next demand that life insurance companies sell life insurance to the terminally ill? The whole point of insurance is that the healthy buy it and thereby provide the funds to pay for the sick. Demanding that insurance companies provide insurance to everyone at any time spells the end of the concept of insurance. And if the answer is that the government will now make it illegal not to buy insurance, how will that be enforced? How will the government check on 300 million people?

3. Why do supporters of nationalized medicine so often substitute the word "care" for the word "insurance?" it is patently untrue that millions of Americans do not receive health care. Millions of Americans do not have health insurance but virtually every American (and non-American on American soil) receives health care.

4. No one denies that in order to come close to staying within its budget health care will be rationed. But what is the moral justification of having the state decide what medical care to ration?

5. According to Dr. David Gratzer, health care specialist at the Manhattan Institute, "While 20 years ago pharmaceuticals were largely developed in Europe, European price controls made drug development an American enterprise. Fifteen of the 20 top-selling drugs worldwide this year were birthed in the United States." Given how many lives -- in America and throughout the world - American pharmaceutical companies save, and given how expensive it is to develop any new drug, will the price controls on drugs envisaged in the Democrats' bill improve or impair Americans' health?

6. Do you really believe that private insurance could survive a "public option"? Or is this really a cover for the ideal of single-payer medical care? How could a private insurance company survive a "public option" given that private companies have to show a profit and government agencies do not have to - and given that a private enterprise must raise its own money to be solvent and a government option has access to others' money -- i.e., taxes?

7. Why will hospitals, doctors, and pharmaceutical companies do nearly as superb a job as they now do if their reimbursement from the government will be severely cut? Haven't the laws of human behavior and common sense been repealed here in arguing that while doctors, hospitals and drug companies will make significantly less money they will continue to provide the same level of uniquely excellent care?

8. Given how many needless procedures are ordered to avoid medical lawsuits and how much money doctors spend on medical malpractice insurance, shouldn't any meaningful "reform" of health care provide some remedy for frivolous malpractice lawsuits?

9. Given how weak the U.S. economy is, given how weak the U.S. dollar is, and given how much in debt the U.S. is in, why would anyone seek to have the U.S. spend another trillion dollars? Even if all the other questions here had legitimate answers, wouldn't the state of the U.S. economy alone argue against national health care at this time?

10. Contrary to the assertion of President Obama -- "we spend much more on health care than any other nation but aren't any healthier for it" -- we are healthier. We wait far less time for procedures and surgeries.

Our life expectancy with virtually any major disease is longer. And if you do not count deaths from violent crime and automobile accidents, we also have the longest life expectancy. Do you think a government takeover of American medicine will enable this medical excellence to continue?

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Old 07-28-2009, 07:46 PM
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Arrow US, China have pointed questions in private

US, China have pointed questions in private

WASHINGTON (AP) - The United States and China are striking a conciliatory tone in their public comments during economic talks, although that hasn't stopped China from posing some pointed questions behind closed doors about such issues as America's soaring budget deficit.

The Obama administration has questions it wants answered as well in such areas as China's long reliance on massive trade surpluses with the United States to bolster its domestic economy.

Both sides are expected to wrap up two days of high-level talks Tuesday with a joint communique that will lay out a work plan that both sides will tackle in upcoming meetings.

Officials from both nations played down the prospects for any breakthroughs this week on the major issues that separate the two nations, including America's massive trade deficit with China. Critics have blamed the trade deficit over the years for the loss of millions of U.S. manufacturing jobs.

President Barack Obama opened Monday's discussions by declaring that the United States sought a new era of "cooperation, not confrontation" with China and that management of the U.S.-China relationship would be a major factor in defining the history of the 21st century.

Obama dispatched his top economic officials - Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, National Economic Council Director Lawrence Summers, White House budget director Peter Orszag and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke - to try to reassure China that the U.S. will not let deficits or inflation jeopardize the value of Chinese investments.

U.S. briefers said the president's team told the Chinese that the United States was committed to making sure the economic and monetary stimulus being used to fight the recession did not fuel inflation.

U.S. officials told reporters that the U.S. side stressed to the Chinese that the United States has a plan to bring the deficit down once the economic crisis has been resolved. They said Bernanke discussed the Fed's exit strategy from the central bank's current period of extraordinary monetary easing, emphasizing that the Fed was being careful to guard against future inflation.

The Chinese, who have the largest foreign holdings of U.S. Treasury debt at $801.5 billion, have been expressing worries that soaring deficits could spark inflation or a sudden drop in the value of the dollar, thus jeopardizing their investments. Chinese officials said those concerns were raised during Monday's talks.

"We sincerely hope the U.S. fiscal deficit will be reduced, year after year," Assistant Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao told reporters after the Monday talks had ended.

"The Chinese government is a responsible government and first and foremost our responsibility is the Chinese people, so of course we are concerned about the security of the Chinese assets," Zhu said, speaking through an interpreter.

The discussions on America's deficits and China's role in financing them highlighted the growing economic importance of China, now the world's third largest economy.

The discussions in Washington represent the continuation of talks begun by the Bush administration. While the initial talks focused on economic issues, Obama wanted the agenda expanded to include foreign policy issues such as America's drive to get China's support for more international pressure to curb North Korea's nuclear ambitions.

Geithner and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton were leading the U.S. team. The Chinese delegation was led by Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo and Vice Premier Wang Qishan.

David Loevinger, Treasury's senior coordinator for China affairs, said Orszag and Summers both stressed the commitment of the administration to attacking the U.S. deficits.

"There were serious questions about what the economic outlook is and ... our plans for withdrawing stimulus," Loevinger told reporters.

Geithner traveled to Beijing last month to assure Chinese officials that federal budget deficits, which have ballooned because of government efforts to deal with the recession and stabilize the financial system, would be reined in once those crises have passed.

Many private economists have said the Chinese are right to worry about a U.S. budget deficit that is projected to hit $1.85 trillion this year, four times the previous record.

Dollar Falls to 2009 Low as Economic View Reduces Safety Demand

Click to view article>

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Old 07-30-2009, 04:06 PM
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Arrow Culture of Corruption

Culture of Corruption

Matt Lauer of TODAY isn’t too happy with Michelle Malkin’s assessment of the Obama Administration.

More bad polling data for Barack HUSSEIN Obama, as a growing number of citizens feel their president has a negative view of the country that he feels is unfair and discriminatory.
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Old 07-31-2009, 02:45 PM
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Exclamation 'The Americans Are Begging Iran for Dialogue'

How the Muslim world sees America under Obama.

Special Dispatch - No. 2467

July 31, 2009
No. 2467

Kayhan: 'The Americans Are Begging Iran for Dialogue'; U.S. Strategic Needs in Pakistan, Afghanistan Supersede Its Need to Prevent Iran from Going Nuclear
In a July 27, 2009 editorial, the conservative Iranian daily Kayhan stated that the U.S. has only one strategy for dealing with Iran, namely striving for dialogue with it – particularly, Kayhan said, after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recognized Iran as nuclear.

It should be noted that Tehran is depicting Clinton's July 22, 2009 statements in Thailand – that the U.S. would offer its allies in the region a "defense umbrella" against a nuclear Iran, and that the U.S. has a plan to prevent Iran from taking over the Middle East if it obtains nuclear weapons – as proof that the U.S. is coming to terms with a nuclear Iran.

In its editorial, Kayhan explained that the U.S. interests in the region, particularly in Pakistan and Afghanistan, are more important for the U.S. than the threat of Iran going nuclear. Thus, it said, the Americans are sending a desperate message to the world, begging Iran for dialogue. Tehran understands that Washington is not overly concerned about the prospect of a nuclear Iran; moreover, it knows that enhanced sanctions against Iran or even an attack on the country are impossible, and that threats of the same are only an American maneuver to bring Iran to the negotiating table.

The editorial also ridicules the Americans, "whose entire lives are foolishness," and praises them for finally realizing that decisions in Iran are made by Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and that they should not pin their hopes on turnover in the Iranian government.

Following are the main points of the Kayhan editorial:(1)

The U.S. Has No Strategy, Just a Need for Dialogue with Iran
"The Americans are now saying that, in light of the events following the Iranian elections, they are reexamining their strategy towards Iran... From these statements, it appears that, prior to this, the Americans, as representatives of all Iran's enemies, had a clear and defined strategy regarding Iran, and that now they want to change it. But there is much evidence and many signs that they never had anything of the sort.

"For the past several months, the Americans have made efforts to arrive at a united outlook that includes all options against Iran. However, it gradually became clear that the only thing that they could aspire to regarding Iran was a statement that 'it is necessary to talk with Iran' – and that no comprehensive strategy could be formed as long as there is no such dialogue. In their talks with the Russians, the Chinese, the Europeans, the Arabs, and the Zionists, they agreed that sufficient time should be allowed for the idea of talks with Iran – but there is no consensus on the key question, that is, what to do if the talks fail.

"Hillary Clinton's statements a few days ago proved that this [question] has [now] also arisen among senior American officials. The Israelis have long since agreed to the idea of dialogue with Iran, and their intensive efforts in talks with senior U.S. officials in recent months have been aimed at getting the Americans to agree to use [what the Israelis call] paralyzing sanctions – and then, in the event that the talks fail, to put the military option on the table..."

"The U.S.['s] 'Strategic Need' for Iran Has Become So Critical That It Does Not Want to Lose the Option of Dialogue With It – Even at the Price of a Nuclear Iran"
"At the same time, Clinton's statements revealed a different reality, one that the Zionists have feared for some time and have talked much about, even if not explicitly. In her [abovementioned] speech last week, Clinton accepted the possibility of a nuclear Iran, and tried to show that the danger of a nuclear Iran has been overblown, and that the classic nuclear deterrent doctrine (mutual destruction) would be used against Iran just like it is used against any other nuclear power.

"She expressed the gist of this idea by saying that if Iran goes nuclear, then America will spread its nuclear umbrella across the entire region [i.e. the Middle East]. The Israelis very quickly jumped on this point, saying that it meant that the U.S. accepts the idea of a nuclear Iran, and that, [in order to assure its allies,] it promises them protection from possible dangers stemming from the phenomenon [of Iran's nuclearization].

"The words of the American secretary of state must be understood on a deeper level than merely as proof of America's acceptance of a nuclear Iran. Currently, the widespread perception in Tehran is that the U.S. is in a situation where it is sending a worldwide message that its 'strategic need' for Iran has become so critical that it does not want to lose the option of dialogue with it – even at the price of a nuclear Iran.

"The Americans' [comprehensive] strategic needs in the region have become so acute that, in comparison, the prospect of the emergence of a nuclear Iran appears less important."

The So-Called Punitive Measures Against Iran Are Merely a Manipulation Aimed at Dragging It to the Negotiating Table
"U.S. intelligence officials have reiterated and emphasized in recent months that the 'concrete dangers to [U.S.] national security' are in other places, such as Pakistan and Afghanistan, and so, instead of wasting energy in useless conflict with Iran, they prefer to obtain its cooperation in order to deal with their acute troubles.

"[Therefore,] the recent manipulations by the Zionists and by the U.S. Congress – regarding a military attack [on Iran] and regarding economic sanctions – have nothing to do with an American strategic decision to punish Iran if talks fail. The top U.S. officials are not [even] emphasizing the issue [of punishing Iran if talks fail], and their pleas [for dialogue] are confined to a demand [that the G-]8 give Iran a period of several months (until September) in order 'to enter into dialogue.' In other words, the Americans are now not even thinking of the post-talks phase, and their main concern is that Iran might not agree to dialogue.

"Even the so-called punitive measures are [merely] a manipulation to drag Iran to the negotiating table, and not to punish it after the talks fail – because they know [that punishment] is both impossible and ineffective."

The Americans "Have Not Yet Learned that Asking for Dialogue with Someone You Need Requires a Certain Politeness – And That Desperate Battle Cries, Shouting, and Screaming Are Not Considered a Sign of Strength"
"The situation today is that the Americans are begging Iran for dialogue – in very disrespectful language, like uncultured cowboys. Because of their arrogant nature, they have not yet learned that asking for dialogue with someone you need requires a certain politeness – and that desperate battle cries, shouting, and screaming are not considered a sign of strength. We return, therefore, to the starting point – that is, to the American reevaluation of its dialogue strategy following the Iranian elections.

"So far, we have said that the U.S. in effect has no strategy, and that all it does have is an aspiration for dialogue. After the [Iranian presidential] election, the Americans were tempted to think that 'something' had changed in Iran, and that they must choose a different course [of action]. But they soon realized that in matters connected [to Iran's strategy against the U.S.,] the Iranian government implements the decisions of [Iranian Supreme] Leader [Ali Khamenei]... and that therefore [the U.S.] shouldn't pin any hopes on turnover in the Iranian government. This little flash of insight by the Americans, whose entire lives are foolishness, is in itself valuable."

(1) Kayhan, Iran, July 27, 2009.

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Old 07-31-2009, 04:13 PM
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Arrow Deadly Silence

Will Obama fiddle while Iranian protesters are tortured this weekend?

By: Ben Johnson

Budapest, 1956.
Prague, 1968.
Gdansk, 1981.
Tianenmen Square, 1989.
Tehran, 2009.

Each of these surprise flashpoints in history’s long march against totalitarianism proved as dazzling at its outset as it did hopeless at its extermination. Each of them left a trail of broken bodies, but the last was different than all its historical forebears in one way: the president of the United States kept silent while it was unfolding. Barack Obama, and the world, saw police beat and gas protesters and kill 27-year-old music students and nine-year-old children; and Iranian reports indicate that those arrested were viciously tortured in a secret prison. All the while, the president maintained a reticence that helped enable the secret police. The young protesters who continue filling Iran’s streets this weekend to renew their revolt against corruption offer Barack Obama a unique opportunity: a chance to redeem his previous, disastrous inaction. Will he act this time to prevent hundreds more of their fellow citizens from meeting a similar fate?

His predecessors, who faced the actual threat of nuclear annihilation, greeted oppression with resistance. President Johnson called the Soviet invasion “patently contrived” and threatened United Nations action. Reagan, unable to garner NATO support for an effective response, imposed the economic sanctions at his disposal. George H.W. Bush, who was overly cozy with Beijing, verbally denounced the massacre and temporarily suspended diplomatic relations.

President Obama met crisis with equivocation, choosing to “withhold comment” about the transparently rigged election and standing idly by as Iranian secret police brutalized and arrested 2,500 democratic protesters, so as not be seen as “meddling.” Republicans John McCain and Lindsay Graham condemned his actions as “timid,” and even both houses of the Democrat-controlled Congress passed measures condemning the abuse more stridently than Obama. Finally, on June 20, Obama released a statement a week later calling on “the Iranian government to stop all violent and unjust actions against its own people.”

Like his invitation for Iran to “unclench its fist” on nuclear weapons, his plea was ignored, as the mullahs’ enforcers murdered Neda Agha Soltan and rounded up hundreds more to a then-unknown location.

We now know their fate: torture and death in Iranian secret prisons. One person detailed the vicious beatings in a Kihrizak prison, where “at least 200 people in one room, and everyone was getting beatings with sticks…The walls were all bloody.” The police allegedly turned off the lights to thrash the protesters for half-an-hour in pitch black. Among those killed was Mohsen Rouhalamini, a nine-year-old boy and coincidentally the son of an adviser to one of Ahmadinejiad’s opponents. Tehran released 140 political prisoners from their cells Tuesday, citing poor prison conditions, in an attempt to tamp down outrage before Thursday’s protests. Former President Mohammad Khatami described the substandard environs: “Murders have been committed, lives have been lost, blood has been spilt. Our youth, men and women have been treated in such a way that had it been committed in prisons controlled by foreigners everyone here would be shouting and denouncing it.”

Despite the presence of a child martyr, it is Neda’s memory that draws crowds this weekend. Thursday was the 40th day since her death, a sacred day of remembrance in both Islam and Christianity. Thousands – including “defeated” presidential candidates Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karoubi – gathered at her grave Thursday, some chanting, “Neda is alive, Ahmadinejad is dead!”

Already, Iranian police have responded with tear gas and batons. In a grisly spectacle, The Washington Post reports several people “fell into recently dug graves and were injured.” As the demonstrations promise to intensify this weekend, at least 20 protesters from June’s uprising are to be tried on such charges as “sending pictures to enemy media” (primarily the cell phone broadcasts of their initial, public beatings).

This mix of legal and physical oppression gives Obama what so few get: a second act – and thus far, he is blowing it. Responding to the brutality at Neda’s grave, the State Department called Iran’s actions “disturbing.” Ho-hum.

Obama has the chance to speak forthrightly or repeat his week of weakness. He has consistently offered Mahmoud Ahmadinejiad an unclenched fist, and the mullahs turned their fists against their own citizens, possibly the most potent force to topple the regime. Iran’s budding revolutionaries are again in the streets. Can Obama bring himself to warn the mullahs as clearly against unprovoked police brutality as he did the anti-totalitarian leaders of Honduras against setting foot in the United States? Can he deem show trials as offensive as he has the building of Jewish settlements in Israel?

The good news is, the people once crushed by Islamic oppression, are now emboldened to fight it. David Horowitz recounted how Tom Hayden told him, “If people’s heads got cracked by police… it `radicalized them.’” Iran’s populace has become radicalized – and media reports show they are beginning to fight back. The Washington Post notes, “three members of the much feared voluntary militia known as the Basij were beaten with their own batons after a group of people pulled them off their motorcycles near a park. The motorcycles were set on fire.” Another crowd smashed the windows of a secret police van and rescued two prisoners inside. And for once, stone-throwing Muslims are casting their stones at other Muslims.

National figures have equated this regime with the Shah, toppled by the Islamic Revolution of 1979. Protesters met at Behesht-e Zahra, the cemetery that contains the bodies of the Revolution’s “martyrs.” The Iranian people are reappropriating their history with a new enemy.

If they can do that within an Islamic gulag, can President Obama at least retract his offer to meet with Iran’s fraudulent president without preconditions? If timidity prevails, this weekend Obama may kill Iran’s democrats with kindness.
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Old 07-31-2009, 04:20 PM
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Arrow Political Malpractice

Political Malpractice
Debunking prominent myths about health care in America.
By: Tait Trussell

Assorted claims about our present, but threatened, private-health system bombard us. Scholars at the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) examined several of these common, but usually flimsy, current arguments.

As examples:

Claim: “By stimulating competition and delivery system changes aimed at providing more effective and efficient care, (proposed Obama) policies could yield higher value and substantial savings for families, businesses, and the public sector.” A rosy description of health reform in a Feb. 19 report by the Commonwealth Fund. The fund is formally charged with the limitless mandate to “do something for the welfare of mankind.”

Truth: The current House bill on health reform fills 1,018 pages and threatens a cost of $1.6 trillion in taxpayer dollars. It would create or expand 33 entitlement programs and set up 53 additional offices, bureaus, commissions, programs and bureaucracies. It would result in huge job losses, based on a model developed by Council of Economic Advisors Chair Christina Romer, and cause 114 million individuals to lose their current health coverage, according to the actuaries at the Lewin Group. The word “shall” appears 1,683 times, representing new duties for bureaucrats and mandates on individuals, employers and states. Hardly something “for the welfare of mankind.”

Claim: Thousands of Americans die every year because they aren’t insured. The Urban Institute blatantly declared that--based on its interpretation of the Institute of Medicine’s methodology and Census Bureau estimates of health insurance coverage--22,000 people in 2006 died “because they were uninsured.” Families USA upped the death figure to 26,260 and called death by being uninsured the third leading cause of fatalities in our country.

Truth: These reports are extrapolated from an estimate made in a 15-year old study, using 37-year-old data and employing questionable methodology, the NCPA pointed out. “Families USA purports to show how many people” die in each state and then tallies up “all this carnage with such pinpoint precision,” when claims are based on a 15-year cascade of studies—each repeating the errors and misinterpreting or mischaracterizing the findings of the previous one and ultimately relying on data that is 37 years old.”

Using data from medical records and telephone interviews, Rand Health found that of those surveyed “there was only moderate variation in quality of care scores among sociodemographic subgroups” whether on gender, age or income. And once people see a health-care provider, the study suggested that “insurance status has little effect on receipt of recommended care,” NCPA said. No one really knows “how much morbidity and mortality is attributable to lack of health insurance,” the Center added.

Claim: Other health care systems top ours, even though we spend more money on health care than any other nation.

Truth: Our per capita health-care spending was greater than the median for Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries, “based on purchasing power parity,” the Center explained. But “normal market forces have been so suppressed throughout the developed world that purchasers (and others) rarely see a real price for any medical service.” So, adding all transactions gives aggregate numbers “in which one can have little confidence.” Also, other countries “disguise costs,” especially health-care provider incomes, NCPA added.

The U.S. compares favorably “when real resources are measured rather than monetary accounts.” And, surprise: The average annual rate of growth of real per capita U.S. health spending actually was slightly below OECD average over the last decade (3.7% vs. 3.8%) and even over the past four decades (4.4% vs. 4.5%), based on findings by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

“Despite common perceptions,” NCPA said, “a country’s financing method—public vs. private financing, general revenue vs. payroll taxes, third-party vs. out-of-pocket spending—is unrelated to its ability to control spending on health care. There “has been no consistent and systematic relationship between financing and cost containment,” according to a National Bureau of Economic Research working paper of March 2008.

Claim: No one is ever denied care because of an inability to pay in countries with universal coverage--such coverage as President Obama so desperately wants enacted. The American College of Physicians (ACP), which advocates affordable health insurance coverage for all, contrasting our system with that of other countries. “Some countries achieve universal coverage with a system funded solely by government,” it flatly contended.
Truth: But at what human cost? Long waits are typical for patients in Europe and Canada, according to NCPA, and “waiting for care has economic costs in terms of sick pay and lost productivity, as well as negative health consequences.” Norway, NCPA said “is trying to reduce waiting times to reduce the cost of sickness benefits. Finland calculates that the cost of waiting (sickness benefits, medicines, and social welfare expenses) can exceed the cost of treatment. Cancer survival rates for all types of cancer are higher in the U.S. than in Europe. The rate for treating kidney failure is five times higher in the U.S. for patients age 45 to 84 and nine times higher for patients 85 and older.
In some countries with “universal” health care, the care is not universal. For example, Britain denies mammograms after age 70, dialysis after age 50, and Pap smears are done only after age 25.

Claim: Medical bills are so expensive they are bankrupting Americans.

Truth: A study conducted by the Institute for Global Health at University of California, San Francisco, compared the cost and performance of the National Health Service in Great Britain with those of an integrated system for financing and delivery of health services, namely Kaiser Permanente in California.

The adjusted costs of the two systems ( both in operation for about 45 years) and their performances with respect to inputs, use, access to services, special activities, and population characteristics were similar, NCPA reported. The belief that the NHS is efficient and that poor performance in certain areas is largely explained by under investment are not supported by this analysis. Kaiser achieved better performance at roughly the same cost as the NHS. Kaiser Permanente is one of the largest integrated health-care systems in the nation. Not all Americans may get similar care. But Kaiser does have 8 million members, who get more convenient and comprehensive care and more rapid access to specialists at roughly the same cost as the Brits.

Claim: Other countries don’t have our high administrative costs. The congressional Research Service has estimated administrative cost for Medicare at only 2% of total program costs. This is compared with 10% for private insurance and 12 % for HMOs. Some advocate a single-payer system (the Obama road) is a strong argument for a universal Medicare program.

Truth: The fallacy of this often repeated tale is that these estimates completely ignore hidden costs shifted to the providers of care, and the huge social costs of collecting the taxes to fund Medicare. For every administrative dollar spent by the private insurance industry, the government spends $1.66. That’s the conclusion of the Council for Affordable Health Insurance.

“The Council has found that government masks the true cost of financing health services to senior citizens on Medicare and to poor Americans on Medicaid. The expenses are hidden under the complex and bureaucratic reporting and tracking systems used by government....In addition, the cost of programs and activities benefiting Medicare and Medicaid exist in a number of other federal budget categories, including Education and Training, Labor, and The National Institutes of Health.”

Eventually, we can hope, the truth will out.
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Old 07-31-2009, 04:27 PM
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Lightbulb The Terror Connection

The Terror Connection

Did North Carolina’s jihadist plotters learn hate in the state’s Islamic Centers?

By: Jamie Glazov

Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Dave Gaubatz, the first U.S. civilian (1811) Federal Agent deployed to Iraq in 2003. He is the owner of DG Counter-terrorism Publishing. He is currently conducting a 50 State Counter-terrorism Research Tour (CTRT).

Dave Gaubatz, welcome to Frontpage Interview.

Seven Muslims from North Carolina (NC) were recently arrested for terrorism-related charges. Frontpage previously interviewed you about Islamic Centers in NC advocating violence against America and innocent people. Are they related?

Gaubatz: Thank you Jamie.

Yes they are related. The same ideology being advocated by the seven Muslim men is exactly what is being advocated at several NC Islamic Centers and by Islamic leaders across America. I conducted research in NC several times in the last two years and the evidence forced me to rate it very high for potential for violence.

Imams and Islamic leaders are not going to openly instruct their worshippers to commit ‘physical jihad’ against countries and people who do not believe in their version of “Pure Islam,” but they will provide them materials to study advising this type action. I have repeated this for years during lectures to law enforcement and to the public.

Islamic leaders who advocate an Islamic Ummah (Nation) worldwide and under Sharia (Islamic) Law condone physical jihad to achieve this objective. One will seldom see an Islamic leader conduct a “suicide mission,” but they have no problem sending innocent children and naïve adults to do it for them. If I can go to a location a few hours and determine what is being taught to the worshippers, specifically the children, then CAIR, MSA, AMPAC, ISNA, MANA and a half dozen other IRS approved Islamic organizations fully understand what is being taught and advocated through the materials at Islamic Centers and in Islamic schools. Senator Larry Shaw (D-NC) and Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN) are also aware.

FP: Do you see this as a victory for our law enforcement?

Gaubatz: The politically correct answer would be to say yes, but in reality we are 10 steps behind the enemy. The FBI and participating agencies simply arrested and will prosecute the easiest “cases.” How difficult is it to investigate Muslim Americans who have trained in foreign jihadist training camps? We are continuing to send thousands of our troops to Iraq and Afghanistan while the enemy is already inside the U.S.

There should be a point in history when we see ourselves going around and around in circles. We should stop, relax, get focused, read history, and then protect from the inside first, then outside. The indictment of the seven men is like arresting the administrative assistants of “Bernie Madoff” and ignoring Madoff himself. Would the fraud scheme ever stop if time after time only the low level people were ever arrested? It did not work in the “War on Drugs” and it will not work on the “War on Terrorism.” In actuality there is not even a small dent being made by arresting these seven people.

The FBI has caught the smallest fish in the ocean. Good people, trying hard, but they do not have the political power or training to fight Islamic based terrorism. I could say the training they receive is outstanding, but in reality most of it is water-downed CAIR diversity training in regards to counter-terrorism. I previously provided my assessment of NC in a sworn affidavit. I will swear in additional affidavits our law enforcement are not properly trained. How many have ever read the entire works of Riyadh Ul Salheen?

FP: You have been correct about several of the locations you have pointed to in terms of breeding grounds where worshippers in certain mosques would become violent.

Which area do you see coming to the forefront in regards to indictments of terrorist actions?

Gaubatz: Washington DC. Professionally I believe Americans are going to be demanding our leaders to begin arresting, indicting, prosecuting and sentencing the “real” people behind the ideology being taught in NC, UT, MN, CA, and everywhere in between. As a society we should be expecting nothing less than worshippers at mosques such as in Raleigh to be carrying out the plans of their leaders. Again this is exactly what the leaders want, but they can stay behind the scenes and use their liberal media outlets to now deny any knowledge of the suspect’s actions. They will again make written and spoken announcements denouncing terrorism, and again most people will support them. At the same time they will continue to distribute Imam Siraj Wahhaj, Ali Al Timimi, Abul Maududi, and violent terrorist material from Saudi, Pakistan, and Egypt to name a few.

The following statements are from an Islamic terrorist manual obtained in Virginia, and distributed across America. Review and determine if they can be taken out of context, or if a young Muslim child were to be taught from the age of 5 or 6 until they are 18, if one would not expect the child to hate and want to kill persons who do not uphold “Pure Islam.”

“It is imperative therefore that war be waged both specifically and against the larger totality before victory is possible. Archive system, individual terminal, national debt-all these must be targeted. It is already well-known what the reneging of one country on its massive debt would do to the total market stability. No one has yet contemplated the impact of one destroyed Stock Exchange or Central Bank Archive.”

“Six Conditions Make Jihad Obligatory”

1. Islam
2. Maturity
3. Sanity
4. Free Birth
5. Male sex
6. Physical ability (bodily and financial)

“Jihad is Undertaken Against Three Groups”

1. The Kuffar
2. Rebels
3. Brigands

“As to the kuffar, all types of them should be fought. But all are in agreement that women, boys, hermits and decrepit old men should not be killed unless it is feared they will be a source of danger and intrigues”.

“Kill them..except women, unless they engaged in the fighting”

“Priests in their churches, unlike recluse worshipping monks, should, of course, be killed without any exception”.

The following was provided to me and is distributed to Muslim worshippers (to include children) in Raleigh, NC. You determine if the wording is simply historical content of 1400 hundred years ago, or if it is meant for 2009.

“In accordance with the conditions of his times, the Prophet (PBUH) ordained the Muslims to acquire every possible power and keep it ready for war. Elucidating his order on this point, he stated that by power he meant archery and then he repeated this word three times to stress its importance. He did it because the art of archery had fundamental importance in war at that time. In the present-day world, archery has lost it value as it has been replaced by other inventions like tanks, guns, missiles, atom bombs, etc. Similar is the case of devices which are used in air and naval war, and all these military wares have superb importance in modem warfare. In the present-day context, the injunction of the Noble Qur'an to acquire power means manufacturing and possession of all these devices. It is incumbent on the Muslims that they equip themselves with all this material and show no carelessness in this regard. In modem times, Muslims have badly neglected this field with the result that non-Muslims have more knowledge of modem warfare and by dint of that they are dominating the world and making a claim of their supremacy all over the world. Unless Muslims pursue the Qur'anic injunctions on this score and acquire greater or equal or at least similar measure and style of power, as is possessed by the non-Muslims, they will not be able to check the onslaught of their enemies, and to defeat them. It is incumbent upon the Muslim to overpower the might and power of the infidels for the glorification of Islam. But it is essential that they should not slack in acquiring the material resources required for war, nor neglect military preparations and exercises. Modern military weapons and new style of warfare have now taken the place of archery, and Muslims should master all of them.”

In addition, various materials are distributed by Islamic leaders (to include CAIR and ISNA) advocating the concept: “There is no Nationality for a Muslim except for Islam.”
I would add Americans should not expect allegiance to America by anyone who will not ‘Pledge his/her Allegiance to our country.”

FP: Why do you believe law enforcement is ignoring evidence such as the above?

Gaubatz: A bit of politics, money, media influence, the power of Saudi Arabia, ineffective (on our part) liaison between our law enforcement which is led by the Islamic organizations and our officers naively follow, and the primary reason is due to the misinterpretation (in my professional opinion) of our First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. I will give a very basic example:

Hypothetically: If an 10 year old child in a public school wrote a note to one of his classmates stating he was “tired of being bullied and was going to do something about it,, and this note was found by his/her teacher, more proactive action would be taken against the 10 year old than to an Islamic leader who publishes a book or documentary telling his worshippers to use physical Jihad, kill infidels, and overthrow America.

Jamie our country has got to the point that if a person produces a DVD with an expensive cover, then somehow politicians and law enforcement are blindly led to believe the material is covered under the First Amendment. If this is indeed true then we need to wave the white flag of defeat.

FP: Final thoughts?

Gaubatz: I want to first thank you and Frontpage for bringing these issues to the public attention while the mainstream ignores them for the most part. A neighbor of one of the seven indicted NC men has said, “If he is a terrorist then he is the nicest terrorist I have ever met.” Many law enforcement officials have made similar comments about Islamic leaders/Imams after an ‘Interfaith/liaison’ meeting. This comment best reflects what I have been advising both the public and private sectors within the U.S.

Islamic leaders who believe and advocate in destroying our country are often very charismatic people. This is why they are leaders. In comparison one need only look how millions of Americans were fooled through media, money, and charisma by our sitting President. As a teenager when pranks were being pulled on one another we would often say “you should not be so gullible.” Just because one has a PhD, money, and the media behind them does not mean they bring the truth with them. In order to find the truth you must first know what the truth is.
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Old 07-31-2009, 05:32 PM
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Exclamation Obama fails to name anti-Semitism envoy

The Obama administration has failed to name an envoy for monitoring and combating anti-Semitism around the world as mandated by US law since the previous ambassador was relieved of his duties at the start of the president's term more than six months ago, officials said Thursday.

The failure to name a new envoy for the post raises questions about the importance the new administration attaches to the fight against anti-Semitism, said Rafael Medoff, director of the Washington DC-based David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies.

"Foot-dragging on the selection sends a message that anti-Semitism is not of great importance to the United States," Medoff wrote in a monograph to be published by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs titled "The Politics of the American Response to Global Anti-Semitism."

According to Medoff, "At a time when anti-Semitism remains a staple of government propaganda in the Middle East, when violent anti-Semitic incidents are reported almost daily throughout Europe, and when even the streets of Washington are not untouched by anti-Semitism's violent potential, that is the wrong message to send."

The State Department's Office of the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, which was established by a Congressional initiative in 2004, advocates American policy on anti-Semitism both in the US and internationally.

The proposal to establish such an office was initially opposed by the Bush administration, which took 18 months to appoint an envoy to head the office, Medoff said.

The envoy, Dr. Gregg Rickman, was removed from his post when the Obama administration took office in January in keeping with standard policy when a president of a different party takes power.

"On the one hand, it is understandable that at a time of multiple domestic and foreign crises, the Obama administration does not see this position as a top-tier concern," Medoff wrote. "Yet it is nevertheless surprising how far down anti-Semitism appears to have slid on the new administration's list of priorities, particularly when it was the Democrats themselves who fought so hard to create the position over the vehement opposition of the Bush administration."

A White House spokesman referred queries on the issue Thursday to the State Department. A State Department official said Thursday that upon the inauguration of a new president, ambassadors from the previous administration tender their resignations.

The official said that as with all Ambassadorial and other senior positions, there is an appointment process, which is ongoing, that includes the president nominating a candidate followed by Senate confirmation.
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Old 08-02-2009, 01:56 PM
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Exclamation Obama Eyes U.S. Military-Civilian Terror Prison

Obama Eyes U.S. Military-Civilian Terror Prison

Several senior U.S. officials said the administration is eyeing a soon-to-be-shuttered state maximum security prison in Michigan and the 134-year-old military penitentiary at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., as possible locations for a heavily guarded site to hold the 229 suspected Al Qaeda, Taliban and foreign fighters now jailed at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba.

WASHINGTON - The Obama administration is looking at creating a courtroom-within-a-prison complex in the U.S. to house suspected terrorists, combining military and civilian detention facilities at a single maximum-security prison.

Several senior U.S. officials said the administration is eyeing a soon-to-be-shuttered state maximum security prison in Michigan and the 134-year-old military penitentiary at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., as possible locations for a heavily guarded site to hold the 229 suspected Al Qaeda, Taliban and foreign fighters now jailed at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba.

The officials outlined the plans as the latest effort to comply with President Barack Obama's order to close the prison camp by Jan. 22, 2010, and satisfy congressional and public fears about incarcerating terror suspects on American soil.

The rest of the story is here>
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Old 08-03-2009, 02:32 AM
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Arrow Obama Officials Don't Dismiss Possibility of New Taxes

Obama Officials Don't Dismiss Possibility of New Taxes
The word in Washington Sunday is that the economic train is emerging from the tunnel of recession, but Obama administration officials could not explain why few jobs are waiting in the station and suggested new taxes may be around the bend.

President Obama may have to break his campaign pledge and raise taxes on middle-class Americans to pay for public health care and the growing deficit, an eventuality that administration officials touched lightly on Sunday as they promoted an economy emerging from recession.

With an expected deficit next year of $1.8 trillion, and spending still being planned for a $1 trillion, 10-year health care reform, officials say something will have to be done to prevent further erosion of the economy.

"We will not get this economy back on track, recovery will be not strong and sustained, unless we ... can convince the American people that we're going to have the will to bring these deficits down once recovery is firmly established," Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said on ABC's "This Week."
Asked point blank whether it was right to suggest it is a matter of when, not if, taxes will be raised, Geithner responded, "It is absolutely right."

But the president's team circling the Sunday morning news shows was quick to note that there are signs the recession is easing despite a persistent decline in job losses in the past six months.

Administration officials say they hope to see positive economic growth before the end of the year, and credit the $787 billion Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed in February with preventing recession from going into depression.

The legislation -- opposed by all but three Republicans in the House and Senate -- was intended to help save or create 3 million to 4 million jobs. But since that time, the jobless rate has grown to 9.5 percent, higher than the administration predicted even without a stimulus package.

National Economic Council President Larry Summers said on CBS' "Face the Nation" said jobs are a lagging indicator and once output increase, jobs will start to pick up.

"I think we have a ways to go. I want to emphasize the basic realities.

Unemployment is still very high in this country," Summers said.

He added that it's not a good idea to rule out future taxes.

"There is a lot that can happen over time. ... But what the president has been completely clear on is that he is not going to pursue any of his priorities -- not health care, not energy, nothing -- in ways that are primarily burdening middle-class families. That is something that is not going to happen," Summers said.

Rep. Mike Pence, the No. 3 Republican in the House, said the economy is recovering in spite of the stimulus plan, not because of it. He added that Americans don't want to be given an additional burden of costly health care run by the government.

While economists agree spending is required in a recession, Pence said that money would be better spent by the American people, not the federal government.

"Borrowing a trillion dollars from future generations of Americans and spreading it around the economy is going to have some catalytic effect in the economy in the short term, but again, it's no substitute for fiscal discipline in Washington, D.C.," he said. 'This piecemeal approach -- government handouts through a government bureaucracy -- is no substitute for broad-based tax relief and fiscal discipline in Washington, D.C."

As Democratic lawmakers evaluate options to provide government-run health insurance, Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, said tax cuts will only hit the wealthiest business owners.

"Under our statistics, 96 percent of small businesses would not be hurt by this tax. It's less than 1 percent of the wealthiest people in the United States that would be taxed, and that's at a 1 percent tax," he said.

Rangel added that it's only fair to give Americans a public option since the private insurers have made billions on coverage and then dropped those who had dire illnesses.

The president's advisers and supporters sought to measure intangibles as a way to determine the true cost of health care.

Rangel said to hear Republicans tell it, the cost of government-supplied health insurance all goes down a hole. In fact, he said, savings will be realized from people receiving treatment before their situations become grave, for example.

"They don't take the productivity in having a healthy, educated workforce. And they don't consider that America is the only industrialized country that doesn't have a national health plan," Rangel said.

The president is "insisting that we enact a set of measures that are not the kind that you can really do a bean count on and score precisely, but which we know will have effects over time, things like encouraging cost effectiveness research. So health care is the first sort of ground zero," added Summers.

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan warned that even a deficit-neutral plan being touted by Democrats to fund government-run health insurance program won't be enough in the long run.

"We have to attack both the original shortfall and make sure we fund whatever new initiatives that occur in the health care area. It's not adequate to be strictly revenue-neutral, because there's a lot more to be done," he said, noting the large number of baby boomers who currently are signing onto Medicare.

Republicans and Democrats did agree on the need to extend unemployment benefits to those who are about to lose them after 26 weeks of recession.

"We did extend unemployment in a way that was hugely important in the stimulus act, and we're going to work with Congress to make sure that the unemployment insurance benefits that are necessary for the American people are maintained," Summers said.

"We need to take care of those who are unemployed, but we also need to make sure they get jobs," DeMint said.
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Old 08-03-2009, 01:13 PM
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Exclamation Obama Explains How His Health Care Plan Will ‘Eliminate’ Private Insurance

Obama Explains How His Health Care Plan Will ‘Eliminate’ Private Insurance

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Old 08-03-2009, 02:00 PM
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Arrow Doctors Without Borders

Doctors Without Borders
Obamacare and illegal immigration: a troubling combination.

President Obama’s push to overhaul the nation’s health-care system has stalled in recent weeks. Applying the drag is a combination of Congressional Budget Office findings, which indicate that the leading health-care proposals would increase costs, and public opinion, which is increasingly alarmed that they would diminish the quality and availability of care. Those are valid concerns, but one aspect of Obamacare has not yet received sufficient scrutiny: its impact on illegal immigration, and vice versa.

If the administration and its Democratic allies in Congress are to be believed, illegal immigration is a non-issue when it comes to health care. In a recent interview with CBS News, President Obama insisted that any health care plan that becomes law will not provide insurance coverage for illegal immigrants, though he added that an exception would be made for their children. Similarly, Nancy Pelosi said last week that “illegal immigrants are not covered” in the America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009, the health care legislation currently under discussion in the House.

Not everyone is impressed by these assurances. In a forthcoming study, Jack Martin, the director of special projects at the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), estimates that illegal immigrants cost federal and state governments some $10.7 billion in health care expenses annually – and that this number may well rise if some version of Obamacare is passed.

The problem, Martin figures, is in the fine print. Take the House bill. Although it does not explicitly cover illegal immigrants, Martin points out that neither does it “close loopholes for health insurance coverage.” Indeed, Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee last month rejected an amendment by Nevada Republican Dean Heller that would have required the federal government to use the same database used to determine eligibility for welfare benefits to screen for citizenship as part of a government-run insurance plan. As a result, Martin told Front Page, “there is no system for the verification of identity, and the entitlement to receive those benefits. If that’s how the legislation ends up passing, we expect it to increase the outlays for health care services to illegal aliens.”

Martin is not alone in speculating that Congress is on a path to create insurance coverage for illegal immigrants. Hospitals and hospital groups across the country, already burdened by the costs of caring for illegal immigrants, share a similar concern.

“Congress has been on the fence on this one,” observes Linda Quick, president of the South Florida Hospital and Healthcare Association. “On the one hand, the legislation says that you have to be legal to be covered under the public program. On the other hand, there is language that precludes asking for documentation of legal status. So they can wink [at illegal immigrants] and say, ‘We didn’t really leave you out.’”

For states like Florida, home to a disproportionate share of the country’s 10 to 20-million-strong illegal immigrant population, that could add a costly new chapter to an old story. Because illegal immigrants currently receive emergency care through Medicaid, the federal and state program aimed primarily at the poor, hospitals are forced to absorb the cost of their treatment – a tab that can run into the millions of dollars a year. In 2007, for instance, the Florida Hospital Association estimated that treatment for illegal immigrant patients cost the state $100 million.

The debt load is heavier still in border states like Texas and California. FAIR’s Martin calculates that of the $10.7 billion spent annually on illegal immigrants, some $6.9 billion is borne by the states, with border states shouldering the largest share. According to FAIR, California alone spends approximately $1.6 billion a year on health care for illegals, a deep drain on resources that prompted California’s State Association of Hospitals to announce in 2005 that the state’s public health system is “on the brink of collapse.”

Even fiscally conservative Texas, last or next to last in any number of public spending categories, has incurred a heavy toll from health care for illegal immigrants. In 2006, the state’s comptroller estimated that illegal immigrants cost state hospitals as much as $1.3 billion. Such was the outstanding debt that the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston was forced to consider denying cancer care to illegal immigrants.

Just as there is no free lunch, though, there is no free health care. Runway hospital costs are ultimately paid by the very group that, according to the Obama administration, has nothing to fear from its health care plans: the insured. But as unscreened illegal immigrants become eligible for more care under a government-administered plan, insured Americans could see their costs rise. Hospitals, already beset by debt amassed from caring for the country’s 47 million uninsured, between 7 and 10 million of whom are illegal immigrants, will be forced to pass on additional losses to those who can afford to pay for medical care – that is to say, those with insurance.

If illegal immigration is likely to increase the costs of a government-run insurance program, the reverse is also true. Making illegal immigrants eligible for health care, in effect even if not in stated intent, creates de facto “amnesty,” argues Mark Krikorian, the executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies in Washington D.C. “The issue is, Do we want to incorporate illegal immigrants into the institutions of our society? Because that is what covering them for health care would do: It would create a de facto legal status.” After all, Krikorian notes, “How illegal can an immigrant be if he has an identification card from the Department of Health and Human Services or wherever?”

The twin attractions of amnesty and insurance coverage, in turn, could fuel a new flood across the border. “It’s certainly an enticement,” says James Edwards, co-author of Congressional Politics of Immigration Reform. “Whenever word spreads in these communities that there is a crackdown on illegal immigration, you see drops in the number of immigrants who come.” By the same token, creating more favorable conditions for entry – such as taxpayer-subsidized insurance coverage – encourages the opposite response. “Maybe it will be 100,000 or maybe a million, but it will have an impact on a sizable portion of people who come to this country,” Edwards says.

There is still a chance it may not come to that. Support for President Obama’s health care plan has fallen to an all-time low, according to last week’s Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, with just 36 percent of Americans viewing it favorably. Meanwhile, the failure of the Democratic leadership to bring a health care bill to a vote before Congress’s August recess is being seen by some, including some Democrats, as a telltale defeat that could complicate a health-care deal down the line.

Political setbacks notwithstanding, neither the president nor Congress is ready to abandon plans for health-care reform. But it hardly augurs well for Obamacare that that those who stand to benefit most from its passage are not even American citizens.
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Old 08-04-2009, 02:40 PM
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Arrow Less Care for the Elderly

Less Care for the Elderly
One doesn't need to be a mathematician to see what health care "reform" adds up to.

The health-reform debate on Capitol Hill is skipping over the key issue: "Universal insurance" means less care for people who have coverage now -- especially the elderly.

And the "compromises" now under way only make the problem worse.

Here's a point that's no surprise except to the "reformers": People with insurance use more health care.

President Obama seeks to cover 50 million new people. Where are the extra doctors, nurses and so on going to come from? Neither the administration nor anyone on the Hill has proposed anything to add to the supply of medical services even as they plan vastly to increase the demand.

The politicians are playing a Washington game -- compromising on false or tangential issues while failing to address the central one.

It doesn't matter if you reduce or eliminate the mandate for employers to provide coverage, if you're still insuring more people without adding medical personnel and other resources. Same story for whether you replace the "public option" government-run plan with government-run "co-ops."

More, all the bills come up with cash to cover their huge costs by ordering cuts in Medicare -- cuts that Congress could reverse only by affirmative majority votes. Basically, the government will be paying doctors and providers even less to treat the elderly -- at a time when countless doctors are starting to refuse new Medicare patients.

More demand; no added supply; Medicare cuts: It all adds up to rationing -- lower-quality medical care for most Americans, especially for the elderly.

A doctor in Massachusetts -- where an Obama-style plan is already in place -- recently told us that she now has to read 60 mammograms a day in the time she once spent on 45. "It keeps me up at night," she told us, "that I might make a mistake, I am so rushed."

For the elderly, it means less care, period. A federal health board will sit in judgment of medical procedures and protocols and impose guidelines on all providers for when to withhold certain kinds of care.

For example, the drug Avastin is widely used in America to treat advanced colon cancer. But it costs $50,000 a year -- so Canada's national-health system doesn't permit its use. As a result, 41 percent of colon-cancer patients in Canada die each year, as opposed to 32 percent in the United States. (Canada's average eight-month wait for colonoscopies, another result of national-health rationing, also contributes to the problem.)
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Old 08-05-2009, 10:28 PM
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Arrow 71% Say Obama’s Policies Have Driven Up Deficit

71% Say Obama’s Policies Have Driven Up Deficit

Seventy-one percent (71%) of U.S. voters say President Obama’s policies have increased the size of the federal deficit, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.

Only five percent (5%) say the president’s policies have cut the deficit, and 10% say they have had no impact. Thirteen percent (13%) are not sure.

Eighty percent (80%) of investors say Obama’s policies have driven up the deficit, a view shared by just 57% of non-investors.

Not surprisingly, 88% of Republicans blame the president’s policies, compared to 52% of Democrats. But 79% of voters not affiliated with either party agree.

Obama has initiated a number of big spending programs intended to jump-start the U.S. economy, and the Treasury Department estimates that the federal debt has grown by more than a trillion dollars since he took office.

In his defense, the president notes that he inherited both an economic crisis and an already sizable deficit from President Bush.

On the economic crunch, most Americans agree with the president. Fifty-four percent (54%) blame the recession that began under the Bush administration for the nation’s economic woes, while 39% say Obama’s policies are at fault.

A plurality of voters (37%) say cutting the federal deficit in half in the next four years is number one among the four priorities the president listed in a speech to Congress in February, but 66% view it as the goal he is least likely to achieve.

Eighty-one percent (81%) of voters now say the bigger problem for the United States today is not voters’ unwillingness to pay enough in taxes but is instead the unwillingness of politicians to control government spending. This is little changed since May.

Twelve percent (12%) say the problem is that voters are unwilling to pay more in taxes.

Ninety-two percent (92%) of Republicans and 86% of unaffiliated voters see the unwillingness of politicians to control government spending as the bigger problem, as do 67% of Democrats.

Only 16% of voters say tax increases help the economy. Most voters (54%) say tax hikes hurt the economy, a number that has been fairly consistent for more than 10 years.

Sixty-eight percent (68%) of voters expect government spending to increase under the Obama administration. But 46% think cuts in government spending help the economy.

Fifty-four percent (54%) of U.S. voters say tax cuts for the middle class are more important than new spending for health care reform, even as President Obama’s top economic advisers signal that tax hikes may be necessary.
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Old 08-05-2009, 10:33 PM
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Arrow Gov't insurance would allow coverage for abortion

Gov't insurance would allow coverage for abortion

WASHINGTON (AP) - Health care legislation before Congress would allow a new government-sponsored insurance plan to cover abortions, a decision that would affect millions of women and recast federal policy on the divisive issue.

Federal funds for abortions are now restricted to cases involving rape, incest or danger to the life of the mother. Abortion opponents say those restrictions should carry over to any health insurance sold through a new marketplace envisioned under the legislation, an exchange where people would choose private coverage or the public plan.

Abortion rights supporters say that would have the effect of denying coverage for abortion to millions of women who now have it through workplace insurance and are expected to join the exchange.

Advocates on both sides are preparing for a renewed battle over abortion, which could jeopardize political support for President Barack Obama's health care initiative aimed at covering nearly 50 million uninsured and restraining medical costs. The dispute could come to a head with House and Senate floor votes on abortion this fall, a prospect that many lawmakers would like to avoid.

"We want to see people who have no health insurance get it, but this is a sticking point," said Richard Doerflinger, associate director of pro-life activities for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. "We don't want health care reform to be the vehicle for mandating abortion." The church can't accept a public plan that covers abortion, he said.

Donna Crane, policy director for NARAL Pro-Choice America, said abortion opponents "want an abortion ban in private insurance, and that's not neutrality at all - that's a radical departure from current law. They want something far more extreme than where I think the American public is."

A compromise approved by a House committee last week attempted to balance questions of federal funding, personal choice and the conscience rights of clinicians. It would allow the public plan to cover abortion but without using federal funds, only dollars from beneficiary premiums.

Likewise, private plans in the new insurance exchange could opt to cover abortion, but no federal subsidies would be used to pay for the procedure.
"It's a sham," said Douglas Johnson, legislative director for National Right to Life. "It's a bookkeeping scheme. The plan pays for abortion, and the government subsidizes the plan."

Rep. Lois Capps, D-Calif., author of the compromise, said she was trying to craft a solution that would accommodate both sides. Her amendment also would allow plans that covered no abortions whatsoever - not even in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother - to be offered through the insurance exchange.

"With all due respect, not everyone adheres to what the Catholic bishops believe," said Capps, who supports abortion rights. "Our country allows for both sides, and our health plan should reflect that as well."

But Senate staffers said Capps' compromise is unacceptable to Republican senators.

For years, abortion rights supporters and abortion opponents have waged the equivalent of trench warfare over restrictions on federal funding.

Abortion opponents have largely prevailed, instituting restrictions that bar federal funding for abortion, except in cases of rape and incest or if the mother's life would be endangered.

A law called the Hyde amendment applies the restrictions to Medicaid, forcing states that cover abortion for low-income women to do so with their own money. Separate laws apply the restrictions to the federal employee health plan and military and other programs.

The health overhaul would create a stream of federal funding not covered by the restrictions.

The new federal funds would take the form of subsidies for low- and middle-income people buying coverage through the health insurance exchange. Subsidies would be available for people to buy the public plan or private coverage. Making things more complicated, the federal subsidies would be mixed in with contributions from individuals and employers. Eventually, most Americans could end up getting their coverage through the exchange.

The Democratic health care legislation as originally introduced in the House and Senate did not mention abortion. That rang alarm bells for abortion opponents.

Since abortion is a legal medical procedure, experts on both sides say not mentioning it would allow health care plans in the new insurance exchange to provide unrestricted coverage.

It would mirror the private insurance market, where abortion coverage is widely available. A Guttmacher Institute study found that 87 percent of typical employer plans covered abortion in 2002, while a Kaiser Family Foundation survey in 2003 found that 46 percent of workers in employer plans had coverage for abortions. The studies asked different questions, which might help explain the disparity in the results.

In the Senate, the plan passed by the health committee is largely silent on the abortion issue. Staff aides confirmed that the public plan - and private insurance offered in the exchange - would be allowed to cover abortion, without funding restrictions. However, a bipartisan group of Finance Committee senators is discussing the issue and may take a different approach.

As the House and Senate bills stand now, the decision to offer abortion coverage in the public plan would be made by the health and human services secretary.

Abortion opponents are seeking a prohibition against using any federal subsidies to pay for abortions or for any part of any costs of a health plan that offers abortion. Such a proposal was voted down by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the same panel that approved Capps' amendment. It's not likely to be the end of the story.

Aides to Reps. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., and Joseph Pitts, R-Pa., who sponsored the restrictive proposal that lost in committee, said the pair will press for a separate vote on abortion funding when the health care bill comes before the full House this fall.

Abortion opponents say private plans in the insurance exchange could be allowed to cover abortion, but only if it's offered under a separate, supplemental policy that individuals would have to buy on their own.

"You can have a result where nobody has to pay for other people's abortions," said Doerflinger.

Heidi Hartmann, president of the Institute for Women's Policy Research, said applying the current restrictions for federal employees and low-income women to a program intended for the middle class will provoke a backlash.

"There is a difference between picking off one group of women here and one group there and something that would affect a very large group," Hartmann said. "Everyone would like to avoid that fight."
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Old 08-06-2009, 02:45 PM
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Exclamation Obama's Health Plan Will Succeed

Obama's Health Plan Will Succeed
At getting people to die faster.

Many critics are busy complaining that President Obama's healthcare reform plans are doomed to failure. It would be nice if they would just quit their whining and get back to caring for their polo ponies or something, because it's clear that the plan will be successful. Think about it -- as severely ill people die more quickly, costs will inevitably be cut.

It's really quite simple. Take cancer treatment. If we can just make sure to treat cancer patients with older, cheaper, more ineffective treatments, then treatment will actually be more effective -- at cutting costs as more cancer patients die. We not only save the cost of more expensive medication -- we also save by relying on less expensive stays in hospices instead of more extended active treatments.

More importantly, if we can help patients die quickly now, then we can save on the cost of any future major illnesses they would've had that would have cost society a whole boatload of money. Basically, one severe potentially terminal illness is cheaper than two. Some cancer patients may try to demand more up-to-date, effective treatments, but society must obviously ignore their selfish desires to live.

The Obama plan is going to accomplish this with its billion-dollar investment in "comparative-effectiveness research." This is a coup, because it sounds so rational and scientific. A sophisticated observer can see that it will be "comparatively effective" at reducing the rate at which new, more effective treatments are utilized. The kind of large, expensive studies required to prove that newer treatments are less effective at killing off patients will be so difficult to conduct that the newly created "Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research" (or FCCCER, pronounced faux care) will have cover for many years before it's compelled to approve any new treatment.

Such is the excellent model provided by Great Britain's National Institute for Clinical Excellence, known by the wonderful acronym NICE. Indeed it was "NICE" how the agency "regrettably" found last summer that four admittedly "clinically effective" lifesaving medications for kidney cancer were not "cost-effective uses of NHS resources." NICE has been wildly successful in shortening the overall amount of time that the British medical system is forced to treat cancer patients. In Great Britain, survival rates after a cancer diagnosis range from 40.2 to 48.1 percent for men and 48 to 54.1 percent for women. The United States currently boasts an inefficiently high rate of 66 percent for men and 63 percent for women.

Of necessity, part of Obama's plan is to get physicians focused on purchasing, integrating, and pulling their hair out over how to use fully computerized, government-approved medical records systems. Many physicians complain that these systems don't work well in their practices, that they're time consuming, and that they take time away from patient care. But these computer systems are absolutely essential in ensuring that physicians don't try to practice medicine themselves and instead comply with the FCCCER's dictates to use outdated treatments. Computer records will permit minute, constant scrutiny of physicians, who will be penalized for trying to use independent judgment in prescribing unapproved treatments.

An underappreciated part of the plan is the expected savings on Social Security benefit payments, if we can be more effective in not prolonging the suffering of those that could be terminally ill. It would be nice to see White House economists include such assumptions in their calculations to help bolster their argument for adoption of the President's plans. That is the type of forward thinking that we need to sell this bill of goods to an American public so unsophisticated that they are worried about having the government fully take over one-seventh of the national economy during this time of economic distress and multi-trillion-dollar federal debt.

Mark Schiller, M.D., is a Senior Fellow at the Pacific Research Institute and a board member of the Benjamin Rush Society, a medical society that is dedicated to serving patients, not the government.
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Old 08-06-2009, 03:17 PM
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Arrow After 6 Months, More View Obama's Presidency as a 'Failure' Than Bush's

A rather surprising finding from the newly released CNN poll. Question three on the national survey of 1,136 adults (which includes an oversample of African-Americans) asks, "Do you consider the first six months of the Obama administration to be a success or a failure?"

Thirty-seven percent (37%) said they believe the Obama administration is a "failure," while 51% consider it a "success" and 11% say it's still "too soon to tell."

An identical question was asked of the Bush administration in an August 2001 CNN/Gallup/USA Today survey. At the time, 56% said the Bush administration was a "success" while only 32% considered it a "failure."
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Old 08-07-2009, 03:49 PM
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Exclamation Is Islam > First Amendment at the State Department?

Is Islam > First Amendment at the State Department?
By Bill West

This is the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment deals with the first sixteen words. Congress is prohibited from making laws respecting the establishment of religion or the “free exercise” thereof. This is the core of America’s separation of church and state doctrine. While the wording of the Amendment specifies Congress, Supreme Court decisions have, over the years, included Executive Branch agencies of government in the prohibition, since Congress controls the funding of those agencies.

Additionally, the 14th Amendment (equal protection) and related court decisions have applied this prohibition to the States. Essentially, no branch of government is supposed to be involved in establishing, favoring or promoting any particular religion. Such activities would be a violation of the Establishment Clause.

The Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) has reported extensively about the ongoing case of the Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy (TIZA), a Minnesota public charter school that is run by the Muslim American Society (MAS) and appears to function as an Islamic sectarian school. Those reports may be viewed here, here, here and here. This is one current example of Islam being allowed to encroach into the public domain at taxpayer expense.

But TIZA is not the only example. The Federal government is also pursuing programs, with public funding allocated by Congress, that clearly favor the religion of Islam. Among these efforts are programs conducted by the US Department of State (DOS). The IPT reported on DOS aligning itself with known Islamists who publicly support radical and even terrorist elements within the US and abroad. This program involved DOS funding and oversight for two Palestinian television crews to come to the US to create documentaries related to “life of Muslims in America.” As part of this effort, the Palestinian “TV crew will conduct interviews with local Muslim leaders and individuals, visit Muslim institutions and organizations...”. Quite arguably, this program involves DOS expending taxpayer money to highlight and favor Islam.

Seemingly at odds with this pro-Islam posture is a report in the Washington Post on July 30 that identifies a long-running rift between the US Agency for International Development (USAID), an agency within DOS, and the Inspector General’s Office (OIG) for USAID. This rift relates to proposed USAID programs that would support, highlight and enhance Islamic organizations and other Muslim concerns. USAID OIG and agency attorneys took the position that such programs would violate the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause. In the Washington Post report, there is this quote from the USAID legal counsel:

"...the legal test goes beyond that to [include] endorsement of religion, indoctrination of religions, excessive entanglement with religion. We have to try to accomplish our secular purpose while still not violating these legal principles."

This is a clear statement of a legal position that USAID will not engage in programs that include “endorsement of religion, indoctrination of religion, excessive entanglement of religion.”

This legal posture by USAID attorneys apparently does not transfer to other DOS organizations. Effective June 23, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appointed Farah Anwar Pandith to the position of “Special Representative to Muslim Communities.” The DOS website section related to Pandith states this as the mission of her office:

“Her office is responsible for executing Secretary Clinton’s vision for engagement with Muslims around the world on a people-to-people and organizational level. She reports directly to the Secretary of State.”
There are no similar Special Representatives for Jewish, Christian, Buddhist, Hindu or other religious communities.

On July 9, the Secretary of State’s office issued a cable to US embassies and consular posts around the world. The subject of this cable was “PUBLIC DIPLOMACY RESOURCES FOR RAMADAN 2009.” Ramadan is one of Islam’s most important religious observances that takes place during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. Ramadan celebrates the time when, according to Islam, the Quran was revealed to the prophet Muhammad. The DOS cable directs that the Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP) “has assembled a range of innovative and traditional tools to support Posts' outreach activities during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. This cable highlights these tools and requests Posts to report on use of IIP programs and products for Ramadan programming to Regional Bureau PD offices and IIP Geographic Office Directors.” Further, “Post should refer to local religious authorities to confirm dates.”

The DOS cable describes numerous “tools” developed by the IIP for State Department posts and personnel to utilize during Ramadan. These include books, power point presentations, essays, posters and speakers related to Islam in America, mosques in America, Muslim life in America, “building on faith” (Islam) in America and similar topics.

There do not appear to be similar religious outreach programs within the Department of State for Jews, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus or any other religious group. It is clear the US Department of State, particularly at the senior levels, has an institutional affinity for Islam and Muslims. Legal officers within at least one division of DOS have raised serious Establishment Clause concerns about governmental programs with a religious focus. However, it appears no less than the Secretary of State has decided to ignore those concerns.
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Old 08-07-2009, 04:26 PM
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Exclamation Veterans Betrayed

Veterans Betrayed
How the Obama administration tried – and failed – to make veterans pay for their wartime medical care.

Considering the sorry state of his vaunted health care proposal, President Obama’s promise this week that there will be a health care overhaul by the end of this year – bipartisan support be damned – may sound like so much bluster. But there is reason to believe that the president intends to make good on his plans for a government-run health care system. Indeed, Obama is so desperate to his nationalized health system that this spring he tried to save money by having wounded veterans pay their own medical bills.

It may sound like the invention of Obama’s worst political enemies, but it is true. This March, Obama proposed that veterans’ insurance companies should be made to pay for their treatment of service-connected injuries and disabilities suffered in battle. The insurance companies then would reimburse the Veterans Administration for such costs. (Presently, veterans’ private insurance is charged only when they get VA health care for medical problems not related to war injuries.)

The plan would have put about $540 million on backs of veterans and their insurance companies, and the men courageously defending the country overseas would have been saddled with the added cost of paying for the injuries they sustained in battle.

The outrageous plan ignited an instant firestorm from veterans organizations. They pointed out, accurately, that the cost of treating expensive war injuries could raise their insurance costs. “It’s a betrayal,” Joe Violante, legislative director of the Disabled American Veterans, told one interviewer. “My insurance company didn’t send me to Vietnam, my government did. The same holds true for the men and women now fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s the government’s responsibility.”

Bringing additional pressure to bear on the administration, the head of the nation’s largest veteran’s organizations, Commander David Rehbein of the American Legion, met with Obama on March 17. He said he was “deeply disappointed” after the meeting. According to Rehbein, it became apparent “that the president intends to move forward with this unreasonable plan. He refused to hear arguments about the moral and government-avowed obligations that would be compromised by it.”

With a political storm brewing, press secretary Robert Gibbs tried to take the heat off Obama. He insisted that the president has a “deep commitment to veterans,” and that the administration was simply “seeking to maximize the resources available to veterans.” But the defense rang hollow even to the president’s liberal supporters – including television comic Jon Stewart, who bitingly lampooned the administration’s plan on “The Daily Show.” The administration ultimately announced that “consideration be dropped” for any plan to have military veterans and their insurance companies pay their medical bills.

In truth, it had little choice but to retreat. Had Obama not shifted course, his proposal would have been dead on arrival in Congress. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Washington) used exactly that terminology when she told Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki that the controversial plan would be rejected if formally proposed to Congress. “I believe that veterans with service-connected injuries have already paid by having their lives on the line. I don’t think we should nickel and dime them for their care,” Murray added.

The good news for veterans is that their care may not be under threat in the leading health care legislation in Congress. On August 3, the Disabled American Veterans (DAV), a 1.2 million member non-profit organization founded in 1920, applauded two amendments attached to the nationalized health-care bill “America’s Affordable Health Choices Act,” drafted by the House Energy and Commerce Committee. One amendment, offered by Rep. Steve Buyer (R-Ind.), ranking member of the Veteran’s Affairs Committee, would let vets getting VA health care to also enroll in a plan through the bill’s proposed Health Insurance Exchange. The second Buyer amendment would guarantee the Secretary of Veteran’s Affairs authority to operate the VA health care system without interference from any new organization or agency created by the legislation.

The United States has a long history of providing benefits for those who have served and been wounded in battle. American colonies paid benefits to injured soldiers even before the Revolutionary War. In 1636, Plymouth Colony ordered that any disabled soldier injured while serving the colony would be maintained for life by the Colony. The Continental Congress tried to raise recruitment levels by promising officers half pay for seven years after the war. Enlisted men were offered a mustering out bonus of $80 (a large wad of money back then) if they stayed the course until the war ended. Congress also paid pensions to those disabled in combat. Still others were promised land grants for their service. In the Republic’s early years, states were charged with providing disabled veterans with medical and hospital care. In the early 19th century, benefits and pensions ere extended to widows and dependents of veterans as well.

By the end of the war with Mexico in 1848, U.S. veterans numbered in the hundreds of thousands. The tragic toll taken on Americans in the North and the South during the Civil War is well known. The government founded the National Home for Disabled Veterans after that war. After World War I, 200,000 wounded returned to the U.S. Besides disability compensation, insurance was provided for veterans. The Veterans Bureau was established which became he forerunner of today’s Department of Veterans Affairs.

In 1932, 12,000 to 15,000 veterans and their families reportedly converged on Washington to demand payment of the bonus they had been promised. According to the Library of Congress, by July 1832, 25,000 vets were camped in shantytowns along the Anacostia River, making a powerful symbol of shame for the president who refused them their promised bonuses.

With his plan to make veterans bear the medical costs of serving the country, President Obama followed in this inglorious tradition. Failing in that attempt, he will have to find new ways to finance the enormous expense of socialized medicine. Disabled veterans wouldn’t accept his plan to make them pay their health bills. They may be injured, but they are not willing to take the offense lying down.
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Old 08-08-2009, 01:26 PM
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Exclamation Obama Administration Says: Hooray for Jihad!

Obama Administration Says: Hooray for Jihad!

By which it means, of course, an interior spiritual struggle. The only problem is that this U.S. government stance will change not a single Muslim's mind about what jihad means, one way or the other.

"Obama Administration Says: Hooray for Jihad! (Proper Jihad, of course)," by Barry Rubin at the Rubin Report, August 7:

I’m beginning to understand the Obama administration strategy, at least in its initial phase, as a “bridge too far” approach. That expression came after the heroic Allied operation at Arnheim in World War Two, when what seemed a clever idea—to capture a key bridge far ahead of the existing Allied lines—turned into a military disaster.

For example, take Obama’s Cairo speech. He didn’t just try to build good relations with Muslims but to whitewash the history and practices of Islamic polities and peoples completely. Or he doesn’t just try to engage Iran but to do so by removing all criticisms of the regime and most of his potential leverage over it. (Yes, I know that movement toward increased sanctions is happening but, to use another expression, too little, too late.)

This reflection is generated by a major speech just given by John O. Brennan, Obama’s top counterterrorism advisor. He declares the “war on terrorism” is over and redefines it as a war on al-Qa’ida and its partners.

Much argumentation is adduced to justify this alteration and some of it is certainly persuasive. But there are two extraordinarily important points that go unnecessarily too far and may be extremely damaging in the future.

The first is that the United States is not at war with “terrorism” in general but only those terrorists who directly attack the United States. But what about terrorists who attack allies? While most obviously this refers to Israel—does the United States not view Hamas and Hizballah as its adversaries any more?--there are many other examples.

“Fortunately,” one might be able to define terrorists in Indonesia, the Philippines, Morocco, Algeria, perhaps Somalia, and Afghanistan as linked to al-Qa’ida but what, for example, about those attacking India, Thailand, the United Kingdom, Russia, Colombia, China, or Lebanon (those shadowy Syrian-directed groups)?

In other words, this new administration position could be defined as a counterterrorist isolationist policy which sends the message: Know, thou terrorist, that you can attack anyone but the United States and we will not view you as full enemies.

So, American allies, if your people are blown up at a movie theatre or gunned down at a school or if someone explodes a bomb on an airliner full of passengers, you better hope that you can link the group responsible to al-Qa’ida or forget about getting strong U.S. support.

Second, and really shocking, is that the U.S. government has validated the concept of Jihad. Can one think of another example in history where the United States officially defined a religious concept?

Here are Brennan’s words:

“Nor does President Obama see this challenge as a fight against `jihadists.' Describing terrorists in this way--using a legitimate term, `jihad,’ meaning to purify oneself or to wage a holy struggle for a moral goal--risks giving these murderers the religious legitimacy they desperately seek but in no way deserve. Worse, it risks reinforcing the idea that the United States is somehow at war with Islam itself. And this is why President Obama has confronted this perception directly and forcefully in his speeches to Muslim audiences, declaring that America is not and never will be at war with Islam.”

The U.S. government has now officially defined Jihad as a purifying act taken to achieve a moral goal. In Washington this seems brilliant—we will deny the terrorists the ability to use Islamic symbols and show they are not really properly Muslims but renegades!

Yeah, that will show them, no doubt. But, you see, there’s one problem. Hundreds of millions of Muslims are unconcerned with how the U.S. government defines their religion. The definition of Jihad in practice has been—depending on your viewpoint—either altered or applied much more vigorously during the last few decades.

For example, and this is really an innovation, suicide bombing under proper conditions--that is, killing the "right" people--has been defined by many clerics whose credentials to issue fatwas are stronger than Brennan's as a purifying act in pursuit of a moral goal. Wiping Israel off the map has been defined as a moral goal, too.

In fact, the Obama administration's fatwa used precisely the same definition employed by al-Qa’ida in attacking the World Trade Center. The United States, it argues, attacks Muslims both directly and indirectly, by supporting governments like those of Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt, for example. Holy struggle? Check! To obey God and smite the devil’s allies. Moral goal? Check! The defense of Islam and Muslims against ruthless aggression.

What will Muslims make of this new U.S. policy? Some, those who are least politically active, will like it. Others, the most extreme, will view it as a lying trick and ignore it. And still others, supporters of revolutionary Islamism but more “moderate”--in purely relative terms, of course, as they still back the transformation of society into an Islamist dictatorship--will consider it as a signal of support for their cause.

Almost every influential, publicly active Islamic cleric defines murdering Israelis as appropriate Jihad. A very large number, probably a majority define killing Americans in Afghanistan or Iraq as proper Jihad. Even in general, the issue in defining "proper" Jihad is not so much to avoid killing civilians but killing “innocent” civilians, and that definition can be rather problematic.

And, no, it doesn't matter if you find Muslim professors or writers in North America or Europe who give you their personal, reformist, view of Islam along with a more benign interpretation of Jihad. We are not talking here about a theoretical or academic issue but the actual interpretations used by those clerics who influence thousands of followers in the Middle East.

Does a group of amateurs with the most limited grasp of Islamic theology and law—and whose expert advisors are often not much better—really need to decide that Jihad is legitimate and always good? Do we now have official U.S. government approval for the wars of Islam in the seventh century as good and proper?

What next? A definition of the Crusade in Christianity as a purifying struggle for a moral goal? After all, they sought to free the Holy Land from the infidels, right? All those massacres were regrettable byproducts but justified at the time, just as the definition of Jihad justifies such things today.

Like many moves of the Obama administration, in domestic policy also, this is visibly mistaken. Spotting these errors is simple and should have led to their being avoided. But so sure is it of its ideological approach; so arrogant over its class and credential privileges, so certain that criticism of media and academia is silenced or turned into praise, that warnings of, "Hey, captain, change course. You're heading right for the rocks!—aren't being heard, much less heeded.

This is the basic formula for policy disaster throughout history. Funny that all those songs about the Vietnam war have come home to roost for those who think they are doing the opposite. Here’s how the Stalinist troubadour Pete Seeger put it referring to President Lyndon Johnson:

“Well, I'm not going to point any moral;
I'll leave that for yourself
Maybe you're still walking, you're still talking
You'd like to keep your health.
But every time I read the papers
That old feeling comes on;
We're -- waist deep in the Big Muddy
And the big fool says to push on.”

Obama administration refuses to tell the truth about the following:

Clarifying the meaning of Jihad

Tuesday, 13 May 2008 ‘Jihad’ is extracted from the source, ‘Jaahada’ and it measured upon the fourth verb structure, which means interaction between two sides, al-Mufa’ala. Another example is ‘Al-Khisaam’ which means to quarrel and is extracted from its roots source – Khaasama. Also, there is the example of ‘Jidaal’, which means to discuss or to argue and is taken from the root source ‘Jaadala’.

In the tongue of the Arabs, al-Jihad means, ‘exerting ability and effort to do an action or express opinions’.

In Al-Munjid, the words Jaahada, Mujaahada and Jihadan means, ‘exerting effort and ability to push the other away’. In the Tafseer of al-Naysaboori it is clearly stated that ‘al-Jihad’ means to exert effort to achieve the objective or what is intended.

After all of these related definitions of the word ‘al-Jihad’ in the language, it is possible to give a clear linguistic definition, which is: ‘al-Jihad is the exerting of all effort and ability between two sides by the least.’

Based on the linguistic definition, the exerted effort could be via material weapons or without a weapon, with money or without money. Also it could be the struggle between two opposing desires exerting effort (Jihad) to overcome the other. It could also be by words and could be by refusing to do an action or to speak. An example of this is like the one who disobeys his parents when they order him to disobey Allah (Subhanna Wa Ta'ala) and the person becomes patient and perseveres when his parents insist in ordering him. And it is like the one who abstains from committing a haram desire when his nafs calls him to it. This is what is mentioned in Hashiyat Al-Jamal in al-Jalalayn: “Jihad is to have patience on difficulties. It could be during war and it could be inside the nafs.”

Based on this linguistic definition, the opponent that the Muslim engages Jihad against could be his own nafs, or the shaiytan, or the transgressor or the kuffar. Additionally, by this definition, Jihad could also be that which is in the way of Allah (Subhanna Wa Ta'ala) ‘Fi Sabeel Lillah’’. So the Jihad could be undertaken to please Allah (Subhanna Wa Ta'ala) or to please the shaiytan, like the Jihad of the Kuffar against others. Al-Naysaboori, wrote, “It is exerting effort to achieve the objective or what is intended regardless of the nature of the objective intended by the one who is exerting the effort.” The Quran used the word ‘Jihad’ in describing the activity of the kaafir fathers to make their believing children reject true belief. Allah (Subhanna Wa Ta'ala) says:

وَإِن جَاهَدَاكَ عَلى أَن تُشْرِكَ بِي مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ فَلَا تُطِعْهُمَا

“If they do Jihad to make commit association with me…do not obey them” (tmq Surah Luqman 31:15)

In the Shariyah, the word ‘al-Jihad’ was transferred from the general linguistic meaning to a special confined (restricted) meaning in the Quran and the Sunnah. It is, “the exerting of the effort to fight in the Way of Allah directly or by financial aid, or opinion and the like” This special meaning of Jihad was given in Medina. In Mecca, the legislation concerning Jihad was not revealed and that is why the subject of Jihad in the Mecci surahs carries the general linguistic meaning. They are the three verses (ayaat) in Surah al-Ainkaboot:

وَمَن جَاهَدَ فَإِنَّمَا يُجَاهِدُ لِنَفْسِهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَغَنِيٌّ عَنِ الْعَالَمِين

“And if any struggle ‘Jaahid’ (with might and main), they do so for their own souls: for Allah is free of all needs from all creation.” (tmq 29:6)

وَإِن جَاهَدَاكَ لِتُشْرِكَ بِي مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ فَلَا تُطِعْهُمَا إِلَيَّ مَرْجِعُكُمْ فَأُنَبِّئُكُم بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ

“But if they (either of them) struggle ‘Jaahada’ (to force) you to join with Me (in worship) anything of which you have no knowledge, obey them not. You have (all) to return to me, and I will tell you (the truth) of all that ye did.” (tmq 29:8)

وَالَّذِينَ جَاهَدُوا فِينَا لَنَهْدِيَنَّهُمْ سُبُلَنَا وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَمَعَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ

“And those who strive in Our cause ‘Jaahadu’- We will certainly guide them to our Paths: For verily Allah is with those who do right.” (tmq 29:69)

Also in surah Luqman verse 15, the word Jihad is used in the linguistic context. Regarding the verse in surah Al-Nahl talking about Jihad, it mentioned ‘al-Hijra’, which means that this is a Madani verse in a Mecci surah (chapter) – and this was mentioned by the al-Mufasiroon. The verse is:

ثُمَّ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ لِلَّذِينَ هَاجَرُواْ مِن بَعْدِ مَا فُتِنُواْ ثُمَّ جَاهَدُواْ وَصَبَرُواْ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ مِن بَعْدِهَا لَغَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

“But verily Your Lord- those who leave their homes after trials and persecutions,- and who thereafter struggle ‘Jaahadu’ and fight for the faith and patiently persevere,- Your Lord, after all this is oft-forgiving, Most Merciful”. (tmq 16:110)

The subject of Jihad in Medina occurs 26 (twenty-six) times and the majority of them carry the clear meaning of Fighting, ‘Qitaal’. From these verses are:

لاَّ يَسْتَوِي الْقَاعِدُونَ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ غَيْرُ أُوْلِي الضَّرَرِ وَالْمُجَاهِدُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ بِأَمْوَالِهِمْ وَأَنفُسِهِمْ فَضَّلَ اللّهُ الْمُجَاهِدِينَ بِأَمْوَالِهِمْ وَأَنفُسِهِمْ عَلَى الْقَاعِدِينَ دَرَجَةً وَكُـلاًّ وَعَدَ اللّهُ الْحُسْنَى وَفَضَّلَ اللّهُ الْمُجَاهِدِينَ عَلَى الْقَاعِدِينَ أَجْرًا عَظِيمًا

“Not equal are those believers who sit (at home) and receive no hurt, and those who strive and fight in the cause of Allah with their goods and their persons. Allah has granted a grade higher to those who strive and fight with their goods and persons than to those who sit (at home). To all (in Faith) has Allah promised good. But those who strive and fight has He distinguished above those who sit (at home) by a special reward.” (tmq 4:95)

It is clear in this verse that al-Jihad is in the meaning of going out to fight and that it is better than staying at home. Also from the verses about Jihad in surah Al-Tawba:

انْفِرُواْ خِفَافًا وَثِقَالاً وَجَاهِدُواْ بِأَمْوَالِكُمْ وَأَنفُسِكُمْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ ذَلِكُمْ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ

“Go forth, (whether equipped) lightly or heavily, and strive and struggle, with your goods and your persons, in the cause of Allah. That is best for you, if you (but) knew.” (tmq 9:41)

The order of ‘Nafr’ (going out) means that Jihad is fighting.

لَـكِنِ الرَّسُولُ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ مَعَهُ جَاهَدُواْ بِأَمْوَالِهِمْ وَأَنفُسِهِمْ وَأُوْلَـئِكَ لَهُمُ الْخَيْرَاتُ وَأُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ

“But the Messenger, and those who believe with him, strive and fight with their wealth and their persons: for them are (all) good things: and it is they who will prosper.” (tmq 9:88)

Also in surah Al-Saf, after mentioning fighting (Jihad) at the beginning, Allah (Subhanna Wa Ta'ala) says:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الَّذِينَ يُقَاتِلُونَ فِي سَبِيلِهِ صَفًّا كَأَنَّهُم بُنيَانٌ مَّرْصُوصٌ

“Truly Allah loves those who fight in His Cause in battle array, as if they were a solid cemented structure.” (tmq 61:4)

It is clear in the Madani verses that the subject of Jihad is specifically related to fighting and what fighting entails naturally from finance, weapons and the like. Also these verses demonstrate aspects of the conditions that precede the action of fighting and are conditional for its legality i.e. propagating the invitation for non-Muslims to embrace Islam (as this is the original condition for fighting as has been mentioned in ‘Mughni al-Muhtaj) and/or accept the Islamic authority over them. From the Sunnah of Muhammad (Salalahu Alaihi Wasallam), Jihad has been mentioned also with this shariyah meaning i.e. fighting and what it entails.

On the authority of Abi Hurayrah, who said: “People asked, “Oh Rasoolallah, tell us about an action that is equal to the Jihad fi Sabeel Lillah?” Muhammad (Salalahu Alaihi Wasallam) replied, “You will not find it bearable.” They replied, “Tell us oh Rasoolallah, maybe we can be able to withstand it.” Muhammad (Salalahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “The example of a mujahid Fi Sabeel Lillah is like the fasting man, the one who stays up at its night and prays and the one who is obedient to the verses of Allah, does not get tired of fasting, nor stops sadaqah until the mujahid returns back to his family.”

It is clear from the wording of the hadith that the question was about the mujahid with the meaning of the fighter in the Way of Allah (Fi Sabeel Lillah) specifically. The answer also indicated the same meaning when Muhammad (Salalahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “Until the mujahid returns back to his family” i.e. returns back from the fighting. Also by the authority of Jaabir, that the people asked Muhammad (Salalahu Alaihi Wasallam), “Which Jihad is better?” He (Salalahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “The one in which one’s horse is wounded and one’s blood is split in it.” On the authority of ibn Abbas, he said that Muhammad (Salalahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “When your brothers were killed in the battle of Uhud, Allah put their souls inside green birds that wonder inside Jannah landing on the rivers of Jannah and eats from its fruits. When they see how they spend their time and they look at their food and drink and how great it was, they say, ‘How we wish that our people know about how Allah rewarded us, so that they may love Jihad and not refrain from it.’ So then Allah says to them that, ‘I will tell you people and your brothers on your behalf.’ So they became happy with that news.” Allah (Subhanna Wa Ta'ala) sent this in surah Al-Imran on the occasion of the Battle of Uhud:

وَلاَ تَحْسَبَنَّ الَّذِينَ قُتِلُواْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ أَمْوَاتًا بَلْ أَحْيَاء عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ يُرْزَقُونَ

“Think not of those who are slain in Allah's way as dead. Nay, they live, finding their sustenance in the presence of their Lord.” (tmq 3:169)

From all of these shariyah texts, it is clear that the Legislator transferred the word Jihad from its general linguistic meaning to a special meaning, which is ‘al-Qitaal’ (fighting) and whatever is linked to it directly and indirectly, as has been mentioned earlier. Moreover, it relates to the words, which carry the same meaning of al-Jihad like war. From this we can see that the shariyah texts defined Jihad as fighting (qitaal) in the Way of Allah (Fi Sabeel Lillah) and this can be found in the books of fiqh, which dealt with the shariyah meaning of Jihad and laws related to it.

In Badi’ul Sanai’ of the Hanafi Mazhab, it states the following: “Jihad in the language is exerting effort. In the understanding of the Shara, it is exerting effort and energy in fighting fi sabeel lillah by nafs, finance, tongue or another.”

In Manhul Jaleel of the Maliki Mazhab, al-Jihad is defined as the, “fighting by a Muslim against a kaafir (who does not have a treaty with the Muslims) to make the word of Allah the highest…. or for a Muslim to arrive to do Jihad or to enter the Kaafir’s land for fighting.” Ibn Arafa defined this.

According to the Shafi Mazhab in Al-Iqna, Jihad is fighting ‘Fi Sabeel Lillah’. Al-Shirazi in Al-Muhazab said that Jihad is ‘qitaal’.

In Al-Mughni according to the Hanbali Mazhab, Ibn Qudama did not give any other definition. In the section ‘kitab ul-Jihad’ whatever is related to war, whether it was fard ul-kifaya (collective obligation) or fard ul-ayn (individual obligation) or whether it was in the form of guarding the believers from the enemy and the guards ‘ribat’ at the borders, all of this is connected to Jihad. He also said, “If the enemy arrives, Jihad becomes fard ul-ayn on the murabitoon (border guards). If it becomes evident that the enemy arrived, then they do not leave to meet them except by an order of the Ameer, since the Ameer is the one who has the authority for issuing orders in the matters of war.”

So it is clear that the meaning of Jihad was transferred from the linguistic to the shariyah meaning, such that it was understood to mean fighting and nothing else. Such purity and clarity over its meaning today is clearly vague, from what is heard from the lips of rulers over the Islamic lands and even amongst the Muslim ummah itself, as a result of the dominance and pollution of western political thought and reeling from a defeatist mentality that seeks to be apologetic.

So what emerged and dominated the opinion were those who sincerely but incorrectly took Jihad as the rule for all matters whilst others reduced Jihad as a matter connected to defending the ‘nafs’ and identity i.e. defensive fighting as opposed to offensive fighting. Others went further to say that Jihad is of the ‘nafs’ and overcoming desires only, calling it the ‘Great Jihad’, further saying that it is better than the small Jihad which is ‘qitaal’ (fighting). Such are those that have become lazy and feeble, with their hearts filled with the fear of the enemy.

So the protection of the Deen, hatred of the Kuffar and the love of Jihad has become replaced with the protection of the nation-state (nationalism), pleasing the colonialists and the love of excessive material gain. Since these incorrect concepts have become common between Muslims and the clear definition of Jihad is absent from the minds, the incentive and love to do Jihad, for many, has died (though the increased hostility and aggression of the western nations in the Islamic lands has served to re-kindle the correct desire).

It is, therefore, naturally important to clarify this matter such that the Muslims are able to refute the erroneous misunderstandings that exist, refute false claims and rekindle the love of Jihad.

Greater/Smaller Jihad

Firstly, the common understanding of Muslims is that Jihad is divided into two sections: Jihad ul-Akbar (the ‘Greater Jihad’), which is connected to Jihad ul-Nafs i.e. fighting the inner desires and shaiytan etc… Jihad ul-Asghar (the ‘Smaller Jihad’), which is fighting the kaafir enemy in battles and what is related to it.

Of the evidences that are quoted from the Islamic texts, the main one is the hadith, where Muhammad (Salalahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “We have arrived from the small Jihad to the great Jihad”. So they asked, “What is the great Jihad?” He (Salalahu Alaihi Wasallam) replied, “It is Jihad ul-Nafs (against the inner self).”

In another narration, Muhammad (Salalahu Alaihi Wasallam) referred to the “…Jihad of the slave against his desires.”

Though it is correct that there is a Jihad against the nafs, like against shaiytan, however, it is not greater in the sight of Allah (Subhanna Wa Ta'ala) from the physical Jihad against the Kuffar and it (Jihad ul-Nafs) does not cancel nor invalidate it.

This Jihad against the Kaafir enemies is continuous until the Day of Judgment as is the Jihad against the nafs also continuous until the Day of Judgement. But one should know that the evidences of doing Jihad against the nafs are different to the evidences of Jihad against the Kuffar.

Each has a situation different from the other (context) and it is not permitted to mix the two or to use the evidence of one for the other or to change one in place of the other. Rather there is a need for each, but in its correct context and each of them is a responsibility when put in their correct contexts.

This is why saying that ‘Jihad ul-nafs’ is better and greater in the sight of Allah (Subhanna Wa Ta'ala) is both very dangerous and an outright mistake, which contradicts the understanding of Jihad in the Way of Allah.

It is invalid from many angles:

1. Jihad has two meanings as mentioned previously, a linguistic and a shariyah meaning. Jihad of the nafs comes under the linguistic meaning and not the shariyah meaning.

2. The evidences used to say that Jihad ul-nafs is greater than Jihad against the Kuffar cannot be used to prove this and this is clear from the reality of the evidences that are used. This is because,

a. The hadith is ‘mardood riwayatan’

b. The hadith is ‘mardood dirayatan’

With regards to its invalidation from narration that is because the hadith is weak ‘Da’eef’ as is clarified in Al-Ajmi Al-Saghir by Imam Suyuti. As for its invalidation by meaning that is because it is contradicting definite text, which makes Jihad Fi Sabeel Lillah obligatory and makes it the greatest of action.

This can be seen from three aspects:

a. The verses that mention the value of the Jihad Fi Sabeel Lillah and that it is from the best actions like the verse:

لاَّ يَسْتَوِي الْقَاعِدُونَ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ غَيْرُ أُوْلِي الضَّرَرِ وَالْمُجَاهِدُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ بِأَمْوَالِهِمْ وَأَنفُسِهِمْ فَضَّلَ اللّهُ الْمُجَاهِدِينَ بِأَمْوَالِهِمْ وَأَنفُسِهِمْ عَلَى الْقَاعِدِينَ دَرَجَةً وَكُـلاًّ وَعَدَ اللّهُ الْحُسْنَى وَفَضَّلَ اللّهُ الْمُجَاهِدِينَ عَلَى الْقَاعِدِينَ أَجْرًا عَظِيمًا

“Not equal are those believers who sit (at home) and receive no hurt, and those who strive and fight in the cause of Allah with their goods and their persons. Allah has granted a grade higher to those who strive and fight with their goods and persons than to those who sit (at home). To all (in Faith) has Allah promised good. But those who strive and fight has He distinguished above those who sit (at home) by a special reward.” (tmq 4:95)

b. The verses that praise Jihad and the Mujahideen Fi Sabeel Lillah like the verse,

لَـكِنِ الرَّسُولُ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ مَعَهُ جَاهَدُواْ بِأَمْوَالِهِمْ وَأَنفُسِهِمْ وَأُوْلَـئِكَ لَهُمُ الْخَيْرَاتُ وَأُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ

“But the Messenger, and those who believe with him, strive and fight with their wealth and their persons: for them are (all) good things: and it is they who will prosper.” (tmq 9:88)

إِنَّ اللّهَ اشْتَرَى مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ أَنفُسَهُمْ وَأَمْوَالَهُم بِأَنَّ لَهُمُ الجَنَّةَ يُقَاتِلُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ فَيَقْتُلُونَ وَيُقْتَلُونَ وَعْدًا عَلَيْهِ حَقًّا فِي التَّوْرَاةِ وَالإِنجِيلِ وَالْقُرْآنِ وَمَنْ أَوْفَى بِعَهْدِهِ مِنَ اللّهِ فَاسْتَبْشِرُواْ بِبَيْعِكُمُ الَّذِي بَايَعْتُم بِهِ وَذَلِكَ هُوَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ

“Allah has purchased of the believers their persons and their goods; for theirs (in return) is the garden (of Paradise): they fight in His cause, and slay and are slain: a promise binding on Him in truth, through the Law, the Gospel, and the Quran: and who is more faithful to his covenant than Allah? Then rejoice in the bargain which you have concluded: that is the achievement supreme.” (tmq 9:111)

c. The verses that condemn and promises punishment to those who do not participate in Jihad, the ones left behind and the lazy neglectful ones,

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ مَا لَكُمْ إِذَا قِيلَ لَكُمُ انفِرُواْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ اثَّاقَلْتُمْ إِلَى الأَرْضِ أَرَضِيتُم بِالْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا مِنَ الآخِرَةِ فَمَا مَتَاعُ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا فِي الآخِرَةِ إِلاَّ قَلِيلٌ

“O you who believe! What is the matter with you, that, when you are asked to go forth in the cause of Allah, you cling heavily to the earth? Do you prefer the life of this world to the Hereafter? But little is the comfort of this life, as compared with the Hereafter.” (tmq 9:38)

In addition to this are the sayings of Muhammad (Salalahu Alaihi Wasallam) that the best action to Allah is Jihad Fi Sabeel Lillah and the fighting (qitaal) against the Kuffar: From the many narrations, Muhammad (Salalahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, ”Taking a journey in the Way of Allah (Fi Sabeel Lillah) is better than the duniya and what is in it.”

“Those who guard (the borders) for one day in the Way of Allah (Fi Sabeel Lillah) is better than the duniya and what is in it.” ”If anyone takes a position in the Way of Allah (Fi Sabeel Lillah) it is better than his prayer ‘salah’ in his house for 70 years. Don’t you want Allah to forgive you your sins and enter you in the Jannah? Invade, in the Way of Allah (Fi Sabeel Lillah).”

Therefore what has been mentioned in the text shows clearly that Jihad Fi Sabeel Lillah is one of the best actions and of the highest degree, which is clearly shown by the shariyah indicators, ‘Qarain’, that connect praise, condemnation, reward and punishment to expose the fact that Jihad Fi Sabeel Lillah is greater and better than Jihad against the nafs. This is why the hadith is invalid in meaning ‘dirayatan’ because it contradicts the definite texts and therefore it is invalid ‘baatil’ to use as an evidence (i.e. to show that Jihad ul-nafs is a greater action).

Is Jihad defensive only?

As for the opinion that Jihad in Islam is defensive and not offensive by using the evidence (and similar evidences):

وَإِنْ جَنَحُوا لِلسَّلْمِ فَاجْنَحْ لَهَا وَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ

“But if the enemy incline towards peace, do you (also) incline towards peace, and trust in Allah: for He is One that Hears and Knows (all things)” (tmq 8:61)

وَقَاتِلُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ الَّذِينَ يُقَاتِلُونَكُمْ وَلَا تَعْتَدُوا إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ الْمُعْتَدِينَ

“Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah loves not transgressors.” (tmq 2:190)

This is also incorrect and invalid for its application upon this matter is incorrect for the following reasons:

1. The evidences of Jihad are general ‘mutlaq’ evidences and include all offensive and defensive actions e.g. waging war to pre-empt an attack, to protect the borders, killing on the battlefield. To restrict or specify the evidences only to defensive and not offensive Jihad, requires a textual evidence to show that the Jihad is restricted to defensive Jihad only. And there is no such text in the Quran or the Sunnah that restricts or specifies this. Therefore, the evidences regarding Jihad remain general and to be used for all types of war and all types of fighting with the enemy. So it is invalid (baatil) to use the verse,

وَإِن جَنَحُواْ لِلسَّلْمِ فَاجْنَحْ لَهَا

“But if the enemy incline towards peace, do you…” (tmq 8:61), to show that Jihad is only defensive.

That is also the case with the rest of the evidences that are used by proponents of this erroneous understanding. This and similar verses cannot be used to specify or restrict the generality of the verses in surah al-Tawba because they were the last verses revealed regarding Jihad and what came prior to these verses regarding Jihad does not specify the verses which were revealed after them or came afterwards. And the verse does not restrict the latter revealed verses either. There has to be a text present to restrict or specify the general verse and they also must be revealed after the initial, which are general or mutlaq or even they (i.e. those verses which are restricted or specific) should be mentioned together with the general verses so that the two situations can be shown (i.e. to show the different situations upon which they apply). So Allah (Subhanna Wa Ta'ala) says: وَإِن جَنَحُواْ لِلسَّلْمِ , which is regarding the time of the peace. And He (Subhanna Wa Ta'ala) says,

قَاتِلُواْ الَّذِينَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللّهِ وَلاَ بِالْيَوْمِ الآخِرِ وَلاَ يُحَرِّمُونَ مَا حَرَّمَ اللّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ وَلاَ يَدِينُونَ دِينَ الْحَقِّ مِنَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَابَ حَتَّى يُعْطُواْ الْجِزْيَةَ عَن يَدٍ وَهُمْ صَاغِرُونَ

“Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued”, (tmq 9:29) which is at the time of war and fighting.

So peace and fighting are two situations, which remain un-abrogated, i.e. neither abrogates the other.

2. In addition to this, the saying and actions of Muhammad (Salalahu Alaihi Wasallam) show that Jihad definitely is to start (offensive) fighting the kuffar to make the Words of Allah the highest and to propagate (da’wa) the call of Islam. Muhammad (Salalahu Alaihi Wasallam) said,

“I have been ordered to fight the people until they bear witness that, ‘there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is His Messenger’ and they establish the prayer and the zakat. And if they do this, then from me is protected their blood and their wealth except by the right granted by Allah.”

As for his (Salalahu Alaihi Wasallam) actions, they are full of actions that show Jihad is to start the fighting. So when he went out to Badr to take the caravan belonging to the Quraysh, this was going out to fight, this is offensive – as Muhammad (Salalahu Alaihi Wasallam) initiated the action before the Quraysh.

Likewise, when Muhammad (Salalahu Alaihi Wasallam) invaded Hawazin in the battle of Hunayn, when he (Salalahu Alaihi Wasallam) seiged Ta’if and the battle of Mutah to fight the Romans and the Battle of Tabuk – all of these are evidences to show that Jihad is to start fighting kuffar (offensive). This should clarify the erroneous view that in origin Jihad is defensive.

3. From Ijma as-Sahabah, it is clear that Jihad is fighting Fi Sabeel Lillah to carry Islam and that it is offensive. The evidence, which is sufficient to explain this, is the opening of Iraq, Persia, Sham, Egypt and North Africa. They were all opened at the time of the Sahabah with their Ijma’ (consensus). Therefore, all what we mentioned are sufficient evidences to refute the claim that Jihad is defensive.


In conclusion, Muslims should gain the confidence to present the reality of Jihad to our ummah and raise the level of thinking on this issue such that the Muslims become clearer about its meaning, obligation, gain an increased love for it and importantly, understand the contexts in which it exists and is applied.

The Islamic Ummah, served with the responsibility to present and guard Islam should not allow the rulers over the Islamic lands to pollute the meaning of Jihad and remove its love from the hearts of the believers. Indeed, the Islamic Ummah should not allow these rulers to commit the greater crime to rule over her by other than Islam and dilute the purity of the whole of Islam with their shamelessness, implementation of kufr and humiliating subservience to a part of the creation i.e. their colonial masters, instead of their subservience to the Creator and Master of all that is seen and unseen, Allah (Subhanna Wa Ta'ala).

As for the interaction with the non-Muslims, it is important that the Muslims have the clarity and strength to tackle the malicious, incorrect and hateful propaganda that is focussed on Jihad that is presented as barbaric against peaceful people with the objective to force them to embrace Islam by compulsion and the sword.

The Islamic ummah should tackle this from two perspectives.

Firstly, the Muslims should expose the violent, barbaric and inhumane foreign policy of the ‘civilised’ colonial powers that have destroyed nations, states and people; left millions to starve for the sake of securing capitalist interests, appointed and protected oppressive regimes that suppress the will of their people; plundered resources of the lesser developed and invade lands with brute force, terrorising the local civilian people with indiscriminate policies of killing, imprisonment, rape, ‘carpet bombing’; razing whole villages and towns into the ground; and forcing the people to adopt their life-styles, values and political structures. What right do such people have after witnessing the implementation of such a wicked and brutal foreign policy with their own eyes – in South America, Africa, Palestine, Afghanistan and more recently in Iraq, from the various credible news sources – to even begin laying a criticism against Jihad.

Non-Muslims need to see the reality of their own governments and not be blinded the hysterical and deceitful propaganda that increasingly is aimed at Islam and its values.

Secondly, Muslims should demonstrate some of the rules that surround Jihad and state that offensively carrying the struggle against non-Islam does not permit Muslims to compel the local people to embrace Islam. This is because Allah (Subhanna Wa Ta'ala) does not allow compulsion:

لاَ إِكْرَاهَ فِي الدِّينِ

"There is no compulsion in deen" (tmq 2:256)

Likewise Islam does not allow the exploitation, plundering, razing and desecration of places of worship, people’s homes and honour – when Jihad is carried offensively. Rather Jihad is carried offensively to cleanse the earth from the kufr, with the implementation of Islam as a system thus liberating man from the rule of man. The history of the Islamic conquests, the presence of Christians and Jews, who lived in security and prosperity under the Islamic State and the safe-haven that the Islamic authority provided for people savaged by the forefathers of the modern colonialists is sufficient proof for this.

On the horizon, as the struggle between Iman and kufr increases day by day – it is imperative for the Muslims to hold to the truth of Islam, its rules and not permit the dilution of its intellectual wealth – a wealth which soon will transform the darkness of colonial rule to the mercy and shade of the Islamic authority, Al-Khilafah, by Allah (Subhanna Wa Ta'ala's) permission.

Last edited by Paparock; 08-08-2009 at 01:30 PM..
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