Sunday, December 02, 2007

Berger/Clinton Foreign Policy: A Bridge to the Muslim World?

In the December 2007 issue of First Things, Father Richard John Neuhaus writes:

Remember the Kosovo War of 1996-1999? It turns out that, in the Albanian-dominated areas of the Balkans that had been conquered by the Ottoman Empire, there were, going back to the seventeenth century, thousands of Catholic Christians who nominally, “converted” to Islam but continued to practice their faith surreptitiously. Now these crypto-Catholics, as they are called, are out in the open and building, or rebuilding, the churches in their villages. For a long time, people visited priests secretly, and their baptisms were recorded in closely regard registries, since there were severe penalties for Muslims receiving Christian sacraments. This resurgence of Christianity is probably not what Sandy Berger, the national security adviser at the time, had in mind when, on May 7, 1996, he spoke to the American Muslim Council, assuring them that President Clinton’s policy in Kosovo was in support of building “a bridge between the United States and the Muslim world.” In the same speech, he said that international terrorism “is a problem many Americans mistakenly link to Islam.” I wouldn’t be surprised if Mr. Berger is still baffled by how many Americans continue to make that mistake. As recently reported, Mr. Berger, having put behind him the legal difficulties occasioned by his stealing classified documents, is foreign-policy adviser to Sen. Hillary Clinton.

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