A commentary by
By Chuck Baldwin
June 14, 2002
(Used by Chuck Baldwin's permission on CR's Range)
Even if they refuse to acknowledge it, everyone in this administration knows that America's chief enemy in the "war on terrorism" is militant Islam. The intrinsic problem associated with this "war" is that many within the GOP, including President G. W. Bush, have long-standing ties to a variety of Muslim alliances.
The Wall Street Journal recently reported that "Two weeks after his agents raided the offices of several Islamic charities and businesses suspected of financing terrorism, Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill met with two politically connected Muslim activists, one a long-time Bush family associate, who each had a tie to the targeted groups."
The Journal also stated, "Among the Muslim leaders attending was Talat Othman, a longtime associate and supporter of President Bush's family who gave a benediction of the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia in August 2000.
"Also at the meeting was Khaled Saffuri, head of the Islamic Institute, a group he co-founded with GOP activist Grover Norquist to organize conservative Muslims. The institute has accepted $20,000 in contributions from another Grove Street entity suspected of terrorist connections, the Safa Trust, as earlier reported by Newsweek."
Othman's ties to the Bush family go back to the 1980's, when he served with Dubya on the board of a Texas petroleum firm, Harken Oil & Gas Inc. Othman has visited both Bush White Houses. He has also been a long-time campaign donor of both daddy Bush and Bush II. Othman is also on Saffuri's board.
The president of Safa Trust is a man named Jamal Barzinji. Barzinji and his business partners are also active political contributors. In a speech last fall to the Organization of Islamic Conference in Doha, Qatar, Barzinji boasted of the U.S. Muslim community's rising political influence in the Bush White House. He said, "At this time, the President and his administration are continually seeking the counsel and input of American Muslim leaders. At no other time has the Muslim community in America been more effective in relation to the processes of American government."
This long-standing association between the Bush family and Islamic business interests helps explain why President Bush has been reluctant to allow police and defense agencies to target potential Islamic terrorists both before and after September 11, 2001. It also helps explain why Bush's Justice Department recently held an Arab job fair in Paterson, New Jersey, to seek Muslims for positions in federal law enforcement agencies. Interestingly enough, it was in this same New Jersey community where at least six of the September 11 hijackers lived before the attack.
Maybe one day we will have a president who puts the principles of freedom and constitutional government in front of political and commercial interests, but it does not seem likely to occur anytime soon.
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