Editor’s note: Below is the video and transcript of the panel discussion, “The Genocidal Axis,” which took place at the Freedom Center’s 2013 Restoration Weekend. Restoration Weekend was held November 14th-17th at The Breakers resort in Palm Beach, Florida.
Erick Stakelbeck: I just want to say a few words about why we’re here today. And we talk about the Genocidal Axis.
To me, the two pillars of that axis are the global Muslim Brotherhood movement and the Iranian regime.
Robert Spencer: That’s correct.
Erick Stakelbeck: And we’ve talked about the Muslim Brotherhood. I just wrote a book about the Brotherhood. And in my research – look, I knew these were bad guys. This is the granddaddy of all Islamic terrorist groups. In the modern era, it spawned from the Muslim Brotherhood. Our good friends, the moderates, as the Obama Administration tells us, spawned al-Qaeda, created Hamas.
Without the creation of the Muslim Brotherhood way back in 1928 in Egypt, 9⁄11 would’ve never happened. Everyone behind that attack, from Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri – before they formed al-Qaeda, they belonged to the Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood is the gateway drug to Islamic terrorism.
They’re also the gateway drug, in this era, to Islamic anti-Semitism. And we talk about the Genocidal Axis. We talk about the efforts of jihadists to wipe Christians and Jews from the face of the planet. In writing my book – again, I knew these were bad guys. This is the granddaddy, the Brotherhood – but the depths of their anti-Jewish, anti-Semitic ideology shocked even me, to a degree.
In 1933 – you may be shocked to learn this – there were some 80,000 Jews living in Egypt, mainly in Cairo and Alexandria. Always, as Robert could tell you, under dhimmi status, but they were there. Eighty thousand Jews. There were even anti-Hitler rallies in 1933 in Cairo.
Then, along came the Muslim Brotherhood. Founded in 1928, gradually gained strength throughout the 1930s, and established a working relationship, folks, with the Nazis. The Muslim Brotherhood worked hand-in-glove with Hitler’s war machine to extend the Final Solution from the Jews of Europe to the Jews of the Middle East and North Africa.
So by 1937, 1938, just five years after those anti-Nazi rallies in Egypt, we have synagogues being burnt to the ground. We have pogroms against the Jews of Egypt, spurred by the Muslim Brotherhood, using Nazi literature and Nazi propaganda.
By 1948, as the State of Israel in my view was being miraculously reborn, we had legions of Arab armies closing in on the fledgling Jewish state. The Muslim Brotherhood sent battalions to assist in the invasion of Israel.
This is who they are. We should not be surprised when, a few months ago, the not-so-dearly departed Egyptian president, Mohamed Morsi, was captured on video tape calling Jews the sons of apes and pigs. And as Robert will tell you, there was some theological ammo, to say the least, behind that statement.
There can never be peace with Israel or, as they call it, Palestine. I’ve interviewed Muslim Brotherhood operatives face-to-face. I’ve been in their offices, their mosques, their homes. One thing that galvanizes them more than any other issue is a hatred of the Jewish people. The word “Israel” does not exist in their lexicon. It is only “the Zionist entity.”
And I have to say these people look like you and I. They wear suits and ties, they speak – they’re very charming. They speak fluent English, they’re Western-educated – designer suits. This is the Brotherhood strategy. Stealth. And it works.
What we have right now, ladies and gentlemen, playing out in the Middle East, in real time, before your very eyes, is the old adage in the world of jihad and Islamism. First, the Saturday people. Then, the Sunday people.
Look, the Saturday people have been emptied, the Jewish people have been emptied, from the nations of the Middle East and North Africa. One million Jewish refugees fled countries like Iran, Yemen, Morocco, Libya in the 1930s, ‘40s, ‘50s, ‘60s. Sometimes with only the clothes on their backs. One million Jewish refugees.
Number one, where is their right of return?
Not that they’d want it.
Number two, we’re seeing this scenario played out again, folks. Christians right now, in places like Egypt. Churches are being burnt to the ground. In August, there were 70 to 80 churches, according to some estimates, burnt to the ground by the Muslim Brotherhood and its minions in Egypt. Sometimes with worshippers inside, in places like Nigeria. We’re seeing this repeat itself across the Muslim world.
First came the Saturday people. Now the bull’s eye is on the backs of every Christian, every Sunday person, in the Middle East and North Africa.
This is who they are. You cannot negotiate with these people. Dialogue and diplomacy do not work. On the Sunni side, you have the Brotherhood; on the Shia side, you have Iran and Hezbollah. It’s not a coincidence that Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah – who’s probably hiding in an underground bunker as we speak right now, hiding from the IDF – he was quoted a few years ago as saying – it’s good that the Jews have gathered in one nation, the land of Israel. Because that’ll save us the trouble of pursuing them around the world and killing them. They’re all in one place, this is great.
This is the mindset of this regime. Nasrallah is an acolyte of the Iranian regime, an appendage of the Iranian regime. This is who we want to strike a grand bargain with, folks, and allow to have nuclear weapons. What a comforting thought, especially for Israel.
You have Sheikh Yusuf Al Qaradawi, the Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader, who wrote a book a few years ago, in 2003, saying the war is not just between Israel and the Arab nations; it’s between every Jew and every Muslim. Folks, the goal is not just the liquidation of the Jewish state; it’s the liquidation of the Jewish people.
So, without further ado, we’re going to start with Caroline Glick.
Caroline Glick: Good morning, everybody. It’s really always a pleasure to come to Restoration Weekend and see so many great people, to enjoy your company and realize that none of us are alone, that we’re a part of something great and big, and powerful. And every time I come out of here, I feel energized. And so thank you all for coming and energizing me, and making me feel like – okay, Barack Obama doesn’t have my back, but you do.
So, all right. The Genocidal Axis.
So I just want to look at it from – I was laughing with Erick – I’m sorry Mike – at the title of our panel. It said “The Genocidal Axis.” So is this like a pro-con thing?
You know, am I supposed to take the pro side, and Robert’s going to be against it? Or how exactly am I supposed to be looking at this?
But really, I don’t feel so much about talking specifically about the ideology of Islamic anti-Semites or genocidal Jew-haters, or European or leftist people who want to destroy Jewish power and make us all needy and begging for our very lives, with all of these wonderful commissars of the Left.
What I want to do is try to talk about what it is that all of the enemies of the Jewish people basically throughout the ages share. Because one thing about the Genocidal Axis is that it’s not new. It’s been here throughout time. And the members of the Genocidal Axis may change their accents, they may change the books that they read, they may change a million different things; the continents they live in. But one thing that they share across time is that over and over and over again, the target of their genocidal bloodlust are the Jews. Always. Always.
I remember, Benzion Netanyahu, Bibi’s father, who passed away at the age of 102 about a year ago – he and I developed a friendship over the years. And repeatedly, because he was 102 when he died, he said the same things over and over.
And one of the things that he told me, over and over and over again, with the same impassioned anger, was that he could not stand the fixation on the Holocaust as some sort of singular moment in global history. Because there has been a holocaust of [jury] in every generation, throughout the ages – that the same passion that enflamed the Germans and then spread out throughout Europe with this bloodlust of wanting to kill children like mine was due to a passion that moves through the ages – that there was nothing unique about that desire to shoot lead into Jewish babies. Nothing unique about it. It has been going on since the time of the Greeks, and the ancient Egyptians and Pharaoh.
Just read the Bible. What is he talking about? He wants to annihilate a people. Not he wants to enslave them; he wants them gone. Out. What’s the difference between Pharaoh and Hitler? Technology? That’s it.
Now, we have to understand – what is that unifying force between Pharaoh and Ahmadinejad and Rouhani, and yes, the international Left that is the handmaiden of these monsters of the Islamic world, without which they could never, ever march even one step forward? It is the rejection. Rejection of reason.
Benedict XVI talked about it in his speech in Regensburg that caused rioting throughout the Islamic world and the murder of nuns and other unfortunate non-jihadists that happened to find their way in the path of all of the angry Muslims, who were angry because the Pope had talked about Islam’s rejection of reason. Which is, of course, hilarious, but not if you were in their path.
And what is it, really, about reason and about choice, and about the notion of moral choice and moral empowerment of individuals, that stands at the root of a genocidal bloodlust against the Jews? And the answer is that from time immemorial, Judaism has been based, from the time that God first spoke to Abraham in Iraq and told him to leave his father’s home after Abraham took down the idols in his father’s store, broke them – get thee to the land that I have promised you and your children.
What was it about Abraham that God embraced at that time, and about the Jews in every single generation since then, that drives people bananas? It is the idea of good and evil. It is the idea that we as human beings have the responsibility to make a discernment between good and evil, and to choose good in our lifetimes. And it is to look to the forefathers of the Jewish people, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who are our forefathers, who – we define ourselves as being their children in all of our prayers from time immemorial until today.
The choices that they made, the God that they defined and believed in, that has defined us as a holy people, as a chosen people, is because we accept not divine salvation but the notion of a life of hard choices, of constantly making that decision; and loyalty to a notion that it is our responsibility to do so. And that drives people to genocidal bloodlust.
Because at the root of this bloodlust is a rejection of reason. It’s a rejection of individualism, it’s a rejection of responsibility, it’s a rejection of the notion that we have to be good. Because that makes our lives a struggle. That makes our lives difficult.
And I shared a podium several years ago – I had the honor of sharing a podium with Robert Aumann, the Israeli Nobel Economics Laureate. And he described the passage in the Bible of Jacob struggling with the angel of God. And what Jacob did – he fought with him all night long. And he injured him. And the angel wanted to go away. And Jacob said – you can’t go until you bless me. Not letting you go. You bless me. You embrace me. You embrace my choice. You reject your choice. And until you do that, you can’t go. I don’t care how you’re bloody, you’re this. I’m holding onto you. Bless me. And he did. And he blessed him.
And the idea was that he was forcing this angel as well to make that decision. People don’t want to.
Now, what was it that made the United States the only country to date that didn’t have the same genocidal Jew hatred at the root of its identity that we saw in country after country in Europe, that we see in the Arab world, that was at the United States? Its forefathers had this idea that was based on the Torah of the rule of law, of limited government, of the responsibility of individuals to make that decision between good and evil, and to choose good and to have the liberty from government to be able to make that choice.
You know, the whole concept of the modern state is based upon the philosophical works of men like John Felton and John Locke, Thomas Hobbs; who were Hebrew scholars who based their whole concept of a modern state that these men put together on the rule of law, on divine law, meaning that man could not be a totalitarian because we are not God. Meaning that there was no way you could not question authority, because men are imperfect. And therefore, if you have a man who is your ruler, he cannot be perfect, because he’s not God.
And that was the whole concept of limited government. The whole concept of a modern state was based on the Hebrew Bible. And it was transported from the British Enlightenment to the New World through the American forefathers, Founding Fathers. And it was the basis of all the institutions of checks and balances and limited government in this country, and of communalism as opposed to a central church, a hierarchical church.
And what do we see today? Why is it that we see more and more and more Jew hatred and attacks on Jews in US universities, in the political circles on the left? Because the Left in the United States is introducing an ideology that is fundamentally un-American, that is based upon a totalitarian idea of a governing power that is absolute, that knows better, better, than an individual what’s good for him or her. And if you know better than I do what’s good for me, what’s good for my children; then you’re in absolute power. Right?
And if you are in absolute power, you have to reject Jews. Because absolute powers must reject Jews. Who understand that there’s no such thing except God. And, by the way, you’re not Him.
Now, I don’t know if the fact that Erick is like carrying little pieces of paper, and kind of sending those vibes; but I’m just going to – I notice. I have peripheral vision, I do. I’m a mom.
I could probably see you back there if you were doing something.
But to conclude – we are faced with this wave. Because the strength of people in this room, unfortunately, outside this room seems to be waning. And the wave that is rising throughout the world is a wave of hatred, of bloodlust, of totalitarianism. And again, this is familiar. This is known. We understand what we’re dealing with.
The new thing in this generation is that we see the Americans confused for the first time about what side they’re supposed to be on. We see that there is a question about – is Israel evil for standing up, for existing? For being different from all of its unaesthetic, misogynistic, totalitarian neighbors? Are we bad for being loyal to everything that we’ve stood for 4,000 years? How can you question that? Because Americans are beginning to question what it means to be an American, or not even understand it.
And that is why, at the end of the day fundamentally, the issues of healthcare and welfare in general that are being discussed in the Democratic forums and panels that have been going on here and throughout this country are integrally linked with the panels about foreign policy and Iran and the Palestinians that we hear in this weekend and throughout, at least, in conservative circles today.
Because it’s all about a question of what does it mean to be a human being. And if you come down on that question, understanding that to be a human being means to be a moral agent, not an object, then you’re with the Jews. And you’re opposing totalitarianism, and you’re opposing hatred. And you’re opposing genocide.
And if you come down on that question with – I want somebody else to tell me what to do, I don’t know; I’m too weak, I’m too lazy, I’m too uneducated, I’m too ignorant to recognize the meaning of freedom – then you’re slaves. You don’t care, or you can run around saying liberate Palestine. And that’s the question.
So I wanted to hock my book that’s coming out on March 4th. Because Mike mentioned that I should always do that, because we want it to be a bestseller. But it basically aligns with a lot of the things that I’ve been talking about this morning and that I talk about every day. It’s called “The Israeli Solution,” and it’s directed towards the American audience. And it basically comes out and says – you want a foreign policy that’s coherent, that’s going to advance American values and interests, stand with Israel. You want to figure out how to ensure that America is safe? Stand with Israel.
So thank you very much. Have a great day.
Robert Spencer: Now, I must take you from the realm of rationality and moral agency to the realm of unreason and slavery, and into the mindset of the slaves of Allah, and the Islamic theology that underlies the Genocidal Axis and the will to genocide in the Middle East and in the Islamic world in general today.
Erick noted that there were 80,000 Jews in Egypt in 1933. And there have been Jewish communities all over the Middle East from time immemorial up until 1948, when those communities were decimated and the Jews were expelled from them en masse, such that there is only, for example, one Jew left in Afghanistan out of several thousand there 100 years ago. There were churches and Christians from time immemorial, from long before Islam, in the Middle East as well.
Egypt, for example, was a 99 percent Christian country at the time of the Islamic conquest in the seventh century. And it is now about 10 to 15 percent Christian. But one of the things that has been happening recently, as Erick also noted, is that the Brotherhood is burning churches and destroying Christian communities wholesale.
Well, this is also something that is not solely limited to the Brotherhood but is carried out by other Islamic groups and has been going on for longer than just the upheaval that has been engulfing Egypt ever since the Brotherhood first took power in 2011 and then was removed from power subsequently by the military.
What we see, for example, as far back as 2006 is the Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch Gregory III saying that there was a concerted effort, and even organized effort, to expel all the Christians from the Middle East. And in the seven years since then, that effort has only gained strength and has expanded in its scope.
But it becomes then a question. Why is this happening now? Why is it that Jews lived in the Muslim world and under Muslim rule up until 1948 and were not forcibly expelled? Why is it that Christians lived in the Muslim world and under Muslim rule up until quite recently, but now there is this concerted effort, that the Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch referred to, to drive them out? And churches are being burned, and so on?
Now, most analysts, particularly in Washington, would answer that question by saying – well, see, it’s because Islam is a religion of peace. And these Muslim Brotherhood operatives and the others like them are twisting and hijacking its peaceful teachings to create this virulent form of Islam that can’t abide the other within its presence and is driving them out. But if we can just get the real, true Muslims in there, then everything will be okay.
And unfortunately, this is a position that prevails among both parties in Washington, among all mainstream analysts. And everyone pretty much takes it for granted. The only problem with it is that it is wholly and entirely false. There is no truth to the idea that there is some group of Muslims that we can put in power or support in their efforts to gain power in the Middle East that will stop this from happening. And the reasons for that lie within Islamic theology.
So if you could open your Korans now, we’re going to look at a few passages. One of them is chapter nine verse 29, which says – fight against those who do not obey Allah and his messenger, and do not forbid what he has forbidden, even if they are of the people of the book – that is, the Jews and the Christians primarily – until they pay the jizya – which is a tax – with willing submission and feel themselves subdued. That is the foundation of what I’m sure you have heard of as dhimmitude, the institutionalized discrimination and harassment of Jews and Christians in the Islamic state. But the word “dhimma” means protection. And the dhimmis are protected people.
Now, you remember the mafia. You know, you pay protection to the mafia, and they don’t smash your store window. You pay protection to the Muslim government, and you have the right to live and to practice your religion, to live as a Jew or Christian.
But you still have to pay. You paid the tax, and you were denied basic rights, so that in your humiliated and subjugated status, you are always reminded, every day, that you have rejected Mohammad, rejected Islam, rejected the truth. Hellfire awaits you, and depravation and suffering in this world as well; and that the Muslims have the responsibility to enforce.
Now, the dhimma, the system of subjugation of the Jews and Christians, is the law of Islam. It’s Sharia. But it has not been enforced in the Islamic world since the 1850s. The Ottoman Empire, the last Islamic empire, abolished the dhimma in 1856 under pressure from the West. Egypt abolished it around the same time, also under pressure from the West. And the Arab nationalist governments that came to power in the middle part of the 20th century and ruled most of the Middle East up until quite recently – Nasser, Sadat and Mubarak in Egypt, Ben Ali in Tunisia, Burgiba before him, the Assads in Syria, Saddam Hussein in Iraq. These were not – these were Muslims, aside from the Assads.
But they were not ruling according to Islamic law. They were ruling according to the Bathist philosophy of Arab nationalism, which was a race-based, socialist ideology derived from Western European fascism, with a mixture of other ideas derived from the Soviet Union and socialist notions that were going around Europe at the time and, of course, are stronger than ever in some quarters.
And they essentially granted equal rights to the non-Muslim minorities. Up until the founding of the State of Israel. At the time of the founding of the State of Israel, then suddenly the Jews are all expelled from these Middle Eastern countries, although the Christians continued to live in relative peace, up until recently.
What happened to both communities is the same. They were set upon by elements within those countries that – even though they were ruled by the Arab nationalists, we were talking about Muslim countries, and there was still a strong undercurrent within all of these nations for the re-imposition of Islamic law, and the idea that the governments that they were living under had no legitimacy because they did not obey Islamic law.
And this is why the Muslim Brotherhood was outlawed in Egypt by those Arab nationalist governments. Because they had broad popular support since their political philosophy was based in Islamic law. And so Muslims saw it as part of their Islamic identity and Islamic responsibility to be aligned with groups like the Brotherhood. But the Arab nationalist regime saw their enemy and recognized their enemy when they saw him. And so they outlawed these groups.
The problem is that at the same time they had to offer carrots, as well as sticks, to these groups. Because they did enjoy so much popular support. So in other words, the elements of Islamic law that victimized Jews and Christians remained a strong cultural sub-current within those countries, were never eradicated, never explicitly rejected, and often explicitly appealed to not only by the Muslim Brotherhood and groups like it, but even by these Arab governments, in order to curry favor and to secure the popularity of the regime, and to make sure that the regime did not get overthrown.
In Islamic law, if you rebel against the rule of the Muslims, if you reject the overlordship of the Muslims, if you say – I don’t want to live as a subjugated second-class citizen having to step off the sidewalk when the Muslims are passing, and not being able to get a good job because only Muslims can have authority over other Muslims, and so I have to have the most menial job in society, where I don’t have authority over any Muslim – I have to live – all this kind of institutionalized harassment – if you reject it, then the protection is revoked. Just like if you don’t pay the mafia, they will break your windows.
So when Israel was founded, it was widely assumed in the Islamic world that the Jews are at war with Islam now. They’re not accepting the rule of the Muslims, they’re not accepting the overlordship of the Muslims. They are at war with Islam, and their lives are forfeit. And so they were killed, they were massacred, they were expelled from those countries.
Now, the same thing is happening now with the Christians. The Muslim Brotherhood took power in Egypt. And they announced their intention to impose Islamic law in Egypt, and they adopted a constitution that said just that. Islamic law mandates the subjugation of the Christians.
But the Christians had been living in this Arab nationalist regime for 50 years and had not suffered under the dhimma since the 1850s. The Christians said – well, no, we’re not going to accept that. And there were Coptic leaders who said – we will resist the imposition of the dhimma to the point of martyrdom. When you’re talking about 10 to 15 percent of the society, that’s saying – we’re going to plunge this country into civil war if you enforce Islamic law upon us.
And so, the Muslim Brotherhood saw that. And of course, the Muslim Brotherhood – they’re by-the-book Muslims. They read the Koran, they understand Islamic law. They don’t have to bother with all the deceptive nonsense we have blanketing the public discourse in the United States about how it’s really a religion of peace, and they don’t believe any of these things.
And so, the Muslim Brotherhood leaders said – okay. You will not accept the dhimma? You will not take the contract of protection? Then you have no protection. And the churches are being burned, and the Christians are being killed. This is exactly the same phenomenon happening for exactly the same reason.
When the contract of protection is revoked, the dhimmis’ lives are forfeit. And the contract of protection is revoked if they refuse to accept the dhimma. Hamas in Gaza has said, when they consolidate their power – which means when they take over Judea and Samaria as well – then they will impose the dhimma over the remaining Christians there.
The Syrian jihadis have said the same thing. This is part of Islamic law, it has never been reformed, it has never been rejected. And there is no school of Islamic jurisprudence that does not teach this institutionalized discrimination.
So when the Christians reject it, their lives are forfeit. And this is exactly what we are seeing now. They are kafir harbi, infidels at war with Islam. And this is a theological designation within Islamic law that makes their blood halal, which means their blood is acceptable to be shed. And indeed, the Muslims have the responsibility to wage war against such people, and to kill such people wherever possible.
And so, one of the biggest failures of the Obama Administration is this betrayal of the Christians in Egypt and all across the Middle East, and his failure, his refusal, to speak out.
But we also have to acknowledge that one of the biggest failures of the Republican Party is its failure to hold Obama’s feet to the fire and demand that he make American aid to those nations contingent upon their treatment of religious minorities.
One of the biggest failures of the Republican Party in 2012 – and of Mitt Romney in that third debate, the foreign policy debate, where he should have delineated his position from Obama’s most starkly – was that all he could say was – me, too. And Obama said we have to arm the rebels in Syria. And Romney said – oh yes, we do indeed.
Well, then, what was the point? I was watching that. And you know, this is – I’m sorry, this is the only issue I care about. And I thought – I don’t have any reason to vote for either one of those guys. Because the rebels in Syria are jihadis who are going to impose Islamic law in Syria. They will be enemies of the United States no matter how many billions of dollars we give them, and how many roads and hospitals and everything else – schools that we build. And they’re going to murder the non-Muslims, the Alawites as well as the Christians in Syria, wholesale.
And then, of course, now we’re giving them weapons. And it seems as if, for whatever combination of reasons, there are very few people – and I’m very proud and honored to stand in the room – I see Congressman Gohmert over here and, of course, Congressman Franks on the dais.
There are people in the Republican Party who understand this issue. I’d strongly urge that everyone who has access to politicians who are running for office, or who are contemplating running for office, or who are in office now, to try to impress upon them the gravity of this situation, and the reality of the fact that there is no moderate Muslim group or peaceful Muslim group or self-professed moderate Muslim group that we can throw our support behind that is not going to go along with this same program. And we’re kidding ourselves if we think otherwise. These are elements of Islamic law that no sect of Islam rejects. Not a one.
And it is a scandal of extraordinary proportions that we are – the United States of America, we are aiding and abetting the genocide of these people. But we are, when we give weapons to the Syrian rebels. And this has to be a campaign issue in ‘14 and in ‘16, or it’s only going to get worse.
People are afraid, I think, in the Republican Party to take this stance and to say that American aid would be contingent upon equal rights for the religious minorities in those countries, because they think that it would be tarred as racist and bigoted and Islamophobic. And of course, it would be. But, well, join the club.
The fact is that as we saw in the first panel, this kind of personal attack and tarring is going to be done to anyone who stands up honestly and deals with these issues. But if we don’t, more people are going to die. And so it’s a matter of – are we willing to stand up and take some heat? Or are we going to consign these people to their fate? And I hope, as the United States of America, that has always been the bastion of freedom, we will take the latter path.
Trent Franks: Well, as I’ve been sitting here listening to these folks, it’s very clear to me that I am the intellectual lightweight on this panel. They are brilliant in every regard. And I want you to know it’s such a precious privilege for me to be with all of you.
My voice – if you’ll forgive me, that’s an indication of exhaustion, which should be the top line on every congressional job description, I promise you. It’s a challenge sometimes. But I want you to know, it is such an honor to be with you.
In the 10 to 12 minutes I have, my job is to try to give you a 50,000-foot view of global jihad. So it’s a difficult thing to do. And it sort of reminds me of an illustration, where a college professor that was teaching a literature class required of his literature class to do sort of a little story at the end of the – an essay, as it were, at the end of the year. And that counted as half of the grade. And the essay had to be based on four subjects – religion, royalty, sex, and mystery. And they had to do it in the most brief and compelling way that they possibly could.
And no one ever got an A until this young man that wrote the following essay, in a short, concise manner, on religion, royalty, sex and mystery. And it goes like this. My God, said the queen, I’m pregnant.
I wonder who did it.
So that’s my challenge today.
That’s my challenge today. And let me just briefly tell you that I think no matter what the security threat is for humanity, there are two key components that we have to consider. And that is intent and capacity. Intent is often sometimes what we overlook. We only look at the enemy’s capacity to do us harm. But let me suggest to you that intent is by far the most dangerous of the two. But it does take both to represent a true threat to us.
But in our focus on jihad, I think we’ve primarily focused on achieving tactical success against the enemy’s capacity, while missing the overall battle that is being waged. And that is its ideology, or its intent. And Dr. Sebastian Gorka, I think, put it this way. He said – although we have proven our capacity in the last 10 years to kinetically engage our enemy at the operational level and tactical level with unsurpassed effectiveness, we have not even yet begun to take the war to al-Qaeda and jihad on the strategic level of counter-ideology.
And one of the reasons we fail in that regard, according to Dr. Gorka, is the “misguided belief” that the religious character of the enemy’s ideology should not be discussed; that we should instead use the phrase “violent extremism” to describe our foe, and thus avoid any unnecessary unpleasantness. This despite the fact that all of those who have brought death to our shores, as al-Qaeda operatives have done, not so out of purely political conviction but clearly as a result of the fact that they feel transcendentally justified.
Sometimes we have to call something for what it is in order to really be able to express the intent. And I will suggest to you that this administration is completely out to lunch on that subject. They call it violent extremism or overseas contingencies or, as Louie Gohmert said, workplace violence.
And I wonder when they’re going to start calling shoplifters unwanted customers, or nonpaying customers, you know.
Or burglars unwanted houseguests. Or maybe drug dealers unlicensed pharmacists. There’s a good one.
The point is that if we’re going to use this nomenclature, we have to call it for what it is. Old Iroquois quote that says that the secret to the universe is in the true naming of things. And terrorism is this ideology that is bent on world domination. And they will not stop until they achieve that end. And it’s our job to say – what are we going to do? We’re either going to prevail or, if we decide that we’re going to have peace with that in the world, we’re going to simply say that we can have peace with them tomorrow if we’re willing to surrender today.
But we have to call it for what it is. And this is an intent that we have to look at it for what it is.
Now, let me suggest to you – that brings me to the capacity. I thought Erick Stakelbeck said it best when he talked about both the underlying ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood sort of being the architecture of terrorism, and Iran being that enforcer. Iran and the nuclear possibility or nuclear capability that they might gain represents the potential for jihad to place their finger on the nuclear button and gain the capacity that will change this world so much we will need a new calendar. It is that significant.
And I wish I could chase that all over the room and really expand on that. But I don’t have time.
But we do have a bill in Congress that I’ve introduced. I think Louie and about half the good guys are on that bill called the US Iran Nuclear Negotiations Act that tries to address this debate that we’re having or these discussions that we’re having with Iran right now. And I’m terrified at the direction that they’re going. And I hope someone will ask me the question in the question-and-answer period about the bill, and I’ll explain it a little bit more.
But Erick also mentioned a guy named Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah. And I really think that this brings it down to the focus that we need to look at. He said this. He said – we have discovered how to hit the Jews where they are most vulnerable. The Jews love life. So that’s what we shall take from them. They love life, and we love death. And we will win, because they love life and we love death.
But I would suggest to you that he’s overlooked something. And that is that while it’s very daunting to have people that are willing to kill their children to facilitate the killing of ours, that’s a frightening thing to people of our culture and ideology. It’s a terrifying, a very daunting challenge to face. But I would suggest to you that the bravest and most noble fighters in all of humanity are those who do love life, and who love God, and they love their fellow human beings. And they’re willing to stand up fight for them. They’re willing to stand down the enemy no matter what it takes. And we have to have that kind of courage to do that.
And I’m always touched that sometimes we overlook just history. You know, we’ve been here before. There was a time when Winston Churchill reminded all of us of the danger of the Nazi ideological march. He said – still, if you will not fight when you can easily win without bloodshed, if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly, you may come to the moment when you’ll have to fight, with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may be a worse moment. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory. Because it is still better to perish than to live as slaves.
Now unfortunately, the people of that day really didn’t listen to him like they should have in time. And the result was that 15 million people died. Atomic bombs fell on cities, and six million of God’s chosen people were desecrated and annihilated in the name of ethnic purity.
And I will tell you that it’s so sad that it seems like, as a poet said, the only thing we learn from history is that we don’t learn from history. And it is very important that we consider the past situations and the cost. You know, the cost to the Jewish people, the cost to the whole integrity of humanity that turned and looked away while this tragedy was happening.
I have to tell you, folks, I think one of the great stories of all of humanity will be how the Jews responded to the Holocaust. They could have been crushed and let themselves say – it’s over, we can’t survive this, we can’t. But instead of letting themselves be completely destroyed, instead of saying – we will get revenge, their revenge was that they just lived. And they dried their tears, and they looked up, and they began to build again. And the God of Jacob smiled on their efforts, and they built a nation. And today, the Nazis are gone, and Israel remains.
And I will tell you that I believe, if we stand together, that someday jihad will be gone. But it’s going to be very important that we do.
So I leave you with this sort of a little illustration that I think puts it in the best perspective that I can. When King Phillip [Sermata] came against England, he had so many ships that it really snuck up on England. And it looked like it was a hopeless situation. And the Queen Elizabeth’s advisors went to her, and they said – you know, we can’t win here. They have a superior force. We’ve going to do the best we can to hold them off at the shore, but we’re not going to be able to prevail, Queen. She said – what are you talking about? They said – no, we can’t win. And she said – we’ve got to win. The future depends on it.
And certainly she was right. We wouldn’t be here in this room today if that hadn’t gone the right way. But she went, and got her armor on, and went down to the shore, the story is told, and stood before her people. And she said something that motivated them to have the courage to fight this – insidious holy war is what it was, of coming against them.
And she said – my loving people, we see the sails of the enemy approaching. We hear the guns over the water. Soon now, we will meet them face-to-face. I am come down here among you all to live or die today, with all of you. While we stand together, no invader shall pass. Let them come with the armies of hell. They shall not pass. And when this day of battle is ended, we meet again. We meet again in heaven or on the field of victory.
Well, when Israel was marching towards the promised land, many of their enemies spied them out. And they looked over the hills, and they saw this giant, 600,000 group of people marching along. And they saw the banners wave, they saw them marching in military formation. And it was a very daunting, very frightening sight, I’m sure, to all of Israel’s enemies, especially given the history of how they had prevailed every time.
But I would suggest to you it was not that that put the fear in their hearts. It was that flaming cloud that was out there in front. And if we stand together and realize that the flaming cloud still goes before us, by the grace of God, we’ll come here someday in the future and talk about jihad again. But we’ll be meeting on the field of victory.
So God bless you all.
Erick Stakelbeck: Well, thank you, Congressman Franks, Caroline, Robert. A phenomenal panel, to say the least.
We have about 20 minutes for Q&A. I just wanted to say real quick how Congressman Franks talks about history repeating itself; we don’t learn from history. Right now, folks, it’s August 31st, 1939. That’s where we’re at right now. The barbarians are not just at the gates; they’re inside the gates. The battles can be won in this room, with the American people. This is where it’s going to be won. So this is great.
The Bible says – my people perish for lack of knowledge. There’s a lot of knowledge in this room. This is great to be educated by my fellow panelists here.
We’re going to open up for Q&A. Real quick, Congressman Franks, wanted to ask you about that Iran legislation, if I may be so bold, if you could explain that a bit.
Trent Franks: I’m just so glad you asked.
The US Iran Nuclear Negotiations Act is something that we’ve introduced. I think we have 30 cosponsors. And it’s essentially meant to do two things – one, to strengthen the US negotiating capacity and kind of underscore their diplomacy in this discussion that’s taking place between the United States and Iran and the P5+1, that in my judgment is going in a very dangerous direction. And perhaps the most important thing it does – it lays out congressional priorities as to what should be in a good bill.
Now, I have to say to you that primarily what we did in those priorities was to find the Israeli articulated – Benjamin Netanyahu’s articulated elements as to why it was so important to make sure that we dismantled Iranian capability to make fissile material. Because if we don’t do that, ladies and gentlemen – you know, I was the first to call for Iran to be referred to the Security Council eight years ago. So this has been like watching a train wreck from, you know, high altitude very slowly.
And at the time, you know, when they had 160 centrifuges, we were considered premature. Because again, to quote them, takes 3,000 centrifuges to make a nuclear program. Well, they now have almost 19,000. So if they have that capacity to make fissile material, it’s just simply a matter of their decision when they decide to sprint towards a nuclear weapons capability. And this idea of allowing them to continue, without input-output capability, where we know what fuel’s going into the Arak plant, what fuel’s coming out – if they can produce plutonium, it’ll be very difficult, then, for Israel or anybody to bomb that, because it’ll put radioactivity in the atmosphere.
So this is the crucial moment. If this President signs some type of a deal, it’ll make it very difficult for the next President then to go back and say – well, no, we’re not going to allow you to have that capacity. Today, Iran is in a position that if they chose to, they could make a nuclear weapon in 30 days with the material that they have. And the Fordo facility was meant to take them from where they are now to a nuclear weapons capability. And if those facilities are allowed to remain intact, and the ability to enrich uranium is allowed to remain intact, we have failed.
And so, I mean, I don’t know how to be any simpler than that. And it looks like this administration is going exactly in that direction. So we’re trying to use this bill to inject as much into the debate as we can to hope that somehow, like the gentleman said earlier, we can make bad people do the right thing.
Erick Stakelbeck: Okay.
Erick Stakelbeck: I think if there’s one thing we’ve learned from history, it’s tyrants lie.
Unidentified Speaker: Yeah.
Erick Stakelbeck: And we saw that in the 1990s with North Korea, Congressman.
We have a question from the young man from Texas, Congressman Louie Gohmert.
Louie Gohmert: This panel has been fantastic, all four. Wow. I’ve just been really fired up and motivated. You guys are so brilliant, so articulate.
And Trent, you and I were talking last night. You know, Israel does not have our best bunker-buster, they don’t have our best planes that they really need to do the job. We need to prevent Israel from taking out Iran’s nuclear capability. And we should do that by doing it ourselves.
Erick Stakelbeck: Hear, hear.
Louie Gohmert: So anyway –
— the one thing that I haven’t heard, and I was negligent in this, having been in Egypt in September – and everybody has properly talked about the Muslim Brotherhood, Morsi control in Egypt, the burning of churches, and the terrorizing of Jews and Christians in Egypt. But I hope that we agree that since this summer, it’s been a change. The Muslim Brotherhood has been devastated in Egypt. And this is no time to defund Egypt. Because they’re on the right track –
— despite what our President said. And I didn’t bring that up. But I think they are to be applauded. And the Coptic Christian Pope told me in September – look, please get across the message [to] the people – and I was negligent not doing this – that this was not a coup in Egypt. This was tens of millions of Egyptians rising up. And I didn’t know till I was there, but there’s no provision in their constitution for impeachment. So when you have a president that acts outside the constitution – you know, we helped them with their constitution; we just left that part out. I don’t know if that was the help of Obama or what. But they left out that impeachment thing.
So anyway, I hope – and I want to make sure to get [Egypt’s] expression on this – I hope we agree, it’s not time to pull back funds from Egypt. They have done a great thing for humanity. And I hope we agree it’s time to help them.
And I have a bill I filed in every Congress, and I’ll keep filing it, called the UN Voting Accountability Bill. And it kind of takes up what Robert’s talking about. It doesn’t expressly talk about Christians and Jews. But it says any nation that votes against the United States’ position in the UN more than half the time will not get any support whatsoever, and that basically, the bottom line is you don’t have to pay people to hate you; they’ll do it for free.
But I wanted to make sure, if anybody disagrees, that Egypt is doing a good thing and we should encourage them.
Erick Stakelbeck: Amen. I mean, thank you, Congressman.
I was in New York City during the UN General Assembly. I had dinner with the Egyptian Foreign Minister. And he told me – you’re losing the Egyptian people because of the Obama Administration. And I think I would echo everyone on the panel to say – thank God. Losing the Egyptian people – the Egyptian people right now – they see the Obama Administration as a tool of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Unidentified Speaker: Thank you very much, lady and gentlemen, for your presentations. This is for Dr. Spencer. According to the Islam Koran, I think there’s a rule in there that if you are a Muslim and you switch to another religion, there’s some kind of punishment that’s done to you, like beheading or some other type of death. Is this correct?
Robert Spencer: Yes –
Unidentified Speaker: And if so, how does this apply to Obama? And if so, what should we do about it?
Robert Spencer: Look, obviously, the situation of Barack Obama’s religion is much vexed and very murky, probably intentionally so. There are several things about it. His father and his stepfather were Muslims. So yes, according to Islamic law, he’s a Muslim. And he identifies himself as a Christian now, which would technically make him an apostate. Mohammad, the Prophet of Islam, said anybody changes his religion – that is, leaves Islam – kill him.
And so the death penalty for apostasy from Islam is also something that’s taught by all the sects and all the schools of Islamic jurisprudence. There’s not one that doesn’t teach it. And yet, nobody in the Muslim world, you notice, is ever calling for Barack Obama to be executed as an apostate.
Now, with so many hotheads and firebrands and hardliners, you would think that somebody would say that, unless maybe they knew something.
Now, I’m not saying necessarily that Barack Obama is really a Muslim. I can also tell you, however, that his identification of himself as a Christian does not necessarily mean he’s not a Muslim. Now, that may seem nonsensical. But in the Koran, if you read the Koran – which I highly recommend, along with my book, “The Complete Infidel’s Guide to the Koran,” available at any self-respecting bookstore –
— if you read the Koran, you will find all these Bible stories. Abraham, Moses, David, Jesus. And they’re all Muslim prophets who taught Islam. And it’s considered that the true messages of all those prophets was Islam.
And so a Muslim can say – I’m a Jew, I’m a Christian; meaning I’m a follower of Moses and Jesus – the real teachings of Moses and Jesus, which are Islam – and not be saying – I’m not a Muslim, at the same time.
But whatever his personal beliefs are, certainly if he were a secret Muslim, he wouldn’t be acting any differently from how he is anyway.
Trent Franks: That’s exactly right. Wouldn’t be any difference.
Unidentified Speaker: It’s a good point.
Muray: This question is for Caroline.
As an Israeli citizen, the next battle is Bibi’s. It’s his Jericho. And perhaps you could give us an idea, since the timeline is very short now, as to what Bibi might do and with whom.
Caroline Glick: Thanks, [Muray].
So I think what you do when you’re facing a genocidal threat, and also treachery, is you try to find whatever people who share your immediate goal and working with them. Because one of the things that we know is that Israel was in the operational phases – about to attack Iran three times. And all three of those attacks were leaked by the administration before they could be carried out and had to be aborted.
So for the past couple of years, the United States of America, that purports to be Israel’s primary ally and is certainly on Iran’s target list – but it’s number two, and Israel’s number one – has been acting as Iran’s defender against its closest ally. And so that’s a fundamental change.
And I think that now, with what Obama has been doing with the talks with the Iranians and the deal that he wants to conclude with them, is that he’s made it possible to talk openly about American treachery here. And I think that the French were apparently shocked out of their stupor.
Daniel Pipes talked in the Foreign Policy panel yesterday about the fact that the good thing about what is happening, or the positive aspect of Obama’s betrayal of all of America’s allies, is that all of America’s allies are starting to realize that they have to abandon their welfare mentality towards the American military in terms of their national defense, and start stepping up again.
And so we’re seeing some previous historical alliances being reborn, particularly the Israeli-French alliance. If we remember, in 1956, Israel went to war, with France and with Britain, against Egypt and the Soviets in the Suez Canal. And the Americans after the fact sided with the Egyptians against Britain, France and Israel. And that was really the end of the British Empire and the French Empire. They didn’t act independently of the United States after Suez in ‘56. It was a huge mistake and also a watershed event. So now we’re seeing the French stepping up for the first time since ‘56.
And we have the Saudis, who are just as imperiled by the Iranian nuclear program as the Israelis. And as Robert I’m sure will tell you, standing on one foot, there is no love lost between Saudi Arabia and the Jews. But when it comes to regime survival, you’re willing to make a deal, even with the Little Satan, to survive.
And so I think that what we’re going to be seeing a lot of is ad hoc cooperation between countries that are not natural allies to try to thwart the Iranians against American wishes. I wouldn’t be at all surprised – Netanyahu was – I mean, [Halanda’s] in Israel today, with [Sabian], his foreign minister. Netanyahu and, I assume, Foreign Minister Lieberman, are flying to Moscow later this week to meet with Putin.
The Russians are playing very skillfully. And it’s not a difficult game. Actually, what they’re doing is they’re playing the game of the spoiler with the American withdrawal from the Middle East.
And I don’t know whether we should clap, but we should embrace whatever opportunities we have. Because the dangers are so enormous that we have to.
At any rate, the Russians – I can see them working the spoilers here, and siding with Israel. I mean, they’re the ones who built Iran’s program, essentially. But I can see them working with Israel and the French, and the Saudis. Because doing so will further weaken the Americans and destroy American credibility. So it’s possible that you’ll get some sort of [quad] apartheid alliance, a temporary ad hoc to destroy significant aspects of Iran’s nuclear program – to the detriment, of course, of Iran’s closest ally today, which is the Americans.
And it’s so terrible that you have to laugh. You know. Because it’s really gotten to that point where it’s a disaster.
On the other hand, you know, the good aspect of it is that if we get to this act of extraordinary treachery on the part of the Obama Administration, and we’re able to buy that time that we need to reduce the pressure of an imminent Iranian nuclear weapon arsenal, then that also gives the possibility of a new American foreign policy to take root. Because if Iran has nuclear weapons thanks to the US government, then a next administration – even if John Bolton is the Secretary of State and, you know, Trent Franks and Louie Gohmert is the President of the United States of America –
— bless you – and I don’t mean to get you guys competing with each other; I want you to work together – you know, they won’t be able to undo the damage. Because the damage that Obama has done already to American credibility as a world power is devastating. So at least, if Iran is prevented until the next administration, at least, from acquiring nuclear capability, then there’s a possibility that an American government that acts in America’s national security interests may be able to rebuild some of the alliances that Obama has taken a knife to.
Unidentified Speaker: We’re going to have to make that the last question, because the next panel starts in three minutes.
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