Dr. Richard L. Benkin is a human rights activist who most often finds himself battling America’s and Israel’s enemies. He is the foremost advocate fighting to stop the ethnic cleansing of Hindus by Islamists and their fellow travelers in Bangladesh. He earlier secured the release of an anti-jihadi journalist and stopped an anti-Israel conference at an official Australian statehouse. For more information, go to InterfaithStrength.com orForcefield.
Few Americans are aware of the potentially earth-shaking events currently unfolding in India. The left-center Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, which has ruled India for all but eight of its 67 years of national existence, is about to be voted out of power in favor of the conservative opposition under the leadership of Narendra Modi. As Chief Minister of Gujarat, Modi turned his state into a pro-business economic miracle that accounts for 72 percent of India’s new jobs and has its lowest unemployment rate.
That’s the good news. The bad news is that we might be shooting ourselves in the foot.
Sometimes, we Americans laugh at announcements to watch for suspicious behavior and unattended bags at airports and in other public places; but in India, where serious terrorist attacks have been no stranger, we just saw very clearly how seriously we should take these calls.
India- India was knocked on its heels yesterday by two terrorist blasts in the southern city of Hyderabad. The bombs were timed to explode consecutively beginning at 7 p.m. local time at two crowded sites in the city of 7 million people. At this point, there are 20 killed and 30 injured, but those numbers are expected to grow.
It seems that the United States is not the only country with officials on the left who believe that they can continue their uncontrolled spending so long as they define their wealthy citizens’ “fair share” high enough. Writing in the Times of India, columnist Lubna Kably, calls that “democratic theft.” Her piece, “Don’t Punish High Earners,” is a response to Finance Minister P. Chidambaram’s suggestion of a higher tax burden on “high net worth individuals (HNIs).” Suggestions like these in India are either trial balloons or more likely preludes to government dicta already in the works.
India—Indian Conservatives are about to do what US Conservatives refused to do for the last eight years. During the 2008 and 2012 primaries, Conservatives were split over what kind of Conservative to nominate. One faction insisted on someone identified unambiguously as a Conservative who would eschew compromise on the gamut of issues associated with the right.
The 2012 election results convinced me that we—Conservatives—are in the minority, at least among those who voted this year. It did not, however, convince me that Big Brother socialism and more government will solve our problems at home; and it did not convince me that US weakness and pandering to our enemies will solve our problems abroad. While, like so many of us, I went into a bit of a shell after the vote and avoided politics and partisanship; events are unfolding too fast and too deadly to let us pretend that they have nothing to do with what happened on Tuesday, November 6.
I have been pouring over the numbers in this “too-close-to-call” election for some time and am ready to confidently call it. We begin with the 40 states plus the District of Columbia where the winner is no longer in doubt (and for some have never been in doubt). For Barack Obama, they are California, New York, Illinois, New Jersey, Washington, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, Connecticut, Oregon, New Mexico, Maine, Rhode Island, Hawaii, Delaware, DC, and Vermont.
The flames have subsided though the smoke and anger remain. The Obama administration has made it clear through its inaction that there will be no response to the murder of its ambassador. Empty threats and assurances of justice never realized do not count as deeds; nor do belated actions carried out months later for political reasons.
While people’s attention necessarily remains focused on the 2012 election and the domestic issues that animate it, leftist academics are moving at break neck speed in their efforts to poison young minds the world over against the United States. I had a chance to see and confront that head on during a recent trip to India when I was invited to address a seminar at Gautam Buddha University (GBU). The title, “The Marginalized and Excluded in Society,” suggested the same leftist tinge that most academic exercises have, but I had reason to hope that this one would be different.
Okay, we have heard it again and again since President Barack Obama’s May 19 speech on the Middle East. The President’s backers keep telling us that he added nothing new when in that speech he said that a Mideast peace agreement would be based on the 1967 Israeli borders with “mutually agreed land swaps.” This, they told us, has been the position of virtually everyone involved in peace negotiations and certainly of US presidents going back to Jimmie Carter. Contrary to what their scrambling apologetics are trying to cover, Obama’s speech moved the needle on US Mideast policy further towards a pro-Palestinian tilt than those who voted for him in 2008 ever imagined.
Americans of all ages and political stripes were in the streets on May 1 cheering, waving the flag, and chanting “USA, USA!” They were out all night—some of them mere children when the September 11th terror attacks changed our nation forever—to celebrate the killing of the man behind those attacks: Osama Bin Laden. At a time of bitter partisanship, no one saw this as anything but an American victory—an operation that began under President George W. Bush and culminated under President Barack Obama.
The plight of the Bangladeshi Hindus originally drew me to West Bengal, and their deteriorating situation keeps me coming back to areas where I can meet with the victims in their semi-licit and semi-safe havens. Unfortunately, throughout much of India’s fourth most populous state, even Hindus native to the country cannot expect basic legal protections from police and other authorities. While some have offered various explanations for this injustice, we shall let them argue over that and not let political wrangling divert us from the heart of the matter: real people whose victimization and lack of protection trump any political justifications, theoretical arguments, and disingenuous defenses raised in an attempt to deny the reality.
Jihad has come to India. The Obama administration and the State Department will tell you that it is nothing more than isolated acts by individuals. The government in New Delhi will say you are stirring up anti-Muslim sentiment. The mainstream media will ask how you can say that when we are hearing nothing about it from them. But it is real, and it is happening now. I have seen it first-hand. The Obama administration’s studied denial will find us caught as flat-footed in India as we were in Lebanon, Egypt, Libya, and elsewhere. The difference is that India is an economic and military giant, with nuclear weapons, and could be a cornerstone of any effective fight against radical Islam.
A big question on many minds the day after last week’s election was whether its results will bring cooperation among Democrats and Republicans to move America forward or gridlock and a lack of progress; but there is a more important question that must be answered first: Will House and Senate Tea Party activists and Republican moderates be able to find common ground and thereby provide an effective antidote to the Obama Administration’s program of big government and higher taxes.
Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois is the Democrats’ Number Two guy in the Senate; and if Harry Reid goes down to defeat as many expect, he will be Number One. As Majority Whip and one of President Barak Obama’s most vocal supporters, Durbin was also a leading exponent of Obamacare. We might wonder, however, if he would hold the same position if he did not have the “special” health care policies he and his colleagues will continue to enjoy while we are left with their gift of Obamacare.
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