Jihadist Magazine Targets Americans for Training
As Europe and Great Britain have already demonstrated, the approach President Obama is taking to reach out to Muslims and Islamic nations, though it sounds reasonable to many, will ultimately fail. It’s not that we want this outreach to fail. It’s just that assuming olive branches extended by us will be responded to in kind is hoping for an outcome that history documents will not happen.
For whatever reason many of our leaders in the West, including President Obama, believe, without justification, that Islamists can be reasoned with and negotiated with. The Islamists of the world do not regard our outreach to them as a virtue or something they should reciprocate, but rather a sign of weakness and another step toward ultimate capitulation. We embolden and empower them, just as Neville Chamberlain emboldened Adolf Hitler in 1938.
As you read the article below, take special note of how the Islamists behind this jihadist publication regard our having Obama in the White House.
[On an unrelated issue, here’s a piece of good news. Our friend Christopher Holton with the Center for Security Policy reported yesterday that Indiana has just passed a law requiring the state’s taxpayer-supported, public pension systems to divest themselves from foreign companies with active business ties to Iran and Syria.
According to Christopher, Indiana now joins Missouri, Michigan and Louisiana with true broad terror-free investment policies directed at all terrorist sponsoring nations. In addition, Florida, California, Arizona, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, Illinois, Pennsylvania (Tobacco Settlement Fund), Colorado and Ohio have also adopted limited Iran-free investment policies in recent years.]
Glossy Internet Magazine Targets Americans for Jihad Training
Friday, May 01, 2009
By Eric Shawn
The cover of "Jihad Recollections," a magazine about Al Qaeda that impels Americans to join in jihad.
It's been likened to Al Qaeda's "Vanity Fair," a new English-language Internet magazine called "Jihad Recollections" that focuses on the terrorist group, its founder, Usama Bin Laden, and how to commit jihad. It also predicts the demise of the United States.
“This is designed for Americans,” says noted terrorism expert Steven Emerson, founder of the Investigative Project on Terrorism in Washington, D.C., and author of the book "American Jihad: The Terrorists Living Among Us."
“It’s not for Brits, not for Germans, not for jihadists in the Middle East. It’s designed for Americans and it’s designed to get them to convert to Islam or to carry out jihad acts of terror,” he said.
“What started off as some angry kids in their basement has transformed over the past several years into a robust Al Qaeda propaganda outlet right here in our backyard,” says Jarret Brachman, an Al Qaeda specialist and author of the new book, “Global Jihadism.”
Brachman says “it raises the bar for pro-Al Qaeda propaganda in English. Its presentation is flashier than any English language Al Qaeda propaganda that we’ve seen to date.” He also says “the publication shows how deeply embedded in the global Al Qaeda movement its editors are.”
It is not clear what connection, if any, the magazine has to Al Qaeda or its followers. It is published by the “Al Fursan Media Foundation,” but FOX News could not find such an organization or a way to contact them for comment.
Yet “Jihad Recollections” certainly highlights the terrorist group and the goals of Islamic jihad in a sophisticated and graphically slick presentation similar to any high quality Web site.
The magazine includes the speeches and writings of Bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri. Articles range from “Four Practical Steps to Expand the Global Jihad,” to “The Science Behind Night Vision Technology” and “Principles of Guerrilla Warfare.”
“The magazine is quite startling,” said Emerson. It is “a veritable manual on how to carry out terrorism. It’s quite shocking, and the question is whether it violates the law or not.”
The first issue says of the 9/11 attacks, that “the strategy was genius.” It calls America “one of the most atrocious and egotistical regimes to date,” and it accuses the United States of spreading corruption in Islamic countries through its embassies. “How can we expect from America any good?” it asks. “We only expect from it every evil and corruption.”
“Jihad Recollections” appears to prepare followers to engage in jihad. One section teaches aspiring jihadists how to stay in shape by doing exercise without weights. Articles with photographs of men dressed in white robes with their faces covered encourage them to exercise at home and stay away from American gyms because “they are full of music, semi-naked women, free mixing.” It warns of the dangers of “showing off” during a workout and even observes that protein shakes are too expensive and not worth the money.
For those who thought the election of Barack Obama as president would assuage the militant world, the magazine makes it quite clear that is not the case.
“To the Muslims who voted for Obama and were optimistic that he would make a positive change ... nothing will change except things can only get worse,” the magazine proclaims. “Only Allah knows how much worse it will get.”
The magazine criticizes the Obama economic stimulus plan, calling it “flawed,” and ridicules the president as “Mr. Yes We Can,” whose policies will “continue to loot all the hardworking Americans wealth.”
It even includes the views of some prominent critics of the president’s polices, such as former New York Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey, now an adjunct fellow at the Hudson Institute, and veteran Tennessee Rep. Zach Wamp, the ranking Republican on the House Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee. Such references clearly indicate an awareness of American political discourse similar to the nation’s political policy magazines.
In fact, “Jihad Recollections” proclaims: “It is the first of its kind as it is geared towards the English speaking Muslims who are interested in gaining heights in their religious, political, economical, social, technological, strategic, historical, biographical and health awareness.”
The writing may be a bit flamboyant, and while it boasts that “The U.S. grows weaker every day,” there is no explicit call for violence against the country or against Americans. Emerson thinks the publication is “pushing the envelope of the First Amendment” by reporting on jihad issues, and he says it indicates that the Internet is being used as “one of the major sources for radicalization.”
“Thousands of people have accessed these pro-Al Qaeda websites,” notes Brachman. He says “this new journal is receiving more and more praise from within the English-language jihadist movement. The fact is that their movement is growing — their popularity is growing.”
More than 5,000 people have viewed “Jihad Recollections” and 11 people list it as one of their “favorites.” Who are its readers? And do they adhere to the jihad philosophy?
Whoever is behind “Jihad Recollections” has a strange mix of opinion with one focus: seemingly to spread the message of Islamic jihad at the expense of Americans. That such a publication is accessible at all speaks to the freedoms we enjoy in our country while, experts say, also serving as a warning of the danger that Islamic militants and radicals pose to our nation.
FOX News' Maryam Sepehri contributed to this report.
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Two UCLA economists say they have figured out why the Great Depression dragged on for almost 15 years, and they blame a suspect previously thought to be beyond reproach: President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
After scrutinizing Roosevelt's record for four years, Harold L. Cole and Lee E. Ohanian conclude in a new study that New Deal policies signed into law 71 years ago thwarted economic recovery for seven long years.
"Why the Great Depression lasted so long has always been a great mystery, and because we never really knew the reason, we have always worried whether we would have another 10- to 15-year economic slump," said Ohanian, vice chair of UCLA's Department of Economics. "We found that a relapse isn't likely unless lawmakers gum up a recovery with ill-conceived stimulus policies."
In an article in the August issue of the Journal of Political Economy, Ohanian and Cole blame specific anti-competition and pro-labor measures that Roosevelt promoted and signed into law June 16, 1933.
"President Roosevelt believed that excessive competition was responsible for the Depression by reducing prices and wages, and by extension reducing employment and demand for goods and services," said Cole, also a UCLA professor of economics. "So he came up with a recovery package that would be unimaginable today, allowing businesses in every industry to collude without the threat of antitrust prosecution and workers to demand salaries about 25 percent above where they ought to have been, given market forces. The economy was poised for a beautiful recovery, but that recovery was stalled by these misguided policies."
Using data collected in 1929 by the Conference Board and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Cole and Ohanian were able to establish average wages and prices across a range of industries just prior to the Depression. By adjusting for annual increases in productivity, they were able to use the 1929 benchmark to figure out what prices and wages would have been during every year of the Depression had Roosevelt's policies not gone into effect. They then compared those figures with actual prices and wages as reflected in the Conference Board data.
In the three years following the implementation of Roosevelt's policies, wages in 11 key industries averaged 25 percent higher than they otherwise would have done, the economists calculate. But unemployment was also 25 percent higher than it should have been, given gains in productivity.
Meanwhile, prices across 19 industries averaged 23 percent above where they should have been, given the state of the economy. With goods and services that much harder for consumers to afford, demand stalled and the gross national product floundered at 27 percent below where it otherwise might have been.
"High wages and high prices in an economic slump run contrary to everything we know about market forces in economic downturns," Ohanian said. "As we've seen in the past several years, salaries and prices fall when unemployment is high. By artificially inflating both, the New Deal policies short-circuited the market's self-correcting forces."
The policies were contained in the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA), which exempted industries from antitrust prosecution if they agreed to enter into collective bargaining agreements that significantly raised wages. Because protection from antitrust prosecution all but ensured higher prices for goods and services, a wide range of industries took the bait, Cole and Ohanian found. By 1934 more than 500 industries, which accounted for nearly 80 percent of private, non-agricultural employment, had entered into the collective bargaining agreements called for under NIRA.
Cole and Ohanian calculate that NIRA and its aftermath account for 60 percent of the weak recovery. Without the policies, they contend that the Depression would have ended in 1936 instead of the year when they believe the slump actually ended: 1943.
Roosevelt's role in lifting the nation out of the Great Depression has been so revered that Time magazine readers cited it in 1999 when naming him the 20th century's second-most influential figure.
"This is exciting and valuable research," said Robert E. Lucas Jr., the 1995 Nobel Laureate in economics, and the John Dewey Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago. "The prevention and cure of depressions is a central mission of macroeconomics, and if we can't understand what happened in the 1930s, how can we be sure it won't happen again?"
NIRA's role in prolonging the Depression has not been more closely scrutinized because the Supreme Court declared the act unconstitutional within two years of its passage.
"Historians have assumed that the policies didn't have an impact because they were too short-lived, but the proof is in the pudding," Ohanian said. "We show that they really did artificially inflate wages and prices."
Even after being deemed unconstitutional, Roosevelt's anti-competition policies persisted — albeit under a different guise, the scholars found. Ohanian and Cole painstakingly documented the extent to which the Roosevelt administration looked the other way as industries once protected by NIRA continued to engage in price-fixing practices for four more years.
The number of antitrust cases brought by the Department of Justice fell from an average of 12.5 cases per year during the 1920s to an average of 6.5 cases per year from 1935 to 1938, the scholars found. Collusion had become so widespread that one Department of Interior official complained of receiving identical bids from a protected industry (steel) on 257 different occasions between mid-1935 and mid-1936. The bids were not only identical but also 50 percent higher than foreign steel prices. Without competition, wholesale prices remained inflated, averaging 14 percent higher than they would have been without the troublesome practices, the UCLA economists calculate.
NIRA's labor provisions, meanwhile, were strengthened in the National Relations Act, signed into law in 1935. As union membership doubled, so did labor's bargaining power, rising from 14 million strike days in 1936 to about 28 million in 1937. By 1939 wages in protected industries remained 24 percent to 33 percent above where they should have been, based on 1929 figures, Cole and Ohanian calculate. Unemployment persisted. By 1939 the U.S. unemployment rate was 17.2 percent, down somewhat from its 1933 peak of 24.9 percent but still remarkably high. By comparison, in May 2003, the unemployment rate of 6.1 percent was the highest in nine years.
Recovery came only after the Department of Justice dramatically stepped enforcement of antitrust cases nearly four-fold and organized labor suffered a string of setbacks, the economists found.
"The fact that the Depression dragged on for years convinced generations of economists and policy-makers that capitalism could not be trusted to recover from depressions and that significant government intervention was required to achieve good outcomes," Cole said. "Ironically, our work shows that the recovery would have been very rapid had the government not intervened."