Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Mainstream media silent as Muslim Brotherhood targets Christians in Egypt

Investors Business Daily reports.

Excerpt:

Christians in Egypt are again the target of Islamist Muslim Brotherhood supporters using the new violence as a cover for ongoing persecution. If Christians were burning mosques, the world would be outraged.

Amid the raging violence in Egypt, a less-publicized war is being waged against Egypt’s long-persecuted Coptic Christians, this time using the excuse that they were somehow involved in the military’s ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed Morsi from power.

Coptic Christians comprise up to 10% of Egypt’s 84 million people.

Ishaq Ibrahim from the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights group has documented as many as 39 incidents of violence against churches, monasteries, Coptic schools and shops in different parts of the country within the past few days. They include Thursday’s torching of the Prince Tadros Church in the province of Fayoum, where three similar attacks occurred on other churches the day before.

Islamists firebombed the Mar Gergiss Church in Sohag, a city with a large community of Coptic Christians, burning it to the ground. Islamists previously raised an al-Qaida flag over the church.

Another two places of worship, the Churches of Abraham and the Virgin Mary, were attacked in El-Menia province, leaving them partially damaged by fire. St. Theresa Church in Assiut in Upper Egypt was also burned.

[...]In a terrorist attack one minute after midnight on Jan. 1, 2011, 21 Christians attending a New Year’s mass were killed, and 97 people, mostly Christians, were injured as worshipers were leaving a New Year’s mass at the Saints Church in Alexandria.

On April 7, two Copts were killed and 84 injured by a mob using guns, wielding machetes, throwing stones and possibly hurling Molotov cocktails at mourners exiting St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo. The worshippers were mourning the deaths of four Copts in an April 4 attack in Khossus in which a nursery and church were burned.

An investigation into the October 2011 attack on Coptic Christians in Cairo’s Maspero district, leaving 30 dead and more than 500 wounded, was shut down by the Morsi regime. In the Egypt of the Muslim Brotherhood, Christian lives mean little.

As the administration quibbles over the definition of a “coup” regarding Egypt’s military aid, we are reminded the U.S. and NATO went to war over the “ethnic cleansing” of Muslims in Bosnia. What will be our response to the ethnic cleansing of 10% of Egypt’s population?

One of the troubling things that I’ve noticed with younger evangelicals and libertarians is that they don’t understand that wars start when bad people believe that they can behave aggressively and no one will stop them. Being nice doesn’t work on bad people, it just makes them act that more more aggressively.

Here’s an article from Townhall by famous economist Thomas Sowell, in which he explains how tyrants respond to weak foreign policy.

Excerpt:

On the international scene, trying to assuage aggressors’ feelings and look at the world from their point of view has had an even more catastrophic track record. A typical sample of this kind of thinking can be found in a speech to the British Parliament by Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain in 1938: “It has always seemed to me that in dealing with foreign countries we do not give ourselves a chance of success unless we try to understand their mentality, which is not always the same as our own, and it really is astonishing to contemplate how the identically same facts are regarded from two different angles.”

Like our former ambassador from the Carter era, Chamberlain sought to “remove the causes of strife or war.” He wanted “a general settlement of the grievances of the world without war.” In other words, the British prime minister approached Hitler with the attitude of someone negotiating a labor contract, where each side gives a little and everything gets worked out in the end. What Chamberlain did not understand was that all his concessions simply led to new demands from Hitler — and contempt for him by Hitler.

What Winston Churchill understood at the time, and Chamberlain did not, was that Hitler was driven by what Churchill called “currents of hatred so intense as to sear the souls of those who swim upon them.” That was also what drove the men who drove the planes into the World Trade Center.

Pacifists of the 20th century had a lot of blood on their hands for weakening the Western democracies in the face of rising belligerence and military might in aggressor nations like Nazi Germany and imperial Japan. In Britain during the 1930s, Labor Party members of Parliament voted repeatedly against military spending, while Hitler built up the most powerful military machine in Europe. Students at leading British universities signed pledges to refuse to fight in the event of war.

All of this encouraged the Nazis and the Japanese toward war against countries that they knew had greater military potential than their own. Military potential only counts when there is the will to develop it and use it, and the fortitude to continue with a bloody war when it comes. This is what they did not believe the West had. And it was Western pacifists who led them to that belief.

Then as now, pacifism was a “statement” about one’s ideals that paid little attention to actual consequences. At a Labor Party rally where Britain was being urged to disarm “as an example to others,” economist Roy Harrod asked one of the pacifists: “You think our example will cause Hitler and Mussolini to disarm?”

The reply was: “Oh, Roy, have you lost all your idealism?” In other words, the issue was about making a “statement” — that is, posturing on the edge of a volcano, with World War II threatening to erupt at any time. When disarmament advocate George Bernard Shaw was asked what Britons should do if the Nazis crossed the channel into Britain, the playwright replied, “Welcome them as tourists.”

Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher called this view “peace through strength”. There is only one reason why evil people do not attack – because they think that good people have the firepower tomake them pay dearly for their aggression, and – and this is very important – the will to use it.

The important thing to realize is that without a powerful military, there is nothing that we can do when the Muslim Brotherhood goes after Coptic Christians in Egypt. Happy talk isn’t going to solve anything. To deter aggression, you need to have a credible threat of military force deployed in the region. Even if you don’t go to war, the other guy has to believe that you can and that you will. That’s what stops bad people from being aggressive. What Benghzi showed the Islamists is that they could do anything they wanted, and no one is going to stop them. That’s why Christians are dying by the bushel in Egypt today.

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Left-wing media turning on Obama over his foreign policy failures

Dr. Stuart Schneiderman has read all the left-wing news sources and found some surprising views.

Excerpt:

The news hasn’t really reached the public, but Obama-supporting media outlets are starting to see the mess that the Obama/Clinton/Kerry foreign policy has produced.

It is so bad that columnists are not even trying to moderate their negative judgments.

From Frida Ghitis on the CNN site:

America’s foreign policy has gone into a tailspin. Almost every major initiative from the Obama administration has run into sharp, sometimes embarrassing, reverses. The U.S. looks weak and confused on the global stage.

This might come as happy news to some opponents of the administration who enjoy seeing Barack Obama fail, but it shouldn’t.

America’s failure in international strategy is a disaster-in-the-making for its allies and for the people who see the U.S. model of liberal democracy as one worth emulating in their own nations.

On Russia, she continues, the verdict is clear:

Relations with Russia have fallen off a cliff, making the theatrical “reset” of 2009 look, frankly, cringe-worthy.

Syria, of course, is even worse:

Obama dramatically warned Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, as he slaughtered his people by the thousands, that if he used chemical or biological weapons, he would cross a “red line.” The line was crossed and not much happened. Syria is crumbling, self-destructing in a civil war that I, for one, believe could have turned out quite differently if Washington had offered material and diplomatic support for moderates in the opposition. Fears that the opposition would be dominated by extremists became a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The centerpiece of the Obama/Clinton foreign policy initiative was Egypt. You know how that has worked out:

But it is Egypt where America’s foreign policy fiasco is most visible.

It was in Cairo in 2009, where the newly elected Obama, still reflecting the glow of sky-high expectations, launched his campaign to repair relations with the so-called “Muslim World.”…

Nobody knew what would happen in Cairo’s Tahrir Square a few years later. But today, the same people who yearned for democracy despise Washington. When Egyptians elected a Muslim Brotherhood president, Washington tried to act respectfully, but it showed a degree of deference to the Muslim Brotherhood that ignored the ways in which the group violated not only Egyptians’ but America’s own standards of decency and rule of law.

As tensions in Egypt grow between Islamists on one side and the military and anti-Islamists on the other, there is one sentiment shared by all: Both sides feel betrayed by Washington.

Egypt’s most powerful man, Gen. Abdel Fatah al-Sissi, said, “You [the U.S.] left the Egyptians; you turned your back on the Egyptians, and they won’t forget that.”

It’s not just CNN, though. He has quotations from articles in the radically, radically leftist New York Times and the left-wing extremist New Yorker, too. The New Yorker is disgusted with the way that Obama has handled Libya. It’s getting so bad that not even Obama’s biggest cheerleaders can ignore it.

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Christians celebrate the end of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood government

North Africa and Middle East Political Map

North Africa and Middle East Political Map

CNS News explains how the downfall of Obama’s Muslim Brotherhood allies is being greeted with joy by Egypt’s Christian community.

Excerpt:

Father Rafik Greiche, head of the press office of the Egyptian Catholic Bishops’ Conference, declared that the ouster of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood supporters on July 3 was “a joyous day for Christians.” “The ousting of Morsi and the political new beginning is a joyous day for us Christians in Egypt and for all Egyptians. We hope that we will not be excluded from the political process that lies before us,” he said during a talk last Thursday with the Catholic charity, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN).

[...]Fr. Greiche made a point to note that what happened in Egypt was not a coup d’état. Rather, he said, “the army carried out the will of the people. They expressed this unequivocally over the last few days through millions of signatures and massive demonstrations in Cairo and throughout the whole country.”

“A number of western media are now presenting it as a coup d’état. But a putsch happens when officers take power and act without the endorsement of the people. But this is exactly what did not happen in Egypt yesterday. Moreover, the army wanted to prevent the bloodshed the Muslim brothers were threatening. This is why they took action.”

[...]A 2012 State Department report noted increased violence towards Egyptian Christians following the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak in 2011 and the election of Muslim Brotherhood-backed Morsi a year ago.

“The government generally failed to prevent, investigate, or prosecute crimes against members of religious minorities, including Coptic Christians, which fostered a climate of impunity. In some cases, authorities reacted slowly or with insufficient resolve when mobs attacked Christians and their property,” according to the State Department’s International Religious Freedom Report.

I think this story beautifully illustrates why Christians should care about politics and foreign policy. The truth is that there are forces in places throughout the world that are hostile to Judeo-Christian values. Good foreign policy that promotes economic freedom and freedom of religion should be the cause of every informed Christian. One of the reasons why the Muslim Brotherhood, a group linked to terrorism, is doing so well is because Egypt’s economy is doing so poorly.

Investors Business Daily thinks that the best way to bring freedom to Egypt is by bring prosperity to Egypt – the same way that freedom was brought to Chile in the past.

Take a look:

Like with Morsi, Chile in 1973 was ruled by a so-called democrat, Salvador Allende, who after barely winning election revealed he didn’t intend to govern democratically. A Marxist, Allende moved fast to ram through radical, Cuban-style “reforms” on an unwilling public.

Allende foreshadowed Morsi, demolishing political institutions, trampling the free press, disrespecting minority rights, ignoring the constitution, disregarding the separation of powers, trashing property rights and ruining the economy. Also, Allende was in thrall to a failed and inhuman foreign ideology — communism — just as Morsi was to Islamofascism. In both cases, the only exit was a military coup.

Had Chilean military commander Augusto Pinochet simply handed the country back to “democracy” without changing the root causes of the turmoil and tyranny, the cycle would have had a replay.

But he didn’t. He used his military government as an incubator for free-market changes, transforming his country into not just Latin America’s best economy, but also Latin America’s most durable democracy. Pinochet — who stepped down dutifully after 17 years upon losing a referendum — understood that economic freedom had to precede political freedom. He employed a brilliant group of mostly University of Chicago-educated young Chilean economists, known as the Chicago Boys, to transform the society by cleaning out thousands of weedlike laws choking Chile’s economy — on labor, mining, currency, fishing, vineyards, startups and pensions.

They made the central bank independent and instituted hard-core fiscal discipline that has left the country debt-free and pushed its credit rating toward triple A.

Thousands of businesses were freed to open and operate without thickets of regulations — resulting in the spate of Chilean products now seen in America’s supermarkets: wine, fruit, fish.

They signed free-trade pacts with 60 countries to expand the reach of their tiny market to a global one — the better to attract foreign investment.

And in what economist Milton Friedman called “the crown jewel” of these reforms, Chile’s 30-year-old Labor Minister Jose Pinera offered Chileans a choice of public or private pensions — making each worker a minicapitalist with a stake in the system — and giving the country a vast pool of capital to develop the country.

Right now, frankly, this is what Egypt needs — a free-market economy that enables it citizens to matter.

America now pushes for political freedom before the economic kind. It did this Iraq and now in Egypt, creating weak or failed democracies. In 2011, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she was getting calls from Egyptians during the Arab Spring asking how to replicate Chile’s reforms — and we’ve heard nothing since.

But the Chilean example shows that economic freedom is what makes political freedom possible .

Fox News recalls why the Muslim Brotherhood got into power in the first place.

Excerpt:

Millions protesting in the streets. Another leader deposed. Dozens killed in violent clashes, including at least 51 people slain on Monday. Obama’s Mideast policy is in shambles. Nowhere is that more obvious that Egypt, which just held its second revolution in as many years.

Egypt isn’t just a problem. It’s a full-fledged disaster, hand-delivered to us by President Obama. He sabotaged our ally Hosni Mubarak more than a year ago, then defended that strategy during his reelection campaign.

[...]Back in February 2011, Obama first said “change must take place” and about a week later outright called for Mubarak to go. Given the U.S.’s financial influence on Egypt, that effectively destroyed a key ally.

[...]When asked during the presidential debates in October if he regretted abandoning Mubarak, Obama was clear: “I don’t because I think that America has to stand with democracy.” He then listed several areas that he expected the new government to push including taking “responsibility for protecting religious minorities,” recognizing “the rights of women,” abiding “by their treaty with Israel,” and “developing their own economy.”

With the exception of Israel, Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood failed at the rest and now Obama is standing by them. Christians have been attacked, women raped and terrorized, and the Egyptian economy is a disaster. Fuel shortages are common and half the population is living on less than $2 a day.

The Muslim Brotherhood has shown itself to be radical and dangerous. One of the last straws for the Egyptians was apparently when Morsi called for a holy war in Syria in support of the Sunni Muslims against the Shia Muslim leadership.

The Brotherhood even released a bizarre, anti-Semitic statement about Morsi’s replacement, saying, “A Jew in Egypt’s seat of power.”

Now that same military Obama trusted last time around has rejected Morsi’s anti-American, radical Islamist government. The Obama response? He has ordered a review of the funding we send to Egypt. He even supported keeping the Brotherhood in the government.

What Christians should have done in 2008 and 2012 is voted against Obama, because apologizing to Muslim dictators and Communist dictators is not going to spread the prosperity and liberty we need in order to have world peace. Christians need to think hard about the role that foreign policy plays in a Christian worldview. I think this is especially important for Christian women, who in my experience struggle to understand how foreign policy works. We need to think about the way the world works in order to achieve good. Achieving good is not the same thing as being liked or feeling good. We want to achieve good, and that takes knowledge of how the world really works.

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Obama foreign policy: Muslim Brotherhood imposing anti-US dictatorship in Egypt

North Africa and Middle East Political Map

North Africa and Middle East Political Map

The Heritage Foundation explains what Obama enabled by using American military force to remove Hosni Mubarak in Egypt.

Excerpt:

Egypt was wracked by protests today, the day after President Mohamed Morsi purged key judicial officials and issued a decree that granted himself sweeping new powers. In Cairo, protesters gathered in Tahrir Square, the epicenter of Egypt’s stalled revolution, to denounce Morsi’s power grab and chant: “Morsi is Mubarak.” There were reports of heavy rioting in three Suez Canal cities, Suez, Port Said, and Ismaila, with angry crowds burning the offices of Morsi’s political party, the Freedom and Justice Party.

Opposition political leaders accused Morsi of “monopolizing all three branches of government.” Mohamed El Baradei tweeted that Morsi had “appointed himself Egypt’s new pharaoh.”

And more from a different Heritage Foundation article:

Egypt has been rocked once again by a political crisis triggered by President Mohamed Morsi’s relentless efforts to secure dictatorial power. Hundreds of protesters from liberal and secular opposition groups demonstrated in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, the birthplace of Egypt’s stunted “Arab Spring” revolt. One barometer of the coming test of strength between Morsi and the weak and splintered opposition will be whether the disappointed democrats can retain control over Tahrir Square in the face of police and Muslim Brotherhood countermoves.

Egypt’s judiciary also has pushed back against Morsi’s power grab. The Supreme Council of the Judiciary denounced Morsi’s unilateral assertion of power over the judiciary as “an unprecedented attack on judicial independence.” The Judges Club, an association of judges made up of many appointees by the Mubarak regime, called for a strike by courts across Egypt.

But the judges alone will not be enough to reverse Morsi’s power grab. The key vote will be wielded by the armed forces. Morsi appears confident that he can count on support from key military leaders, whom he hand-picked after purging the top ranks of Mubarak loyalists in August.

While the army’s ultimate verdict on Morsi’s power grab is not yet apparent, Egypt’s investors voted with their wallets and withdrew their money from Egypt’s stock market, which plunged almost 10 percent on Sunday. Even if Morsi does secure the backing of the army, his assertion of dictatorial powers will further undermine what little confidence remains in Egypt’s deteriorating economy.

Guess what? It’s not always a good idea to use American power abroad. We have to ask what is in it for us. And in Egypt and Libya, there was nothing in it for us. We should have intervened appropriately in Syria and Iran, which are much more threatening to us.

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The Hamas-Israel conflict and “disproportionate use of force”

There is no moral equivalence between Hamas and Israel

There is no moral equivalence between Hamas and Israel

Dina tweeted this editorial in the radically leftist UK Guardian, of all places.

Excerpt:

Hamas’s charter includes the aspiration that “The Day of Judgment will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews)”. While many concentrate on its death-cult worship, its bloodthirsty killing of adversaries, or its contempt for women, Christians and homosexuals, it is this aspiration for genocide that is at the root of Hamas activities. This is the primary reason why Hamas, the governing regime in Gaza, will never recognise or accept a peace accord with Israel in any form.

Since Israel left Gaza in 2005, thousands of rockets have rained down on Israeli cities and towns in deliberate contravention not just of international law, but all humanity and morality.

[...]Every rocket from Gaza is a double war crime. First, the rockets are aimed at civilians; second, they are fired from built-up civilian areas, often close to schools, mosques and hospitals. And about 10% of Hamas rockets fired from Gaza don’t reach Israel, exploding in Gaza. Mohammed Sadallah – a four-year-old killed on Saturday, his body displayed in a press conference with Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas’s leader – was, according to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, most likely killed by an errant Hamas rocket.

Hamas leaders frequently declare that their people actively seek death. Fathi Hamad, a senior member of Hamas, stated in 2008 that “for the Palestinian people, death became an industry, at which women and children excel. Accordingly we created a human shield of women, children and elderly. We seek death as you [Israelis] desire life.”

[...]Israel has successfully targeted in excess of 1,300 weapons caches, rocket launchers and other elements of Hamas’s terrorist infrastructure. Yet despite this, the number of Palestinian casualties remains around one for every 13 strikes, the majority killed being active members of Hamas and combatants.

There is no moral equivalence here – one side is good and the other side is evil. It’s a black and white issue.

When I was in graduate school, I was partnered up with an exchange student from Egypt. She said that Israelis were terrorists because they killed civilians while using force. I told her that terrorism is the intentional targeting of civilians for attacks rather than military targets. Therefore, Hamas and Hezbollah are terrorists, and Israel is not. Israel uses arms in self-defense, and they try to minimize civilian casualties by giving warnings of strikes. Islamic groups intentionally target civilians – schools and hospitals. The Islamic groups are terrorists and the IDF is acting in self-defense against unprovoked rocket attacks.

If Islamic terrorists laid down their arms, then tomorrow there would be peace. But if Israeli Defense Forces laid down their arms, then tomorrow, Israel would be destroyed, and every Jew in it. That is why the IDF has to do what the IDF has to do. And this time, I hope that they don’t use half-measures to stop the flow of rockets into Israel. They must use the appropriate force necessary to stop the rocket attacks.

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