Richard Melson

March 2006

Foundation Defend Democracy

March 21, 2006

The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD) is the only nonpartisan policy institute dedicated exclusively to promoting pluralism, defending democratic values, and fighting the ideologies that drive terrorism.

FDD was founded shortly after 9/11 by a group of visionary philanthropists and policymakers to engage in the worldwide war of ideas and to support the defense of democratic societies under assault by terrorism and Militant Islamism.

FDD uniquely combines policy research, democracy training, strategic communications, and investigative journalism. We focus our efforts where opinions are formed and, ultimately, where the war of ideas will be won or lost: in the media, on college campuses, and in the policy community, at home and abroad.

Board of Directors

Steve Forbes
Board Member
CEO Forbes Magazine
Dr. Jeane J. Kirkpatrick
Board Member
Fmr. Ambassador to the UN

Distinguished Advisors

Judge Louis J. Freeh
Fmr. Director of the FBI
Sen. Joseph Lieberman
U.S. Senate

Newt Gingrich
Fmr. Speaker of the House
R. James Woolsey
Fmr. Director of the CIA

Board of Advisors

Gary Bauer
American Values
Charles Jacobs
American Anti-Slavery Group

Donna Brazile
Campaign Manager
Gore 2000
Charles Krauthammer
Syndicated Columnist

Rep. Eric Cantor
Chairman (R-VA)
Task Force on Terrorism
Bill Kristol
Weekly Standard

Rep. Eliot Engel
U.S. House of Representatives
Hon. Richard D. Lamm
Fmr. Governor

Rep. Mark Foley
U.S. House of Representatives
Rep. Jim Marshall
U.S. House of Representatives

Frank Gaffney
Center for Security Policy
Sen. Zell Miller
U.S. Senate

Amb. Marc Ginsberg
Fmr. Ambassador
Richard Perle
Former Chair of the Defense Policy Board and FDD Advisor

Senior Fellows

Khairi Abaza
Middle East and Democracy Expert
Barbara Newman
Investigative Reporter and Author

Avi Jorisch
Terrorism Expert
Dr. Walid Phares
Florida Atlantic University

Adjunct Fellows

Dr. Jonathan Adelman
University of Denver

Agota Kuperman
U.S. Foreign Service (ret.)

Dr. Mohammed Akacem
Metropolitan State College of Denver
Jess Sadick
Terrorism Specialist
U.S. government

Richard Z. Chesnoff
Dr. Frederic Smoler
Sarah Lawrence College

Paul Crespo
Former Marine Corps Officer and Military Attaché
Jan Ting
Law Professor
Temple University


Tony Badran
Research Fellow, Levant
The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies

Bill McCarthy
Vice-President, Communications
The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies

Cristiana C. Brafman
Research Associate, Danger Zone Radio
The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies

Audra Ozols
Coordinator, Campus Programs
The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies

Amb. Richard W. Carlson
Vice Chairman
The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies

Cara Rosenthal
Senior Manager, Development
The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies

Mark Dubowitz
Chief Operating Officer
The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies

Claudia Rosett
The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies

Tanya Gilly
Director, Democracy Programs
The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies
David Silverstein
Vice-President, Campus Education & Grassroots Programs
The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies

Eleana Gordon
Senior Vice-President
The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies
Jonathan L. Snow
Manager, Research
The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies

Maneeza Hossain
Fellow, South Asia
The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies
Jean Thurman
Manager, Operations
The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies

Sara H. Levy
Manager, Communications
The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies

Caitlyn Walters
Project Coordinator
The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies

Clifford D. May
The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies

A Weekly Update

Notes and Comments

LOWER EDUCATION 101: Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) is hosting "the first major delegation of scholars and policy analysts from Libya in twenty-five years."

"Among the highlights of the program is a planned video conference program with Mu'ammar al-Qaddafi, who will discuss his views on the prospects for democracy in the twenty-first century from Libya with panelists in New York."

Have the professors and administrators at Columbia lost their minds?

It is true that after Saddam Hussein was pulled from a spider hole in Iraq, Qaddafi decided that the upside potential of acquiring nuclear weapons was not worth the downside risk of an American invasion.

But the dictator Qaddafi has hardly become a liberal democrat. Asking Qaddafi for his views on the prospects for democracy is akin to asking a cattleman for his views on the prospects for vegetarianism.

Before such a conference is even contemplated, Qaddafi should be told that, at the least, he must release from his prisons such dissidents and prisoners of conscience as Fathi Eljahmi. (More on Fathi, by FDD's Claudia Rosett, here.)

Fathi's brother, our good friend Mohammed Eljahmi -- Fathi's brother -- has a piece on Columbia's conference here, and one on current Libyan reality here.

I'm embarrassed to admit I'm a graduate of SIPA.

LOWER EDUCATION 102: Harvard University, having accepted a $20 million gift from the Saudis, has now issued a new paper that, in the words of a New York Sun editorial, sounds "like the rantings of President Ahmadinejad of Iran or Louisiana anti-Semite David Duke."

The paper was written by two American professors, Stephen M. Walt and John Mearsheimer. Walt is the academic dean of Harvard's Kennedy School, a graduate school for students preparing for careers in public service. Mearsheimer is co-director of the Program on International Security Policy at the University of Chicago.

Walt and Mearsheimer are particularly upset over what they call "unwavering U.S. support for Israel." Perhaps these scholars believe that "wavering" support would be better? Maybe Washington should support Israel's survival during those months that contain the letter "r" in them (e.g. October, November, December). During other times of the year (e.g. June, July, August) the U.S. could favor Israel's annihilation and the genocide of its people.

The authors also say that Washington's "related effort to spread democracy throughout the region has inflamed Arab and Islamic opinion and jeopardized U.S. security." Yes, that makes sense. Other peoples may want to choose their leaders and experience freedom -- but not Arabs and Muslims. Arabs and Muslims prefer to live under the jackboot of dictators (like Qaddafi). This is evidently what they believe -- and teach -- at Harvard.

The Sun goes on to ask: "If the Islamists only hate America because of our support for Israel, why are they setting off bombs in Indonesia and Spain, which are hardly in the vanguard of support for Israel? How would abandoning Israel assuage the angry Islamists rather than encouraging them to press on to completing their end goal of making all of America subject to Islamic law? Why do the actions of the so-called Israel lobby -- AIPAC is an American organization of Americans -- constitute manipulation worthy of an 83-page paper, while the extensive lobbying activities of Saudi Arabia and its allies in the petroleum industry merit hardly a mention, let alone condemnation?"

The Sun editorial is here.

The Harvard paper is here.

DARFUR: Why have there been no protests -- in Gaza, Damascus, Cairo and Tehran, for example -- over the genocide, ethnic cleansing and rapes being carried out against the Muslims of Darfur?

Is it because millions of people believe that while what is happening in Darfur may be terrible, it's nothing compared to those insulting Danish cartoons?

Is it because the victims are black?

Or is it because behind this carnage is a Militant Islamist regime?

And why are Harvard scholars and the mainstream media not interested in such questions?

DEATH THREATS: Irshad Manji writes:

As the dust settled on the Danish cartoon controversy, I -- along with Salman Rushdie, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Taslima Nasrin and several others -- released a statement entitled, "The Manifesto of 12: Together Facing a New Totalitarianism": In this statement, we promote universal human rights and democratic values. We point out that democrats and theocrats can be found in every civilization. Therefore, this is not a clash of civilizations but call to rally the "free spirits of all countries".

This statement has been praised and condemned worldwide. But in the condemnation category is something truly troubling, and that's why I'm writing.

The signatories have received a serious death threat from a chat thread on an Islamic website operating from Britain. ("Ummah" refers to the global Muslim community.) Its wording is unambiguous: "Excellent makes killing the kuffar [infidel] all the bit easier... Now we have a hit list of a 'Who's Who' guide to slam into. Take your time but make sure their gone soon oh and don't hold out for a fatwah it isn't really required here."

Unlike the usual stuff that comes from irate individuals, this threat emanates from a place of "authority." It's widely known that attracts many radicals.

The Manifesto signatories need you to fight back with us. We've created a petition that will be published in the coming days. If you love pluralism enough to be vocal about it, I ask you to visit my website and go to the box entitled "Violence Alert." That's where you can sign the petition and, of course, read the Manifesto.

My website is:

Please forward this message to others who might sign our petition. Thanks for your courage. And, strange as it may seem to say, happy spring...

Also worth reading: This New York Times op-ed by Irshad on Israelis, Palestinians and what divides them.

LEARNING WAR: The Washington Post's David Ignatius has been writing some good columns from Iraq. But to say, as he does, that, "Three years on the U.S. military is finally becoming adept at fighting a counterinsurgency" is to assume that the art and science of counter-insurgency can be mastered in less time than is required to get a degree in dentistry.

That generals -- and Pentagon officials -- plan to fight the last war, rather than the next war, is hardly a new and surprising phenomenon.

Indeed, the U.S. military is exquisitely equipped to fight last century's wars. Meanwhile, Special Forces and even the Marines -- the fighting forces best equipped to take on al-Qaeda and other anti-Iraqi forces in Iraq -- have long been regarded like cross-eyed stepchildren.

That does seem to be changing. For the first time ever, a Marine is the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. That is no coincidence, as our friends on the left might put it.

Also recall: America shed considerable blood learning to overcome German tanks and Japanese kamikazes; we spent much treasure deterring Soviet nuclear missiles. Inconveniently, however, our enemies now fight with Improvised Explosive Devices, suicide bombers, butchers knives, lies and videotape.

I would argue that one of the principle -- but unspoken -- reasons we need to remain in Iraq now is simply to learn how to fight this kind of war, a 21st century war, a post-modern war.

If we fail to do that in Iraq, there can be only two choices: Learn on the next battlefield (Jordan? Afghanistan? Lebanon?), or don't bother to learn at all; instead, get used to the taste of retreat and defeat.

My most recent Scripps Howard column just happens to be on this theme.

Ignatius' recent columns from Iraq are here and here.

- Cliff May

In Their Own Words

"Strange thing about these peace movements: they rarely mobilize to oppose the killing, torture and imprisonment practiced by dictators. It is only when their own country attempts to end the oppression that the activists become active against America, not the initiators of evil."

(03/14/2006) Cal Thomas, Syndicated Columnist

"Yes, we did indeed underestimate the ferocity and ruthlessness of the jihadists in Iraq. Where, one might inquire, have we not underestimated those forces and their virulence?"

(03/01/2006) Christopher Hitchens, Author

"The dissidents of Islamism, like the dissidents of communism, don't have nuclear bombs or any other weapons. We have no money from oil like the Saudis. We will not burn embassies and flags. We refuse to get carried away in a frenzy of collective violence. In number we are too small and too scattered to become a collective of anything. In electoral terms here in the west we are practically useless."

(02/11/2005) Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Somali-born Dutch politician

FDD Events and Activities

Please click on the underlined items to view the full article.

The Danger Zone - Every Sunday, 9pm


This week's Danger Zone featured FDD President Cliff May; FOX News analyst, Lt. Col. Bill Cowan (Ret.); and FDD Fellow Maneeza Hossain.

President George W. Bush Addresses FDD


On Monday, March 13, the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies was pleased to host President George W. Bush, who spoke to FDD about the Global War on Terror. FDD President Clifford May introduced the President.

In the Media

Please click on the underlined items to view the full article.

Print & Online

Friday, March 17, 2006

Inaction Failed

Clifford D. May, USA Today

If we learned anything from 9/11 it's that doing nothing while tyrants and terrorists plot to kill Americans is not a viable policy.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Get Zarqawi

Clifford D. May, Scripps Howard News Service

For a moment, focus on the present. Right now, there are three reasons the United States needs to be in Iraq. The most important: to fight al-Qaeda, the leader of the global Militant Islamist movement, the sworn enemy of America and freedom. A secondary reason we must stay in Iraq: to do what we can to help prevent the people of that country from again being enslaved and slaughtered by tyrants.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Old Ties Resurface in New Annan Project at U.N.

Claudia Rosett, George Russell,

United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan has just tabled ostensibly radical proposals for reform, at a proposed cost of more than $510 million, saying he aims to bring efficiency, high ethical standards and above all, transparency to his scandal-tarnished organization.

A Muslim Democracy in Peril

Maneeza Hossain, National Review Online

President Bush's recent trip to South Asia omitted a crucial nation -- Bangladesh. This was a missed opportunity in the administration's mission to bring democracy to the Muslim world.


Friday, March 17, 2006

To the Point, NPR

Eleana Gordon

The situation in Iran and Iraq.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

The Jack Ricardi Show, KTSA San Antonio Radio

Clifford D. May

The situation in Iraq.

Janet Parshall's America, FamilyNet Radio

Walid Phares

The situation in Iraq.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Don Kroah Show, WAVA Radio

Clifford D. May

President Bush's speech.

News Update, Nevada Public Radio

Andrew C. McCarthy

The situation in Guantanamo Bay.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The Hugh Hewitt Show, Syndicated Radio

Claudia Rosett

The U.N. Oil-for-Food scandal.

The John Batchelor Show, WABC Radio

Claudia Rosett

The U.N. Oil-for-Food scandal.

The Linda Chavez Show, Syndicated Radio

Clifford D. May

President Bush's speech and the situation in Iraq.

To The Point, NPR

Clifford D. May

President Bush's speech and the situation in Iraq.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Battle Line with Alan Nathan, Radio America

Clifford D. May

President Bush's speech.


Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Syrian Kurdish Groups Conclude Landmark Conference in US

FDD's Eleana Gordon and Khairi Abaza addressed the Democracy in Syria and Kurdish Human and National Rights conference.

Monday, March 13, 2006

NBC Nightly News


President Bush's speech.

International Media

Friday, March 17, 2006


Clifford D. May, VOA

The situation in Iraq.

Thursday, March 16, 2006


Walid Phares, Radio Free Iraq

President Bush's speech.


Please click on the underlined items to view the full article.

Global Jihad Monitor

(03/15/2006) Jonathan L. Snow, Global Jihad Monitor

Terrorists in Iraq detonated six car bombs in the Shia neighborhood of Sadr City, killing at least 46 people and wounding more than two hundred in another attempt to ignite sectarian violence.

In Case You Missed It

Please click on the underlined items to view the full article.

Gang of Barbarians

(03/17/2006) Nidra Poller, Tech Central Station

Ilan Halimi, a young Jewish man, was abducted by the "Gang of Barbarians," held in Bagneux, a banlieue south of Paris, and brutally tortured for three and a half weeks. He died minutes after he was discovered naked, handcuffed, bleeding profusely.

The People vs. Qadhafi

(03/16/2006) Mohamed Eljahmi, National Review Online

More than two years after the U.S. government began its rapprochement, how goes life in Libya?

Aznar: Khamenei Said in 2001 Iran Aimed to 'Set Israel Alight'

(03/15/2006) Yossi Verter, Haaretz

Former Spanish prime minister Jose Maria Aznar said that Iran's Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told him five years ago that "setting Israel on fire" was the first order of business on the Iranian agenda.


A poll conducted by FOX News/Opinion Dynamics found that 42 percent of Americans think Iran will get nuclear weapons, 26 percent think Iran will only be stopped from getting nuclear weapons through military action and 22 percent think Iran will be stopped through diplomacy. However, if diplomacy failed 50 percent support using whatever military force is necessary to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

View the full findings.

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Tuesday, March 21, 2006