Posts Tagged ‘Libya’
Over the years in this column I have written about the American Empire. I have advocated jettisoning the Empire to save the Republic. This topic has sparked debate and controversy even among the most dedicated readers. Usually the argument runs like this, “America is not an Empire, never has been and never will be,” or “America’s far-flung military deployments are not the garrisoning of an empire it is instead a forward defense of the homeland.”
In my most recent column along these lines, aptly entitled, “Republic or Empire?” in several publications there was spirited debate about whether or not America could be called an empire. Some people seemed to take offense at the very idea. Others who usually agree with my political stands find this and my other foreign policy positions such as bringing our troops home, concentrating on defending America, and equitable trade with all unacceptable. I present and promote these foreign policy positions as requirements for restoring limited government. It is my belief that as long as we are involved in endless war there is no real possibility to re-gain control of our government, our budget, or our future.
What I propose to do in this column is examine the hallmarks of empire and ask my readers to honestly ask themselves, “Is America a republic or an empire?”
First, it makes no difference whether it is the President, the Paramount Chief, an Augustus, the First Citizen, the Dear Leader, the Great Helmsman or der Fuehrer. It doesn’t matter if it is an executive branch, a Politburo, a Central Committee, the Cabinet, or the collective leadership. Whatever form it takes, an empire is always dominated by a highly centralized executive power.
America was designed not to be an empire but instead to be a federal republic made up of a central government and state governments which were the precursors and creators of the central government. This central government founded upon and constrained by a written constitution originally presented the world with something new, a national government made up of divided co-equal powers. The Congress to make the laws, the executive to enforce the laws, and the judicial to judge if the laws conformed to the Constitution: the guiding light and touch-stone of American limited government. This worked well to establish and maintain a republic but it would not foster nor perpetuate an empire.
Thus the Constitution established the framework of what became known as the system of checks and balances. Only congress could make laws, but the President could veto them. Congress could over-ride a president’s veto, but the Supreme Court could declare laws unconstitutional making them null and void. The president is in charge of foreign policy and is the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, but the Congress controlled the purse and could cut off funding. Upon petition the Supreme Court could declare the actions of the president unconstitutional yet the president could appoint justices to the Supreme Court.
Did this work perfect? No, there were always swings one way or another. There have been powerful Supreme Courts such as under Chief Justices Marshall or Warren that changed the complexion of the country. There have been powerful Congresses such as the one from 1865 to the mid 1870’s that virtually ignored presidents and set policy. There were powerful presidents such as Jackson or Lincoln. However the pendulum always swung back and forth. If you examined all three institutions there was one thing missing. Where was the sovereignty? Who was the nation?
In the highly centralized state, which is an empire whether personal or national, the leader or leadership operates according to the sentiments of the Sun King, Louis XIV of France who said, “I am the State.” During the birth of the American system, our Founders had spent more time debating this than any other aspect of the government, who would be the sovereign power. They had just fought and defeated one tyrant and they did not want to exchange one for another. They didn’t trust the sovereignty of the nation in the hands of an executive because of the long and bloody history of Europeans with absolutism and divine right. They didn’t trust an assembly after their recent history with the tyranny of the British Parliament and their Stamp Act, Quartering Act and other attempts to bring the colonies to their knees. They couldn’t place it in the hands of the Supreme Court for that body would be merely judicial.
Instead they came up with a new idea in the world. They placed the sovereignty of the nation in the hands of We the People.
The Constitution is designed to empower the people not the government. Though today it is stretched and interpreted to give the government the power to do whatever it wants whenever it wants originally it was constructed to limit government.
We the People could vote the Congress in or out, we could choose our own president, and if the Supreme Court said something was unconstitutional that we wanted we could change the Constitution using a mechanism embedded within the document itself. For the first time no leader or oligarchy owned the state, instead the state belonged to the citizens.
What do we see in America today? We have a president who says, “We can’t wait for an increasingly dysfunctional Congress to do its job. Where they won’t act, I will.” When Congress after deliberation decides not to pass the Dream Act giving amnesty to millions, the President uses an executive order to make it law by decree. When the Congress refuses to pass a cap-and-trade law that many believe will hamstring our industry and hobble us in the race with other nations, the president orders his EPA department to enforce it anyway. Without consulting Congress the President takes us to war against Libya and deposes a government.
These are the actions of an executive out of control. Under the original American system if anyone would have asked, “Who speaks for the people?” the answer would have been the House of Representatives because they were elected every two years and were thus closest to the people. It wouldn’t have been the Congress as a whole because under the original system the senate was chosen by the various state legislatures and was designed to represent the states. It was the House which spoke for the people. Today it is the President who uses the bully pulpit magnified by a subservient press and a thousand government media pressure points and outlets saying in effect, I have a mandate from the people. I am the embodiment of their will. I am the state.
The next hallmark of an empire we will look at is that domestic policy becomes subordinate to foreign policy. The American President is constitutionally in charge of foreign policy so there is no better place for the holder of that office to act without any restraint. Treaties must be ratified, so our presidents began in the 1940’s to forge personal agreements with the leaders of other countries that had all the force of treaties with none of the messy Senate confirmation required. Using their power as Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces modern presidents have also used their authority to start wars as in Kosovo and Libya, to sign cease fires as in Korea, and to commit America to the support of dictators and tyrants through deployments and equipment transfers, all without any Congressional oversight.
If we ask ourselves, has domestic policy really become subordinate to foreign policy think about whose infrastructure are we being taxed to rebuild? In Afghanistan and Iraq our money and our companies are building new schools while ours fall apart, we are building new roads in Afghanistan while we watch our own bridges crumbling. We give billions to countries and governments that despise us. We borrow money to give it away and then sometimes borrow it back all in a bizarre dance balancing foreign interests at the expense of We the People.
Another hallmark of an empire is that the military mindset becomes ascendant to the point that civilians are intimidated. Think about the Defense budget. In 2012 it was over 600 billion dollars. Does anyone believe Congress or anyone else really knows where all that money is going? The size, scope, and unbelievable waste in the defense budget stagger the imagination. However, to even question the defense budget will immediately get someone labeled as an isolationist who wants to gut our defense and surrender to the enemy.
Many people will argue that we are in a war and that during war of course the defense budget will be bloated. Can you remember any time since 1942 that we haven’t been in a war? Yes, there were the brief days of the “Peace Dividend” under Clinton after the Soviet Union dissolved which actually became the rational for increased defense spending. And during those brief days of peace back in the 1990’s we fought a war and enforced a decade long no-fly zone in Iraq, attacked Serbia, sent troops, planes or other assets to Zaire, Sierra Leone, Bosnia (numerous times), Herzegovina, Somalia, Macedonia, Haiti, Liberia, Central African Republic, Albania, Congo and Gabon, Cambodia, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Tanzania, Sudan, Afghanistan, and East Timor. And this was our only decade of peace since the 1940’s, and to question any of this is considered tantamount to treason. We must ask ourselves, “Has the military mindset become ascendant to the point that civilians are intimidated?”
Perpetual war for peace has led the peaceful American people to be ensnared in the clutches of the military-industrial complex as president Eisenhower warned it would in 1961.
All empires develop and maintain a system of satellite nations. When we hear of this we immediately think of the old USSR and their slave states in Eastern Europe. Advance the idea that America has satellite nations and people become irate. “How could you say such a thing about America?” Look at our so-called allies. Do they fit the description as satellite nations? A satellite nation is one that the empire deems is necessary for its own defense. It is also one that feels it cannot stand alone and wants the empire’s protection.
That is the deal. The empire commits to protect the satellite and the satellite agrees to stand with its back against the empire facing a common foe. Add to that the fact that we supply money and material to build the national defenses of our satellite/allies as well as economic aid and a preferential trade system. Think about these ideas and decide for yourself whether or not America has satellite nations ringing the heartland of the empire.
Another hallmark of empire is that a psychology or psychosis of pride, presumption, and arrogance overtakes the national consciousness. We are all familiar with the twenty-first century incantation of “Too big to fail.” That was applied by our bailout happy leaders to their pet banks and companies during the opening days of the Great Recession. It is also an apt description for the way in which most Americans view our position as the most powerful nation on earth or as the silver tongued talking heads like to say, the world’s sole superpower. Since the end of World War One the United States has been the unchallenged mega power among the western block of nations. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union we have towered like a colossus over the rest of the world. In the memory of most people now alive it has always been this way.
To most people the way it has been is the way it shall be. We speak of embracing change and of realizing that change is the only constant but few can really think that way. The familiar seduces us into thinking that the momentary circumstances of today are the unshakable foundations of tomorrow. To the children and grandchildren of the greatest generation the world will always gaze in awe at the great American eagle soaring above the world. Our navies rule the waves, our masses of fighters, bombers, and drones can reach out and touch any corner of the globe, our troops are the best trained, best equipped, and best led armies the world has ever seen, so such a mega power could never fall.
So it seemed to the inhabitants of Rome the eternal empire. So it seemed to the British when the sun never set upon the union jack. And so it seems to us. Even though a rag-tag group like Al Qaeda defies our attempts to destroy them and continues to grow and multiply around the world. Even though the Taliban not only have withstood more than a decade of war they stand poised to reclaim their country as soon as we leave. Even though our deficit spending and the national debt it creates is leading us to a financial collapse that our own military leaders have identified as the greatest threat to our security, and our leaders only answer is more spending. This pride, presumption, and arrogance blinds us to the enduring truth of what comes before a fall.
Finally an empire is the prisoner of history. A republic is not required to act upon the world stage. It can pick and choose its own way seeking its own destiny as a commonwealth of citizens. An empire must project its power for fear that if it doesn’t another leviathan will arise to take its place. A free republic that has maintained its independence is able to decide where and when it will become involved. An empire is always the leader of a center heavy coalition comprised of the imperial core and the associated or satellite nations. As such it is the collective security against the barbarian, the other that drives the actions of the empire.
In the parlance of our day it is our turn. It is our turn to be the policeman of the world, our turn to keep the peace, to guard civilization from the unwashed hordes who seek to turn back the clock and bring darkness into the world. We are a vanguard of stability in a world beset by chaos, and so were the British and the Romans before them.
Other writers may say something has been left off these hallmarks while others may say some of these don’t apply. To all I would recommend a study of former empires to see if they agree these properties are found in all of them. Then ask ourselves, “Are these properties present in America today?” Once we have completed this process we will be able to answer the question for ourselves, “Is America an Empire?” If we decide, yes it is, we have to realize that there is a trajectory all empires follow: they rise and they fall.
We might decide that,we as the first empire that is not set-up to plunder wealth but instead to distribute wealth, are different, and therefore we will break the mold. We will stand while others have fallen. One look at our debt should persuade anyone that what we have built is as unsustainable as the British, the Roman, or any other empire we wish to use as a standard.
Do you say, “We can’t be an empire because our president is elected.” So were the emperors of the Holy Roman Empire, so were the kings of Poland. It is the empire that empowers our executive. Do you say, “We can’t be an empire because we have a Congress.” So did Athens, Rome, and Britain. Do you say, “We can’t be an empire because we have freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, why we even have the freedom to own weapons.” So did Athens, so did Rome, and so did Britain.
While we are yet on the glory side of the fall let us abandon the empire to save our republic. Let us resign from the great game of thrones, rebuild America, secure our own borders instead of those of Korea, or Afghanistan, and reaffirm our dedication to be the last best hope of mankind: a federal republic operating on democratic principles, securing our God given liberties, providing personal freedom, individual liberty, and economic opportunity to all its citizens.
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion. He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2013 Robert R. Owens email@example.com Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens
U.S. diplomats in Libya repeatedly asked the Obama administration for more security in Benghazi in the run-up to the Sept. 11 attack on the consulate but were “denied these resources,” two congressional lawmakers said.
House oversight committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, pressed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for more information on those requests and other concerns in a letter Tuesday.
They detailed a string of attacks and other security incidents in Benghazi starting in April, and asked the State Department what measures it took to address the threat. They claimed officials have told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee of “repeated requests” for additional security.
“Based on information provided to the committee by individuals with direct knowledge of events in Libya, the attack that claimed the ambassador’s life was the latest in a long line of attacks on Western diplomats and officials in Libya in the months leading up to September 11, 2012,” they wrote. “In addition, multiple U.S. federal government officials have confirmed to the committee that, prior to the September 11 attack, the U.S. mission in Libya made repeated requests for increased security in Benghazi. The mission in Libya, however, was denied these resources by officials in Washington.”
A State Department spokeswoman said Tuesday that Clinton plans to respond to the lawmakers’ questions.
The House committee plans to hold an Oct. 10 hearing on security in the region leading up to the attack. The letter to Clinton alleges 12 incidents that showed the deteriorating security situation on the ground.
The reported incidents include an account that members of the Libyan security force were urged by their family members to quit over rumors “of an impending attack.”
The letter also said threats on Facebook prompted Ambassador Chris Stevens to stop taking morning runs around Tripoli, though he reportedly later resumed those runs. The letter included other incidents, which have been well documented, including the June attack on a convoy carrying the British ambassador. Plus it said “assailants” put an explosive device at the gate of the U.S. Consulate in early June, blowing a hole in the security perimeter.
“Put together, these events indicated a clear pattern of security threats that could only be reasonably interpreted to justify increased security for U.S. personnel and facilities in Benghazi,” the lawmakers wrote.
Stevens and three other Americans were killed in the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi on Sept. 11.
Fox News reported on Friday that the physical security was so substandard at the Benghazi consulate that it required a waiver, signed off in Washington by the secretary of state, the head of diplomatic security, or the heads of foreign building operations. A State Department spokeswoman said there would be no comment on the issue until their internal investigation is complete.
The department, meanwhile, has stood by U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice in the face of criticism and calls for her resignation. Rice came under fire for claiming repeatedly the Sunday after the attack that it was a “spontaneous” reaction to protests over an anti-Islam film. The administration now acknowledges the assault was a coordinated terror attack.
Fox News’ Catherine Herridge contributed to this report.
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/10/02/diplomats-asked-repeatedly-for-more-security-before-libya-attack-lawmakers/#ixzz28EoaZTi4
LIBYA MASSACRE: US Ambassador Raped Before Murdered
The Arabic language website known as Lebanon News (Tayar.org) has just reported the horrific claim that the heavily armed mob responsible for the murder of U.S. Ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens, 52, actually raped him before he was killed.
The Google Translation of the report follows:
-”The U.S. ambassador to Libya was raped sexually before killing by gunmen who stormed the embassy building in Benghazi last night to protest against the film is offensive to the Prophet Muhammad”
-”The sources told AFP said that ‘Ambassador was killed and representation of his body in a manner similar to what happened with Gaddafi, such as murder.’”
Ambassador Stevens was killed on Tuesday along with three other embassy staff as a group of terrorists attacked the U.S. consulate office in Benghazi, where Stevens was hold up.
The mob fired countless gunshots and rocket propelled grenades at the U.S. compound, eventually setting the consulate ablaze.
Also on Tuesday, a violent mob scaled the walls of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Egypt, replacing the U.S. flag with that of al Queda’s.
Over his career, Stevens served two diplomatic tours in Libya, and was confirmed as ambassador to that country by the Senate in May.
Until Tuesday, only five U.S. ambassadors have been killed in the line of duty, according to the U.S. State Department.
What does History tell us about the impeachment of an American President? It has only happened twice.
Today Lincoln is an icon. His Roman style temple and oversized statue dominate one end of the National Mall. But in 1864 he was an embattled president caught in a war he couldn’t win and running against George B. McClellan, a popular general who said he could end it. Even History was against Lincoln. No president had won a second term in over thirty years. Mr. Lincoln needed all the allies he could muster to win. So the first Republicans led by the President tried to split the opposition. They changed the party name to the National Union Party and chose a Southern Democrat as a running mate. In a surprise to everyone including Lincoln, he won re-election positioning Johnson one heartbeat away from the Oval Office.
After the worst mistake by a Southern sympathizer since the attack on Fort Sumter, the assassination of Lincoln, Andrew Johnson assumed the presidency and almost immediately ran afoul of the Radical Republicans who had a three to one majority in Congress and who wanted to punish the South. Johnson was the only Southern Senator to remain loyal to the Union. He served as the Union imposed military governor of Tennessee until chosen to run for Vice President. A mere forty one days into Lincoln’s second term Johnson was sworn in. When he sought to allow the South a path back into the Union that re-imposed limitations upon the freed slaves and ensured the rise of ex-Confederates to power, he was impeached for breaking a law concerning the firing of appointees. After a contentious trial he was acquitted by one vote.
Johnson and his presidency survived, barely. He was afterwards relegated to irrelevancy and served as a mere caretaker until General Grant came along to become the face of Reconstruction. In this first impeachment battle the President was acquitted, but Congress won.
If you ask the average person who lived through the national ordeal President Clinton was impeached because of his scandalous tryst with a young intern in the Oval Office. Though this was a shameful betrayal of trust, it was not the reason he was impeached. He was impeached for perjury and obstruction of justice in a legal matter that had nothing at all to do with Monica Lewinsky. And even though Clinton was later found in contempt by a federal judge for lying under oath and was later disbarred for ethical violations it was the leadership of the House that impeached him that paid the political price. The Senate which on a strict party line vote (all the Progressives voted to acquit), came out relatively unscathed. Today we are constantly told by the Progressive Press Mr. Clinton is a beloved elder statesman.
Etched upon the memory of the Republican wing of the party of power is the knowledge that unless there is a Senate willing to convict there is no glory in being a House ready to indict.
Republics rise and republics fall. They rise due to the explosion of creativity and production which always accompanies freedom, and they fall when demagogues convince a majority that they deserve a free ride at the expense of a minority. The good thing about History is that if we are wise enough we can learn from other people’s mistakes. And if we aren’t going to allow History to instruct us we should at least be wise enough to allow it to warn us.
Our History teaches us that the impeachment process is possible to initiate but difficult to consummate. So what are we to do if History warns us that what we are witnessing is the fall of our republic? Have we learned enough from History to navigate our way through to a safe harbor, or are we helpless in the face of a hurricane of transformation?
Due to the information developed by the American intelligence community and the bravery of Navy Seal Team Six we learned that the leader of Al Qaeda, the fraternity of terrorists America finds itself endlessly destroying, was not hiding in a cave. He was instead living in a compound barely 1,000 yards from the military academy of our principle ally in our decade long undeclared war. Today’s Hitler is dead, yet the war goes on as if nothing has happened. We have victory after victory with no conclusion and no peace in sight.
Looking at our current economic and social situation America appears more like an occupied nation than the victor of the Cold War and the sole remaining Super Power on Earth. Perhaps it is time to conceptualize the idea that our existential enemy is not a rag-tag group of malcontents dedicated to turning back the clock by six centuries. The enemy that poses a mortal threat to our way of life is instead the homegrown Progressive Movement that has labored for more than a century to subvert our education, corrupt our politics, and evolve their way from constitutionally limited government to central planning and total control.
The visible head of the Progressive Movement today is President Barack Obama. As portrayed by the Corporations Once Known as the Mainstream Media he is not just an Alinsky style community organizer, he is a constitutional scholar. We are told endlessly that he was a professor of constitutional law at the University of Chicago. Leaving the reality of these claims aside suffice it to say that this constitutional scholar professes to believe that the constitution is a flawed document because it does not provide for positive rights such as guarantees of housing, jobs, etc. The kind of rights that the constitutions of the Soviet Union did and of Red China does provide its slaves, I mean citizens. Not to worry our constitutional scholar-in-chief also believes that our Constitution, written to set strict limits on the federal government is a living document that each generation is free to interpret: that is, change at will.
President Obama has presided over the most calamitous decline in American prestige and influence since his fellow Progressive Jimmy Carter disgraced the office. Mr. Obama’s apology tours, his over-the-top spending which are nothing less than cross generational theft are eclipsed by his blatant assaults upon the very core of his responsibility: the integrity of the Constitution.
The president of the United States is sworn to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution, but instead Mr. Obama has trampled upon the letter as well as the spirit of this document meant to define the perimeters of federal power.
Unconfirmed Czars rule like potentates over shadow departments dispensing huge budgets while creating a parallel government outside of citizen scrutiny or control. Appointees at the National Labor Relations Board work at subordinating the nation to organized labor. A rogue justice department provides guns to Mexican cartels, refuses to prosecute obvious instances of voter intimidation, gives a pass to Islamist groups, and stonewalls Congress, while aggressively going after peaceful pro-life demonstrators and America’s Sheriff Joe Arpaio. They sue states that try to enforce immigration laws they ignore and seek to try the perpetrators of 9-11 in a New York trial that would parade itself through our national consciousness like a Broadway production of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Superstar.
Beyond these abuses of power there are two glaring examples of the type of blatant transgressions of clear constitutional limits which, if not addressed set a precedent that may stand in the future as signs of the times that were missed at the time. If not addressed, they will point accusing fingers at a generation asleep at the switch when the bounds of limited government were finally breached.
Mr. Obama has said he can rule without Congress because he can’t wait. He travels the country at tax payer expense campaigning for four more years to seal the deal, inflaming class warfare, and dispensing government giveaways to buy votes. These two egregious affronts to the Constitution lie at the feet of the Washington Monument passed over by the media and explained away by the government’s propaganda arm. And what does the loyal opposition do? They huff and they puff but actually they do nothing.
Only two Congressmen had the integrity to point out that presidents are not allowed to take us to war by whim. And only one had the courage to point out that making high level appointments without Senate confirmation while the Senate is in session is more than bad form: it is unconstitutional and more compatible with a dictatorship than a republic.
We stand before the yawning maw of collectivism presided over by a self-proclaimed transformational president seeking to change us from what we have been to what he thinks we should be. Mr. Obama is supported by what amounts to a personality cult in the media and a legion of fellow citizens addicted to either distributing or receiving the dole. The Republican candidates are standing in a circular firing squad working hard at allowing the Progressive Media make them look like the bar scene from Star Wars. At the same time the media gives the President a pass for everything from gas prices to artificially deflated unemployment figures. If America as we have known her is to survive, we must elect a Congress with enough courage and enough votes to do what must be done. The Congress we have now is passive in the face of serial provocations and outright illegality. They will not call Mr. Obama to account on anything so he feels free to do everything.
If he wins again we all lose unless we replace those who merely go along to get along with those who are willing to speak the forbidden word…Impeach!
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College. He is the Historian of the Future and the author of the History of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2012 Robert R. Owens firstname.lastname@example.org Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens
One of the fundamental laws of Islam deals with “slander
,” which is defined in shariah as saying “anything concerning a person
[a Muslim] that he would dislike.” At the OIC’s Third Extraordinary
Session, held in Mecca, Saudi Arabia in December 2005, the organization
adopted a “Ten-Year Programme of Action to Meet the Challenges Facing the Muslim Ummah in the 21st Century.” A key agenda
item of that meeting was “the need to counter Islamophobia” by seeking
to have the UN “…adopt an international resolution to counter
Islamophobia, and call upon all States to enact laws to counter it,
including deterrent punishments.” The word “Islamophobia” is a
completely invented word, coined by the International Institute of
Islamic Thought (IIIT), a Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan) front group. OIC
adoption of the term reflects the close operational relationship
between the OIC and the Ikhwan.
Six years later, Secretary of
State Hillary Clinton is due to host OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin
Ihsanoglu in Washington, DC in mid-December 2011 to discuss how the
United States can implement the OIC agenda to criminalize criticism of
Islam. Cloaked in the sanctimonious language of “Resolution 16/18,”
that was adopted by the UN Human Rights Council in April 2011, the WDC
three-day experts meeting is billed as a working session to discuss
legal mechanisms to combat religious discrimination (but the only
religion the Human Rights Council has ever mentioned in any previous
resolution is Islam). The UN Human Rights Council, which includes such
bastions of human rights as China, Cuba, Libya, Pakistan, and Saudi
Arabia, introduced Resolution 16/18 to the UN General Assembly (UNGA),
where it was passed in March 2011.
The Resolution was presented to the UNGA
by Pakistan (where women get the death penalty for being raped and
“blasphemy” against Islam is punished by death). Ostensibly about
“combating intolerance, negative stereotyping and…incitement to
violence against persons based on religion or belief,” the only
partnership mentioned in the text is the one with the OIC. The U.S.,
whose official envoy to the OIC, Rashad Hussain, helped write Obama’s
Cairo speech, actively collaborated in the drafting of Resolution 16/18.
Now, the OIC’s Ihsanoglu will come to
Washington, DC, the capital of one of the only countries in the world
with a Constitution that guarantees freedom of speech and a judicial
system that consistently defends it, with a publicized agenda to
criminalize criticism of Islam. His agenda, and, apparently that of his
host, the U.S. Department of State, seek to bring the U.S. into full
compliance with Islamic law on slander, as noted above.
Mustafa Abdul Jalil, the chairman of the National Transitional Council, has a message for Libyans: Fear not, Sharia law is on the way.
There’s no telling how this prospect, which is a horrifying one for nations that see Islamic law as both repressive and un-democratic, will take shape. After all, Sharia‘s interpretation and legal structure can differ greatly depending on a nation’s interpretation of Islam.
As the war-tattered country seeks stability, it’s leaders will be deliberating to find the best path forward. In a speech on Monday evening in Tripoli’s Martyrs’ Square, Jalil told a large audience:
“We are seeking to establish a state government by law and welfare — and Sharia, Islamic law, should be the main source of law.”
“We must be united and not divided. We must condemn hatred and envy,” he said. Al Jazera claims that Jalil’s reinforcement that Sharia is going to be instituted may be rooted in an effort to brush off criticism, as some have dubbed Libya’s new leadership as liberal and secular — charges that could hurt leaders’ prospects of setting up a viable governing structure.
In a statement that seems to temper resulting fears from the Sharia pledge, Jalil continued:
“We will not accept any extremist ideology, on the right or the left. We are a Muslim people, for a moderate Islam, and will stay on this road.”
In his speech, the leader surprised those in attendance when he rebuked revolutionary forces for seeking vengeance on Gaddafi and his loyalists. In addition to railing against extremism, Jalil urged fighters to spare women and children.
The Guardian has more regarding the nation’s internal leadership struggles:
Agostino Miozzo, an Italian doctor and veteran of humanitarian emergencies who is the EU’s international crisis manager, emphasised that the leaders of Libya’s National Transitional Council (NTC) were determined to resist international pressure and to decide the fate of their country themselves.
“Tripoli seems to be moving fast towards normality, but they [the NTC] need time to fight the internal political struggle,” Agostino said, after spending more than a week in Tripoli establishing contact with the new rulers. “We have no idea of the southern part of the country. That will be most problematic in the coming months. This part is totally out of control.”
Below, watch a news report that provides translated portions of Jalil’s speech calling for a “civil state” in Libya (via Al Jazeera):