Rohingya Persecution

Rohingya Persecution
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

A classic example of man’s inhumanity to fellow man has been noted by the mass media over recent months. It involves the persecution of the Rohingya minority in Myanmar (formerly Burma). The international group Doctors Without Borders estimates that, during August 2017 alone, 6,700 of the Rohingya people were killed, 730 of them children, during raids into their villages and homes by Myanmar army and police units. The number of casualties in this obvious example of ethnic cleansing will surely rise as more information is gathered.

Rohingya displaced Muslims. Image from Wikimedia Commons by Seyyed Mahmoud Hosseini (CC BY 4.0).

Myanmar’s population of 54 million is overwhelmingly Buddhist. The Rohingya minority of fewer than 2 million is mostly Muslim. Those 2 million and their ancestors have resided for more than five centuries in Myanmar’s western Rakhine state. Religious differences have existed for centuries. But the smaller Rohingya population has been denied voting rights and full citizenship. In addition, they have long suffered from travel restrictions while being deprived of education, even forced to sign documents limiting their families to a maximum of two children. Able-bodied males are regularly subjected to forced labor for military and government projects. And good farmland has been taken from the Rohingyas and given to Buddhists who have moved into the area with government help.

Estimates place the number of Rohingyas who have fled their homes in recent months at 645,000. Practically all have gone to neighboring Bangladesh where they are gathered in hastily built and hardly livable tent camps. Myanmar authorities claim the raids their military and police have conducted are responses to recent attacks on government installations by Rohingyas. But the nation’s army units have been accused of a variety of human rights abuses including arson, gang rapes, and indiscriminate killings of adults and children.

The de facto leader of Myanmar’s government is world famous Aung San Suu Kyi who has consistently claimed that controlling the military is not within her official power. She rose to political power in recent years while becoming a leader protesting a previous government regime. As a recent Nobel Prize recipient, she has found herself widely criticized for inaction during the current crisis, and has seen her “Freedom of Oxford” award taken away. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has accused the Myanmar military of “ethnic cleansing,” a charge that raised many eyebrows all over the globe. Let’s hope that Tillerson won’t be sending U.S. troops into this mess.

Rohingyas are not only adherents of a minority religion, they have their own language and culture. And they have never indicated a willingness to assimilate. Their very presence within the borders of Myanmar, even after five centuries of living side-by-side with a majority population practicing a different religion, language and culture, has long been a potentially explosive situation. In a high percentage of the countries of the world, people get along relatively well, and new arrivals tend to assimilate. Sadly, many itinerant Muslims refuse to adopt the mores of the country they have recently entered.

The influx of huge numbers of illegal Latin American immigrants into our country poses problems like those currently occurring in Myanmar. If the millions of recent entrants to the U.S. refuse to adopt the English language and culture that are identifiably American, their presence could explode into the kind of violence currently experienced in Myanmar.

Dealing with our own immigration problem, a situation dumped into the lap of the Trump administration, won’t be easy. But it must be addressed. If it isn’t handled capably and humanely, we may suffer some of the hideous problems currently experienced by the Rohingya people. What we don’t want is American forces sent to this faraway land to perform again as the world’s policemen. The principle that should guide our leaders is simple: Creating a military arm should have as its sole goal the protection of the lives and property of our own people – period.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Terrorism Still a Threat

Terrorism Still a Threat
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

New York City subway riders will hardly forget what happened on the morning of December 11, 2017. A bomb carried by an immigrant from Bangladesh prematurely exploded in a busy underground corridor linking two portions of the city’s subway system. It was a stroke of luck that only a small portion of the man’s bomb detonated, wounding him, and hurting three unlucky subway patrons walking alongside.

Inside a NYC subway car. Image from Wikimedia Commons by Devin Smith, CC BY 2.0.

Akayed Ullah intended to join the ranks of suicide bombers who have created havoc across the globe. He strapped his makeshift bomb to himself under his clothing and evidently didn’t follow all the instructions about how to build such a weapon. Where he obtained the bomb-making information could have come from a computerized messaging system known as Telegram that routinely disseminates propaganda for would-be jihadists. A few years ago, two brothers used pressure cooker bombs triggered by cell phones to create deadly mayhem at the Boston Marathon. The two learned how to construct their death-dealing devices from a magazine article detailing how to use a pressure cooker, electronic detonators, etc. If it’s that easy to become a terrorist bomber, we should expect more, not less terrorism.

Ullah entered the U.S. from Bangladesh in 2011 using an F-4 visa, the kind available only to those who have family members who are U.S. citizens. His status under existing immigration policy places him as a permanent U.S. resident. Questioned at his hospital bed soon after his terrorist attack failed to kill innocent subway patrons, Ullah admitted being inspired by ISIS. He sought to protest the U.S. attacks on ISIS targets in Syria and elsewhere with his grisly attack on innocent civilians. He regularly attended prayer sessions at a mosque near his residence in Brooklyn. The imam at that mosque credibly claimed to be opposed to any sort of jihadist activity.

Many reminders of Christmas throughout New York seemed also to have irritated the Muslim Bangladeshi immigrant. His determination to harm New Yorkers reminded city officials that, since the horror of 2001 when thousands died at the World Trade Center, more than two dozen similar plots had been identified and stopped before death-dealing jihadists had carried out their plans. Only weeks previously, a jihadist used a truck as his weapon to kill eight on a bicycle path in lower Manhattan.

The incident in the subway tunnel was not without its heroes. After Ullah’s bomb exploded, he was lying in pain on the floor with wires sticking out from his clothing. As he reached for his cell phone, three city policemen who had just rushed to the scene, saw what he was doing, and dove at him to successfully grab the phone. Heroism like that may be comforting, but it won’t stop similar attacks as potential jihadists respond to the defeated ISIS leaders who are urging such attacks on the West.

President Trump has widely been criticized for banning immigration from several Middle East and African countries. Included are Iran, Syria, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen as well as recent additions Chad, North Korea, and Venezuela. (The Supreme Court approved this move as recently as December 4, 2017.) As sensible as such bans may be, they would never have stopped Akayed Ullah from traveling in and out of the U.S. There are surely many more who possess F-4 visas, and other permissive documents, and could become the next terrorist bombers. Both federal and local authorities know that real potential exists for previously docile immigrants to create their own homemade bombs, especially after being urged to do so by ISIS, Al Qaeda, and other militantly determined foes of Western civilization.

More needs to be done to slow down and eventually terminate these terrorist attacks. Nibbling at the edges of a growing problem isn’t enough.

Want to learn more? Watch our video Exposing Terrorism.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Does Zika Warrant Bringing Back DDT?

Does Zika Warrant Bringing Back DDT?  
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

Jane Orient, M.D., serves as the Executive Director of the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS). This Arizona-based organization attracts conservative-thinking doctors and frequently finds itself in disagreement with the well-known American Medical Association.

Dr. Orient has issued a call to start using DDT in the fight against the Zika virus. Her stand places her in marked contrast to an assortment of leftist environmentalists and their political allies. To them, DDT is harmful. But examination of the claims that DDT adversely affects people, plant life, and fish shows the worries to be unreasonable if not completely false.

Created in 1874 by a German chemist, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane wasn’t found to be an effective insecticide until 1939 when Swiss chemist Paul Muller started publicizing its usefulness as an eradicator of mosquitoes and various vermin. Muller justifiably won the 1948 Nobel Prize “for his discovery of the high efficiency of DDT as a contact poison against several anthropods.”

Soon after the acknowledgement of Muller’s work, use of DDT became widespread. Typhus that had ravaged U.S. forces during World War II was largely eliminated. In the United States, sickness and death caused by malaria shrank from 15,000 cases in 1947 to compete eradication by 1951. The use of DDT in Africa and elsewhere proved sensationally effective against malaria and other mosquito borne diseases. The use of DDT, says Dr. Orient, probably saved 500,000,000 lives without killing anyone.”

In 1962, however, Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring gave birth to a campaign against DDT that has led to the substance being banned for use in the United States and much of the world. Carson predicted that vegetation would disappear, fish would no longer be found in rivers and streams, birds would no longer be found, and people would face grave dangers. DDT became Enemy Number One and its use became illegal in 1972 via an EPA mandate. Soon, the United Nations joined the U.S. in condemning DDT and using it ceased in many parts of the world.

In Florida today, frantic efforts to eradicate the Zika virus have dominated our nation’s print and electronic media. Numerous athletes have declined to participate in the Olympic Games over fear of mosquito bites transmitting the Zika virus and more. To combat the threat, medical authorities are turning to everything but DDT.

“If we do nothing,” says Dr. Orient, “a lot of people will get Zika [and] some will get Guillain Barre Syndrome which causes a potentially fatal paralysis.” Labeling as a “step above nothing” the current strategy of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) – don’t get pregnant, wear long sleeve clothing, and apply a mosquito repellent – she laments the refusal to employ DDT to deal with the problem. Everything offered by the CDC and others isn’t working very well according to the AAPS leader. What would work? With a willingness to stick her neck out, Dr. Orient says it may be “the height of political incorrectness to suggest trying DDT.” But that’s what she believes would be effective.

Why did the ban on DDT develop and become virtually mandatory? Population control seems to be the hidden goal of some. In the 1960s, Environmental Defense Fund leader Dr. Charles Wurster claimed there were already too many people on earth. He proposed banning DDT “as a way to get rid of them.” In his syndicated column, Walter Williams noted that Malthusian Club founder Alexander King had written in 1990: “So my chief quarrel with DDT, in hindsight, is that it has greatly added to the population problem.” In November 1991, the Paris-based UNESCO Courier, published the proposal of famed oceanographer Jacques Cousteau who called for action to “eliminate 350,000 people per day” as the way to counter population growth. Others claiming to be environmentalists have issued similarly outrageous statements.

The existing ban on DDT should be terminated. Perhaps the current scare presented by the Zika virus will lead again to the use of this remarkable and safe substance.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Slovakia’s Leader Takes a Turn as Head of the EU Council

Slovakia’s Leader Takes a Turn as Head of the EU Council
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

In the wake of the British vote to leave the European Union, Prime Minister Robert Fico of Slovakia took over as President of the European Council. Starting July 1, he will hold that rotating post for six months, followed by another head of state from one of the remaining 27 EU member countries.

Prime Minister Robert Fico of Slovakia took over as President of the European Council (image by MGlen (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons).

Fico has always been an ambitious politician. In the 1980’s when his country (then part of Czechoslovakia) was under Communist rule, he joined the Communist Party. After the so-called “Velvet Revolution” and the end of formal Communist rule, and before Slovakia and the Czech Republic split, he left the Communist Party and won election to the Czechoslovakian parliament in 1992. When Slovakia became independent, he wrangled with fellow political leaders, suffered several setbacks, and eventually formed his own political party that saw him win election as Prime Minister in 2006. After a brief period out of office, voters returned him to the nation’s top spot in 2012.

Cheered by the Brexit result and an outspoken foe of forced immigration into his country, Fico has stated, “Islam has no place in Slovakia; they change the character of a country.” He has pointed disdainfully to German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s willingness to accept roughly one million refugees, many Muslims among them. He is well aware of the ruckus raised as a result of this influx into Germany by an angry German population.

Everywhere in Europe, the Brexit result spurred an increase in outspoken objections to immigration. Fico certainly knows this and is responding to that attitude, exactly as should be expected of an ambitious politician. Just prior to Britain’s move to quit the EU, he notified EU heads of state that the Council’s customary “informal” gathering at which he will preside will convene in Bratislava in September, not in Brussels where it usually convenes. The leader of Britain will not be invited to attend.

At the September EU Council meeting, the leaders of the remaining 27 EU states will discuss attempts to diminish the clout of the European Commission, a more powerful body than the EU Council, where decisions increasingly rile member nations. “Brexit brings a new dynamic,” said a Slovak official, an attitude quickly spreading throughout Europe after the shock wave from Britain. Fico himself has stated, “Crucial decisions in the future of Europe cannot be decided by a small group of member states,” a reference to EU decision-making by the six founding countries.

The key matters contributing to the British anti-EU stance – forced immigration, dictation from Brussels, and national independence – are felt all over Europe. They will surely be on the agenda at the Bratislava meeting. Robert Fico’s handling of the conference, and the attitude of other leaders in attendance, will reveal whether the future will bring a crumbling of the EU, or a salvaging of the pact despite the damage inflicted by British voters.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Obama Versus Obama on the Use of Executive Orders

Obama Versus Obama on the Use of Executive Orders
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

The fate of approximately five million illegal immigrants rides on a matter now in the hands of the Supreme Court. On April 18, the court entertained hearings on whether these immigrants will be deported or allowed to remain in the United States. A decision is expected in a few months.

President Barack Obama signs an executive order on the Employment of Veterans in the Federal Government, Nov. 9, 2009, in the Oval Office at the White House. (White House Photo by Pete Souza, from the U.S. Army Flickr accountsome rights reserved).

More than a year ago, President Obama sought to use an executive order to cancel congressional action calling for deportation of these illegal entrants. In effect, he wanted to grant them amnesty. Federal Judge Andrew Hanen blocked implementation of the Obama order and a federal district court later upheld his ruling. The Obama administration appealed that court’s ruling all the way to the Supreme Court.

Led by Texas, a total of 26 state governments have sought relief from the costs incurred by the flood of immigrants, including the five million in question. Their issue dwells on expenses incurred by the immigrants such as the issuance of drivers licenses. But the greater issue here is the use of executive orders by a president in order to circumvent existing law, or even to establish law without it having first been created by Congress.

Interestingly, President Obama has provided totally conflicting views on the topic of executive orders. In January 2014, he threatened to make law via his executive order by declaring:

We’re not just going to be waiting for legislation in order to make sure that we’re providing Americans the kind of help they need. I’ve got a pen, and I’ve got a phone. And I can use that pen to sign executive orders and take executive actions and administrative actions that move the ball forward….

As recounted by David Remnick in New Yorker magazine, Mr. Obama had earlier provided a completely opposite view during a fund-raising appearance at the Betty Ann Ong Chinese Recreation Center in California. Urged by some in his audience to rely on the executive order route, the president objected and stated:

If, in fact, I could solve all these problems without passing laws in Congress, then I would do so, but we’re also a nation of laws. I’m actually going to pause on this issue, because a lot of people have been saying this lately on every problem, which is just, “Sign an executive order and we can pretty much do anything and basically nullify Congress.” [But] that’s not how it works. We’ve got this Constitution; we’ve got this whole thing about separation of powers. So there is no shortcut to politics, and there’s no shortcut to democracy.

Not the first president who has employed executive orders to circumvent the sole power of Congress to make law, Obama might be the first to explain very clearly how wrong such a practice truly is. This nation does indeed have a Constitution that should be obeyed.

Currently, because of the death of Justice Scalia, the Supreme Court has only eight justices. Should there be a 4 to 4 split, the district court’s previous ruling against the president’s use of an executive order will stand. President Obama’s action would, in effect, be deemed an illegal act and deportation action could proceed.

Which Obama position regarding executive orders will prevail? The odds seem to favor rejection of their use. For a change, the president’s grasp for power may be thwarted. Now, do your part and tell Congress to oppose all Executive and Congressional amnesties.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


House Votes To Keep Syrians From Entering U. S.

House Votes To Keep Syrians From Entering U. S.
by JBS President John F. McManus

On November 19th, the House of Representatives voted 289 to 137 to block Syrians seeking entry into the U.S. The bill requires that the FBI chief, the head of the Department of Homeland Security, and the national intelligence director confirm that any Syrian seeking entry is no threat to our country or its citizens. Approximately 50 Democrats supported the measure despite the President’s strong opposition.

U.S. Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev.) (Photo by United States Congress [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons).

The Senate will consider the matter in early December where it faces more opposition among those loyal to President Obama. Senate minority leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) told fellow Democrats, “Don’t worry. It won’t get passed.” He appeared more concerned about defending President Obama’s oft-repeated desire to open the gates to 10,000 Syrians than he is concerned that any might be terrorists who would do harm to Americans.

The President has repeatedly stated his desire to welcome as many as 10,000 refugees even though the vetting process for incoming refugees is questionable. House minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) claimed that the President would veto the bill if it ever reached his desk.

In a televised interview, Congressman Peter King (R-N.Y.), a member of the House Intelligence committee, forcefully declared, “There is no vetting as a practical matter. What the President is telling us is not true. We can’t vet the refugees. Unless we know who they are, we cannot allow them in.” Even while travelling in Asia, President Obama took to Twitter to repeat to his 5.1 million followers his determination to “provide refuge to at least 10,000” who are fleeing the war in Syria.

Meanwhile, the governors of more than half of the United States have declared that they would not admit Syrian refugees. They have expressed a lack of confidence in the screening system, saying it would not sufficiently detect and bar entry to potential terrorists. Their defiance could end up as a struggle between the growing power of the President and the shrinking power of states rights.

While the matter is high on the list of concerns facing Congress, officials in Honduras arrested five Syrian men who had arrived in their capital city via a commercial airline. The five possessed bogus Greek passports. The Honduran officials noted that these men intended to enter the United States through our country’s porous border.

While the U.S. continues its military offensive of “spreading democracy” across the world, the threat of terrorism continues. And with the threat comes the opportunity for the federal government to take away further freedom from its citizens in what Benjamin Franklin called trading liberty for temporary security.

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Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and now President. He remains the Society’s chief media representative throughout the nation and has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs. Mr. McManus is also Publisher of The New American magazine and author of a number of educational DVDs and books.


Hard-to-Believe Treachery in Nigeria

Hard-to-Believe Treachery in Nigeria
by JBS President John F. McManus

A few months ago, in mid-April to be precise, 276 girls and young women were kidnapped from a boarding school in a remote part of Nigeria known as Chibok. Plenty of worldwide outrage followed, especially because the perpetrators of the deed were militant Islamists claiming to be in league with al Qaeda. They call their organization Boko Haram which in our language translates to “Western education is sinful.”

As is customary no matter what heinous crime is committed, much of the outrage has cooled and the incident is no longer featured in newspaper headlines or on the major TV news programs. Approximately 50 of the schoolgirls have escaped and found their way back to their families. They told of being forced to marry, convert to Islam, and perform menial tasks for the Boko Haram warriors. In a videotaped message released in late October, Abubakar Shekau, the group’s leader, boastfully and sneeringly stated, “If you knew the state your daughters are in today, it might lead some of you … to die from grief. The issue of the girls is long forgotten because I have long ago married them off.”

Surrounded by his masked and armed fighters waving the black and white flag of Al Qaeda, Shekau added: “You people should understand that we only obey Allah; we tread the path of the prophet. We hope to die on this path…. Our goal is the garden of eternal bliss.” He insisted that the only interest Boko Haram has is “battle, hitting, striking, and killing with the gun, which we look forward to like a tasty meal.”

Marc-Antoine Perouse de Montclos, a French scholar who has studied Boko Haram, notes that the area dominated by these militants is in the northeast portion of Nigeria where marauders seeking slaves and booty have long operated. A researcher based at the London-based Royal Institute for International Affairs, de Montclos stated, “Domestic slaves were used as currency, much like cattle, or as a way to extract ransom or settle disputes.” Human Rights Watch estimates that Boko Haram has abducted as many as 500 women and girls since the group began its carnage in 2009.

The Nigerian government recently claimed to have engineered a cease-fire with the Boko Haram militants. But Shekau completely rejects such an arrangement. Meanwhile, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has been severely criticized for doing essentially nothing to stop the outrage. Mr. Jonathan is based in faraway Lagos, Nigeria’s capital, where women and girls are safer and there is no threat from Boko Haram.

Reports continue about other militant Islamists in ISIS beheading someone in Syria, committing mass murder elsewhere, and moving steadily toward capture of Iraqi cities. It is certainly true that only a minuscule percentage of Muslim believers participates in these kinds of crimes, just as it is true that only an isolated version of such activity has been carried out in the United States. The massacre at Fort Hood, wrongly deemed by officialdom as “workplace violence,” fits an ominous pattern. Now that Republicans have control of the Senate, will they work together with the House to ensure immigration laws are enforced to avoid a Boko Haram here?


Mr. McManus joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966 and has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and now President. He remains the Society’s chief media representative throughout the nation and has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs. Mr. McManus is also Publisher of The New American magazine and author of a number of educational DVDs and books.