Rand Paul: “Stop the killing of Christians!”

June 14, 2013

Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky has become the first public figure to openly declare what Christians have been  bemoaning for the last generation, that there is a war against Christianity.

Speaking this afternoon before a gathering of the Faith and Freedom Coalition in Washington D.C., Senator Paul said, “There is a war on Christianity, not just from liberal elites here at home, but worldwide.”

Said Paul, “It saddens me to see countries that are supposedly our allies persecute Christians.”

Catholics and born again Christians have talked about the danger for years.  In the 1990′s, during my stint in the White House, as special assistant to the president, I was constantly called on to help Christians who were thrown into prisons or slated for execution all over the world.

Meanwhile, Christian ministries in the USA visited the White House complaining that they had been targeted by the IRS, a fact that the agency actually confirmed to us at the time, without shame.  When we tried to find an Evangelical Christian who worked in a top position at the agency who could help us understand the nature of the complaints we learned that there was only one known, born again Christian in the top 300 positions at the IRS.  At the time 38% of the nation claimed to be born again.

It turns out that the token “born again” Christian at the IRS was a regional director in the non-profit division and a Catholic Charismatic by personal faith.  He tried to help the agency understand that it could not dictate doctrine or discriminate against groups based on their faith.  We had two meetings with him at the White House and kept the president apprised.  I think back to that moment as I now try to grasp the fact that top IRS officials visited the White House more than 300 times under Barack Obama and supposedly never discussed with the president their illegal bias against conservative groups including their questions of what applicants said in their prayers

In his speech Senator Paul offered a litany of abuses by American allies.

“In Pakistan, Asia Bibi, a Christian, sits on death row. Her crime, according to her, is that she dared to drink from a glass that belonged to a Muslim co-worker.

“Recently, in Pakistan, a 12-year-old with Down syndrome was imprisoned and charged with a death penalty crime for burning the Koran.

“After weeks she was released after a local Imam was accused of actually sprinkling pages from an Arabic book into a fire near the little girl.”

Senator Paul is the first public official to suggest a legislative solution.  “My bill said that Libya, Egypt, and Pakistan would get no more foreign aid from the US taxpayer unless they turned over the assassins that killed our ambassador, pledged and verified that they CAN and WILL protect our embassies, and in the case of Pakistan they must release Dr. Afridi.”

Afridi is the man who helped us identify Osama Bin Laden.  He was tortured and in chains for a year without being charged and is even now in prison in Pakistan.

As obvious as it may be to stand up for Christians (25% of the USA are Catholic, 48% claim to be born again Christians) Senator Paul is practically alone in his work.  90% of the Senate voted against his bill that would have placed restrictions on foreign aid to nations that execute Christians.

“It angers me to see my tax dollars supporting regimes that put Christians to death,” he said today.  “And your government, or more correctly, you, the taxpayer, are funding it.”

Senator Rand Paul warned against a foreign policy that sometimes has good intentions that backfire.

“Before the Arab Spring, Christianity flourished in small outposts, like the Coptic Christians in Egypt. I had hoped that the Arab Spring would bring freedom to long-oppressed people throughout the Middle East, but I fear the Arab Spring is becoming an Arab winter.

“Today, Christians in Iraq, Libya, Egypt and Syria are on the run—persecuted or under fire—and yet, we continue to send aid to the folks chasing them.

“The new leader of Egypt is Mohammed Morsi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. Recently, he stood by when a radical cleric said a prayer for the destruction of Israel and her supporters in his presence.

“Actually, it is worse, he did not just stand by, he was seen to mouth the word ‘Amen’ as the cleric said these words of hatred.

“How does your government respond?

“The bipartisan consensus in Washington vows to increase Egypt’s funding. The President is currently requesting a billion dollar increase in aid to Egypt.  This is an outrage!”

Senator Paul admitted that his bold stand had made him unpopular in Washington and while his famous filibuster and other stands on civil liberties have given him exposure that his father never had, his concern about the torture and execution of Christians in allied nations has been panned by the media.

Says Paul, “It is clear that American taxpayer dollars are being used to enable a war on Christianity in the Middle East and I believe that must end.”

Back in February 2011 Doug Wead warns about the Arab Spring, “Not so fast.”


The Legacy of George W. Bush

April 25, 2013

Today, the George W. Bush library will be dedicated and a long list of luminaries will laud the life and legacy of our 43rd president.  I first met the future president in 1986, in Corpus Christi, Texas.  I was an independent businessman at the time, and simultaneously, working for his father as an adviser.  As the host of a business event held at the Corpus Christi Convention Center, I invited in George W. Bush to speak to the group.  He did a great job.  And afterward I took he and Laura and the twins to a Mexican restaurant where we talked politics.

bush picture3

Doug Wead, Mike Smith and George W. Bush in Corpus Christi, 1986.

In March, 19987, he joined his father’s campaign and co-opted my work with coalitions so I reported directly to him.  It was then that he learned the power of the evangelical vote and how to tap into it.

I may be the first person, outside of his own random fantasies, who actually thought of him as a future president.  Shortly after his father was elected I wrote a 44 page memo on presidential children.  In the study I learned how many sons pursued the presidency themselves.  Not just the first son born to a president, which was John Quincy Adams, but nine others.  A few of them came close, including John Van Buren and Robert Taft.  So I wrote about that possibility for the young Mr. Bush and talked about him to journalists, including a description in an article dated 1991.  (George Jr. exhibits clout in Bush White House. Denver Post. December 15,1991, p6a.)

George W. Bush has a dynamic personality, a cunning sense of humor and was the most decisive person I had ever met in my life.  While I never stopped praying or rooting for him, personally, I publicly parted ways with him over the war in Iraq.   It was a decision that would cost me dearly in my career.  Even before, when a 1998 CNN/Gallup poll showed George W. Bush as the leading presidential contender, I warned my wife.  “If he wins the presidency we will go to war with Iraq and we will kill Saddam Hussein and we will kill his sons.”  After 9-11, I watched helplessly as our war against Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda shifted to a war against Saddam Hussein, the man who had tried to kill  Bush’s father.

There were many unintended consequences to the war in Iraq and to the subsequent upheaval across the Middle East.   It was called “the Arab Spring” as dictatorships toppled.  But Democracy, offered to voters in the region is routinely voted down as soon as it is won.  The people want theocratic dictatorships.  And they choose them at the ballot box.

Christianity, which existed in Iraq for 2,000 years and traced its lineage to the apostles ,  numbered one million believers before the Iraq war.  It has been cut in half, with churches destroyed and members killed or fleeing to Jordan.   Now the Coptic Christians of Egypt, one of the oldest Christian communities in history faces possible annihilation.

In 2011, when the whole West, including President Obama, were celebrating the change of governments in the Middle East, I was hotly criticized for throwing cold water on the celebration.  It was not out of any loyalty to the dictatorships they replaced.  But rather to the naive confidence with which we so easily brushed aside the tenuous house of cards that were in place.  We did so by what we said and did and what we did not say and did not do.  And we accomplished this without debate or adequate consideration, acting on instinct rather than logic.  The consequences have meant death to many and the blood bath may have only begun.

Today, supporters of President George W. Bush say that he kept America safe and never raised taxes.  Opponents say his war in Iraq had unintended consequences that are unhinging the whole Middle East and his spike in spending wrecked the economy.

Presidents spend their time in office trying to shape what happens and when its over they spend their time trying to shape what we think happened.  Both with limited success.  Today, President George W. Bush  has begun his campaign for his legacy.  What do you think?  How would you rank the president’s time in office?  Today the former president has a a 47% approval rating which is exactly the same as President Obama.

Participate in this poll and learn the results.

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/DVKPDR6


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