Job One for our 44th President
By: Frank J. Gaffney Jr.
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Events of the past week are a powerful rebuke to those who assumed this
fall's presidential election would turn on domestic issues - and,
presumably, redound to the benefit of the Democratic Party and its
candidate since they have historically been viewed as better equipped
to deal with such matters. Four recent developments remind us that
national security must be Job One for our 44th president and should
govern his selection.
First, the vulnerability associated with our
dependence on foreign sources of oil - many of which are hostile - now
arouses a substantial majority of Americans. As syndicated columnist
Clifford May recently noted, a national poll by his Foundation for Defense of Democracies
found that, "Depending on how the question was asked, between 57 and 64
percent say they believe that energy independence should be America's
primary goal - because our economic and national security depends on
Many Republican members of the House of Representatives have taken
the extraordinary step of spending the August recess in Washington in
order to respond to this heightened public awareness and concern about
our parlous energy situation. They are using a House floor populated by
tourists and other visitors as a platform from which to challenge an
increasingly despotic Speaker Nancy Pelosi to permit legislative
initiatives that will reduce our dangerous dependency on foreign oil
suppliers who wish us ill.
Among them should be adoption of the Open Fuel Standard, a
bipartisan initiative that would require cars sold in America to be
capable of using not only gasoline, but "freedom fuels" (notably,
ethanol and methanol) that we can readily make here or acquire from
people who are not trying to kill us. According to the FDD poll, fully
91 percent of the respondents quite sensibly recognize that fuel choice
is the best way to reduce our oil addiction.
One particularly unreliable energy supplier is
Russia, whose murderous aggression in the Caucasus nation of Georgia is
not just about toppling a democratic government allied with the United States
and the West. It is also designed to consolidate the Kremlin's control
over oil flows to Europe by seizing the one pipeline from the
petroleum-rich Caspian not currently in its grasp or that of
Moscow has already demonstrated its serial willingness to use
energy as a coercive weapon. Europe's acquiescence to the Russian rape
of Georgia is an ominous indicator - both of the prospects for
freedom-loving, but relatively weak, nations that look to the West for
security and of the risks of energy dependence.
If the Putin-Medvedev regime gets away unscathed with this violent
reassertion of authority over what it euphemistically calls the "Near
Abroad," all of its once-enslaved neighbors will once again be at risk
of Moscow's predations. Accordingly, creative ways must be found to
impose costs for such behavior. At the very least, as Sen. John McCain
has long suggested, the once-and-future Soviets must not be allowed to
behave so while enjoying the privileged status of a member in good
standing of the elite club of leading industrial nations, the so-called
Group of 8.
Two other episodes this week remind us that the next American
president will also have to deal with challenges at home that have
worrisome implications both for the character and security of this
country: the Islamists' inexorable efforts to insinuate incrementally
the repressive theo-political program they call Shariah.
The first occurred when word of a contract
negotiated by the union representing Somali and other workers at a
plant in Shelbyville, Tenn., made national news. As reported initially
by Brian Mosely, a quintessentially American and gutsy small-town
journalist with the Shelbyville Times-Gazette, the Retail, Wholesale
and Department Store Union had negotiated a contract with Tysons Foods that would supplant Labor Day - yes, Labor Day! - with the Muslim holiday of Eid-al-Fitr as a paid day off.
Mr. Mosely's story was picked up by the Associated Press and quickly
became a national sensation as talk radio, Michelle Malkin and other
bloggers and editorialists took Tysons to task for accommodating this
affront to American labor and example of creeping Shariah. Faced with
cries for boycotts of its products, the company moved to defuse the
furor by making both Labor Day and Eid paid holidays.
The episode has called attention, however, to a serious problem: an
influx of what often prove to be quite radical Muslim immigrant
populations as part of a State Department refugee-resettlement program
dating back to the Clinton administration. At Tysons, they reportedly
engage in unhygienic practices and possibly pose a threat to food
safety. In Shelbyville and other towns they are populating across
America, many of these Islamist refugees are demanding separate
Shariah-based legal arrangements and privileges, rather than
Finally, another manifestation of Shariah's
"soft" jihad in America touched Barack Obama's own campaign last week.
His Muslim outreach coordinator, Mazen Asbahi, was forced to resign
following published reports of his association, as part of a Muslim
Brotherhood front organization's Shariah-Compliant Finance operation,
with an unindicted co-conspirator in an alleged terrorism-funding
Each of these events underscore a point that cannot be
overemphasized in the run-up to Nov. 4: The man we hire to be our next
president will serve as our commander-in-chief in perilous times in
which we confront rising threats to our interests abroad and to our
Constitution and society at home. Let us pray we choose wisely.
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