John McCain all smiles for the despotic monsters who rule Saudi Arabia

Chairman’s Report for August 21st, 2015

August 21st, 2015

Two Post Card programs force lawmakers to respond

Saudi 911Boycott Saudi Arabia to save Western civilization: The Religious Freedom Coalition is currently engaged in two related post card campaigns to members of Congress. The first and longest ongoing campaign demands that Congress stop all funding to arm, train and pay salaries to Islamic fighters. The small salaries paid, about $250 a month, do not maintain loyalty to the U.S.  Virtually every group the United States has armed and funded has joined with radical Islamists militias associated with al-Qaeda or the Islamic State. (Post Card information)

The second post card program centers on how the despotic royal family of Saudi Arabia assists terror related organizations around the world. The Saudi post card program also points to the export of the radical Wahhabi version of Islam and the support of Sunni fighters in places such as Syria. The post cards demand sanctions against the despots who run Saudi Arabia as a prison while exporting their evil, warped religion.

The responses from congressmen and Senators have varied from side stepping the issues to outright stupidity. Many times the responses have little to do with the specific card which was supplied by the Religious Freedom Coalition and sent by their constituents to them.

The responses which were closest to the point of the card came from the Saudi campaign. Some were honest and some were not.

One of the most honest came from Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) who just about flat out said economic issues outweigh human rights issues when it comes to Saudi Arabia. He opens his response to a constituent by saying, “Our country has provided foreign assistance to Saudi Arabia for 60 years, and the U.S often trains with the Saudis and assists in regional security-related efforts. Both countries continue to enjoy a strong economic relationship.”

Senator Toomey then brings up the human rights issue, “When making any foreign aid decision, we must always take into account the national security implications of our policies, the human rights context and the rigorous test for fiscal responsibility.” In other words if there is a national security concern (oil) for the United States, we will look the other way as the greatest human rights abuser in the world represses its people and promotes a radical brand of Islam.

Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) starts out his letter in the same manner stating, “Saudi Arabia has traditionally been a close ally of the United States, and our countries have a long history of cooperation.” He then mentions human rights without a single word about Christians.

Corker states, “… from the suppression of free speech to the restrictions on the rights of women, I remain concerned about the lack of respect for fundamental human rights.” What??? “Restriction of the rights of women?” Women are property in Saudi Arabia and have no rights at all. He never addresses the export of the Wahhabi sect’s warped religion that promotes the same treatment of women and “non-believers” around the world as occurs there. This is particularly distressing because Senator Corker is the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He should be the leader in stopping the export of radical Islam from Saudi Arabia.

Letters regarding the Saudi issue from congressmen are more directly related to the issue and far less boilerplate. The reason is simply that it is a whole lot easier to knock a congressman out of office over a single issue than it is to knock out a Senator. Also, congressmen have to deal with the voters in their districts every two years, instead of every six.

Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (D-OH), is a member of the U.S Congress Human Rights Commission of which my good friend Congressman Joe Pitts in co-chairman along with Congressman Tom Lantos. She writes, “Like you, I am always troubled by the human rights violations, such as racial and gender discrimination, religious persecution and free speech violations, to name just a few, are sacred rights to which I believe everyone should be entitled.” However, she did not address any of the major concerns in the post card sent to her such as the Saudi royal family’s support of extreme radical Islam which gave birth to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State.

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Congressman John Duncan (R-TN) was the most blunt concerning Saudi Arabia human rights violations but still did not address their export of radical Islam or support of groups involved in terror.

Duncan wrote, “As you know, Saudi Arabia is a repressed nation living under laws that seem shocking to the developed world. As someone with a wife, two daughters and four granddaughters, I am especially disturbed by that country’s treatment of women.” And so far Congressman Duncan is the only one who has actually mentioned the persecution of Christians; he did mention those in Iraq.

Duncan points out that he was a co-sponsor of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 that was passed by the 105th Congress. The passage of this act was promoted by the Religious Freedom Coalition and created the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom that required the President to appoint an Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom within the Department of State. President Obama allowed this critical post to sit vacant during repression of religious minorities from October, 2013 to July, 2014.

Many of the letters on Saudi Arabia seem to at least express concern on human rights but ignore totally the issue of Saudi support in Syria of Islamist fighters such as al-Nusra which rounds up and murders Christians. Generally, letters by Senators and congressmen are supportive of the United States arming and training Islamist fighters but seem ignorant of the results.

John McCain all smiles for the despotic monsters who rule Saudi Arabia

John McCain all smiles for the despotic monsters who rule Saudi Arabia

Responses to the Post Card campaign against funding Islamist fighters

Senator Robert Casey Jr.’s (D-PA) two and one half page letter bordered on the insane. The letter, dated January, 8th 2015 brags about introducing S. 617, the Syria Democratic Transition Act of 2013 in which he touts support for “… vetted elements of the Free Syrian Army.” Those “vetted elements,” supported with millions of dollars of funding, had taken their weapons and joined groups associated with al-Qaeda, such as al-Nusra by the time he authored the letter.
Casey also bragged of his support for arming “well vetted-elements of the Syrian opposition” in the most recent funding by Congress in 2014. The Obama Administration used the funds from the 2014 law claiming that it was going to train 5,000 so-called “Syrian moderate rebels” to fight against the Islamic State.

As of August, 2015 only 60 such “moderates” had been trained at a cost of $4 million each. That’s $240 million – nearly half of the $500 million budget allotted for Obama’s Train and Equip program. This would be laughable if it were not so incredibly tragic and foolish.

The plan has been a dismal failure and an embarrassment to the United States. Over half of the new group of 60 “moderates” have already been captured or killed by Islamic State terrorists or their allies. In fact, the head of the much touted Division 30 was captured shortly after he entered into Syria. The ragtag band that is left had their base in Northern Syria overrun twice by Al-Nusra so far this year, and virtually every weapon given them by the United States captured.

AND … when we called his office on August 10th a spokesman assured us that Senator Casey is still proud of his efforts to fund “well-vetted opposition.”

The most bizarre sentence in the Casey letter was this, “Over the course of three years, the Assad regime has unleashed a barrage of unspeakable terror across the country with the sole aim of remaining in power.” In reality, Assad’s forces are primarily fighting al-Nusra and the Islamic State. Is Senator Casey bemoaning the fact that the Syrian government is killing Islamic State terrorists? He fails to mention that the only protection Christians have from enslavement and death is the Syrian Army.

Then there are the flat out ignorant.  Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) opened her response to the demand that Congress stop funding Islamic fighters with this sentence, “Thank you for contacting me about President Obama’s proposed Authorization of Use of Military Force (AUMF) against the terrorist group known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).”

The post card demand had nothing to do with the AUMF, which was an authorization for bombardment of Islamic State positions by American aircraft. This bill, by the way, would at the same time repeal the 2002 AUMF used by President Bush to invade Iraq. Warren notes that she does not want “… America to be dragged into another ground war,” which sounds good but has nothing to do with the post cards sent to her demanding no more funding to Islamist fighters.

John McCain's letter in response to Post Card program.

John McCain’s letter in response to Post Card program.

Senator John McCain (R-AZ), who went to Syria illegally in 2013 and stood for photos with wanted kidnappers, wrote to his constituents that the creation of the Islamic State was caused by Syria’s President Assad. He does not mention that Saudi Arabia funded the original uprising against the secular government of Syria nor that the Saudi royals gave the initial funding to the Islamic State to get started.

McCain writes, “Assad’s barbaric war on the Syrian people has created the conditions for ISIS to grow and gain strength, and this will continue as long as he remains in power.” The only fault McCain has been able to find with President Obama’s wars in the Middle East has been that they were not fierce enough and have not cost enough lives.

Senator McCain supported President Obama’s and Hillary Clinton’s war on Libya as well, which created a totally dysfunctional state, with various militias killing each other on a daily basis. Mass murder and mass immigration to Europe were the results of the failed policy there. Senator McCain’s view is that the same result in Syria would be a good outcome.

Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) replied to a constituent without mentioning persecuted Christians at all. Indeed most of his letter seemed out of date, even though recently dated. Warner uses two-thirds of his letter talking about chemical weapons. Nothing that occurred after September 14th, 2013 is mentioned in the letter which is an indication that it is a form letter on Syria that has not been updated in almost two years.

Although Senator Warner is a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, not once does he mention the Islamic State and their advances in Syria and Iraq. In fact he never mentions the funding of fighters to topple the Syrian government.

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Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) replied with a letter dated March 6th, 2015 that mentions nothing after 2011. This is a surprise because he has far fewer letters to answer than most Senators, since Montana is so sparsely populated. His staff should be able to update his responses. In any event, he did state in the letter that he was against funding fighters, writing, “I believe we should not provide military assistance to forces that may ultimately reject democratic values and seek to establish an equally troubling government.”

Congressman Rick Larsen (D-WA) gave the kind of response we want to hear but possibly for the wrong reason. He wrote, “I understand that many people have concerns about continued U.S. involvement in the conflict in the Middle East, and I share some of those concerns. I believe the U.S. should only get involved in the internal conflicts when we are acting in our national security interest, and that Congress should have a vigorous debate about our country’s role in these conflicts.”

Rick Larson’s position is similar to conservative Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) who is running for President. Larson is on the Armed Services Committee and part of the “New Democrat Coalition” whose members try to distance themselves from the more radical left positions of the Democratic Party, although socially Larson is pretty far left on most issues.

Senior Democratic Whip Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) responded with a letter which actually had nothing to do with Syria or Islamic fighters. The letter is so bizarre I would reprint the whole thing if I had room.

Johnson talked mostly about herself, and I highlight this paragraph: “In 2001, I began my A World of Women for World Peace initiative shortly after the terrorist attacks on 9/11 in 2001. I saw young boys holding machine guns dressed in military gear in Liberia on the cover of Newsweek Magazine and questioned how our work had come to this point of war and aggression. I thought of how Mother’s Day was founded by a woman that wanted to honor her own mother who was a peace activist, caring for soldiers on both sides during the Civil War. I strongly believe, and continue to believe, that I also needed to promote peace and diplomacy in the world.” What does this have to do with the subject at hand?

I want to thank the many supporters of the Religious Freedom Coalition who have mailed me responses from their members of Congress on our two post card campaigns. If you received a letter, please send me a copy if you have not already.

Please support our post card to Congress programs!

William J. Murray, Chairman

Religious Freedom Coalition, 601 Pennsylvania Ave. NW #900, Washington, DC 20004 * (202) 742-8990

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