Saturday, December 03, 2011

Mukasey on Islamism

If you still think it doesn’t matter which party is in the White House, compare the current Attorney General of the United States, Eric Holder, with his immediate predecessor, Michael Mukasey.

Mukasey was the third Attorney General under George W. Bush, after John Ashcroft and Alberto Gonzalez, and in my view, the best of the three.

The current AG, Eric Holder, has become notorious for his willingness to reduce the Department of Justice to a political tool of the Obama White House. (Jessica Rubin provides an overview of Holder’s generalship in “Holder's Dept. of Retributionat American Thinker.) And when it comes to counter-jihad, Holder’s refusal to even utter the phrase “radical Islam” is emblematic of how, since January 2009, the nation’s counterjihad efforts have had to manage as best they can under a chief law enforcement officer of the United States whose response to the country’s struggle against these enemies is to conduct an ideological boycott.

By way of a refreshing contrast, this September former Attorney General Mukasey gave a clear and wide-ranging speech on “Executive Power in Wartime” at Hillsdale College.

I won’t try to summarize all that Mukasey has to say on the topic, but I am impressed at the way Mukasey pulls no punches in naming the enemy:

What bin Laden stood for was Islamism, which—insofar as it holds the U.S. in a weird combination of awe and contempt—has been incubating for about as long as we have known about the other two “isms” that we successfully conquered in the last century. As a movement distinct from the religion of Islam itself, Islamism traces back to Egypt in the 1920s, when the loosely organized Muslim Brotherhood was established by a man named Hassan al-Banna. Al-Banna founded the Muslim Brotherhood as a reaction to the modernizing influence of Kemal Ataturk, who dismantled the shell of what was left of the Muslim caliphate in Turkey, banned the fez and headscarves, and dragged his country into the 20th century.

Mukasey then offers a concise history of the Muslim Brotherhood, explaining how al-Banna’s principal disciple, educator Sayyid Qutb, while on a visiting fellowship to America, was shocked by the decadence of small-town America, (“the ‘animal-like mixing of the sexes, even in church”), and returned to Egypt and joined the Muslim Brotherhood. Based on what he saw of Americans’ numbness to spiritual values, Qutb decided “that Muslims must regard ‘the white man, whether European or American . . . [as] our first enemy.’” Adherents of Qutb, and his brother, who fled Egypt under Nasser and taught the doctrine in Saudi Arabia, included Ayman al-Zawahiri, Omar Abdel Rahman, “the so-called blind sheikh” (who was tried for his role in the first World Trade Center bombing in Mukasey’s courtroom when he was a U.S. District Judge in New York) -- and a young Osama bin Laden.

Through 2000 the WTC bombing and other Islamist attacks on the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and on the USS  Cole, were still being treated as crimes, said Mukasey, “despite the fact that in 1996, and again in 1998, Osama bin Laden declared that he and his cohorts were at war with the United States.”

Then came September 11, and to the call “bring them to justice” was added the call “bring justice to them.” We were told that we were at war more than 50 years after Sayyid Qutb determined that Islamists would have to make war on us, about 15 years after Islamists had made it clear that they were training for war with us, and five years after Osama bin Laden made it official with a declaration of war.

In fighting Islamism, we are handicapped at the strategic level by the refusal of those in authority to acknowledge the goals of our adversaries. Those goals are essentially political, and involve the recreation of an Islamic caliphate and the imposition of Sharia law over as broad a swath of the world as possible. This is a profoundly anti-democratic movement at its core, and it regards the whole idea of man-made law as anathema. Instead, we try to be inoffensive by using a term that originated in the administration in which I served, and we refer to a war on terror or terrorism. People who wish to quibble about what it is we are at war with take the discussion off into absurdity. One such person is the President’s Assistant for National Security, John Brennan, who, before an audience at the Center for Strategic Studies, ridiculed the idea of a war on terrorism or on terror, saying it is impossible to have a war on a means or a state of mind.

This lack of clarity also distorts the view of policy makers about what is happening in the Middle East, and so they daydream about democratic movements when the reality on the ground is more populist than democratic. The principal beneficiary of populism is more likely to be the Muslim Brotherhood than the local spokesman for Facebook. The credo of the Muslim Brotherhood is succinct and chilling: Allah is our goal, the Prophet Muhammad is our leader, the Qu’ran is our constitution, jihad is our way, and death in the way of Allah is our promised end.

Can you imagine that Eric Holder – or any other person likely to be appointed Attorney General in a second Obama administration -- would be remotely capable of this kind of forthrightness when it comes to Islam? Holder is so much a political creature that, over the objections of FBI agents and his own federal prosecutors in Dallas, Texas, Holder’s DOJ blew off an opportunity to prosecute a “substantial” case against Omar Ahmad and CAIR for illegally funneling money to Hamas. According to the Jim Kouri at the Examiner, “given the politicization of the Justice Department under Eric Holder, it certainly appears that Justice officials dropped this case in order to appease radical Islamic groups.” (“Holder allegedly protected Hamas-linked CAIR for political reasons”).

The presidential campaign has left a lot of us uninspired.

Maybe it would help to refocus on the achievable possibility, at a minimum, of a Chief Executive who actually knows there’s a war going on.

1 comment:

John Sobieski said...

Holder hates white people. They're not his people. So it makes sense to be actively supporting islamization of America.