On Monday, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, were sharply criticized over their commitment to reverse massive budget cuts Team Obama is making at the expense of our military capabilities and national security.
What made this attack notable – and potentially very damaging to the GOP standard-bearers – is that it came, not from the Democrats, but from a prominent Republican political operative, Grover Norquist. It is hard to see how his contention that Messrs. Romney and Ryan can’t be trusted to spend wisely on defense will help anybody but their opponents.
In remarks to the bipartisan Center for the National Interest, Norquist threw down the gauntlet to the Republican ticket. He declared he would fight defense spending increases, or even relief from the next, debilitating round of cuts. These amount to a further half-a-trillion dollars in across-the-board cuts over ten years under what has been called a “doomsday mechanism” known on Capitol Hill as “sequestration.” What makes matters much worse is that these cuts come on top of nearly $800 billion in Pentagon budget reductions already in the pipeline – a fact the anti-tax activist studiously ignores.
For a guy whose ostensible expertise is domestic economic matters, it is doubly surprising that Grover Norquist fails to recognize another disastrous effect these enormous reductions in defense spending will have – on employment and communities all over the country. Estimates run as high as 1 million jobs lost and $59 billion in direct lost earnings and $86.4 billion in gross state product in the first year alone. (For a detailed analysis of the impact by congressional district, see the Defense Breakdown Reports at www.FortheCommonDefense.org/
What Norquist did do, however, is directly take on the GOP ticket by opining that “Other people need to lead the argument on how can conservatives lead a fight to have a serious national defense without wasting money,” Norquist said. “I wouldn't ask Ryan to be the reformer of the defense establishment.”
The question occurs: Just who does Grover Norquist think would be better suited to be stewards of the “defense establishment” and the national security it is charged with providing? Having no expertise on these matters himself, in whom does he have more confidence than the people the Republican Party hopes will lead this nation for the next four years?
Based on Grover Norquist’s past history advising the last Republican administration (see www.
- Abdurahman Alamoudi: Alamoudi is a top Muslim Brotherhood operative and al Qaeda financier with whom Grover Norquist joined forces in 1998 to launch a Brotherhood front called the Islamic Free Market Institute. Alamoudi’s purpose was, with Norquist’s considerable help, to run influence operations inside the conservative movement and Republican circles, including notably the George W. Bush 2000 presidential campaign. Alamoudi should be available to help reorder our defenses as he is currently serving hard time in Supermax on terrorism-related charges.
- Sami al-Arian: Al-Arian also went to federal prison, in his case for running a designated terrorist organization, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, from his professor’s office at the University of South Florida. But not before Grover Norquist helped him meet with Candidate Bush in March 2000 and subsequently extract from Mr. Bush a public commitment that, if elected, he would work to eliminate a key counter-terrorism tool: the confidential use of classified information in deportation proceedings against illegal aliens (like al-Arian’s brother-in-law, Mazen al-Najjar) so as to protect such intelligence from compromise.
- Nihad Awad: The co-founder of an aggressive Muslim Brotherhood front and Hamas fund-raising vehicle, the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) also benefitted from Norquist’s help in gaining access to and running influence operations against the Bush ’43 team. CAIR was listed in 2008 as an unindicted co-conspirator in the criminal prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation on charges of providing material for terrorism.
- Muzammil Siddiqi: To conclude this partial listing, Grover Norquist could surely also call for assistance on Siddiqi, yet another top Muslim Brotherhood leader and an influential Islamist cleric. After all, Siddiqi owes him: Norquist aided in securing for him the role of representative of the Muslim faith at the national ecumenical 9/11 memorial service on September 14, 2001. The Norquist-Alamoudi team also arranged later that month for Siddiqi to present President Bush with a Quran on the occasion of a private meeting at the White House. Such legitimation advanced considerably the subversive agenda Siddiqi and his comrades pursued as part of what they call “civilization jihad” against America.
Or perhaps Grover Norquist would turn to people like Trita Parsi, who even the state-controlled Iranian media have depicted as part of the “Iran Lobby” in America. He certainly did before: In 2007, Norquist created with the help of his Palestinian-American wife, Samah, an anti-defense group called the American Conservative Defense Alliance (ACDA). (Samah served on ACDA’s board of directors and as its corporate secretary). And ACDA, in turn, was a founder of the Campaign for a New American Policy on Iran (CNAPI). ACDA’s address was that of Norquist’s ATR group, where CNAPI meetings were also held.
By 2008, CNAPI’s coalition was made up of more than 40 groups including: Parsi’s National Iranian American Council (NIAC), CAIR and other Islamists; many George Soros-funded radical leftist groups; and the Norquists’ vehicle for undermining the conservative stance on national security, ACDA. Their common goals: to eliminate U.S. support for the democracy activists opposed to the Tehran regime, to block economic sanctions and to prevent any military action.
All these Norquist allies could, of course, be relied upon to back him in pressing for substantial cuts in U.S. defense expenditures. They would presumably be happy, as Norquist put it Monday night, to join him in getting “the Republican Party…[to] reexamine the actual defense needs and then work from there to determine how much to spend.”
To be sure, a reexamination of those requirements as defined by Barack Obama is in order. And our defense needs should indeed determine the resources applied to meet them. But the nation – and most especially the Romney-Ryan campaign – can ill-afford to take advice from Grover Norquist and his friends, especially as it would obviously be predicated on dramatically reducing such military requirements. It would also have the practical effect of making Obama’s ravaging of the nation’s defenses seem responsible.
At issue is not so much whether this Islamist-tied libertarian trusts Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan to manage the nation’s national security needs. What we need to know is whether the GOP candidates trust Grover Norquist – and will they henceforth open their doors to him and the bad company he keeps?
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