Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Commentary by Gary

Why Gaza Should Scare Us
I suspect many Americans have only a passing concern about the events in Gaza this week. Nobody actually wants to see more pictures of masked gunmen shooting up the streets, forcing men to kneel and executing them in front of their families. But as distasteful as those images are, they have nothing to do with our lives here, right? Wrong! What we have been witnessing this week is another victory for Islamofascism. The Hamas fighters, as they routed the numerically superior Fatah forces, immediately knelt and praised Allah for their victory. They converted a Fatah office into a mosque. They attacked a Christian center, collected the Bibles and burned them.

Columnist and warrior Ralph Peters hit a grand slam home run again this morning in his column in the New York Post with his analysis of the Hamas victory. He points out that from Gaza to Baghdad, from Lebanon to London, we are witnessing men who have given their lives to Allah and who are willing to die and kill with impunity. Hamas fighters “at the height of last week’s fighting in Gaza” only numbered “one Palestinian in 300,” but as Peters notes, today they control Gaza and 1.5 million people.

We are still in denial about the Islamofascist fanatics. Many conflicts can be settled by negotiations, but not wars in which one side believes it is taking orders directly from its god. That is why the Bush Administration should stop pressuring Israel to make more concessions. No amount of land will satisfy Palestinian Muslims’ thirst for Jewish blood. That is why the Baker Commission and the diplomatic community are wrong when they say we must get Iran’s cooperation through talks. They keep forgetting, or are willfully ignoring, that Iranian “president” Ahmadinejad believes the Muslim messiah is coming soon to kill all the Christians and Jews, and that he has been assigned the holy task of paving the way for his arrival. What possible incentive could we offer for Ahmadinejad to compromise this mission?

Across Europe there is but a remnant of Judeo-Christian civilization. Here, Americans are more religious, but our elites, from the media to our foreign policy establishment, seem to be incapable of understanding the murderers who kill for Allah. These elites are more frightened by George Bush praying than they are by the Islamists who cut off heads and send women to blow up hospitals. ABC News played a video last night of a “graduation” ceremony at a terror school in Afghanistan that was sending off its “graduates” to France, England, Canada and the U.S. to wage jihad, while at American universities leftwing educators work nonstop to keep military recruiters off our campuses.

So what can we do?

“We the people” must first come to grips with the reality confronting us. While our Marines are at war, most Americans are at the mall, unfazed by the threat to our civilization. That disconnect is dangerous, and that is what allows some politicians to declare the war “lost” or to denounce it as “George W. Bush’s war.” We must teach our children what is unique and good about America, and why our values are worth defending. We must inform our policymakers about the “gathering storm” threatening our civilization and warn them against the siren song of appeasement. And we must demand that our government do all that is within its power to defend our homeland and crush the Islamofascists who have declared war on us.

This is the mission to which I have devoted American Values, and, my friends, your support is absolutely essential to our success. If you share our vision of a strong, free and prosperous America, please stand with me today. Help us defend our values by making an investment in our work. We don’t have billionaire benefactors, nor do we receive seven figure grants from “elite and prestigious” foundations. We rely solely upon the voluntary contributions of Americans who share our belief in faith, family and freedom.

Spending In The Spotlight
There was some political theater in Washington last week that you might have missed when conservatives succeeded in temporarily shutting down the House of Representatives – an unusual feat given the structure in that chamber, where the majority party generally rules with an iron fist. The issue was an attempt by the liberal majority to change a rule allowing for challenges to pork barrel spending projects. While Republicans embraced the big spending ways of Washington when they held power, they paid a high price for it at the ballot box and perhaps have learned their lesson that voters do care about restraining government spending. Rather than rolling over, it was encouraging to see conservatives actually fight for lower taxes and less spending.

House conservatives got a bit of a boost last Wednesday when President Bush announced that he was prepared to veto as many as nine spending bills, starting with the appropriations bill for the Department of Homeland Security, which increases spending for that department by 14% -- well above the 7% increase the White House requested. The conservative House Republican Study Committee has collected signatures from 147 lawmakers pledging to support the president’s vetoes, which, according to columnist Bob Novak, could reduce federal spending by $20 billion. It’s a small amount by Washington’s standards, but at least it’s a step in the right direction.

Immigration Reform Update
The Senate is set this week to take a second shot at passing Ted Kennedy’s immigration “reform” bill over the objections of the American people, but the battle is far from over. While we are concerned that the process in the Senate appears to be rigged in favor of this “grand compromise,” there is mounting speculation that the bill may face higher hurdles in the House of Representatives, where members are more responsive to their constituents. Indeed, there was an encouraging sign in the House Friday when Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) succeeded in passing an amendment that would withhold certain federal funds from cities that have adopted “sanctuary policies” for illegal aliens in violation of federal law.

Rep. Tancredo has tried repeatedly in recent years to pass this amendment, but it has always failed. So you can imagine the shock in Washington when 49 Democrats crossed over to support the Tancredo amendment! Those 49 Democrats provided the necessary margin of support to pass the amendment on a vote of 234-to-189. It is also worth noting that a similar amendment proposed in the Senate during last month’s debate on comprehensive immigration “reform” failed to pass by one vote.

What does that tell us about the fate of the Senate’s immigration plan in the House? As Rep. Tancredo suggested, “If I were [Speaker] Nancy Pelosi, I’d be asking if she [sic] could pass a vote on amnesty on the House side. If she lost 50 Democrats on this one, and she says she needs 70 Republicans to pass the immigration plan, this is an interesting indicator of things coming down the pike, and that the times, they are a-changing.”

The Religious Left
Did you hear about the recent Presidential Forum on “Faith, Values and Poverty,” in which the three top Democrat candidates for president discussed how their faith informs their politics? If not, don’t worry—you didn’t miss much. Yes, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards spoke candidly about how their religious beliefs affect their personal lives. And yes, the very fact that the candidates were speaking in a religious forum can be seen as something of a watershed moment for the Left, a political movement that until now saw any utterance of religious belief in public as a violation of the separation of church and state. Unfortunately, however, the event didn’t generate the one thing necessary for liberal policymakers to have a prayer of winning over conservative Christians: a moderation from their extreme positions on the issues that matter most to religious voters. While recent events like the presidential forum have caused the media to predict that significant numbers of religious voters may soon support leftwing candidates, in my most recent column for Human Events, I explain why the religious left still doesn’t get most Christians.

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