When the Democratic Party overtook the House and the Senate this past November, it signified that Americans wanted change. What the country didn’t have in mind, though, was for that change to be an embrace of terrorism. From looking at the recent actions of two prominent Democratic Senators, that is exactly what we have gotten.
Senator Bill Nelson and Syrian President Bashar Assad
Syria’s role in Iraq has been apparent – to look the other way, whilst terrorists (a.k.a. insurgents) pass over the border. Syria’s role in Lebanon has been apparent – to take part in assassinations of heads of state and to prop up Hezbollah, both politically and militarily. Syria’s role in Iran is apparent – to form a partnership with a nuclear, genocidal fanatic. And Syria’s role in Gaza has been apparent – to harbor the leaders of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, so that they can conduct activities from afar without fear of reprisal from Israel. Syria is, by our nation’s standards, a terror sponsoring entity.
That is reality.
Senator Bill Nelson (D-Florida), on Wednesday, December 13, 2006, chose to ignore this reality – and the advice of the White House and the State Department – by meeting with Syrian President Bashar Assad. The mission, which was said to be one of “diplomacy,” was to ask for Assad’s help in Iraq – essentially to ask a man partly responsible for what has happened in Iraq for help in Iraq.
The end result is that we have sent a message to our enemies that terrorism indeed pays, even when it is aimed at arguably what is the most powerful nation in the world. And we the United States, through our representation by Senator Nelson, have been reduced to playing the part of beggar, while waving a white flag.
Before saying that the Senator is alone in his thinking, we must understand that there are others who support such an endeavor as Senator Nelson has carried out. One group in particular is the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a group that has numerous ties to Islamic extremism – as well, a group whose founder of its parent organization, Mousa Abu Marzook, resides in Damascus as the second in command of Hamas. Of Nelson’s trip, the Communications Director for CAIR-Florida Ahmed Bedier stated, “He should be commended for reaching out and trying for dialogue.”
Senator Barbara Boxer and CAIR-Sacramento Executive Director Basim Elkarra
While Senator Nelson has demonstrated a willingness to work with our enemies abroad, another Senator has chosen to do so a little closer to home.
Senator Barbara Boxer (D-California) likes to give out what her staff calls “Certificates of Accomplishment.” These are presented to community leaders who have exhibited qualities worthy of receiving such praise as comes from this recognition. Unfortunately, this month, one of these – an “Outstanding Service” award – was granted to none other than the Executive Director of CAIR-Sacramento, Basim Elkarra.
As stated previously, CAIR is connected to Islamic extremism. Four officials from CAIR have been charged with terrorist activity, two convicted and two deported. CAIR is currently the defendant in a lawsuit put forward by the family of FBI Agent John O’Neill for the group’s role in the 9/11 attacks. CAIR solicited funds for two “charities” whose accounts were frozen by the Department of Treasury for financing Hamas and Al-Qaeda. And CAIR’s parent organization, the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), was shut down, shortly after it was found liable for the Hamas murder of an American teenager.
There is evidence to suggest that Elkarra, himself, is a radical, apart from his connection to CAIR. Elkarra has described Israel as an “apartheid” and a “racist” state. He has defended someone that trained for jihad in a Pakistani terrorist camp; he has defended an imam that urged a Pakistani crowd to wage attacks on America; and he has defended an imam that was attempting to build an Islamic school for the purpose of teaching children how to commit violent acts against Americans. As well, he has moderated a pro-terror, anti-Israel event that featured a Hamas operative who spent five years in an Israeli prison.
This is not the type of individual that warrants receiving any type of award. Yet, according to a press release dated December 6, 2006, Elkarra was given the certificate “in recognition of his efforts to protect civil liberties and to build bridges among diverse communities in California.” Certainly, with respect to all of the information above, Elkarra has destroyed more bridges than he has built.
It is true that Americans are looking for change in the way our country is led, but siding – or even “dialoguing” – with those that wish to do us harm is not in the least what the citizens of the United States asked for when they voted the Republicans out of office and the Democrats into office. Senator Bill Nelson should cease trying to make agreements with enemy states, and Senator Barbara Boxer should rescind the CAIR award immediately. These actions do nothing to move our country in a positive direction. All they do is cause us trouble that we will most surely have to deal with sometime in the future.
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