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4/30/2012
Islamist Shakeup in Egyptian Presidential Election
CATEGORY: FrontPage.Com

My latest is up at FPM and in it, I talk about what’s happening in Egypt.

A sample:

Objections by liberals and secularists to the unilateral decision of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) to prorogue parliament went unheeded despite nearly 80 lawmakers signing a letter to el-Katatni calling on the speaker to rescind the order to suspend the lower house, or the People’s Assembly. The letter contained the complaint that the decision had not been put to a vote by the full chamber. Members who objected remained in their seats, refusing to leave even after the session was adjourned.

But the protest was a sideshow to the real drama - a tense confrontation between the FJP and its allies, and the military. Both sides appear to be testing the limits of their power in post-Mubarak Egypt. The military is seeking to reduce the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood, fearing that the FJP would take away many of the perks and power of the soldiers under a new, Brotherhood-written constitution. The FJP, with the backing of the revolutionary street, has been flexing its muscles in parliament by trying to undercut military rule and shoulder its way into the government. The ruling military council led by Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi has often found itself at odds with the Islamists, but is so politically unpopular that any pushback is immediately met with large protests in Tahrir Square. The army has the guns, but the Brotherhood has the backing of the people. Tantawi has not forgotten what happened to Mubarak, hence, he has taken a cautious approach in handling parliament.

The Islamists have been calling on the military government to fire the cabinet for weeks. They have threatened to stage a no-confidence vote in the el-Ganzouri government despite threats from the military that such a vote was illegal, that only the military council had the power to remove ministers. This latest ploy by the FJP to suspend parliament for a week has apparently moved Tantawi to give in to some of the demands and bring Islamists and others into the government. But an unidentified spokesman for the military said on Sunday night that any changes to the cabinet would be “limited.” This will likely not sit well with the FJP

In suspending parliament, el-Katatni said, “It is my responsibility as speaker of the People’s Assembly to safeguard the chamber’s dignity and that of its members. There must be a solution to this crisis.” On April 24, parliament rejected the military’s economic and political program, which is akin to a “no confidence” vote in many parliamentary democracies. But neither side apparently wants to test the other in what would be a dangerous showdown between the two competing power centers in Egypt.

The Salafists, while still allied with the FJP, find themselves in disarray as a result of their charismatic leader’s ousting from the presidential race. Many members of the Nour party plan to stay at home on election day, while others complain that they are being marginalized by the Muslim Brotherhood. Still others want the movement to give up on politics and concentrate on reforming society so that it reflects fundamentalist Muslim tenets. There have been several resignations from the Nour party in recent months reflecting these feelings.

That’s why the Nour party backing of Fotouh is more a tactical move than related to any particular stand on the issues by the former Brotherhood member. Nour, as any political party, wants to back a winner and Fotouh is emerging as one of  the favorites among the 13 remaining candidates for the presidency. While the FJP candidate, Mohammed Mursi, won the endorsement of the ultra-conservative clerical association, the Jurisprudence Commission for Rights and Reforms, the Nour party leadership went with Fotouh as a hedge against what they see as the growing dominance of the Muslim Brotherhood - an organization they see as too eager to acquire political power.

By: Rick Moran at 11:27 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (1)

4/24/2012
RINO Hour of Power: Can This Country be Saved?

rino1

The RINO Hour of Power is back! Two of the most famous RINO’s on the web — Jazz Shaw and Rick Moran — are ready to rock your political world with their unique blend of humor, wit, and sharp analysis.

Joining Jazz and Rick will be Doug Mataconis of the blog Outside the Beltway. The Gang will discuss social issues and the GOP as well as the loss of faith in government and the nation’s institutions by the people.

Listen live at 8:00 PM eastern time. A podcast will be available shortly after the end of the show.

You can join us live by clicking the icon below or by clicking here.

Listen to The Rick Moran Show on internet talk radio

By: Rick Moran at 4:21 pm | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (1)

4/19/2012
237 Year Anniversary of “The Shot Heard ‘Round the World’
CATEGORY: History

It was 237 years ago at dawn that 6 companies of British regulars under the command of Major John Pitcairn faced off against a ragged group of citizen soldiers on the green in Lexington, Massachusetts. Under the command of John Parker, a veteran of the French and Indian wars and a respected townsman, the small group of patriots had been mustered early in the morning after being warned that the King’s soldiers were on their way from Boston by Paul Revere and William Dawes.

What do you suppose it was like on that green with the dawn breaking, having waited all night and now were confronted by vastly superior numbers and an officer who, by later reports, was contemptuous of the colonials and their rabble rousing.

Parker was no fool. He knew the British were more interested in the arms cache in Concord than anything in Lexington. He also wasn’t going to sacrifice his men for no good reason. So he decided to make a military demonstration rather than risk a confrontation. He placed his men in a parade ground formation and had them stand “at arms” as a show of defiance. They were not blocking the road to Concord nor did they believe they would be engaged with the enemy that day.

Parker is supposedly to have said, “”Stand your ground; don’t fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here.” He claims in an affadavit given shortly after the attack to have said no such thing, which would be in keeping with his attitude of non-confrontation.

In fact, when Pitcairn rode up and demanded that the militia lay down their arms, Parker ordered his men to disperse and go hom. But because of the confusion and the shouting by the regulars who were now trying to surround the militia, few heard him.

It is doubtful the outcome would have been any different. Shortly after Pitcairn made his demand, a shot rang out - no one to this day knows which side fired it - and the British let loose a volley that killed 8 militia men and wounded several others.

A TV mini-series on the Revolution gave life to my favorite theory of who fired the first shot. Rip Torn as Sam Adams was seen at Lexington hiding in the bushes and firing the first shot. Impossible? Probably. Adams was no doubt long gone after being warned by Paul Revere that the British were coming not only for the weapons at Concord, but also to arrest Sam Adams and John Hancock. But it would be wonderful historical symmetry if the man most responsible for whipping up war fever against the British fired the initial shot of the Revolutionary War.

Word of the confrontation at Lexington spread like wildfire across the countryside in Middlesex county and by the time the British got to Concord, the hills between the North Bridge and Boston were swarming with patriots. They found no supplies at the armory - the patriots had hidden them the day before. Meanwhile, the confrontation at North Bridge between several companies of patriots and British regulars marked the first real battle of the war. Militias from dozens of surrounding towns were showing up along the road back to Boston which made the long march a deadly gauntlet for the British as the 700 regulars who started the mission were under constant fire. British losses were more than a third of their force and by the next day, fully 15,000 Massachusetts militia men were outside of Boston.

It’s a long way from there to here. When Longfellow wrote his famous poem about Paul Revere’s ride, “hardly a man was left alive” who could recall the particulars. Today, we are connected only through history and myth - no living memory fills in the gaps and buttresses our understanding of the events that occurred that day.

Still, it’s interesting to imagine oneself standing on the Lexington Green, anxiously awaiting an uncertain dawn; cold, tired, hungry, maybe a little hung over when all of a sudden the “lobsterbacks” in their bright red uniforms are charging toward you firing, your friends and neighbors falling all around you.

Lexington and Concord will always be remembered for being a hinge of history. On one side of the door was the old colonial America. On the other side, a new nation creating its own identity. The two battles that took place so long ago played a large role in forming that new conciousness.

The war may have begun in confusion. But the fact that it ended decisively is one of those miracles of history that make America an exceptional place.

This blog post originally appeared on The American Thinker

By: Rick Moran at 11:16 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (0)

4/17/2012
RINO Hour of Power: How Free is Free Trade?

rino1

The RINO Hour of Power is back! Two of the most famous RINO’s on the web — Jazz Shaw and Rick Moran — are ready to rock your political world with their unique blend of humor, wit, and sharp analysis.

Jazz Shaw is on a top secret RINO mission this week so talk show host Jeff Kropf, from KUIK Portland will be sitting in the co-host chair

Joining Jeff and Rick will be Monica Showalter of Investors Business Daily. The gang will discuss the Columbia free trade agreement as well as the president’s visit to South America.

Listen live at 8:00 PM eastern time. A podcast will be available shortly after the end of the show.

You can join us live by clicking the icon below or by clicking here.

Listen to The Rick Moran Show on internet talk radio

By: Rick Moran at 5:13 pm | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (1)

4/12/2012
Who Cares About Race?
CATEGORY: PJ Media, Politics

My latest at PJ Media needs no intro, nor any explanation. It is what it is.

A sample:

I’ve never had the pleasure of having a black person as a best friend, or anything beyond a casual acquaintance. I’ve never dated a black woman, nor have I ever asked one out. I grew up in the ’50s and ’60s in an all-white suburb of Chicago. I went to an all-white Catholic boys high school and a nearly all-white private college.

I’ve never lived in a town that is more than 10% black, nor have I ever lived in a city run by blacks. I’ve never had a black next-door neighbor, nor have I lived in a neighborhood where blacks were more than a scattered presence.  I have never had occasion to visit an all-black neighborhood or attend an event where a majority of the crowd is black. And I’ve never been approached by a black man while walking down a dark street at night, wondering if I should cross the street or not.

I suppose this makes me sheltered, naive, even ignorant of the way the world works and the how the racial divide colors our attitudes in our everyday lives. Frankly, I don’t care. I’ve never cared. Race has never been a factor in any decision I’ve made about where to live, where to work, or who my friends are. I’ve never been about to sign a lease to an apartment and stopped short, saying to myself, “Gee — maybe I should try to find a place that has more diversity.” Nor have I ever turned down a job because there weren’t enough black people working there. I’ve never avoided blacks, nor have I made a conscious effort to cultivate a friendship of a black person because I believed it would expand my horizons, or make me — somehow — a better person.

Of course, I can afford this attitude because I’m white. I doubt very much that there has ever been a black person in the history of America who has lived a life without thinking about race in some way or another almost every day. But I don’t dwell on such matters. Why should I? Because it proves I “care”? Spare me the sanctimony. I don’t have to prove anything to anybody, least of all those who feel it necessary to tell the rest of us how insensitive or racist we are because we don’t weep for the unfortunates of the world.

By: Rick Moran at 9:30 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (1)

4/10/2012
RINO Hour of Power:’Exposing the Racial Agenda of the Obama Justice Department’

rino1

The RINO Hour of Power is back! Two of the most famous RINO’s on the web — Jazz Shaw and Rick Moran — are ready to rock your political world with their unique blend of humor, wit, and sharp analysis.

Jazz Shaw is on a top secret RINO mission this week so talk show host Jeff Kropf, from KUIK Portland will be sitting in the co-host chair

Joining Jeff and Rick will be J. Christian Adams, former attorney in the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, current columnist at PJ Media, and writes the Election Law Center blog.  A discussion of issues surrounding the Trayvon Martin shooting and voting rights issues will be addressed. Adams is author of the book, Injustice: Exposing the Racial Agenda of the Obama Justice Department[

Listen live at 8:00 PM eastern time. A podcast will be available shortly after the end of the show.

You can join us live by clicking the icon below or by clicking here.

Listen to The Rick Moran Show on internet talk radio

By: Rick Moran at 3:42 pm | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (1)

4/3/2012
The RINO Hour of Power: Taking on the Supreme Court the Chicago Way

rino1

The RINO Hour of Power is back! Two of the most famous RINO’s on the web — Jazz Shaw and Rick Moran — are ready to rock your political world with their unique blend of humor, wit, and sharp analysis.

Joining Jazz and Rick will be Thomas Lifson, founder and publisher of the American Thinker. The president’s comments about the Supreme Court and other issues of the day will be discussed.

Listen live at 8:00 PM eastern time. A podcast will be available shortly after the end of the show.

You can join us live by clicking the icon below or by clicking here.

Listen to The Rick Moran Show on internet talk radio

By: Rick Moran at 4:58 pm | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (1)

4/2/2012
Islamists Rising in Syria

My latest at FPM is about the failed UN peace plan being pushed by former Sec Gen Kofi Annan and the “Friends of Syria” getting closer to calling outright for the arming of the rebels in the Free Syrian Army.

But I was a little surprised to read about the extent of Islamist influence in the councils of the opposition — including the “moderate” Muslim Brotherhood.

The SNC met earlier in the week, trying with little success to paper over its differences. The Kurdish delegation walked out in the middle of the conference, claiming their concerns were not being met, while several secular members had quit in disgust last month, saying that the organization was “undemocratic” and was being dominated by Islamists. Working feverishly, Turkish diplomats managed to save the conference from catastrophe by luring back many of those who quit, getting the SNC to agree to expand its membership and try to work more democratically. The Kurds, however, refused to return citing the SNC’s unwillingness to include a reference to Kurdish autonomy in its statement on a post-Assad Syria.

So far, the SNC and the rest of the Syrian opposition has been hopelessly fractured in almost every way - from agreeing on an immediate agenda to help the FSA to violent disagreements over the future of a post-Assad Syria. But there is one group within the SNC that is organized, dedicated to throwing Assad out, and clear about both its immediate goals and long term plans.

The Muslim Brotherhood - once banned in Syria - is on the comeback trail and its resurgence should give Western powers pause before agreeing to arm any of the opposition groups.

The Brotherhood was last seen in Syria during the 1980s when Assad’s father Hafez cracked down on its headquarters in the city of Hama, murdering up to 10,000 during a bloody insurrection. But in reality, the Brothers had never left - they simply went underground. While most of the leaders were in exile, the structure of the group remained intact through a network of cells and activists. It was the same tactic used in Egypt after Hosni Mubarak’s crackdown and has led to victory at the polls there. While Assad continued to arrest and execute Brotherhood members, he could never stamp out the movement completely.

Now, with the secular opposition in disarray, the Muslim Brotherhood is re-emerging with surprising strength and cohesiveness. Some opposition members say that the Brotherhood is using money and weapons to gain influence in the council, tapping its donor base spread throughout the Middle East. One secular dissident who broke away from the SNC last month, Kamal Labwani, claims the SNC is “a liberal front for the Muslim Brotherhood. ” Islamist members of the council deny this, saying that they want a pluralistic Syria where all factions and sects are represented in government.

What’s clear is that at the SNC meeting last week, the Muslim Brotherhood was forced to compromise and expand the SNC to include more secular groups. Of the 350 members of the SNC, it is believed that 270 are Islamists, Salafis, and other Sunni radicals who want to depose Assad both because he is a member of the Alawite sect of Shia Islam and because of his oppression.

I saw the term “moderate” applied to the Brotherhood in both the New York Times and by AP. Are they serious? What is their definition of “moderate?”

My definition does not include the destruction of the state of Israel as a part of its charter. Or the murder of Jews as many of the more radical members call for.

I am not insensate to the realities of politics in the Middle East - especially since the Brotherhood was the only organized political force in many countries where oppressive governments ruled. But before supporting the Islamists, I would think that as an absolute minimum requirement for our granting them legitimacy would be for them to foreswear their desire to destroy Israel. This is ridiculously simple minded. And for the US government to deal with outfits like the Muslim Brotherhood as if they were simply the kinds of thugs and dictators who we have dealt with in the past is just nuts.

By: Rick Moran at 4:31 pm | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (1)