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Dr Kaukab Siddique | Editor-in-Chief Zulq'idah 1,1434/September 8, 2013 # 37

Powerful Islamic Scholar Hussain Khan in Tokyo and British activist Yvonne Ridley support end of Assad by America plus punishment for Israel.
This will stir up any reader.. Please scroll to end.

Top African American intellectual, New Trend's old friend, Dr. Wilmer Leon, carries out a brilliant analysis of Obama's war rhetoric. Please scroll to end.

A new contributor to NT from Kentucky, Sis. Abida, writes about Prophet Muhammad, pbuh. Well done! Worth reading. Please scroll down.

Local news:
  1. Lynne Stewart has written a beautiful letter to Br. Kaukab from prison hospital in Fort Worth, Texas. It also has her "before" and "after" photos relating to her cancer. What a great woman: defended Shaykh Omar free of charge against the Zionists. [Her husband is holding a vigil at the Department of Justice in Washington, DC]

  2. Sister Marie, a prisoner with access to Lynne Stewart in Ft. Worth, Texas, has embraced Islam. She is facing the local authority's efforts to de-Islamize her.

  3. Sis. Ashira [Jamaat al-Muslimeen shoora] visited a women's prison in Columbia, Maryland area, on September 6, and led the Muslim women in Juma' salat. The women who have embraced Islam in prison are trying to change their entire lives.

  4. Don't forget Islamic political prisoners: All the way from Ahmed Abdel Sattar to Ziyad Yaghi. Write to them.

Jamaat al-Muslimeen's National Shoora meeting coming up

Inshallah, the next national level shoora meeting of Jamaat al-Muslimeen will be held on Saturday, October 26, in Maryland.
Your advice and support are needed.

Breaking news:
  1. Egypt: September 6: Rallies were held in major Egyptian cities and towns in support of President Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood [Ikhwan]. US media censored the reports but they were covered on Aljazeerah America. Well done! The protestors were attacked in Alexandria by supporters of Hosni Mubarak and Copts. Two of the protestors were killed and 11 injured. The military arrested a total of 78 protestors bringing to 2,000 the number of people arrested by the General Sisi regime,

  2. Egypt: September 7 and 8: Columns of Egyptian tanks and armored vehicles are attacking villages near the border with Israeli occupied. territory. From overhead, Egyptian helicopter gunships are attacking mosques and homes of suspected Islamic fighters. Egypt says it has killed 9 "militants" and two Egyptian troops have been killed in return fire. Egypt's military rulers are sealing off attempts to smuggle weapons for Palestinians and to stop Islamics from attacking Israel.

  3. Maiduguri, Nigeria: September 5 to 7. Nigeran troops armed by the US and backed by Israel are attacking civilian populations supporting the Islamic movement known as Boko Haram. They have killed 50 people supporting the Islamics.

  4. Mogadishu, Somalia. September 6. A Somali Islamic fighter struck officials of the western-installed government who were having dinner near the main government building. At least 18 government workers were killed. Armed with heavy weapons, non-Muslim troops from Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and Burundi have driven the Islamics from the major cities but they control the interior of Somalia and do not allow the "government" to function.

  5. Syria: September 6: Islamic fighters from al-Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham advanced into the village of Maaloula, northeast of Damascus. It's a village of Christians fighting in defense of Assad. The Christians retreated rapidly.

September 1-7. Daily barrages of artillery by Assad's troops into the three suburbs of Damascus where he used chemical attacks to kill 1600 people, including 400 children, are continuing. However, Assad's assaults have failed to force Islamic fighters to retreat. Thus Damascus continues to be ringed by Islamic groups. It appears that Assad got desperate and he tried chemical warfare to defeat the Islamics.
On September 7, Assad's artillery successfully targeted Moldokhiya, an agricultural area south of Damascus where the people have joined the rebels. Assad's shelling killed 14 "rebels" one child and one other civilian.

September 8: Latest video shows Assad's tanks advancing on the city of Hama being blown up by the mujahideen using rockets captured by the Islamics from one of Assad's air bases. The tanks exploded loudly. The troops inside were probably killed.

September 6: Pakistan. A huge rally led by Hafiz Saeed and Jamat udDawa was held in Rawalpindi. About 5000 armed men of adDawa protected the crowd. After the rally, the crowd was carried to its conclusion in Islamabad by 6,000 vehicles. Hafiz Saeed condemned Indian army attacks on the Line of Control in Kashmir. He said there cannot be any normalization of relations with India as long as its army is in occupation of Kashmir.

September 8: In Karachi, a huge rally in support of Egypt's imprisoned president Morsi was addressed by Jamaate Islami leader Syed Munawar Hasan, Karachi JI leader Muhammad Hussain Mahnati and others. Several thousand women participated. Hundreds of children were also there, some of them wearing signs saying "I am Ikhwan" [Arabic for Muslim Brotherhood].

Latest Khutba:
Kingship, Dictatorship and Male Dominance are Forms of Slavery:
Internal Unity is required to Defeat Islam's Enemies.

On September 6, Br. Kaukab Siddique gave the juma khutba and led prayers at masjid Jamaat al-Muslimeen in Baltimore. Here are the main points:
  1. Allah alone is the Ruler of the Universe and of all human beings. Study the term "'abd." in the Qur'an. Be Abdullah, not the servant of anyone other than Allah.

  2. Our internal weaknesses make it possible for outside forces to attack, occupy and colonize us.

  3. Oppression/mistreatment of women is one of our major weaknesses. It permits our enemies to alienate 50% of our population . Some of them fall into the hands of our enemies.

  4. Dictatorship and Kingship are HARAM in Islam. Allah revealed an entire chapter of the Qur'an called SHOORA. Any rule which does not involve discussion-decision making with and consent of the ummah is in violation of Islam.

  5. Muslims have had dictators and tyrants ruling us for 30 even 40 years and these devils still don't want to leave.

  6. Family rule and kingship too is HARAM. Only rule based on shoora and free choices is permitted.

  7. At the individual level, read sura a-Hujurat. Backbiting, gossip, labeling, peeking into private lives is ruining our community's family life. The devil who breaks husband-wife relations is the most successful devil

  8. Be kind and compassionate to your Muslim brother and sister. Be firm and uncompromising against the oppressors.

  9. Study the meaning of ZULM and ZALIM in the Qur'an. These are forms of oppression. Oppressors take away the rights of others, or they ignore the rights of others, or they ignore the rights of Allah and of their own selves by mistreating and degrading their bodies and souls through unhealthy foods, drugs and evil thoughts and stress.

Du'a: Pray for the victory of Islamic ummah in Kashmir, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Nigeria, Egypt and Syria. Pray that Islam may rise up in Palestine and evict the yahood. Pray for our masjid's success and unity of the Muslims of America on Qur'an and hadith. Pray for good spouses and pious children. Pray for al-Jannah and defeat of the devil within us.

September: Maulana Maudoodi's Anniversary
Rational Approach to Islam: Opposition to Dictatorship and Westernization.
Muhammad, pbuh, as Example and Leader. Islamic Pakistan's Basic Ideas.

by Kaukab Siddique, Ph.D

"... the militaries in Muslim countries realized that the real source of dictatorial power lay with the military. This awareness brought military officers into the arena of politics and they started a whole process of intrigues and destabilization of governments and the establishment of military regimes. These armies have become a calamity for Muslim countries. They are not interesed in fighting external enemies or in defending their countries: they are focused on 'conqering' their own countries and using the weapons provided them for national defense to enslave their own nations." [Maulana Maudoodi speaking in Arabic to a large gathering of young men in Makka after the Hajj, Zulhijja 16, 1382 AH, 52 years back. See Tafhimat, vol.3, pp.358-359, published 1969.]

Syed Abul 'Ala Maudoodi, a soft spoken scholar from Hyderabad, India, was discerned as an extraordinary thinker by Allama Iqbal and invited to move to the Punjab. Thus a new chapter began in the saga of the Islamic movement in South Asia.

Much has been written about Maudoodi, both by his legion of enemies as well as by his countless friends. One of the best books in Urdu is by his second-in-command Mian Tufail Muhammad titled Mushahidat: Maulana Maudoodi, Jamaate Islami awr Pakistan [compiled by Saleem Mansur Khalid and published in 2000, 2001 and 2003 by Idara-e-Ma'arife Islami, Mansoora, Lahore, Pakistan].

Maudoodi lived at a time when entire generations of Muslims were becoming secularized and westernized. Tufail Muhammad himself was a westernized lawyer in coat, tie and hat. Maudoodi's writings led Mian Tufail to give up the entire context of westernized ideals and aspirations. He died recently permeated with the virtues of Taqwa and deen.

Nowadays the idea that "Islam is a complete way of life" has almost become a cliche and stands unchallenged. This was Maudoodi's contribution. He put the westernizers on the defensive and helped Muslim intellectuals become comfortable with the idea of the SUPERIORITY of Islam over all other ways of life. I consider the following to be his most important contributions to the resurgence of Islam:
  1. Muslims and non-Muslims are separate nations. Muslims have the right and the obligation to self-determination and the implementation of Islam within their communities and nations. Peace, tolerance, compassion and coexistence are important but they do not mean that Muslims should assimilate into the non-Islamic ethos. Separatism based on self-determination was the seed of Islamic Pakistan which was sowed by Maudoodi and pre-dates the contributions of others. Perhaps this factor attracted the attention of Allama Iqbal.

  2. Islam has within itself the framework of Law and the Constitutional Process as well as the methodology of revolution which precedes the implementation of Law.

  3. Islam has its own economic and social system.

  4. Authentic Hadith is essential to Islam. The attempts of anti-Islam forces to separate the Qur'an from the Hadith, if successful, would be fatal for the Islamic ethos.

  5. Kingship is alien to Islam. We do not need to defend the crimes of Muslim kings or extol their achievements as if they are part of Islam. The title of Caliph does not legitimize rule based on absolute power and hereditary succession. Shoora is a form of democracy which is essential for Islamic polity, and shoora is required in ALL aspects of life and by ALL Muslims.

  6. Jihad is essential to Islam.

Maudoodi was repeatedly imprisoned by various Pakistani governments. Owing to his writings against "Ahmeddis" [known as "qadiyanis" in Pakistan] he was sentenced to death by the secularist regime which was trying to undermine Islam. He refused to beg for mercy and barely evaded execution as the governmrent of the time fell.

His love for Pakistan as a putative Islamic state was so great that he repeatedly put his own life in danger to save Pakistan. He attempted to heal the differences between East and West Pakistan but was thwarted by the army's actions and by the India-backed mass murders and extreme violence.

On another occasion, the regime's gangsters tried to shoot him down in front of a large gathering. His supporters asked him to take shelter. His response is famous: "If I sit down, who will remain standing."

Today one of Maudoodi's greatest students, Syed Munawar Hasan, is leading the movement against American intervention in Pakistan. The universities of Pakistan are full of new generations of Muslims learning from Maudoodi's writings that Islam is applicable in all walks of life.

I was blessed to meet him on many occasions. He used terms of deep affection for me which a true teacher does for a good student in our Islamic culture. Later, I often differed with him. Sometimes, owing to my restless questioning about kings, I upset him. In spite of all the support he had at the end, he did not want us to see him as the last word in Islamic scholarship or to make a faultless saint out of him as many schools of thought do with their leaders. He gave us the foundations required to build the edifice of Islam in modern times and to defeat westernization and cultural imperialism.

Readers are Urged to Write Similar Letters to the Leader of Iran
[This was written in response to a request from Iran to write to Ayatollah Khamene'i [Via Mark Weber.]

To Ayatollah Khamene'i, Supreme leader of Islamic Iran May Allah give blessings and unity and prosperity to the people of Iran under your leadership.

I had the honor of meeting Imam Khomeini and I wrote about his great achievements on numerous occasions.

It is indeed a great success for Iran that it has retained its independence as an Islamic country.

Iran's brave stance against Israel and US imperialism is a matter of great pride for me and all my friends.

Iran's nuclear program is of importance for the economic development and progress of Iran. It should not be seen as a threat to anyone.

I urge Iran to change its policy about Syria. Bashar al-Assad is a tyrant and the people of Syria have risen against him. He has committed crimes against humanity and has killed more than 100,000 Muslims. If he is removed and replaced by a government acceptable to the great majority of the Syrian people, that will be a major step towards Muslim unity.

Kaukab Siddique, PhD
Chairperson, Interim, Department of Languages and Literature
Lincoln University, Pennsylvania

Opposing Sectarianism
Fake Hadith being Used by Shi'ite Sectarians to Extol Ali, r.a., as the greatest Sahabi.
by Ather Mohiuddin

"Hadith" About the City of Knowledge and Ali is its Gate

In reference to the following "Hadith" attributed to the Prophet, pbuh.

"I am the city of knowledge and Ali is its gate."

It was related by al-Hakim, at-Tabarani and others. It was also related by at-Tirmidhi with the wording, "I am the House of Wisdom, and Ali is its Door."

Albani declared the Hadith to be Mawdoo (fabricated). Daraqutni labeled the Hadith as mudtarib (shaky), both in isnad and text. Tirmidhi labeled it is ghareeb (weak) and munkar (rejected).
Bukhari said that the Hadith has no sahih narration and declared it un-acknowledgeable.
Qurtubi said about this Hadith in al-Jame' li Ahkam al-Quran: "This Hadith is Batil (false)!" Ibn Maeen said that the Hadith is a baseless lie. Dhahabi considered it a forgery and included it in his book on forged Hadiths. Al-Hakim declared that it is weak. Amongst others who dismissed the Hadith are Abu Zur'ah, Abu Hatim, Yahya bin Saeed, etc.

Why do Muslims think Prophet Muhammad, pbuh, was the best human being?
By: Abida Rahmani
[The writer lives in Kentucky. She writes both in English & Urdu.]

"Indeed you have in the messenger of Allah the most beautiful Conduct." [33:21]

"The Ultimate Leadership, Unparalleled leader of Dawah, Training, Organization and the greatest Commander-in-chief"
In the Quran one of the numerous verses that praise prophet (saws) it is said in surah Ahzab) "O Prophet (Muhammad pbuh] Verily, we have sent you as witness, and a bearer of glad tidings, and a Warner, (45) and as one who invites to Allâh [Islâmic Monotheism, i.e. to worship none but Allâh (Alone)] by His permission, and as a lamp spreading light (through your instructions from the Qur'ân and the Sunnah the legal ways of the Prophet SAW [])"

. Prophet Muhammad SAW was the best person, possessed the best qualities among his tribe Qurraish before Islam. His honesty and trust worthiness was honored by the titles of Saadiq and Ameen. But when he came from the cave of Hira with the divine message of monotheism of one Allah, just a few accepted his message. He was 40 years old at that time.
In a short span of 23 years he became the most successful prophet so that most of Arabia had accepted his message of Islam. This was only because of his Ultimate leadership, as unparalleled leader of Dawah, Training, Organization and the great Commander- in - chief.

Prophet (SAW)'s Basic Qualities
  1. Ability to command with respect

  2. Trusted on sincerity of purpose

  3. Confidence and ability

  4. Approachable for suggestion

  5. Acceptability as a leader

  6. Ready to sacrifice

  7. Open-mindededness

  8. Understanding of responsibilities

  9. Optimism

Practical Qualities
  1. Utmost trust in Allah(swt) for help and guidance

  2. No difference between morals and acts

  3. His Ability to help understand efficiently

  4. His Ability to answer questions adequately

  5. His Ability to acquire love and affection of the companions and followers

  6. Habit of making decisions after consultation

  7. Courage to encourage criticism

  8. Dynamic, Keen perception and Seriousness

Acknowledgment by a staunch enemy:

After the Treaty of Hudaybiyah, Allah's Messenger sent letters to the rulers of neighboring countries. The Emperor of Byzantine (Rome) received it in Syria at a time when a trade caravan from Makkah headed by Abu Sufyan was in Damascus. The Emperor summoned him, and the following conversation took place:

Emperor:Do the elite or the weak mostly follow him?

Abu Sufyan:The weak.

Emperor:Do his followers increase or decrease?

Abu Sufyan:They increase.

Emperor:Has anyone apostatized after converting to Islam?
Abu Sufyan:No.

Emperor:Have you ever heard him tell a lie?
Abu Sufyan:No, never.

Struck by the answers of Abu Sufyan, who was at that time one of the bitterest enemies of Islam, the Emperor acknowledged Muhammad's, pbuh, position. He said "It is inconceivable for one who has never told a lie during his whole life to invent lies against Allah" (Al-Bukhari).

This was just because of Muhammad's, pbuh, steadfastness on his mission and on his vision. That was to save astray people from hell fire and to give them success them in the hereafter with the gardens of Jannah. He always encouraged truthfulness, as can be seen in the following hadiths:

"Promise me six things, and I will promise you Paradise: Speak the truth, keep your promises, fulfill your trusts, remain (sexually) chaste, do not look at what is unlawful, and avoid what is forbidden." (Authenticated by Al-Albani) "Abandon what arouses your suspicions, and follow what is certain. Truthfulness gives satisfaction; lying causes suspicion."(At-Tirmidhi and Ahmad)
"Always be truthful, for truthfulness leads to righteousness and righteousness leads to Paradise. If you are always truthful and seek truthfulness, Allah records you as such. Never lie, for lying leads to shamefulness and shamefulness leads to Hell. If you insist on lying and seek deceit, Allah records you as such." (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Long suffering and forgiveness in the path of Dawah:

The patience, long sufferings and forgiveness of the Holy Prophet (SAW) are the highest qualities of his prophethood. He never took revenge for any personal or financial matter. The hardest day for him was in the battle of Uhud, when his own people disobeyed him and the unbelievers caused him severe grief and affliction to the greatest extent. But he contented himself to suffer and prayed for their forgiveness. He Prayed "O Allah! Show my people the right path for they do not know and forgive them." The companions out of grief asked, "O messenger of Allah, you would have cursed them, so that they were annihilated." He replied, "I have not been sent to curse, but to call people to the truth and as a mercy for the creation."
[To be continued, inshallah.]



I agree with the opinion of Ms. Yvonne Ridley that Syria should be punished. I am against American policies most of the time, but in this regard I am with Ridley to save innocent lives of civilians.

She is a British Muslim lady. She was converted to Islam due to good moral behavior of Taliban, when she was their prisoner in Afghanistan. She has written a book, which is out of stock now, in praise of Taliban morals, whom America, the West and the puppet Pakistan governments of Zardari and Nawaz Sharif regard as TERRORISTS under American pressure.

Innocent people are killed in Pakistan by American and CIA and Hindu-sponsored Taliban to bring a bad name for Real Taliban, as many corpses of American Blackwater workers and Hindus have been found without KHATNA. Malala case has also revealed later that she and her father were CIA agents. Video tape of Taliban lashes was also found to be fabricated to instigate hatred against Real Taliban, whose good morals are testified by personal experience of Ms. Ridley, which led her to convert to Islam after she came out of Taliban Prison. Their record of maintaining Law and Order during their 5-year Shariah rule is uncontested. Their eradication of Drug cultivation in Afghanistan is testified even by UN sources.

"A red line was crossed a few weeks ago when the civilian death toll exceeded 100,000 and millions of Syrian men, women and children were listed as refugees in squalid camps in neighbouring countries.

As such, for Obama to talk about red lines and for David Cameron to try and do a Blair, please forgive me for gagging with the stench of hypocrisy.

This is no longer about presidential or political egos, red lines, special friendships, uneasy alliances, revolution, democracy, dictatorships or saving face; this is about saving lives. And that is something that most people seem to have forgotten.

In 1993, though, the Chemical Weapons Convention was signed, outlawing all uses of chemical weapons in war, but that didn't stop Israel using White Phosphorus rounds against Southern Lebanon in 2006 and on a civilian population in Gaza on January 3, 2009. White Phosphorus is an indiscriminate killer, as gas released from the explosion burns exposed flesh and the lungs of the victims, whichever way the wind blows. It is supposed to be used to provide a smokescreen for ground troops; when it is used against civilians, as it was by Israel, it is not only extremely lethal but also extremely illegal.

So when Obama talks about red lines being crossed, he is right; they have been crossed many times in recent years by friends and foes of the West, but red lines are meaningless if they do not draw a meaningful, uniform response from the international community.

Forget the red lines and political egos - focus on saving lives

by Yvonne Ridley, (A Muslim British Lady Converted to Islam due to Taliban good Morals)

I am a peace activist but at the moment one wrestling with her conscience because, in truth, if someone gave me a gun and Syria's President Bashar al-Assad strolled into the crosshairs I think I would struggle not to pull the trigger. The former eye doctor is a monster who has no boundaries when it comes to killing his own people. This has been common knowledge for many years through my work with Cageprisoners just as it has been with America, Britain and their allies.

In fact, until recently, the US has been more than happy to hand over people to the Assad regime in the full knowledge of what would happen to them in the notorious torture dungeons hidden across Syria. As a craven partner in the war on terror, Britain will also have been kept in the loop.

These same dungeons were set up by Bashar's father Hafez al-Assad, a man who ordered the massacre of 20,000 Syrian citizens in the city of Hama in 1982. It was a brutal operation supervised by younger brother General Rifaat al-Assad. It seems that the apples do not fall far from the Assad family tree.

As such, for Obama to talk about red lines and for David Cameron to try and do a Blair, please forgive me for gagging with the stench of hypocrisy.

A red line was crossed way back in February 2011 when 18 schoolboys were "disappeared" by the Assad regime for daubing some harmless graffiti on a wall in Dera; another red line was crossed when the 11-year-olds re-emerged three weeks later with all of their finger nails missing, some of them castrated and every single one with at least one broken bone in his body.

A red line was crossed when, after six months of public rallies demanding justice over the treatment of the Graffitti Boys, more than 1,000 civilians had been killed; that was the breaking point for ordinary Syrians who had, until then, resisted calls to join the Arab Spring.

A red line was crossed a few weeks ago when the civilian death toll exceeded 100,000 and millions of Syrian men, women and children were listed as refugees in squalid camps in neighbouring countries.

The world is now confronted by a humanitarian disaster on a rapidly unfolding scale which can barely be compared with any other in recent times, man-made or otherwise. That the West thinks it can drop some bombs and cure the disaster speaks volumes in itself and reveals that nothing has been learned from the mess that is Iraq.

Nevertheless, the reality is that chemical weapons are being dropped on the Syrian people and they do need help from somewhere; anywhere. So what is a person of conscience to do or think?

If the US and Britain are really to be taken seriously both need to show more even-handedness, for there is another state in the region which has chemical weapons and has already used them in recent times; step forward Israel.

I never knew my maternal grandfather; he was gassed during World War One and died prematurely at the age of 50 never having recovered from the mustard gas attack launched on him and his comrades in 1916 as they fought in windswept trenches in France. In Vietnam in the 1960s chemicals called Agent Orange and Agent Blue as well as napalm were dropped by wave after wave of ugly American B52 bombers and the impact is still being felt today.

Despite knowledge of the horrific consequences, chemical weapons were deployed by Iraq against Iran during the 1980s and in 1988 Saddam unleashed mustard gas and other nerve agents on the Kurdish population of Halabja in Northern Iraq. All of this was with the full knowledge of the CIA and US government.

In 1993, though, the Chemical Weapons Convention was signed, outlawing all uses of chemical weapons in war, but that didn't stop Israel using White Phosphorus rounds against Southern Lebanon in 2006 and on a civilian population in Gaza on January 3, 2009. White Phosphorus is an indiscriminate killer, as gas released from the explosion burns exposed flesh and the lungs of the victims, whichever way the wind blows. It is supposed to be used to provide a smokescreen for ground troops; when it is used against civilians, as it was by Israel, it is not only extremely lethal but also extremely illegal.

So when Obama talks about red lines being crossed, he is right; they have been crossed many times in recent years by friends and foes of the West, but red lines are meaningless if they do not draw a meaningful, uniform response from the international community.

While the Labour whips were punching the air and cheering on young Ed Miliband in Parliament after voting down the British government on the Syrian issue, Assad's army used napalm on a school with all the consequences you'd expect from such an evil action. Talk about dancing on the graves of babies.

What is the solution? Intense diplomatic lobbying, not in the West but in the Arab world accompanied by some serious arm twisting must be done. This is the same Arab world which falls on its knees whenever Washington demands favours for Israel, which has to keep well out of this. Not everything is or should be focused on the Zionist state.

In the meantime Saudi Arabia, Jordan and other kingdoms in the region need to realize that democracy is not the Devil's spawn. China and Russia need to start showing some compassion and maybe it is time to revisit the Syrian National Coalition's (SNC) Moaz al-Khatib's 16-point initiative to help ensure a peaceful transition of authority and an end to the violence in Syria.

This is no longer about presidential or political egos, red lines, special friendships, uneasy alliances, revolution, democracy, dictatorships or saving face; this is about saving lives. And that is something that most people seem to have forgotten.

Obama's Irresponsible Rhetoric Exacerbates Global Tensions

Dr. Wilmer J. Leon, III

"We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground, that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized...That would change my calculus. That would change my equation." President Obama August 20, 2012

It is now generally accepted as fact that on August 21, 2013 a nerve agent, probably sarin gas was used on the Syrian civilian population. According to Dr. Bart Janssens, from Doctors Without Borders, "[T]he reported symptoms of the patients, in addition to the epidemiological pattern of the events - characterized by the massive influx of patients in a short period of time, the origin of the patients, and the contamination of medical and first aid workers - strongly indicate mass exposure to a neurotoxic agent...convulsions, excess saliva, pinpoint pupils, blurred vision and respiratory distress..."

What is not known is who is responsible for the chemical attack. The United States has placed the blame on the Assad regime. President Obama stated, "...the United States (has) presented a powerful case that the Syrian government was responsible for this attack on its own people. Our intelligence shows the Assad regime and its forces preparing to use chemical weapons, launching rockets in the highly populated suburbs of Damascus, and acknowledging that a chemical weapons attack took place."

Other credible sources believe that the case against the Assad regime is not as former CIA director George Tenet said about WMD's in Iraq, a "slam dunk". According to the Times of Israel, "The intelligence linking Syrian President Bashar Assad or his inner circle to an alleged chemical weapons attack that killed at least 100 people is no "slam dunk," with questions remaining about who actually controls some of Syria's chemical weapons stores and doubts about whether Assad himself ordered the strike, US intelligence officials say."

There are conflicting perceptions of reality and requisite action or response. President Obama claims that chemical weapons have been used; the US claims that it has evidence that the Assad regime used them; ergo military intervention (airstrikes) must be the response by the "International Community." Other countries such as Germany, Russia, China, and Britain agree that chemical weapons have been used but don't agree that the US "evidence" that Assad used them is as conclusive as the US claims. Also, other countries don't agree that even if Assad used chemical weapons a military response is the best response. A military response could actually exacerbate the situation not make it better.

President Obama has stated a number of times that the "world" is aghast at the use of chemical weapons. He called the Syrian attack a "challenge to the world". He is also claiming that he did not set the "red-line." In Sweden he stated, ''I didn't set a red line, the world set a red line...'The world set a red line when governments representing 98 percent of world population said the use of chemical weapons are abhorrent.''

First question, when did the American government, when did President Obama become the spokesperson for the world? Second question, if the world is so aghast at this attack why is most of the "world" against American intervention into the Syrian Civil War? Is it possible that the "world" does not equate their interests with American interests?

It is important to understand that the Syrian "rebels" are not a monolith. There are a number of factors, some political, religious, and cultural that are motivating different groups to engage in war. Also, within those factors are various actors that have different if not conflicting motivations. It is possible that defectors from the Assad regime have given access to chemical stockpiles to certain rebel forces. It is possible that al Qaeda affiliated forces have used chemical weapons with the hope of drawing the US into the conflict. With US intervention in the conflict it becomes an easier recruiting tool for al Qaeda affiliated forces. These are just a few examples of why the "world" is not so quick to cast their lots with US action.

One of the factors driving President Obama is the fact that he has backed himself into a corner with his own irresponsible rhetoric. He never should have used the term "red- line" to begin with. Just as the adage is "don't pull a gun on a person unless you are prepared to use it" there is also an adage in diplomatic circles, "don't draw a line in the sand unless you are prepared to take action if it is crossed."

Now that President Obama has injected the "red-line" into the Syrian Civil War; if he fails to act; what does that say about his "red-line" with Iran? The Israeli newspaper Haaretz has laid this out very clearly, "A president cannot commit his nation to a red line if he is also committed to securing congressional approval before responding to the crossing of that red line. What if Congress denies approval? Must the president still keep his red line commitment? If he does not, what does this say about other red line commitments, such as that made regarding Iran's efforts to secure nuclear weapons?"

It was also irresponsible for President Obama to say, "I have decided that the United States should take military action against Syrian regime targets... But having made my decision as Commander-in-Chief based on what I am convinced is our national security interests... I've made a second decision: I will seek authorization for the use of force from the American people's representatives in Congress." That's not a "decision" that's inconsistent muttering and doublespeak.

The Syrian Civil War is a perilous situation. This is not the time for inconsistent and dangerous rhetoric. President Obama continues to talk in the "world" context but the longer this plays out the more it looks like he's going to have to go it alone. He has indicated that he is prepared to do that, the problem is he will go it alone at our expense.

Dr. Wilmer Leon is the Producer/ Host of the Sirisu/XM Satellite radio channel 110 call-in talk radio program "Inside the Issues with Leon" Go to or and Dr. Leon's Prescription at
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2013-09-08 Sun 15:59:32 cdt