June 2010 Archives

This former Department of Justice lawyer tells how Attorney General Holder and his appointees deliberately violated their oaths of office in ordering the dismissal of the voting rights case against the New Black Panther Party. While Obama assaults the U.S. Constitution, his Department of Justice refuses to enforce the laws of the land.

Inside the Black Panther case Anger, ignorance and lies
By ByJ. Christian Adams
Friday, June 25, 2010
On the day President Obama was elected, armed men wearing the black berets and jackboots of the New Black Panther Party were stationed at the entrance to a polling place in Philadelphia. They brandished a weapon and intimidated voters and poll watchers. After the election, the Justice Department brought a voter-intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party and those armed thugs. I and other Justice attorneys diligently pursued the case and obtained an entry of default after the defendants ignored the charges. Before a final judgment could be entered in May 2009, our superiors ordered us to dismiss the case.
The New Black Panther case was the simplest and most obvious violation of federal law I saw in my Justice Department career. Because of the corrupt nature of the dismissal, statements falsely characterizing the case and, most of all, indefensible orders for the career attorneys not to comply with lawful subpoenas investigating the dismissal, this month I resigned my position as a Department of Justice (DOJ) attorney.
The federal voter-intimidation statutes we used against the New Black Panthers were enacted because America never realized genuine racial equality in elections. Threats of violence characterized elections from the end of the Civil War until the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965. Before the Voting Rights Act, blacks seeking the right to vote, and those aiding them, were victims of violence and intimidation. But unlike the Southern legal system, Southern violence did not discriminate. Black voters were slain, as were the white champions of their cause. Some of the bodies were tossed into bogs and in one case in Philadelphia, Miss., they were buried together in an earthen dam.
Based on my firsthand experiences, I believe the dismissal of the Black Panther case was motivated by a lawless hostility toward equal enforcement of the law. Others still within the department share my assessment. The department abetted wrongdoers and abandoned law-abiding citizens victimized by the New Black Panthers. The dismissal raises serious questions about the department's enforcement neutrality in upcoming midterm elections and the subsequent 2012 presidential election.
The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has opened an investigation into the dismissal and the DOJ's skewed enforcement priorities. Attorneys who brought the case are under subpoena to testify, but the department ordered us to ignore the subpoena, lawlessly placing us in an unacceptable legal limbo.
The assistant attorney general for civil rights, Tom Perez, has testified repeatedly that the "facts and law" did not support this case. That claim is false. If the actions in Philadelphia do not constitute voter intimidation, it is hard to imagine what would, short of an actual outbreak of violence at the polls. Let's all hope this administration has not invited that outcome through the corrupt dismissal.
Most corrupt of all, the lawyers who ordered the dismissal - Loretta King, the Obama-appointed acting head of the Civil Rights Division, and Steve Rosenbaum - did not even read the internal Justice Department memorandums supporting the case and investigation. Just as Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. admitted that he did not read the Arizona immigration law before he condemned it, Mr. Rosenbaum admitted that he had not bothered to read the most important department documents detailing the investigative facts and applicable law in the New Black Panther case. Christopher Coates, the former Voting Section chief, was so outraged at this dereliction of responsibility that he actually threw the memos at Mr. Rosenbaum in the meeting where they were discussing the dismissal of the case. The department subsequently removed all of Mr. Coates' responsibilities and sent him to South Carolina.
Mr. Perez also inaccurately testified to the House Judiciary Committee that federal "Rule 11" required the dismissal of the lawsuit. Lawyers know that Rule 11 is an ethical obligation to bring only meritorious claims, and such a charge by Mr. Perez effectively challenges the ethics and professionalism of the five attorneys who commenced the case. Yet the attorneys who brought the case were voting rights experts and would never pursue a frivolous matter. Their experience in election law far surpassed the experience of the officials who ordered the dismissal.
Some have called the actions in Philadelphia an isolated incident, not worthy of federal attention. To the contrary, the Black Panthers in October 2008 announced a nationwide deployment for the election. We had indications that polling-place thugs were deployed elsewhere, not only in November 2008, but also during the Democratic primaries, where they targeted white Hillary Rodham Clinton supporters. In any event, the law clearly prohibits even isolated incidents of voter intimidation.
Others have falsely claimed that no voters were affected. Not only did the evidence rebut this claim, but the law does not require a successful effort to intimidate; it punishes even the attempt.
Most disturbing, the dismissal is part of a creeping lawlessness infusing our government institutions. Citizens would be shocked to learn about the open and pervasive hostility within the Justice Department to bringing civil rights cases against nonwhite defendants on behalf of white victims. Equal enforcement of justice is not a priority of this administration. Open contempt is voiced for these types of cases.
Some of my co-workers argued that the law should not be used against black wrongdoers because of the long history of slavery and segregation. Less charitable individuals called it "payback time." Incredibly, after the case was dismissed, instructions were given that no more cases against racial minorities like the Black Panther case would be brought by the Voting Section.
Refusing to enforce the law equally means some citizens are protected by the law while others are left to be victimized, depending on their race. Core American principles of equality before the law and freedom from racial discrimination are at risk. Hopefully, equal enforcement of the law is still a point of bipartisan, if not universal, agreement. However, after my experience with the New Black Panther dismissal and the attitudes held by officials in the Civil Rights Division, I am beginning to fear the era of agreement over these core American principles has passed.

J. Christian Adams is a lawyer based in Virginia who served as a voting rights attorney at the Justice Department until this month. He blogs at electionlawcenter.com.


Dr. Sowell correctly analyzes a gross violation of the U.S. Constitution that seems to have entirely escaped criticism by Republicans, the media and constitutional scholars.

This arbitrary imposition of governmental power by Obama on a business owned by millions of shareholders is breathtaking.

It is the act of a despot commandeering assets of a subject for his own personal use and disposition. It has no place in a constitutional democracy.

"Due Process" is ignored. Billions are acquired by the president to be used as he sees fit without benefit of law. The Congressional power of the purse is inoperative.

is everyone afraid to criticize? Will no one sue to set aside this unconstitutional action?

Degeneration of Democracy

By Thomas Sowell

When Adolf Hitler was building up the Nazi movement in the 1920s, leading up to his taking power in the 1930s, he deliberately sought to activate people who did not normally pay much attention to politics. Such people were a valuable addition to his political base, since they were particularly susceptible to Hitler's rhetoric and had far less basis for questioning his assumptions or his conclusions.

"Useful idiots" was the term supposedly coined by V.I. Lenin to describe similarly unthinking supporters of his dictatorship in the Soviet Union.

Put differently, a democracy needs informed citizens if it is to thrive, or ultimately even survive. In our times, American democracy is being dismantled, piece by piece, before our very eyes by the current administration in Washington, and few people seem to be concerned about it.

The president's poll numbers are going down because increasing numbers of people disagree with particular policies of his, but the damage being done to the fundamental structure of this nation goes far beyond particular counterproductive policies.

Just where in the Constitution of the United States does it say that a president has the authority to extract vast sums of money from a private enterprise and distribute it as he sees fit to whomever he deems worthy of compensation? Nowhere.

And yet that is precisely what is happening with a $20 billion fund to be provided by BP to compensate people harmed by their oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Many among the public and in the media may think that the issue is simply whether BP's oil spill has damaged many people, who ought to be compensated. But our government is supposed to be "a government of laws and not of men." If our laws and our institutions determine that BP ought to pay $20 billion-- or $50 billion or $100 billion-- then so be it.

But the Constitution says that private property is not to be confiscated by the government without "due process of law." Technically, it has not been confiscated by Barack Obama, but that is a distinction without a difference.

With vastly expanded powers of government available at the discretion of politicians and bureaucrats, private individuals and organizations can be forced into accepting the imposition of powers that were never granted to the government by the Constitution.

Every weekday NewsAndOpinion.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". HUNDREDS of columnists and cartoonists regularly appear. Sign up for the daily update. It's free. Just click here.

If you believe that the end justifies the means, then you don't believe in Constitutional government. And, without Constitutional government, freedom cannot endure. There will always be a "crisis"-- which, as the president's chief of staff has said, cannot be allowed to "go to waste" as an opportunity to expand the government's power.

That power will of course not be confined to BP or to the particular period of crisis that gave rise to the use of that power, much less to the particular issues.

When Franklin D. Roosevelt arbitrarily took the United States off the gold standard, he cited a law passed during the First World War to prevent trading with the country's wartime enemies. But there was no war when FDR ended the gold standard's restrictions on the printing of money.

At about the same time, during the worldwide Great Depression, the German Reichstag passed a law "for the relief of the German people." That law gave Hitler dictatorial powers that were used for things going far beyond the relief of the German people-- indeed, powers that ultimately brought a rain of destruction down on the German people and on others.

If the agreement with BP was an isolated event, perhaps we might hope that it would not be a precedent. But there is nothing isolated about it.

The man appointed by President Obama to dispense BP's money as the administration sees fit, to whomever it sees fit, is only the latest in a long line of presidentially appointed "czars" controlling different parts of the economy, without even having to be confirmed by the Senate, as Cabinet members are.

Those who cannot see beyond the immediate events to the issues of arbitrary power-- versus the rule of law and the preservation of freedom-- are the "useful idiots" of our time. But useful to whom?


It all boils down to bringing your kids up the right way.

If you were a doc, what would you do?

The number of doctors refusing new Medicare patients because of low government payment rates is setting a new high, just six months before millions of Baby Boomers begin enrolling in the government health care program. Recent surveys by national and state medical societies have found more doctors limiting Medicare patients, partly because Congress has failed to stop an automatic 21% cut in payments that doctors already regard as too low.

The fraudulent arguments and lies that were told to "justify" Democrats ramming through Obamacare are becoming exposed day by day.

Obama's drive to create a permanent Democratic majority by providing unaffordable health goodies will fail if those who are supposed to provide them say "no."

And that's what is happening.

It's beginning to happen.

A mainstream writer (Robert Samuelson in a mainstream publication (The Washington Post) says Obama is nuts. His June 15th speech on the oil spill and cap and trade was fantasy. Who does he think he's kidding? What nonsense.

Energy Pipedreams
By Robert Samuelson in the Washington Post

"For decades, we've talked and talked about the need to end America's century-long addiction to fossil fuels. ... Time and time again, the path forward has been blocked -- not only by oil industry lobbyists, but also by a lack of political courage and candor."

-- Barack Obama, June 15 address on the BP oil spill

WASHINGTON -- Just once, it would be nice if a president would level with Americans on energy. Barack Obama isn't that president. His speech the other night was about political damage control -- his own. It was full of misinformation and mythology. Obama held out a gleaming vision of an America that would convert to the "clean" energy of, presumably, wind, solar and biomass. It isn't going to happen for many, many decades, if ever.

For starters, we won't soon end our "addiction to fossil fuels." Oil, coal and natural gas now supply about 85 percent of America's energy needs. The U.S. Energy Information Administration expects energy consumption to grow only an average of 0.5 percent annually from 2008 to 2035, but that's still a 14 percent cumulative increase. Fossil fuel usage would increase slightly in 2035 and its share would still account for 78 percent of the total.

Unless we shut down the economy, we need fossil fuels. More efficient light bulbs, energy-saving appliances, cars with higher gas mileage may all dampen energy use. But offsetting these savings are more people (391 million vs. 305 million), more households (147 million vs. 113 million), more vehicles (297 million vs. 231 million) and a bigger economy (almost double in size). Although wind, solar and biomass are assumed to grow up to 10 times faster than overall energy use, they provide only 11 percent of supply in 2035, up from 5 percent in 2008.

There are physical limits on new energy sources, as Robert Bryce shows in his book "Power Hungry: The Myths of 'Green' Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future." Suppose an inventor "found a way to convert soybeans into jet fuel," Bryce writes. "Even with that invention, the conversion of all of America's yearly soybean production into jet fuel would only provide about 20 percent of U.S. jet fuel demand." Jet fuel, in turn, is about 8 percent of U.S. oil use. Similarly, wind turbines have limited potential; they must be supported by backup generating capacity when there's no breeze.

The consequences of the BP oil spill come in two parts. The first is familiar: the fire; the deaths; coated birds; polluted wetlands; closed beaches; anxious fishermen. The second is less appreciated: a more muddled energy debate.

Obama has made vilification of oil and the oil industry a rhetorical mainstay. This is intellectually shallow, if politically understandable. "Clean energy" won't displace oil or achieve huge reductions in greenhouse gas emissions -- for example, the 83 percent cut by 2050 from 2005 levels included in last year's House climate change legislation. Barring major technological advances (say, low-cost "carbon capture" to pump CO 2 into the ground) or an implausibly massive shift to nuclear power, this simply won't happen. It's a pipedream. In the EIA's "reference case" projection, CO 2 emissions in 2035 are 8.7 percent higher than in 2008.

Rather than admit the obvious, Obama implies that other countries are disproving it. "Countries like China are investing in clean energy jobs and industries that should be right here in America," he said in his address. If China can do it, so can we! Well, whatever China's accomplishing on wind and solar, it's a sideshow. In 2008, fossil fuels met 87 percent of its energy needs, reports the International Energy Agency. Coal alone accounted for 66 percent. China represents about half the world's hard coal consumption. Usage grew 10.7 percent annually from 2000 to 2008.

The outlines of a pragmatic energy policy are clear. A gradually increasing tax on oil or carbon would nudge people toward more energy-efficient products, including cars. Any tax should be part of a budget program that includes major spending cuts. This is a better approach than the confusing cap-and-trade proposals -- embraced by the House and the administration -- that would inevitably be riddled with exceptions and preferences. Finally, research and development should search for cheaper, cleaner energy sources.

Meanwhile, it's imperative to tap domestic oil and natural gas. This creates jobs and limits our dependence on insecure imports. Drilling advances have opened vast reserves of natural gas trapped in shale ("shale gas"). Human error and corner-cutting by BP seem the main causes of the spill. Given the industry's previously strong safety record, Obama's six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling isn't justified and should be shortened. It's not industry lobbyists that sustain fossil fuels but the reality that they're economically and socially necessary. A candid president would have said so.


The new Middle East axis of evil -- Iran/Turkey/Syria -- is ganging up on Israel. Having turned world opinion against Israel because it is being made to defend itself with physical force against would-be hostile invaders, the troika apparently believe the time to strike Israel has arrived. After several wars against Israel have resulted in ignominious defeat, these followers of Mohammed feel they are now ready to do what Mohammed says they should do -- kill all the Jews.

King Abdullah of Jordan predicts there will be war this summer. Summer begins this Monday.

NATO member Turkey going to war with Israel? The American people will stand with Israel, but who can count on Obama, who's been romancing his Muslim brethren since he entered the White House? Is he thinking how he can be a hero to his mentor for 20 years Rev. Jeremiah Wright if he sides with Turkey and Syria and, oh yes, Iran?

Obama is doing nothing about the greatest threat facing the Middle East and the United States -- Iran's nuclear weapons development. Iran already has the missiles. How soon will it have the nuclear warhead? Iran's Ahmadinejad has said Iran will wipe Israel off the map. Israel is right to consider Iran a threat to its very existence. One nuclear bomb could eliminate the country. The certaintly of a nuclear counterstrike might deter most, but fanatic Muslims seeking martyrdom aren't among them.

However, with Turkey alongside Iran, Syria ready to invade the Golan Heights and already supplying Hezbollah with long range missiles, and Hamas attacking from Gaza, perhaps no nuclear bomb is needed.

Israel can be isolated and alone if no word issues from the White House.

If the war breaks out, will Jordan and Egypt observe their peace agreements with Israel?

Remember, there is no concept of right and wrong in Islam. The model of Mohammed is the guide for every Muslim:

What would Mohammed do?

That's easy, since Mohammed did it: He signed a treaty, using the time of peace to build up his forces and when he was ready he broke the treaty and attacked.

So should Israel attack Iran's nuclear facilities now before its enemies get an equalizing nuclear capability and use its nuclear advantage to hold off Turkey and Syria (and Egypt and Jordan) if not Iran?

Caroline Glick urgently eyes the "approaching storm."

The threat to Israel from the followers of Mohammed is real. Iran, Syria and Turkey smell Jewish blood and they are seeking war. Turkey's prime minister Erdogan is demanding an Israeli apology and restitution, when it is Israel that should be demanding compensation from Turkey for encouraging the flotilla to invade Gaza by sea despite a blockade.

Iran has now announced it will be sending a terrorist flotilla to invade Gaza. So will Lebanon; although Hezbollah says it has nothing to do with the Lebanon flotilla, no one believes that. And Turkey's Erdogan says its navy may escort its second terrorist flotilla from Istanbul.

Though this Muslim squeeze on Israel with boats loaded with fanatics seeking to be martyrs should sicken the world, it won't.

Having succeeded in having their first Gaza flotilla aggression portrayed by the media as Muslim victimhood, the Islamists once again want confrontation in which Israelis must use force, preferably enough to create a few martyrs to be captured on camera.

The Israeli challenge is to tell the world what is really going on, what this Middle East axis of evil -- Iran, Syria and Turkey -- is up to. Their intent is to destroy Israel and kill all the Jews living there.

This is deadly serious stuff, but how does Israel break through the wall of anti-Semitic reporting that ttransmografies truth into lies?

Once again, Caroline Glick's colleagues try parody to describe the threat Israeli men, women and children face from Muslims determined to wipe them off the earth.

The Turkish government continues its turn away from the West towards Iran and Syria as it dreams of a return to the glorious days of the Ottoman Empire. The secularist, modern state created by Kemal Ataturk in the 1920s is being dismantled by Islamist prime minister Recep Erdogan and his Islamist party the AKP.

Prime Minister Erdogan ended decades of Turkey's close cooperation with Israel by sending a ship laden with terrorists to break the Gaza blockade established to prevent weaponry from entering Hamas-controlled Gaza.

The terrorists attacked the IDF troopers coming on board to escort the ship to an Israeli port, hoping that violence would be blamed on the Israelis and anti-Semitism stoked around the world. Unfortunately, this inversion of reality happened and the perpetrators of violence were hailed as victims of the soldiers of Israel, who were acting to defend their country from those tens of millions of Muslims who want to kill Jews and destroy Israel.

However, the Israels found this video shot by a Turk aboard the ship before the Israeli troops boarded which shows the terrorists being coached on how to attack the Israelis as they come aboard. The Israelis added English subtitles. These were not humanitarians, but Islamic terrorists eager to become martyrs and travel to their bordello in the sky.


Ramirez Carter Obama.jpg

Click on picture to enlarge.

The perfidy of the Turks succeeded. Israel was condemned for defending itself against terrorists by the UN, the EU and all Muslim countries. Obama even supported a UN investigation, which will yield the usual anti-Israeli result. They could write the report before the "investigation."

How can you make the people of the world understand how the anit-Israeli forces in the world led by the media are feeding information upside down, inside out? Parody is one way and some Israelis, led by the brilliant Caroline Glick, quickly prepared the video below, which had been seen by more than three million people before YouTube took it down because of a bogus copyright violation protest, probably from a Muslim sympathizer. Have a few laughs as you appreciate the truth that's being conveyed.

Besides Iran developing nuclear weapons, the biggest story in the MIddle East is the abandonment of Western values by Turkey and its embrace of political Islam.

While still giving lip service to the EU (in hopes it will be admitted as a member, which would be a disaster economically, culturally and ideologically for the EU) and the U.S. (so as to continue to be a recipient of aid and military technology and information), it has clearly joined Iran (and Saudi Arabia) in the goal of Islamic supremacism.

The Erdogan government has steadily stoked anti-American sentiment -- and anti-Israel attitudes -- during its eight years in power. What had been the most pro-American Muslim country is now the least. The close ties with Israel built up over decades have been torn to shreds.

The latest Erdogan move was to orchestrate the Gaza Free flotilla which set sail from the Turkish-controlled part of Cyprus with the express intent of breaking the Israeli sea blockade of Gaza set in place to prevent the supply of weaponry to Hamas. Israel had offered to allow the flotilla to dock at an Israel port and to transport to Gaza all of the humanitarian cargo once it had gone through security inspection. The Turkish-led fleet refusal of that offer left Israel no choice but to take control of the ships and steer them to an Israeli port. A confrontation was just what the Erdogan government was hoping for; it knew Israel could not allow its blockade to be broken.

Israel's failure was its naivete in assuming the ships would be filled with peaceful, do-gooder activists. All but one of the ships allowed the Israelis to board peacefully and take control. The leading and largest ship flying a Turkish flag was another story. As the Israeli commandoes descended on drop ropes from helicopters they were immediately attacked. Only armed with paint ball guns, the commandoes were outmatched as they were attacked with metal bars, clubs and knives and mob violence. As they were being overwhelmed they were given radio permission to use their handguns to protect themselves.

Even though al Jazeerea TV was onboard and recorded images of the commandoes being attacked as they descended onto the deck, those pictures were ignored as the pre-planned Turkish, Hamas and other Islamist crticism rolled in, soon joined by the usual European charges of "disproportionate" response by Israel. At least the U.S. response was measured, calling for a full and thorough review of the incident.

Erdogan immediately accused Israel of "inhuman state terrorism" and his UN representative charged Israel with an "act of barbarism."

The public relations disaster for Israel the Erdogan government planned and hoped for was a smashing success. The facts didn't matter. The PR avalanche carried the day.

What the U.S. should learn from this is that Turkey is no longer a fit member of NATO. It has switched to the other side and should be now treated as the enemy of the West it has become. Denial and wishful thinking will not chage reality.

Erdogan had long planned to return Turkey to its Islamic roots and to overturn the secularizing by Kemal Ataturk in the 1920s. As mayor of Istanbul, he acknowledged that the route to the power to do that was in the democratic process itself. His words foretold what he was to do: "Democracy is like a streetcar. You ride it to your destination and then get off." Erdogan is dismantling the Ataturk safeguards and installing like-minded Islamists in all positions of power as his political party's domination steadily accumulates more autocratic power. High level military, judicial and academic opponents to his plans have been rounded up and charged with
treason against the state. All the while, his supporting media outlets inflame the population against the West, particularly the U.S. and Israel.
Ralph Peters in the New York Post is at least one writer who got the story right. So did the editors of the Wall Street Journal. Here's what Peters had to say:

Turkish (blood)bath
June 1, 2010

June 1, 2010

Yesterday's "aid convoy" incident off the coast of Gaza wasn't about bringing humanitarian supplies to the terrorist-ruled territory. It wasn't even about Israel.

It was about Turkey's determination to position itself as the leading Muslim state in the Middle East.

Three ships of that six-ship pro-terror convoy flew Turkish flags and were crowded with Turkish citizens. The Ankara government -- led by Islamists these days -- sponsored the "aid" operation in a move to position itself as the new champion of the Palestinians.

And Turkish decision-makers knew Israel would have to react -- and were waiting to exploit the inevitable clash. The provocation was as cynical as it was carefully orchestrated.

The lead vessel, the Mavi Marmara, just happened to have an al-Jazeera TV crew on board to film Israel's response. Ironically, the early videos would've been counterproductive, had world leaders and journalists not been programmed to blame everything on Israel.

Those videos showed Israeli commandos rappelling onto the ship with both hands on the rope (making it rather hard to use a weapon), yet activists claimed the Israelis opened fire as they descended.

Purely by coincidence, dozens of "peace activists" waited with sharpened iron bars, clubs, slingshots -- and rifles. Of course, the nine dead in the melee were all Israel's victims.

The first wave of Israeli commandos reportedly were armed only with paintball rounds for crowd control. Inspect those videos of maddened peaceniks assaulting the soldiers as they landed on deck. You don't see any Israelis pointing rifles -- they're fending off blows.

But the claims of pro-terrorist "peace advocates" are given instant credence.

The US government's initial response was restrained, but Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu understandably canceled his meeting with President Obama, scheduled for today. Bibi's got an emergency on his hands back home, as well-organized protests sweep the Middle East.

Meanwhile, the Europeans and UN bonzes rage at Israel with unseemly relish, but ignore the luxury lifestyles of Gaza's insider elite and the fact that no Palestinian's going hungry. The Israelis had even offered to transfer the aid aboard those ships to the Palestinians -- as long as they could inspect it.

But neither the activists nor the Turkish government wanted a negotiated outcome. This was a stunt from the start.

Now, as we wait to see if Hamas and Hezbollah up the ante, the world ignores Turkey's decisive role in this fiasco.

The US and the European Union cling to the fiction that Turkey's a "westernized Muslim democracy." But Turkey's moving to the east as fast as the Islamist leaders of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) can drag it there.

Turkish leaders visit the West and sing, "Democracy, democracy, democracy!" We coo and clap. Then they go east and cry, "Islam, Islam, Islam!" And we insist they don't mean it.

Then there's Turkey's unfortunate NATO membership. Since the rise of its Islamists, Turkey has been a Trojan horse, not an ally. What happens now if Ankara provokes a military confrontation? How would we respond, given NATO's mutual-defense agreements?

The madcap agenda of Turkey's current rulers is to create a 21st-century version of the Ottoman Empire. Turks even mutter about the caliphate -- headed for centuries by the Turkish sultan. This is explosive stuff. And the Turks are playing with matches.

But we've obstinately ignored every warning sign. First, our "ally" stabbed us in the back on the eve of Operation Iraqi Freedom, denying our troops their planned routes into Iraq. Then the Turkish media intensified its anti-American fantasies.

Headscarves became de rigeur for the wives of top officials in Ankara as the Turks made mischief in Iraq. Emulating the history-obliterating Saudis, the Turks began work on the vast Ilisu Dam -- which will permanently submerge pre-Islamic and Kurdish archaeological sites of incalculable value. (The Bamiyan Buddhas destroyed by the Taliban were of comparatively minor interest to researchers.)

Then, just last month, the Turks moved to provide the Iranian regime with cover for its nuclear program. And we still didn't get it.

The most dramatic transformation in the Middle East since the fall of the shah is playing out before us. And we can't see behind the mask of the "plight of the Palestinians" (a key Obama administration concern).

In yesterday's confrontation, Israel behaved clumsily. The peace activists behaved savagely. The Turks behaved cynically. The world reacted predictably.

And Washington scratched its head.

Ralph Peters' latest book is "Endless War."

Footnote: Here's the text of the Israeli exchange with the lead Turkish ship on which the only violence occurred, precipitated by the people on the ship.



Israel Navy: "Mavi Marmara, you are approaching an area of hostilities which is under a naval blockade. The Gaza area coastal region and Gaza harbor are closed to all maritime traffic. The Israeli government supports delivery of humanitarian supplies to the civilian population in the Gaza Strip and invites you to enter the Ashdod port. Delivery of supplies in accordance with the authorities' regulations will be through the formal land crossings and under your observation, after which you can return to your home ports on the vessels on which you have arrived."

Response: "Negative, negative."

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