Will Christianity Perish in Its Birthplace?

By Patrick J. Buchanan

“Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? (My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?)” Those are among Jesus’ last words on the Cross that first Good Friday.

It was a cry of agony, but not despair. The dying Christ, to rise again in three days, was repeating the first words of the 22nd Psalm.

And today, in lands where Christ lived and taught and beyond where the Christian faith was born and nourished, the words echo. For it is in the birthplace of Christianity that Christians face the greatest of persecutions and martyrdoms since the time of Vladimir Lenin and Josef Stalin.

President Donald Trump, outraged by pictures of infants and children who had perished in the nerve gas attack in Syria, ordered missile strikes on the air base from which the war crime came.

Two days later, Palm Sunday, 44 Coptic Christians celebrating Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem were martyred in terrorist attacks in Egypt. The first bombing was at St. George’s Church in Tanta, the second at St. Mark’s in Alexandria, where the Coptic Pope Tawadros II was at Mass.

The pope was unhurt, but 100 Christians were injured in the attacks. At St. George’s, one witness described the scene after the bomb exploded near the altar: “I saw pieces of body parts. … There was so much blood everywhere. Some people had half of their bodies missing.”

The Islamic State group claims credit for the murders, and the pictures of dead children from those churches were surely as horrific as the pictures the president saw after the gas attack.

Copts are among the earliest Christians, dating to the first century A.D., when St. Mark, one of the Twelve Apostles, established the first church outside the Holy Land and became bishop of Alexandria.

The Copts make up 10 percent of Egypt’s population. They have been especially targeted for terrorist attacks since the 2013 overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed Morsi, who had been elected president after the ouster of longtime U.S. ally Hosni Mubarak.

In the subsequent struggle between Egypt’s Islamists, whose base is in Sinai, and the Cairo regime of Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who was welcomed to the White House in March, the Copts are seen as soft-target allies of Gen. el-Sissi’s and hated for their faith.

Whatever they did for democracy, the U.S. interventions in the Middle East and the vaunted Arab Spring have proved to be pure hell for Arab Christians.

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In Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, Christians were left alone if they did not interfere in politics. Indeed, they prospered as doctors, lawyers, journalists, academics, engineers, businessmen. A Christian, Tariq Aziz, was Saddam’s foreign minister who negotiated with Secretary of State James Baker to try to prevent what became the Gulf War.

Before 2003, there were still 800,000 Christians in Iraq. But after a decade of church bombings and murders of priests, their numbers have plummeted. When the Islamic State seized a third of Iraq, Christians under the group’s rule had to convert to Islam and pay a tax or face beheading.

On Dec. 26, St. Stephen’s Day, which honors the first martyr, Pope Francis hailed the Iraqi Christians lately liberated from Islamic State rule, noting, “They are our martyrs of today, and there are so many we can say that they are more numerous than in the first centuries.”

In 2016, an estimated 90,000 more Christians worldwide died for their faith.

Under Syria’s dictator Hafez al-Assad and son Bashar, Christians have been 10 percent of the population and protected by the regime. They thus have sided with Assad against the terrorists of the Islamic State and al-Qaida, whose victory would mean their expulsion or death.

Of the 10 nations deemed by Christianity Today to be the most hateful and hostile toward Christianity, eight are majority-Muslim nations, with the Middle East being the site of the worst of today’s persecutions.

Afghanistan, which we “liberated” in 2001, is listed as the third-most hostile nation toward Christians. The punishment for baptism there is death. A decade ago, a Christian convert had to flee his country to avoid beheading.

Consider. Christianity, whose greatest feast day we celebrate Sunday, is the cradle faith of the culture and the civilization of the West. And in our secularized world, Christianity remains the predominant faith.

A millennium ago, Christendom mounted crusades to ensure that its pilgrims would not lose the right to visit the Holy Land in peace.

Now, a decade and a half after we launched invasions and occupations of the Muslim world in Afghanistan and then Iraq to bring the blessings of democracy, the people there who profess that Christian faith are being persecuted as horribly as they were under the Romans in Nero’s time.

Where are the gains for religious freedom and human rights to justify all the bombings, invasions and wars we have conducted in the lands from Libya to Pakistan — to justify the losses we have endured and the death and suffering we have inflicted?

Truth be told, it is in part because of us that Christianity is on its way to being exterminated in its cradle.

Happy Easter!

Behind the Benghazi Cover-Up

President Obama

By Patrick J. Buchanan

On Sept. 11, scores of men with automatic weapons and RPGs launched a night assault on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and set the building ablaze. Using mortars, they launched a collateral attack on a safe house, killing two more Americans, as other U.S. agents fled to the airport.

On Sept. 14, White House press secretary Jay Carney said the attack came out of a spontaneous protest caused by an anti-Muslim video on YouTube.

On Sept. 16, U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice told the entire nation the attack had not been premeditated or preplanned but emanated from a spontaneous protest of the nasty video.

On Sept. 25, Obama at the United Nations mentioned the video six times.

But when they were pushing this tale, what did the White House actually know?

For we have now learned that the assault was observed in near real time by the State Department’s Charlene Lamb, who was in contact with the security section at the Benghazi compound.

The next day, Sept. 12, Fox News and Eli Lake of The Daily Beast reported that U.S. intelligence had concluded it was terrorism. Within 24 hours of the attack, U.S. intelligence had identified some of the terrorists as members of an al-Qaida affiliate.

Thus either administration higher-ups were ignorant for more than a week of what their own agents knew, and are thus manifestly incompetent, or they colluded in a cover-up and orchestrated deception.

As the facts are revealed, the weight of evidence tilts toward the latter conclusion.

Why? Because we now know there never was any protest at the Benghazi compound — not against an anti-Muslim video or anything else.

And if there was no protest, who sent Carney out to blame the attack on the protest? And if there was no protest, who programmed Rice and put her on five separate Sunday talk shows to attribute the massacre to a protest that never happened?

If real-time intelligence and U.S. agents at the scene knew it was premeditated, preplanned terrorism by Sept. 12, who told Rice to deny specifically on Sept. 16 that the attack was premeditated or preplanned?

Indeed, why was Rice sent out at all? She is not in the chain of command. Why she accepted the assignment is obvious. She wants to be Hillary Clinton’s successor as secretary of state. But who put her up to this? Who pushed her out front to mislead us?

The CIA’s David Petraeus or Director of National Intelligence James Clapper should have been sent out to say what we knew, five days after the massacre. As Chris Stevens reported to the secretary of state and President Obama, why was Hillary or National Security Adviser Tom Donilon not sent out to explain what had happened to Stevens and the others?

Looking back, Carney and Rice appear to have been used by their superiors.

Carney would never have gone out to speculate on his own about what happened in Benghazi. His line on Sept. 14 had to have been fed to him by the White House chief of staff, Donilon, Obama or all of them.

As for Rice, someone contacted those five TV networks to put her on. And the party line she delivered — the opposite of the truth — had to have been fed to her, almost word for word — by Donilon or the chief of staff.

Could Donilon or Hillary have been in the dark about what Rice was going to say? Could they have still been in the dark about what had happened five days before in Benghazi, when Hillary’s own deputy Charlene Lamb had followed the terrorist attack in near real time?

Hillary and the entire Obama national security team are in that famous photo with Obama watching Seal Team Six in Abbottabad when Osama bin Laden was taken down.

Was the National Security Council alerted by Lamb when she was observing the attack in near real time? Did the NSC also observe?

Was the president told by the NSC that we were getting real-time intel and video from Benghazi, and would he like to see?

There is an even more fundamental question:

Why did the White House persist with the phony story of a protest against a video being the cause of Ambassador Stevens‘ death, when they had to know there was no protest?

The most plausible explanation is that the truth — we were being hit with the worst terror attack since 9/11 in a city we saved — would have exposed Obama’s boasting about his Libya triumph and al-Qaida being “on the run” and “on the path to defeat” as absurd propaganda.

Al-Qaida is now in Libya, Mali, Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Pakistan.

And the epidemic of anti-American riots across the Muslim world, with Arab Spring elections bringing to power Islamist regimes, testify to the real truth. After four years of Obama, it is America that is on the run in the Middle East.

But we can’t let folks find that out until after Nov. 6.

Hence the Benghazi cover-up.

The Clinton-Rice Credibility Gap

Source: Foter.com

By Patrick J. Buchanan

Two weeks after Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were murdered in Benghazi, Libya, the Obama administration has conceded it was an act of terrorism.

The attack on the U.S. Consulate, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton now admits, was part of a broader effort by al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, working “with other violent extremists to undermine the democratic transitions under way in North Africa, as we tragically saw in Benghazi.”

Yet 10 days ago, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice was trotted out on every Sunday talk show to blame the massacre on a mob inflamed by the Internet video “Innocence of Muslims,” which insulted the Prophet Muhammad.

As Human Events’ John Hayward relates, Rice told Fox News:

“This was not a preplanned, premeditated attack. … What happened initially was a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired in Cairo as a consequence of the video. … People gathered outside the embassy, and then it grew very violent. Those with extremist ties joined the fray and came with heavy weapons — which, unfortunately, are quite common in post-revolutionary Libya — and that then spun out of control.”

Behind this gross misrepresentation was the need to absolve the Obama administration of all responsibility by claiming the atrocity was triggered by events — the showing of a video, the Cairo riot — over which it had no control.

We could not have foreseen this, Rice was saying. We could not have prevented this. We had no knowledge it was coming. It was an unpredictable, spontaneous event, like a tornado.

Rice was either ignorant of what went on in Benghazi when she was sent out to do those TV shows, or misled by her own government, or sent out to lie to ensure that America’s anger was not redirected to her administration.

And this is the diplomat said to have the inside track to be secretary of state if Barack Obama is re-elected?

Rice and her handlers were relying on a friendly media to buy into her story and keep the political spotlight on the statement the Romney campaign released before it was known that Stevens had been murdered.

And this is no small matter.

As Hayward notes, Eli Lake of The Daily Beast reported that “within 24 hours of the 9-11 anniversary attack on the United States consulate in Benghazi, U.S. intelligence agencies had strong indications al Qaeda-affiliated operatives were behind the attack, and had even pinpointed the location of one of those attackers.”

Three separate intelligence sources confirmed to Lake that “early information was enough to show that the attack was planned and the work of al Qaeda affiliates operating in Eastern Libya.”

The issues raised here are matters of extraordinary moment.

Did the United States have advance intelligence saying an attack was being planned against the Benghazi consulate or U.S. personnel in Libya on Sept. 11?

Was the post-attack intelligence Lake describes provided to Clinton, Rice and the White House? If so, Rice not only deceived the nation but did so with the knowledge, if not complicity, of the secretary of state and the president.

What did Hillary and Obama know, and when did they know it?

Other issues have been pushed into the public sphere — or should have been — by this act of barbarism.

After the Benghazi attack, al-Qaida has called for attacks on other U.S. diplomats in the region. One or two more such atrocities could bring withdrawal of U.S. diplomats, businessmen and tourists, dramatically reducing the chances the Arab Spring could succeed.

And lest we forget, we invaded Afghanistan to eradicate al-Qaida after 9/11. Yet today, we read of al-Qaida in the Maghreb, al-Qaida in Iraq, al-Qaida in Pakistan, al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula and al-Qaida in Syria. And Ansar Dine, an al-Qaida affiliate, has taken over northern Mali, a slice of land the size of France.

Though Vice President Joe Biden has Democratic crowds shouting “USA! USA!” when he bellows that “General Motors is alive and Osama bin Laden is dead,” who is really winning this war between radical Islamism and America?

It seems the longer we fight the more enemies we create.

Are American values increasingly victorious?

Obama went before the U.N. to defend the First Amendment right to editorially and verbally assault the sacred beliefs of all faiths.

In direct rebuttal, Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi channeled Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Speaking of the video insulting the prophet, Morsi said:

“The obscenities that I have referred to that were recently released as part of an organized campaign against Islamic sanctities are unacceptable. … We reject this. We cannot accept it. We will not allow anyone to do this by word or deed.”

Translation: In the Islamic world, our values apply, not yours. If you cannot respect them, we cannot respect you.

The bottom is falling out of Obama’s Middle East policy, while the media chortle over the latest Obama polls.

America’s Last Crusade

By Patrick J. Buchanan

For Americans of the Greatest Generation that fought World War II and of the Silent Generation that came of age in the 1950s, the great moral and ideological cause was the Cold War.

It gave purpose and clarity to our politics and foreign policy, and our lives.

From the fall of Berlin in 1945 to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, that Cold War was waged by two generations, and with its end Americans faced a fundamental question:

If the historic struggle between communism and freedom is over, if the Soviet Empire and Soviet Union no longer exist, if the Russians wish to befriend us and the Maoists have taken the capitalist road, what is our new mission in the world? What do we do now?

The debate was suspended when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. George H.W. Bush assembled a mighty coalition and won a war that required but 100 hours of ground combat.

We had found our mission.

The United States was the last superpower and a triumphant Bush declared that we would build the “New World Order.” Neoconservatives rhapsodized over America’s “unipolar moment” and coming “global hegemony.”

But Americans were unpersuaded and uninspired. They rejected the victor of Desert Storm — for Bill Clinton. By Y2K, the Republican Party was backing another Bush who was promising a “more humble” America.

Came then 9/11 and the midlife conversion of George W. to Wilsonian interventionism. After the rout of the Taliban in December 2001, Bush decided to remake Afghanistan in the image of Iowa and to go crusading against an axis of evil. In his second inaugural, he declared that America’s mission was to “end tyranny in our world.”

The world declined to oblige. By the end of 2006, the Taliban were back and America seemed in an endless war in Iraq. Republicans had lost Congress and Bush’s democracy crusade was producing electoral victories for Hamas and Hezbollah.

In November 2008, the crusaders were sent packing.

Came then Barack Obama. With the “Arab Spring” beginning in 2010, with dictators being toppled in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Libya and Syria, Obama embraced the movement as his own.

But Obama received a rude awakening. As the Arab dictators began, one by one, to fall, also unleashed and now surging and spreading through the lands they had ruled were the four horsemen of the Arab apocalypse: tribalism, ethno-nationalism, Islamic fundamentalism and anti-Americanism. So we come to an elementary question:

If the Islamic world is so suffused with rage and hatred of us — for our wars, occupations, drone attacks, support of Israel, decadent culture, and tolerance of insults to Islam and the Prophet — why should we call for free elections, when the people will use those elections to vote into power rulers hostile to the United States?

If the probable or inevitable result of dethroning dictator-allies is to raise to power Islamist enemies, why help dethrone the dictators?

During the Cold War, the United States took its friends where it found them. If they were willing to cast their lot with us, from the Shah to Gen. Pinochet, we welcomed them. Democratic dissidents like Jawaharlal Nehru in India and Olof Palme in Sweden got the back of our hand.

During the Cold War and World War II, the critical question was not whether you came to power through free elections — after all, Adolf Hitler did that — but are you with us or against us?

Ideology, as Russell Kirk admonished us, is political religion, and democracy worship is a form of idolatry, the worshiping of a false god, a golden calf, an idol.

And — while this may border on a hate crime — some countries are unfit for democracy. As Edmund Burke remonstrated: “It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.”

With hatred of America rampant across the Arab and Islamic world, we face anew a defining moment. What now is our mission in the world? What now should be the great goal of U.S. foreign policy?

What global objective should we pursue with our trillion-dollar defense, intel and foreign aid budgets, and pervasive diplomatic and military presence on every continent and in most countries of the world? Bush I’s New World Order is history, given our strategic decline and the resistance of Russia, China and the Islamic world.

Bush II’s democracy crusade and Obama’s embrace of the Arab Spring have unleashed and empowered forces less receptive to America’s wishes and will than the despots and dictators deposed with our approval.

All three visions proved to be illusions. With America headed for bankruptcy, with new debt of $1 trillion piled up each year, perhaps John Quincy Adams’ counsel may commend itself to a country weary from a century of crusades.

“America does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.”