Some Ideas On How To Respond To The Mall Attack In Nairobi

John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article yesterday about what the police and soldiers are discovering as they enter the shopping mall in Nairobi where terrorists attacked and took hostages. The details are gruesome, and I am not going to post them here. If you are interested in exactly what was done to the hostages, please follow the link above. I will say, however, that it was well outside the bounds of civilized behavior.

Mr. Hinderaker has a few suggestions as to how to deal with al Shabab:

What lessons can be learned for the future? I would suggest three. First, al Shabab should be destroyed. It would make sense for an international force to invade Somalia and hunt down all members of that group. Second, with hindsight, Kenyan authorities waited too long to take definitive action to kill the terrorists. They allowed the siege to stretch out over four days. That may have made sense on the assumption that they were dealing with a “normal” hostage situation, but in the future, terrorists should not be allowed to work their evil deeds for so long. Third, far more civilians need to be armed. The Nairobi attack was carried out, authorities say, by only around 15 terrorists. There were hundreds of innocent people in the mall at that time. Unfortunately, hardly any of them were armed. If only 100 of the shoppers had been carrying firearms, the terrorists–notwithstanding their heavier weaponry, including hand grenades–likely could have been stopped, or at least kept at bay until soldiers arrived.

At some point we have to realize that groups such as al Shabab have no place in civilized society. Their total lack of respect for human life is like a cancer on the world. It has to be stopped totally.

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From A White House Fact Sheet Released On Thursday

The information below is from a fact sheet released from the White House on Thursday.  Follow the link above to read the entire fact sheet.

FACT SHEET: U.S. Support for Strengthening Democratic Institutions, Rule of Law, and Human Rights in Sub-Saharan Africa

The United States strongly supports the great strides many African countries have made to ensure good governance, rule of law, and respect for human rights.  We commend the progress they have made to broaden political participation and improve governance, and will remain a steady partner as they continue to work to strengthen electoral processes, ensure transparency and accountability in government, and provide security while respecting and protecting universal rights and fundamental freedoms.

In addition to our ongoing diplomacy and our efforts in multilateral institutions, in 2012 the United States – through the U.S. Department of State and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) – provided more than $292 million in support for these efforts, including in the following priority areas:

Supporting Civil Society and Independent Media

Civil society and independent media play a critical role in any vibrant democracy.  Across sub-Saharan Africa, the United States supports efforts to ensure civil society organizations and independent media can organize, advocate, and raise awareness with governments and the private sector to improve political processes, transparency, and government performance.  Examples include:

  • In Kenya, the $53 million Yes Youth Can program empowers nearly one million Kenyan youth to use their voices for advocacy in national and local policy-making, while also creating economic opportunities.  In advance of Kenya’s March 2013 general elections, Yes Youth Can’s “My ID My Life” campaign helped 500,000 youth obtain National identification cards, a prerequisite to voter registration, and carried out a successful nationwide campaign with Kenyan civic organizations to elicit peace pledges from all presidential aspirants.
  • In Tanzania, the United States has dedicated $14 million to strengthening government accountability institutions and linking them with Tanzanian civil society watchdog groups and civic activists in a constructive partnership to further government transparency.  The program focuses on improving access to information for Tanzanian citizens in four key development sectors:  health, education, natural resource management, and food security.
  • The United States will soon launch a program in West Africa to build the capacity of civil society organizations to responsibly advocate on land tenure issues, including land rights, working closely with governments and the private sector to improve responsible natural resource utilization and the protection and advancement of human rights and economic development.

In plain English, this means that the United States is giving Kenya $53 million to set up national identity cards to be used for voter identification in elections. The purpose of this program is to ensure an honest election and promote peace.

If voter id cards ensure an honest election in Kenya, why aren’t they necessary in America? I particularly like the part about civil society and an independent media playing a vital role in a vibrant democracy. I wonder if the White House reads its own press releases.

 

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Mark Steyn In Stoughton

Last night I had the privilege of hearing best selling author Mark Steyn speak in Stoughton, Massachusetts. The evening began with a few words from Rabbi Jonathan Hausman previewing some coming speakers and reminding us of some of the challenges we currently face as Americans. One of his memorable quotes was, “Jews learn from history that they do not learn from history.” When persecution of the Jews begins, bad things follow. He reminded us that the most persecuted religion in the world today is Christianity. Michael Graham, a radio talk show host and newspaper columnist, also made a few remarks. He reminded us that is is our job to stand up and fight for the things we believe in.

The title of Mark Steyn’s presentation was, “My Dagestani Brother’s Keeper, Jihad, Welfare and the Western Death Wish.”  He pointed out the pattern that has emerged in the major media reporting of the terrorist attacks in America and around the world. The reporting begins with the fact that the western friends of the terrorist or attempted terrorist are stunned by the fact that their friend has been involved in terrorism. That report is followed by utter bewilderment as to what possible motive the terrorist might have had. The next claim is that the terrorist attack is the work of a ‘lone wolf.’ It must be something of a shock to find out the their lone wolf was actually in contact with other lone wolves.

Mark Steyn pointed out that many recent terrorists were already being watched–the man who killed Drummer Lee Rigby in London was known to British authorities–he had been caught in Kenya three times attempting to get to Somalia. There were two anti-terrorism task forces monitoring Major Nidal Hasan before the Fort Hood attack. Just for the record, simply watching a terrorist does not seem to be a very effective course of action.

Mark Steyn also pointed out the similarities in the way western societies are subsidizing terrorists. The Tsarnaev family was collecting welfare at the time the brothers were constructing the bombs for the Boston Marathon. The British Imam Anjem Choudary, an outspoken supporter of worldwide Sharia Law, has stated that terrorists collecting welfare are simply collecting the jizya (money paid to Islamic rulers by dhimmis). The jizya is the tax dhimmis pay in order to show their submission to Islam. The Imam encourages the practice of collecting welfare while planning jihad.

The danger to western civilization that is becoming very apparent in Europe is the difference in birthrate between the native Europeans and the immigrating Muslims. In Britain, one out of ten British residents under the age of 25 is Muslim. The Muslims have a fertility rate of 3.5 versus the 1.3 fertility rate of the British. If you translate that into basic numbers, using 1,000,000 citizens are your sample group– the 900,000 British and the 100,000 Muslims will have the same number of grandchildren. In other words, the Muslim and non-Muslim populations will be equal in two generations. Those numbers do not even consider any conversions to Islam. The population shift currently taking place in Britain and in some parts of Europe is the fastest moving demographic population shift in history.

Western civilization is in peril. We don’t have the right to mistreat Muslims or consider them all terrorists, but we do have to act to protect ourselves. We need immigration policies that screen out potential terrorists, and we need to encourage assimilation into American culture. There is a difference between Western Culture and Eastern Culture. In the West, women have full rights and full citizenship. In the West, homosexuals are not hung for their homosexuality. In the West, we have the freedom to practice whatever religion we choose. We are in danger of losing those rights. The ideology that seeks Muslim imposition of Sharia Law is something the west must fight if we hope to survive. A worldwide caliphate would be a nightmare for everyone.

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I Don’t Know The Truth, But I Suspect That Someday We All Will

The Internet is abuzz today with news of the pamphlet released to publicize President Obama’s first book. The pamphlet describes the President as having been born in Kenya and raised in Hawaii. The story is at Breitbart.com and also at the Washington Examiner.

The Washington Examiner reports:

Miriam Goderich, whose literary agency described eventual-President Obama in 1991 as having been born in Kenya, said today that the description reflected “a simple mistake and nothing more.”

“You’re undoubtedly aware of the brouhaha stirred up by Breitbart about the erroneous statement in a client list Acton & Dystel published in 1991 (for circulation within the publishing industry only) that Barack Obama was born in Kenya,” Goderich said in a statement to Roll Call.  “This was nothing more than a fact checking error by me — an agency assistant at the time.” Roll Call’s Taegan Goddard added, for disclosure, that he is “a client of the same literary agency.”

This seems like a pretty major mistake to make in someone’s biography. I can see getting someone’s birthplace wrong if they were born in Illinois and someone wrote Indiana or North Carolina instead of South Carolina, but I would think you would notice Kenya vs. Hawaii.

I have two major questions about this story–will the major media pick it up as anything other than a typo or proofreading error? Is there more coming from Breitbart?

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America Used To Be A Good Influence…

The Washington Times reported today on a federal program that funneled $18 million in taxpayer cash to a number of groups in Kenya, at least one of which openly worked to reverse the African country’s ban on killing the unborn. U.S. law prohibits lobbying for or against abortion with foreign aid money.

How did the Obama administration get around the law? The article explains:

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) skirted the ban by using grant recipients to help re-write the country’s charter. “The groups that were supported are the pro-abortion groups in Kenya – not just some group that may have an interest,” Rep. Christopher H. Smith told The Washington Times. The New Jersey Republican was one of the three members who asked government auditors to perform a full investigation of how taxpayer funds were spent.

The article further reports:

In 2008, the government of Kenya charged a “committee of experts” with drafting a new constitution that would be presented to voters for approval. This committee’s original draft only stated that “every person has the right to life.” The International Development Law Organization (IDLO), which took $400,000 in administration cash, provided “input” to the committee. The next draft allowed abortion when the “health of the mother is in danger, or if permitted by any other written law.” This language made it to the final, ratified constitution.

Aside from the fact that America is broke and can’t afford to spend $18 million in taxpayer money to set up legal abortion in another country, it is sad that we are exporting our lack of regard for human life abroad.

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