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Dec 07 2013

My Complete Correspondence with Dave Gaubatz

dave-gaubatzThis year, on Halloween, I was contacted by Dave Gaubatz, author of Muslim Mafia. It’s a rather long, poorly reasoned book that mostly boasts about the number of documents his son, Chris Gaubatz stole from CAIR’s national office while masquerading as a convert to Islam (They call that taqiyyah in anti-Muslim circles). I read his book, highlighter in hand, searching for the smoking gun he said was hidden in all those documents. However, my highlighter went unused.
Gaubatz actually contacted me in response to an article I wrote in 2010 titled Does Dave Gaubatz Support Violence Against Me?. It’s a pretty straight forward question. Gaubatz claims to have five foolproof gotcha questions to identify Who is an Islamic Terrorist Supporter. I was curious to see what he thought of my answers, and he wanted to conduct a hard hitting one-on-one interview to determine if I supported Islamic terrorism.
What follows is my complete correspondence with Dave Gaubatz. I waited until now to publish them because I wanted to be relatively certain he wasn’t going to reply to my last message. At some point I’ll write up a more thorough analysis of his statements, but until then, here’s the fully monty.
Mr. Barker,
A while back you wrote an article pertaining to one of my articles listed on Family Security Matters. (Who are terrorist supporters?)  I have always been a patriot to my country and went to war in Iraq to help the innocent Muslim people who were being abused by Saddam and in the name of Islam by Al Qaeda. I do not believe in violence against anyone.  It is the responsibility of America to punish Islamic terrorists and their supporters who target America.
I would like to interview you.  The interview will be tough, but unless you are a supporter of Islamic based terrorism you will do fine in the interview.  If you are a supporter it will come out during the interview.  Are you willing?
Dave Gaubatz
davegaubatz@gmail.com
Dave,

I’m intrigued, although hesitant, as I’m sure you can understand. Other than your book “Muslim Mafia” and your article “Who is an Islamic Terrorist Supporter?” I’m unfamiliar with your work, but the crowd you’re surrounded by doesn’t engender much good will from me. Also, I have been out of that fray for a while, focused more intensely on universal human struggles than Muslim struggles. Even the article you referenced is from 2010, and on a column I no longer update. I guess what I’m saying is I’m rusty, and I don’t feel prepared for any kind of a debate. But I am open to an honest discussion of the topic of terrorism, as long as it’s a sincere inquiry.What are the perimeters of the interview you’d like to do? Do you have a radio show? A blog? Would it be live or recorded? Would there be a time limit, or open ended? I have some concern that whatever I say will be taken out of context. I’m especially not interested in arguing about disputed historical examples. I’d much rather talk about universal principles and definitions. If we can agree to focus on a clearly defined topic, and avoid taking every tangent, and speaking over one another, I think it could be fruitful.I have devised 3 simple rules that govern my voluntary participation in a heated discussion.

1) I will never advocate the initiation of force and I will not pretend to have civil discourse with someone who advocates force against me.
2) Principles are universal. By applying a principle to others you de facto accept that the principle may be consistently applied to you.
3) Reason and evidence. I don’t entertain arguments that persist after logical fallacies or contradictions have been clearly exposed.If these rules aren’t followed, I can’t call it a civil discussion or a sincere inquiry for Truth, and life is too short. For that reason I’d like to start by discussing the article that sparked your interest in me. It was titled, “Does Dave Gaubatz support violence against me?” and though you say you do not believe in violence against anyone, based on what you’ve advocated, I suspect you won’t be able to sustain that position. So, if you agree, I’d like to begin by examining that question.
Peace
Davi
Hello Davi,
I agree with you on many points. Life is too short to argue and fight.  I like using clear evidence, not rhetoric as many do.  Based on this I like people to use specific information when saying I am advocating this or that.  Using my article about supporters of Islam my thesis was that terrorists and their supporters must be observed, and if their actions cross the line of illegaility(sic) the people and organizations advocating violence in America must be punished in accordance with the laws of the U.S. (Constitution).
Davi I have been all across the world, specifically in Islamic countries for well over 30 years, an Arabic linguist, and have personally visited over 250 mosques in America.  Many more throughout the world.  I do not use the Quran as evidence in any of my books or articles.  I use materials by Islamic scholars that are used in virtually every mosque in america.  The vast majority are Saudi backed and have a Salafist (wahhabee) background.  There is an abundance of materials that the mosques have that explain the thoughts and beliefs about Prophet Mohammed.  I was a long time U.S. Federal Agent.  I use first hand evidence only.  If I go into a mosque and there are manuals by Ali Al Timimi and the Imam is encouraging his worshippers(sic) to study the writings of Timimi, it is a red flag to me.  Timimi was arrested and convicted of advocating terrorism and jihad against America (around 2005).  If I were to go into a church and there were booklets by Timothy McVeigh, and the Preacher was encouraging his worshippers(sic) to study McVeigh’s thoughts and how a Christian should behave, this would be a red flag to anyone that violence is possible.  Why is it so hard for people to understand that if a mosque has an abundance of materials by convicted terrorists, there is a high probability violence and hatred will come from that mosque.  People who support any terrorist (Muslim or Christian) should be held accountable in the eyes of the law.  Do you agree?
To get more specific about my article I firmly believe that terrorists and their supporters should not be allowed to advocate their plans for violence in America.  Al qaeda has said over and over they desire to kill all Christians and Jews wherever they may reside.  Why should we not believe them?  If the mosques in America have materials by Al Qaeda and other terrorists, this must be stopped.  Who should stop this type action?  I believe it is up to our politicians, military, and senior law enforcement to protect our country.  Right now they are allowing violence to be advocated by Islamic leaders in America.  The american people have a right to shout loud and long to our leaders we want action taken against Islamic based terrorists and any person/organization supporting them.  Do you agree or disagree.  There has never been one article or any lecture that I have given that calls for any violence by the American people.  There have been many articles by me and many lectures were I have demanded our leaders protect our country and our children.
I do not know your background. Are you Muslim? What is your knowledge of Islam?  I am really not interested in debates and screaming at one another during a radio show.  I am interested in trying to understand why the media immediately stands up and supports organizations such as CAIR National and their hatred/violence in the name of Islam instead of supporting Americans like myself who have fought on the front lines to protect innocent Muslims and others. (I was the 1st U.S. Federal Agent in Iraq).  there is an abundance of evidence that CAIR and their supporters are aligned more with Hamas, Al qaeda, and Sharia law before they will align themselves with the U.S. Constitution.
I had mentioned I was a Federal Agent, being so, I rely on hard evidenc e(sic) only.  I encourage you to read my book.  It is based on 1st hand evidence only.  I sent a team of 5 people into CAIR National for over 6 months.  We obtained over 300 hours of video/audio and obtained over 12,000 documents CAIR was in the process of shredding that had criminal evidence against them.  CAIR has already sworn in federal court the doucments(sic) were their’s.  They have never rejected the documents in my book are innacurate(sic). Again they swore to a federal judge the documents were theirs and accurate.  I would like to ask you a few specific questions. Let me know,
Respectfully, Dave G.
I have attached a couple of articles you may not have seen.  One is an article about my work in Iraq and the innocent Muslims I saved from Al qaeda, one photo is me with Mohammed Rehaief 9Iraqi(sic) lawyer who helped save POW Jessica Lynch.  I saved his entire family from being killed by Al qaeda and Saddam forces for his helping Americans, and I sent you a copy of the title page of a manual found in numerous U.S. mosques, and written by friends of CAIT(sic).  The manual tells Muslims how to go underground if they kill U.S. law enforcement,  Do you feel this type material should be in mosques?
Gaubatz
Dave,
Whow! I couldn’t disagree more. Rhetoric is one third of the Trivium (grammar, logic, and rhetoric) which has been the foundation of rational, evidence based thinking in some form in virtually every advanced civilization. That includes Ancient Rome, the Islamic Golden Age, the European Enlightenment, the Protestant Reformation and the American Revolution. I can understand rejecting the manipulative rhetoric of pundits, but rejecting the science rhetoric itself would prevent any coherent discussion from taking place, because we could not come to common definitions of our terms. For example, before I can address any of these issues we need a common definition of terrorism.
I’ve inferred from your article that you use the definition: “groups who advocate the deaths of innocent people and the overthrow of sovereign governments.” You also list “any criminal offense” and “conviction” in your criterion. Would you say that is correct?I would dispute this definition on two grounds. First, those who advocate the death of innocent people but do not advocate the overthrow of sovereign governments, as in the KKK, are still terrorists. Second, those who advocate the overthrow of sovereign governments, but do not advocate the death of innocent people, as in Gandhi and other civil disobedients, are not terrorists.
I realize this may seem frustrating, but this is not word play. It is absolutely essential before we can move forward. Because without an objective definition all we have to go on is, “identified by the Government as terrorists” which you may have noticed includes a number or right-wing and anti-government ideologies that do not advocate the death of innocent people, as in the Sovereign Citizens. Misguided they may be. Criminal they may be. But terrorists they are not, no matter what what rhetoric the FBI uses. The FBI called trading with silver as an alternative currency “economic terrorism” in the Liberty Dollar case, which is absurd. The Governor of Florida called feeding homeless people without a permit “food terrorism” in reference to Food Not Bombs, which is utter nonsense. The city of Concord recently identified the Free State Project as a potential terrorist threat in documents filed with the DHS. The Free State Project is nothing but a caravan of libertarians to New Hampshire to get politically active, and they have publicly rejected violence as a political tool since their inception. So, while “identified by the Government as terrorists” may be a valid definition for a lawyer, it is not a valid definition for an ethicist, which is all I’m interested in.
So, here’s the definition I propose:

(the calculated use of violence, or the threat of violence, against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature; this is done through intimidation or coercion or instilling fear) ~ Princeton

Does that sound ok to you? Because I’ll be coming back to that repeatedly.

I’ve identified the following questions in your previous email:
1) People who support any terrorist (Muslim or Christian) should be held accountable in the eyes of the law. Do you agree?
2) Al Qaeda has said over and over they desire to kill all Christians and Jews wherever they may reside. Why should we not believe them?
3) If the mosques in America have materials by Al Qaeda and other terrorists, this must be stopped. Who should stop this type action?
4) Are you Muslim?
5) What is your knowledge of Islam?
6) The manual tells Muslims how to go underground if they kill U.S. law enforcement, Do you feel this type material should be in mosques?
Does this mean the interview has begun? If so, I would like to publish the correspondence, although I’m not sure where, because as I said before I don’t maintain the Examiner column anymore. If the interview has begun, I would like to establish a few things first. Namely, do you support violence against me? That’s my rule #1.
To answer this question, I propose the following thought experiment. Let’s cast you in the role of prosecutor, and me in the role of defendant. You have put forward a criterion for identifying one who supports terrorism:

1) Do you or do you know anyone/organization who promotes the ideology of Al Qaeda and other well known terrorist organizations?

2) Do you or do you know anyone/organization who provides financial support to a terrorist organizations(sic)?

3) Have you or do you know anyone who has joined a terrorist organization?

4) Have you or do you know anyone who has committed a terrorist act (any criminal offense) for a terrorist organization?

5) Have you or do you know anyone who has provided written or verbal support of a convicted terrorist?

I assume, since you have said that it is up to politicians, military, and senior law enforcement to deal with those who support terrorism, and these are all agencies of force and coercion, that you support violence against those who fail this test. So you see, our two questions are one and the same. You hope to identify whether or not I support terrorism. I hope to identify whether or not you support violence against me.So, dear prosecutor, what if I fail every one of these tests? If you accept the government’s rhetoric that Sovereign Citizens, the Free State Project, Food Not Bombs, CAIR, Wikileaks, the Occupy Movement, and the Liberty Dollar are terrorist organizations, I think I do. But I do not fit this criterion by any objective definition of terrorism, with the exception of the taxes taken from me by the coercive agencies you’ve listed.So what do you advocate be done with me? Should I be imprisoned? Deported? Shot?

Hope you can clarify.
Peace
Davi
Davi
My work has always focused on terrorists and their supporters, based on my work as a U.S. Federal Agent.  You failed to mention providing material support to terrorists.  It is very easy reading between the lines of what you write.  You are trying to show how the U.S., with our law enforcement, military, and government fall under your definition of being terrorists themselves.  For instance for America to go to war with Muslim terrorists in Iraq, Afghanistan, and to support Israel over Hamas and Palestine is somehow wrong.
I believe in U.S. law as dictated by our U.S. Constitution and not by liberal universities like Stanford, nor by anything within Sharia law.  If a person, persons, organizations likeHamas(sic), or foreign governments attack or are making plans to attack America, I believe it is our miltary(sic), law enforcement, and governments decision to counter the jihadist attacks using the least form of violence needed, but if it requires armed force by our military to control the situation I am behind them.
Davi you are very typical of most people who support the Islamic ideology, Hamas, CAIR, and Sharia law.  You like to play with words instead of just answering tough questions.  I have seen this over and over by Islamic scholars.  They are afraid of the truth and will dodge tough questions from journalists like myself.
I propose we make this easy.  You ask me any 10 questions you want to.  I don’t care what the questions are, I will answer them.  I will ask you 10 questions of my choice and you answer.  Then you can publish with any media you choose and I will have the interviews published at a media outlet of my choice.
In the mean time I will write my 10 questions and submit to you.  you can answer or not.  I will only report what you write or I will report you decided not to answer and the readers can judge for themselves if you are trying to doge the tough questions.
Hamas is designated as a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department.  Davi I have little doubt you will not answer my questions.  Why? Because based on what you have written it is very clear you are a supporter of Islamic based terrorism against Israel and any person or government that aligns itself with Israel.  I align myself with Israel, our friends, do you?
To sum all of this up either answer the 10 questions I will send, or continue hiding behind your pretty words while at the same time providing material support to Islamic based terrorist groups, Again I do not use my energy behind wasteless(sic) rhetoric, just first-hand evidence. Dave G.
MATERIAL SUPPORT: 18 U.S.C. 2339B prohibits “providing material support or resources” to an organization the Secretary of State has designated as a “foreign terrorist organization.” The material support ban was first passed as part of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA). The provision’s purpose is to deny terrorist groups the ingredients necessary for planning and carrying out attacks. Congress was concerned that terrorist organizations with charitable or humanitarian arms were raising funds within the United States that could then be used to further their terrorist activities. The provision outlawed any support to these groups, irrespective of whether that support was intended for humanitarian purposes.
Definitions of Terrorism in the U.S. Code
18 U.S.C. § 2331 defines “international terrorism” and “domestic terrorism” for purposes of Chapter 113B of the Code, entitled “Terrorism”:
“International terrorism” means activities with the following three characteristics:
  • Involve violent acts or acts dangerous to human life that violate federal or state law;
  • Appear to be intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and
  • Occur primarily outside the territorial jurisdiction of the U.S., or transcend national boundaries in terms of the means by which they are accomplished, the persons they appear intended to intimidate or coerce, or the locale in which their perpetrators operate or seek asylum.*

“Domestic terrorism” means activities with the following three characteristics:

  • Involve acts dangerous to human life that violate federal or state law;
  • Appear intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination. or kidnapping; and
  • Occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the U.S.

18 U.S.C. § 2332b defines the term “federal crime of terrorism” as an offense that:

  • Is calculated to influence or affect the conduct of government by intimidation or coercion, or to retaliate against government conduct; and
  • Is a violation of one of several listed statutes, including § 930(c) (relating to killing or attempted killing during an attack on a federal facility with a dangerous weapon); and § 1114 (relating to killing or attempted killing of officers and employees of the U.S.).

* FISA defines “international terrorism” in a nearly identical way, replacing “primarily” outside the U.S. with “totally” outside the U.S. 50 U.S.C. § 1801(c).

Dave,

I don’t appreciate being diagnosed so quickly. You said, “it is very clear you are a supporter of Islamic based terrorism against Israel and any person or government that aligns itself with Israel” referring specifically to Hamas. Yet, I have not said word one about Hamas or Israel. Just to make sure, I searched my entire archive and I have never written an article about Hamas. The only thing I’ve ever written about Hamas was in the comments section of an article years ago where I praised a woman who publicly defied the dictates of Hamas by smoking hookah in a public cafe. I called her heroic and courageous. To label me a supporter of a terrorist organization (make no mistake, Hamas absolutely fits the definition of terrorism I provided) with absolutely no evidence, is a despicable thing to do. But worse, you have done this based solely on a generalization you’ve drawn from other Muslims you’ve apparently spoken to.I am agreeing to this correspondence because I have decided to regard you as an individual. I have decided not to judge you according to other patriots I have spoken to, and to hear you speak for yourself. And whether I agree or disagree with you, to sincerely attempt to understand how you think.I expect the same courtesy.

I completely acknowledge and empathize with your need for security, as well the security of the people of Israel… and Iraq, and Afghanistan, and China, and Africa. All humans everywhere have a need for security, and I have no desire to infringe upon that need. But I also have a need for security, and you are not meeting that need for me.

You may come from a “thank-you-for-your-service” culture, but I don’t. When someone brags about their soldiering and their experience as a Federal Agent I experience that as a red flag, and very nearly as a threat. Here’s how the dominoes fall in my head. You have said that those who support terrorism should be dealt with by the police and military. The police and military are agencies of violence. Now you have labeled me a supporter of Hamas, a terrorist organization, which I am not, and never have been. Those facts lead irreconcilably to the conclusion that you believe I should be dealt with by the police and military, by violence. A to B. B to C. Ergo A to C. Based on no evidence, you have convicted me, and being a former Federal Agent I imagine there are phone calls you can make to unjustly make my life a living hell. This does not meet my need for security. That was rule number 1 in my first email. I don’t threaten you, and you don’t threaten me, or I don’t participate.

I’m sorry if you find it frustrating or dodgy, but I can’t answer your questions if I don’t understand your terms. If you believe the Princeton definition of terrorism describes the US government that’s interesting, but not at all relevant to this discussion. I am only trying to understand your definition for terrorism, so I can answer your questions. Thank you for providing it. I have a few reservations about that definition, but it may be sufficient for the scope of this discussion. I’ll use that definition for the remainder of this correspondence.

If you want to limit yourself to 10 questions that’s perfectly fine with me, but I was gearing for an ongoing discussion just as long as you needed to feel satisfied. My whole purpose in listing your questions was to acknowledge that they had been received, that I was not ignoring them, and I would get back to them. That’s part of my training in active listening. I’m willing to answer as many tough questions as you have, so long as you answer mine, but I feel like mine has been repeatedly ignored.

I don’t need 10 questions. I have just one. Do you support state violence against me for what I advocate? Now, I think that question warrants some time investigating what I advocate before you answer, but maybe not. So, if you could address my domino scenario above, and give me a clear “yes” or “no” with explanation, I’ll be satisfied, and we can continue.

Perhaps we are failing to communicate because of the medium of email. If you’d like to bring the discussion into real time I’d like to have it hosted by a third party, so that I can be assured an objective record, and a moderator to keep the discussion on topic and civil. I asked Derrick J Freeman, host of Peace News Now, and he’s willing to host it as a special edition of his show. I frequently go on his show to talk about Bitcoin news. He is neither a Muslim nor a Patriot. He is a voluntaryist libertarian, and he has training in mediation. If that’s not agreeable I have other alt-media contacts I could ping. Let me know what you think.Peace,
Davi

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  1. Ibrahim Y M

    I do not believe that Phillip subscribes to Davi’s use of euphemism in referring to the “will of the people” or “our republic.” This is because Phillip buys into the idea that the “Republic” actually reflects the “will of the people” through the institutions of the representative democracy that is the “republic” of the United States of America. From the very early beginnings of the Committees of Correspondence through the Confederation to the Constitutional Republic of today the nature of these organizations were never representative of the “Will of the People” but rather representative of the “Will of the Enfranchised.” From the earliest days the ‘Will of the People” was mostly limited to White Anglo-Saxon Protestant Land holders. A through reading of the Federalist Papers, the correspondences between Jefferson, Madison and Adams reveals a heated debate over allowing “Papists(Catholics), Jews and gasp even Mohatmodeans (Muslims)” the full rights of citizenship.
    The original Constitution of the United States allowed the states to make such determinations of citizenship rights based on any criteria. The Bill of Rights, including the First Amendment that prohibited the establishment of religious preference by the state came into effect on December 15, 1791, five years after the ratification of the U.S. Constitution. But even with this “Bill of Rights” a good 40% of the population of “Our Republic” where not only excluded from citizenship but where subject to the most horrible state of slavery known in the history of mankind and many of the “Founding Fathers” where slave holders including George Washington.
    So at the time of writing the preamble of the Constitution of the United States, the opening phrase of “We the People of the United States” was indeed a euphemism for “We the Enfranchised Land Owning White Anglo-Saxon Protestant People of the United States.” There is no way around the historical facts surrounding the founding of “Our Republic”. And today “Our Republic” is a euphemism for the “Banking Industry, Military Industrial Complex and Other powerful Special Interest Groups Republic”.
    To summarize my point (and perhaps Davi’s as well) The Will of the People is a euphemism that puts a pretty face on the reality of a republic owned and run by a very inflexible aristocracy. For Stephan or any others who hold on to this idea that “Our Republic” is waging a righteous and holy war against terrorists to accept such a possibility would begin the unraveling of the clouds and mirrors that surround them. Then they might see the nuclear nightmare diplomacy and aggression being waged as the “Will of the People.”

    1. Phillip Slepian

      Ibrahim is correct in terms of what I “buy into”. The basic concept of one person, one vote would indeed provide a representative democracy. Was it perfect from the beginning? Of course not. It’s not perfect now, and never will be. Yes, slavery, as implemented in the United States, ran counter to ideas set forth in the Declaration of Independence. So, too, did restrictions on women’s voting rights. Both of these issues have been resolved completely at this point. And the idea that only land owners could vote does make some sense. In today’s America, it has been suggested that only those who pay Federal taxes ought to be able to vote. The simple logic there is that those who only receive from the treasury will always vote for representatives who will place an ever heavier tax burden on the tax payers to provide ever more free stuff and money from the treasury. But that’s not really on topic.

      I don’t know if you eschew voting as does Davi, Ibrahim, but if you do, then I can see why you feel our republic is under the control of the “Banking Industry, Military Industrial Complex and Other powerful Special Interest Groups”. If you don’t vote, it might seem that way, but board members of these groups only have one vote each, just as you do.

      As I have commented, I don’t like where this nation seems headed. And I would never suggest our republic is perfect. But, even when my candidates loose, and even when Congress enacts legislation with which I disagree, I accept that as the will of the people, who elect Congress. Does money buy influence? Of course. But that, too, is an expression of liberty, and those in Congress who are influenced by lobbyists can always be voted out of office. The fact that they are not indicates that their constituents are not displeased with their actions, or don’t care enough to vote, like Davi. And like Davi, I don’t see where you provide an alternative to the republic that is viable and is equiped to protect the rights of its (non-Muslim) citizens.

      I am not sure I understand your last paragraph, Ibrahim. The “terrorists” – Islamic Jihadists, have declared a “defensive” war on the United States in “defense” of Islam. To strike back at jihadists is common sense, unless we desire to surrender and become an Islamic republic. But most Americans who support action against jihadists do not see it as a holy war, but merely a war to defend our republic. Nobody I am familiar with is seriously suggesting nuclear first-strikes aghainst terrorists. However, there are many Islamic leaders who speak of the importance of nuclear weapons in the service of jihad. Pot, kettle. Not to worry, Ibrahim, there are no clouds or mirrors surrounding me. I read, I listen, and I am informed much more than the typical American, and much more than most Muslims would like. Liberty can be bitch sometimes. Let the ad hominem attacks begin!!

      1. IbrahimYM

        A viable alternative to our Republic? In the present context of the global situation I have to admit I am with you on that one, there is no functional alternative to pint to. From Plato to Locke to Jefferson and Adams to Marx we still do not seem to have gotten our acts together. At least from a Euro-centric point of view. I could refer back to the Khlifah Rashidoon which a good historical study by you might raise your eyebrows, but in light of the hijacking of Islamic thought and jurisprudence into the horrid reality today of those who have given up any resemblance to what the Qur’an teaches but instead preach death and destruction fisabil Allah take away any context in a 21st century context.
        But let me give you a history of Terrorists….when I was juming paddies in Thua Thien the terrorists where commie slopes….. during the 80s it was Bader Meinhoff in Germany and the Red Brigades in Itally. Terrorists are always those who are opposing so called legitimate governments.
        But getting back to Islamic Jihadists…..I am reading the same news you are…I see what ISIS is doing in Iraq…they are a natural progression of what Al-Qaeda was….And Al-Qaeda was the creation of American intelligence agencies that got off the leash. Kind of like a virulent weaponized virus that got out of the target area and has mutated into something beyond what the envisioners planned. Though on closer examination I can see that ISIS might still be doing the work of their masters in that they are definitely destabilizing the Maliki government in Iraq A goal that some in the western think tanks feel is a valuable attack on Iranian infuelnce in the area…
        But if you buy into the trash talk of those who try to sell the “They hate our way of life and freedoms” then you really have to widen your breadth of study and get out of the house more
        I have been Muslim most of my life except for a stint of rebellion in my teens and early 20s .I grew up in America and have been involved in many aspects and viewpoints of politico-economic-social theories. I realize that many ‘Muslims scholars’ preach an amalgam of hate and ignorance Ever listen to a fire breathing Baptist evangelist preach his brand of hate and ignorance….no one has a monopoly on these two qualities.
        You said “I am not sure I understand your last paragraph, Ibrahim. The “terrorists” – Islamic Jihadists, have declared a “defensive” war on the United States in “defense” of Islam”
        You need context, Brother, Context. Islam covers a third of the world; do you really think that any set of ‘Islamic Jihadists’ talk for all of us or even a majority of us? And do you think that this is really a war in defense of Islam???
        It’s a war of domination and control of resources. It just happens that most of these resources are in lands that are overwhelmingly Muslim in their populations. And if you understood the psyche of Islamic Society you would understand that even the defense of hearth and home in an Islamic society requires the belief that such a defense is in the name of God and not in the name of personal gain or retaliation. But we both know the personal gain and retaliation still play a major position despite my desire for it to be otherwise. People are People.
        And if you are considering throwing out the “they have been at war for thousands of year” as an overused axiom that supposedly indicates a truth about the Middle East, I might remind you that from even before the advent of Alexander the Great, the Western Euopean culter (Hellenic-Celtic…whatever) have also been at war continuously without end.
        And in Modern Times? Islam has no history of a “Court of Inquisition”, Jewish and Huegenot pograms, and definitely no history like that produced by the European Colonial powers that eventually led to Nazi Germany. But the American Republic holds the crown in historical genocide and rabidity. Historians estimate that the North American continent held nearly 18 million Native Americans at the time of Jamestown and Plymouth Rock. Normally, populations grow devoid of any all encomapassing natural disaster like an Ice Age….during the late 1800s the native American population was down to less than a million. Today they have recovered to near 4-5 million. This amounts to the greatest genocide in the history of humankind.
        No matter where Islam spread you will find the native populations still intact and in charge. This might indicate a difference in philosophies and culture…eh?
        Given all that I have said above, I till, like Phillip see the American Republic the best alternative on the globe for those who live here. But that is rapidly changing before our very eyes. Phillip still thinks that our national and state elections truly represent one vote for one person….He leaves out the fact that our voting choices are constrained by non-democratic forces.
        Do any of you actually think that Obama really came out of nowhere and was elected by publiuc will?? He was groomed to be the soma that America needed after the Bush-Cheney show. But while he claimed to be a beacon of change and a return to civilization Gitmo remained open. Drone killings expanded to the point of killing American Citizens without judicial process. Yes, you could make the case that these where Terrorists killing Americans…but that case was never made. That is a point that most Americans overlook or plain just don’t care because they were Mooozlims….
        Now the law has progressed to the point that the white house can drone Americans right here in America without any due process. And a host of other laws have been enacted or presidential orders that completely circumvent the constitution that defines our beloved American Republic.
        WAKE UP AMERICA…There is a monster on the loose….and it is not wearing a turban…

        1. Phillip Slepian

          IbrahimYM: I get the context, but it is irrelevant. Not all Germans were Nazis. Not all Japanese supported the emperor. It made no difference. If only 10% (and I wager it is higher) of all Muslims are Jihadists (whether violent or pre-violent, like the Muslim Brotherhood), that is a formidable force of 130 million Jihadists. I cannot wish them away, or ignore them because the other 90% might not support them (and I wager here, too, that many millions of Muslims who are not Jihadists do indeed support Jihad against infidels). I would never suggest that someone speaks for you unless you tell me that they do. But there are many Jihadists who claim to speak for all of Islam, whether they do actually or not. And I see precious few like you standing up to the Jihadists in any meaningful way. Who are the leaders of the anti-Jihadi Muslims? What is the name of some of their organizations? They are almost insignificant when placed in the context of the very visible, aggressive, and vocal Jihadist leaders who claim to speak and act in the name of Islam. The reason I placed “defensive” in quotes is because it is indeed a war of offense against dar el-harb. But the leaders of Jihad often refer to it as a defensive war, in the sense that they are defending Islam’s right to conquer the world.

          I agree that warfare is a natural state of mankind. And it will continue to be so in spite of many U.S. politicians who think they can wish peace on the world and have it become a reality. Sadly for the Obama’s of the world, peace is not achieved with appeasement, weakness, endless speeches, and wishful thinking. It is achieved when your enemies fear you sufficiently enough that they avoid provoking you into war.

          Your attempt at painting America as a genocidal culture is a complete failure. Most of the Native Americans who died did so as a result of disease, not slaughter. Such is not the case for those who fell trying to repel the Arabian Islamic invaders in the seventh and eighth centuries, or the millions of victims of Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot and Mao. Their genocides dwarf anything the United States has ever done. And I would also assert that while the goals of many of these tyrants was, by their own admission, to wipe out a religious or political group, that was never the intention or stated goal of the United States.

          I don’t agree that our candidate choices are limited by non-democratic factors, Ibrahim. I think Eric Cantor’s stunning defeat is an example of what can happen when voters are motivated. There are always challenges, and there are groups who try to limit our political choices, but ultimately they cannot succeed in this in the long run. I am sure many thought that slavery would never be abolished because of all of the non-democratic factors that worked to preserve it. But it eventually did get abolished. It didn’t happen overnight. The will of the people in our Republic can sometimes be held at bay temporarily, but not indefinitely.

          I agree with you about Obama – the Manchurian President . But I think that the ability to fool the voters is not without limits. Obama’s falling popularity is proof of that. And I also agree that both Bush and especially Obama failed to make the case for Gitmo and targeted killings to the American People. Reagan made the case against the USSR quite well, and Bush started off on the right path after 9-11, even if he lost his will to make a case against the Jihadists later on. And the failure of both to make a case against allowing Iran to go nuclear will come back to hurt the United States in the future, and perhaps fatally so.

          I do agree that government has way overstepped its boundaries, and that goes for both Democrats and Republicans. What we have to accept is that life is not safe. Government cannot guarantee our safety without taking away our liberty. It might be able to protect us from foreign and domestic threats on a large scale, but life is full of risks that cannot be avoided if we are to remain free people.

          But you are mistaken if you think our only danger is big government. The Jihadist threat is real. The infiltration into every aspect of our government, and both parties, by Muslim Brotherhood operatives is real. And the combined forces of big government in league with the Ikhwan will forever change our nation into something that I, for one, would not want to live in.

  2. Phillip Slepian

    I am not familiar with either Gaubatz’s or Davi’s works. However, after reading this, I have two observations:

    1. Davi’s proposed definition of terrorism is interesting, in that it does not require the civilians being targeted or intimidated to be “innocent” civilians. The insertion of the word “innocent” has been frequently abused to redifine civilians as only those compliant with sharia law. If Davi is willing to forgo the “innocent” civilian canard, that is genuine progress, indeed, and commendable.

    2. Gaubatz and Davi seem highly focused on violence or the threat of violence as the manifestation of terrorism. While that may be accurate, both ignore what I feel is a larger threat to the Western world, and the United States in particuar: The Gradualism adopted by CAIR and other pro-sharia groups who are careful to operate, mostly, within the law. Gradualism, the notion of gradually using the laws of the host nation to slowly gain acceptance of sharia, and eventually replace existing law with sharia law, has scored numerous successes world-wide, so much so that Al Qaida has taken note, and is beginning to transition from a violent terrorist group to a more CAIR-like organization promoting a more stealthy form of jihad. Those who value the American way of life are deeply concerned about the use of gradualism. It is much harder to counter, since it stays mainly within the law, yet the end result will be the accomplishment of Al Qaida’s goals.

    1. Davi Barker

      I just took the Princeton definition verbatim, so credit to them if you think it’s some great progress. Whether or not “innocent” belongs in the definition is interesting, but I think it’s implied. I’ve seen definitions that include “non combatant” instead of “civilian” which has some merit. But whatever. To use “innocent” as a loop hole for the those not obeying sharia law is absurd on multiple levels. Firstly, why would Princeton use the term that way? Secondly, the term becomes meaningless, because no Muslim is completely compliant with sharia law anyway.

      As for violence and the threat of violence, I think it’s important to keep in mind that laws are enforced by violence and threats of violence. So if you’re advocating laws you’re advocating violence and threats of violence. As for gradualism, or stealth jihad, or whatever complaints people have about theocrats working within the system, I got no sympathy for them, because 9 times out of 10 they’re also theocrats trying to use legal means to impose their values on other people.

      1. Phillip Slepian

        Regarding the definition, I was referring more to how numerous spokesmen claiming to represent various Muslim groups define terror. They always seem to condemn violence against “innocent civilians”. Rarely are they asked to define what “innocent civilians” are, but when pressed, the definition usually does not include anyone who, in their view, eschews sharia and rejects Islam. Therefore, violence is only wrong when used against those these spokesmen define as innocent, i.e., good Muslims. Of course, the Princeton definition would not be concerned with such issues.

        The Rule of Law is only anathema to anarchists. If there is to be order in society, and the rights of the indivduals safeguarded, there must be enforceable laws passed by a body of elected representatives – our republic. Under ideal conditions, those who respect the rights of others need fear no violence from those who enforce those laws.

        I believe we’re in partial agreement on theocrats, although I do recognize the Christian roots of the republic, and feel that the morality of the nation ought to be informed by something other than humanist notions of fairness. My bigger objection is to those who would replace our Judeo-Christian based laws and moral codes with laws and moral codes based on sharia.

        1. Davi Barker

          Maybe I’ve just lost the thread, but I don’t see how you’re disagreeing with what I said at all. I didn’t say anything about something being anathema to anything, which is a value statement. I merely said what things are. Laws are enforced by violence, or threats of violence, objectively, which you seem to accept. Even the rights respecting person who need fear no violence from law enforcement still lives day to day under the threat of violence if they disobey law which have no baring on people’s rights. In fact, I’d say that describes me exactly. I have no desire to violate anyone’s individual rights, to infringe upon their life or property, yet day to day I live under constant threat that if I don’t conduct my perfectly peaceful, voluntary and rights respecting activities according to their permits, regulations, taxes and arbitrary prohibitions that law enforcement will be at my door.

          In other words, as a believer in the Rule of Law (the modern usage, not the classic one), you de facto support violence, or the threat of violence from law enforcement, against civilians, in order to attain the political goals of order in society and the rights of the individual.

          I’ve never heard a single Muslim spokesmen sneak around the definition of terrorism that way. In fact my greatest frustration whenever I watch people discussing it is that most of the time no one on either side of a debate or anywhere on a panel actually puts forward a definition. I suspect that’s why Gaubatz was so unprepared to be asked for one. Maybe you can link me to an example where a Muslim spokesmen defines “innocent civilian” as only including Muslims, because I have never seen that, and I follow this stuff pretty closely.

        2. Davi Barker

          In case it wasn’t clear, the classical usage of “rule of law” was that no class in society was exempted from the law, usually referring to natural law. In modern usage “rule of law” has come to mean that the letter of the law will rule, meaning whatever is written in the statutes, regardless of its relation to natural law, or its exempted classes, will stand until repealed. I inferred from usage that you meant the second. Correct me if I’m wrong.

        3. Phillip Slepian

          Davi – In reply to your December 11th post:

          I would not argue that every law on the books in the USA makes perfect sense in the context of civil rights. However, the republic’s system of representative government and law making contains both the ingredients for laws that overstep the constitution and processes for remedying those oversteps. Your post implied that where the laws of the state, in your judgement, do not exist to protect and preserve liberty and civil rights, one ought to be able to ignore them without threat of violence from law enforcement. But in a republic, laws are only made by elected representatives of the voters. These same elected representatives can change or revoke laws as easily as they enact them. The intent of the founding fathers was to have an independent court that would not allow laws to stand that violated the constitution absent a constitutional amendment. You may see the requirement to register your automobile as an example of laws that have nothing to do with civil rights or freedom, but the arguement can be made that this requirement protects the freedom of other drivers to use the same roads as you without having their lives and property threatened by your potentially dangerous unregistered vehicle. Not the best example, but one that popped into my head.

          Yes, I believe that if a person is acting in an unlawful manner, and refuses verbal orders by others or law enforcement to cease such behavior, force may be used to subdue the person. What would be your alternative, Davi? Anarchy?

          As for the idea of qualifying who is “innocent” within an Islamic context, I refer you to this excellent piece by Mark Durie, a Fellow at the Middle Eastern Forum: http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/3771/violence-islamic-texts

        4. Phillip Slepian

          Regarding your definition of the Rule of Law, yes. I mean both the concept of equality before the law (no exempt classes), as well as the Rule of Law as the antithesis of anarchy.

        5. Davi Barker

          Forgive me if this is obvious. But you’re argument sounds exactly like your objection.

          These alleged Muslim leaders condemn violence against “innocent” civilians, but define innocent and compliant with their conception of law. Similarly, you’re justifying legal violence against the guilty, and guilty is defined as the non compliant with your conception of law.

          Seems like an ominous parallel.

        6. Phillip Slepian

          Not obvious at all. Those who violate the laws of the republic are violating laws that come from the people, not from a religious edict, dictator, or foreign entity. Nor are they violating MY conception of the law. They are violating the laws that reflect the will of the people. The elephant in the room of your point is that sharia is NOT the law of the land in the United States. Therefore, one may be objectively defined as innocent even if he does not comply with sharia. If that same person violates the laws of the republic, however, he is only presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Remember, I am addressing these points stricly within the context of the United States, its government, and its laws, not in some universal Islamic context.

        7. Davi Barker

          Forgive my ignorance, but those all sound like religious statements to me. And strikingly similar to statements made by Muslim theocrats I’ve spoken with.

        8. Phillip Slepian

          I fail to see your point, Davi. “Religious” statements, I think, imply a divine source. Allah as the source for sharia, God as the source for Torah, and Jesus as the source for Christian doctrine, for examples. The laws of the republic, while informed by the morality of the Judeo-Christian tradition, are made by men, not a divine source. Yes, the problem with man-made laws is that, by definition, they are subjective and subject to change by other men. That is why I accept the Christian foundation of our republic – its lends the laws of the republic a basis which is not man-made, and therefore exempt from the whims of men who would seek to deny equality under the law and liberty. The laws exist to protect the rights we are endowed with by our Creator, as the Declaration of Independence says.

          The crucial difference is that the Constitution, while working to protect our God-given rights, extends those rights to those of other religions, or no religion, on the same basis that the right to believe otherwise is one of those God-given rights. Even the atheist must accept that the United States is governed by the Judeo-Christian principles that liberty and civil rights are considered to be God-given. Sharia law, on the other hand, is premised on the notion that no other religious group (or class) is the equal of the Muslim class, and that inequality is enforced by law in the Islamic state. In fact, beyond the tolerated minorities of Jews and Christians, infidels have no rights in a sharia-based society. And even these dhimmi classes have severely limited civil rights and unique obligatory penalties owed to the state. Absolutely no equality before the law. That is the underlying issue which precludes sharia from being compatible with the Constitution.

        9. Davi Barker

          That’s interesting. Something must be lost in translation. I don’t mean to say that it’s of divine origin. I mean that you believe in and refer to a number of intangibles, and further expect others, by force if necessary, to also believe in, and comply with, those intangibles. For example “The Will Of The People.” It’s a euphemism. A phantom. It’s an abstraction of an aggregate, and you subscribe to a worldview, a belief, a civic religion which says that it must be obeyed, and one who does not obey, even without violating any natural individual right, is guilty and deserving of punishment.

          I don’t subscribe to that civic religion. I don’t believe it to be the law of the land. I don’t acknowledge it’s claim to legitimacy, nor it’s title to my life and property. I view it as wayward religion. A collective hallucination. Unfortunately many of those hallucinating are armed, and they most certainly do exist, and for my disbelief many would have me suffer whatever the civic equivalent of being burned for heresy or blasphemy.

        10. Phillip Slepian

          I don’t think you completely understand my points, Davi. I don’t consider the laws enacted by Congress to be intangibles, euphemisms or anything other than just that: Laws enacted by elected members of Congress. This is the basic function of of our Republic. Since Congress is elected by the people, their actions, ideally, should reflect the will of the people. Thus, the laws they enact reflect the will of the people. The courts have the ability to make sure that, if the will of the people leads to laws being enacted that conflict with the constitution, they can be struck down. I fail to understand why you deny that laws enacted by a freely elected Congress don’t, at least nominally, reflect the will of the people who voted for the Congressmen.

          Yes, because I am not an anarchist, I believe that, in a true republic, the laws are just, and it is the civic duty of citizens of the republic to obey those laws or pay the consequences via the justice system. You have spent a lot of time attempting to define my alliegance to the laws of the republic, but precious little time describing your own alternative. Inquisitive minds want to know!

          Trust me, Davi, I am hardly pleased with the trends in our country, and I am very pessimistic about the future, although probably for reasons quite different than your own. However, when discussing the basic concepts of our republic, its Constitution, and the attempts it makes to safeguard our liberty and property, I strongly feel (to paraphrase Ben Franklin) that ours is the worst system of government possible, except for all the others. What does your ideal system of government look like, Davi? Anarchism? Sharia? I am highly curious.

        11. Phillip Slepian

          No, the Will of the People is not an intangible. It is quantifyable, since it is based on the principle of one man, one vote. While there will always be those whose views do not reflect a majority of the people’s views, the notion of the republic requires those to abide by the will of the majority, with the provision that none of the individual’s rights and liberties, as specified in the constitution, are violated. That’s why our elected officials swear to uphold the constitution. Have there been abuses? Sure. Eminent domain has and is being terribly abused in an unconstitutional way. That does not mean the republic is invalid. It means that the people have elected representatives that are not honoring their pledges to uphold the constitution. And this is one of the great challenges facing America today.

          You don’t vote, so, actually, your opinion doesn’t matter. Not saying this to be nasty, but, suppose millions of people who agree with you also don’t vote. If all of you did vote, you could, possibly, elect one of your own as your representative. But your explanations indicate that you clearly support anarchy. The votes I cast are not a way I try to force my will on others. The votes I cast (I can’t speak for others) are intended to elect true conservatives who will honor the constitution and its strict limits on the Federal government. Barry Goldwater once said that the only laws the Congress ought to pass at this point (and he was writing in 1960), ought to be laws reducing the size of the Federal government. I agree with that, and vote my concience. Unlike you, I actually believe the constitution has the capability to safeguard the kind of liberty you desire. Sadly, the constitution has been shoved aside, and today exists only as a vague reference, not as law.

          I understand your disenfranchisement, Davi. I feel that way a bit myself. But I don’t think the answer is the overthrow of the government and the devolution into anarchy. Can you name any society in history in which anarchy was able to protect the rights and liberties of the individual? Of course you can’t. Society, to be peaceful and respectful of the rights and liberties of the individual, needs order. And order must be enforced if there are those who are willing to violate that order. In your system, with no government, no rules, and no law enforcement, everyone is free to deprive weaker people of their rights and property. Is that a just system? Prior to the Judeao-Christian tradition of freedom within an ordered, organized society, people were ruled almost exclusively by tyrants, who had absolute power, and their subjects had no rights to liberty or property. The strong oppressed the weak. It was universally accepted that this was the natural state of things. Through the Judeo-Christian tradition, society transformed into what we have as Western democracy, with individual rights endowed by a higher power than the guy with the best armory. True, these democracies often deteriorate into tyranny. And that is what the founding fathers were trying to avoid. Clearly, they failed in creating the durable delicate balance needed to preserve our rights without deteriorating into tyranny, which is underway now.

          The very nature of our liberty is that there is no monolithic America that is all of one voice and one thought. But your alternative would look more like Somalia, with tribes of warlords fighting each other for resources, than some OWS utopia where everyone sings kumbaya together. History has many examples of revolutionaries who hated the current system, but gave little thought to what would come after their revolution. Czarist Russia is a wonderful example. Do you think the revolutionaries in Russia wanted a murderer like Stalin to replace the Czar? The KGB? The unequal priviledges of Communist Party members? Of course not. They only knew they hated the Czar, and wanted him out. Surely, anything else would be better, right? It wasn’t. And the same fate awaits revolutionaries like you, unless you first come up with a workable alternative to our republic. In fact, I think your revolution would create the vacuum that the Jihadists dream about, and they will quickly fill the void and bring the order demanded by the victims of your revolution, in form of sharia. Or, is that the point?

        12. Davi Barker

          But see… those are euphemisms. “The Will of the People” is an intangible. It doesn’t displace water. It has no melting temperature. It has no place on the periodic table, and it casts no gravitational well. It can’t even really be measured. The closest approximation to being measured is an election, which suggests that congress enjoys the support of the majority. And the second closest approximation to being measured is an opinion poll, which suggests that congress enjoys the support of about 6%. Pretty intense margin for error there.

          As a thought experiment, suppose “The Will of the People” was that voting was a waste of time. How would that manifest in this Republic? I don’t vote. I don’t believe in it. I don’t believe I have the authority, nor the qualifications to cast a ballot dictating how you live your life. So in what sense do those doing the dictating represent me? It’s all smoke and mirrors.

          “Our Republic” is a pretty intense euphemism. It implies that somehow we have some ownership in this system, when in reality the exact opposite is true. The Republic owns you, at least those in charge believe they do. “A True Republic” is even more of an intangible, because one has never truthfully existed. We may as well be talking about True Communism, or True Scotsmen. There is an America of the mind that you believe in. Words on paper like verses of scripture. Promises left to us by our progenitors. I used to believe in it to, but when I looked for it in reality I couldn’t find it. It was intangible.

          I’m not proposing an alternative. I have no obligation to. Abolitionists have no obligation to explain what the slaves will do when they are free. I just want to live in reality, and I want more people to live in reality with me. I believe Ben Franklin was right (although I think it’s a paraphrase of Wiston Churchill). This is the worst system of government, except for all the others, and as bad as it is, I’m ready to try something new. If “Anarchy” scares you, keep your Constitution and your Republic. But when the free of mind demand to be free in body, I hope you’re no cheering when your Republic uses your tax dollars to kill innocent people who won’t obey.

  3. Sulayman F

    Good job! Gaubatz is a crazy person, and you made short work of him with clear points and sound logic.

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