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Foukara's Hope and Change Speech at the General Knox Museum


I recently listened to the Maine Public Radio’s broadcast of Foukara, the Washington Bureau Chief of Al Jazeera’s speech at The General Henry Knox Museum. During the introduction moderator Matt Dafour thanked Act For America for transforming the anticipated low attendance for the Foukara speech to a sold out event. Dafour then goes for a cheap laugh by recommending that The General Henry Knox Museum seek another speaker that Act For America will disapprove next year- begging the question as to why The General Henry Knox Museum does not simply invite someone from Act For America to speak next year? To answer this question one needs only examine the list of previous honorees who all share a common identification with the left wing of the American political media. The “open minded” board of the museum is not so open minded as to give a pulpit or an honor to American conservatism, although conservatives are grounded in the intent to preserve the American political system that was founded during General Henry Knox’s life time, and resulted from the successful Revolution in which General Henry Knox fought.

Al Jazeera may be the mid east's most listened to news media but Brigitte Gabriel, the founder of Act for America, is a frequent pundit on America’s most listened to news media, Fox News, where she weighs in on the middle east and the threat to America from creeping Shariah. Ms Gabriel’s resume includes not only addresses to media but also addresses to the American and British Governments and their agencies.

Upon listening to the entire tape, I have found that the prepared speech has the earmarks of calculated propaganda but when Abderrahim Foukara answers question spontaneously , he comes across as speaking his own mind and so that becomes the most valuable portion of the presentation. Foukara comes across as a possibly unwitting puppet of forces that he does not understand and into which he projects his own dreams and aspirations. He does not seem like a bad sort but neither does he seem particularly acute or disciplined. Throughout the speech Abderrahim Foukara, like Obama makes reference to “change” leaving the interpretation of that term up to the beholder. Foukara indicates that the change the people are demanding is “democracy” and identifies the United States as having “democratic capital” but does not show any sign of understanding what took place during the times of General Knox when our founding fathers created our constitution and recorded the creative process in the Federalist Papers. In Federalist Paper #10 , Madison makes a clear case as to why the founders rejected pure democracy, with its historical record of failure, and opted instead for a “democratic republic”. Madison goes on to discuss the dangers of a “tyranny of the majority “inherent within a pure democracy.

Contemporary language usage conflates the democratic republic of the United States with “democracy”, there by erasing the fundamental distinctions made by our founding fathers. Institutions such as the General Henry Knox Museum, whose mission is to further understanding of period of history when the United States was founded are where we should find this crucial distinction preserved, however the current governance of the General Henry Knox Museum shows little evidence of understanding the essential thinking that formulated the American constitution, a constitution about which their 2011 gala fundraising honoree also admits to lacking an in depth understanding, when, at about 23 minutes into the speech, Foukara states:

The American Constitution or at least how it sounds to my layman ears, for I am not a constitutional expert, is not just piece of paper where a bunch of middle-aged rich white guys hurriedly scribbled squiggles on a piece of paper for a crowd happy to see the back of the British Red Coats. “The American Constitution to me is a live meaningful political philosophy, which guarantees, at least, that life in America will be a constant state of revisions and amendments to meet new and rejuvenating aspirations to change and regress – that is how I would recommend Arabs to read it at this crucial point in their history- regardless of how they feel about US Foreign Policy ……… That is where it becomes very important to take a very close look at how a constitution such as America’s deals with protecting both majorities and minorities from each other’s tyranny
This would be the natural point at which to reference the American Federalist papers and in particular Federalist Paper #10 but instead Foukara lapses into generalized ideals about ”good governance accountability, dignity and citizenship”, entirely skipping over any mention of the detailed examination found in the American Federalist papers- but then Foukara has already admitted that he is just a layman when it comes to the American constitution and has not offered any indication about how far his layman understanding has delved into actually reading our constitution- or if his ideas are formed merely by generalized understandings- the same sort of generalized understanding that never thinks to distinguish between a “democracy” and a “democratic republic”.

Foukara’s confession is astounding. Foukara is the Washington Bureau Chief of Al Jazeera. This is comparable to the head of Fox News, the most widely viewed American media, confessing to know nothing about Shariah Law. If Foukara believes his own words then why has he himself not engaged in taking a “very close look” at the United States Constitution- and more importantly the Federalist Papers which record for prosperity the thinking process that resulted in our constitution? Foukara praises the United States Constitution for its adaptability to change but fails to understand that the amendment process needs to be clarified within the broader scope of the whole constitution and the political philosophy that formed it as recorded in the Federalist Papers. Since Foukara is the head of a mid-east media, which he claims attempts to represent both sides of the issues, why has he not educated himself on the very constitution which he claims the world should be examining closely? As influential a position that Foukara holds in Arab media, how can he serve the cause of closely examining the American constitution unless he himself does so? In his question and answer segment Foukara makes a reasonable argument for broadcasting Bin Laden’s message, which goes to taking away the mythical power of mystery- but why then does he further the mythical representation of the American constitution by leaving The Federalist Papers veiled in obscurity?

“Progressivism” – believes that the United States is a “living constitution” constantly subject to revision and change and often refers to the original version as a “dusty old document” that is “out dated” in the contemporary (rejuvenated) world. Progressivism has transformed the American educational system into one in which the works of Marx are more widely read than the Federalist Papers. In fact the Federalist papers have only recently been re-introduced into the American dialogue through the efforts of the Tea Party. By emphasizing the American constitution as a document that was designed to be constantly revised, Foukara has identified his progressive political colors. He later re-enforces this when he quotes from George Soros in a generic statement which could have been said by countless others, but Soros is Foukara’s man of choice. Soros is identified as a native of Hungary, but Soro’s youthful history as a Nazi collaborator against his own people is left unmentioned, instead Soros is portrayed through the chosen quote as a champion of “democracy”. Like Obama , Foukara delivers the message of “hope and change” and like Obama, Foukara associates himself with George Soros, and in so doing- Foukara plays the same role in mid-eastern media that the American liberal media- those same stations whose pundits have been past honorees of The General Henry Knox Museum, played for Obama. Foukara gently white-washed George Soros, painting him as a champion of hope and change, leaving out the dark facts of Soros’s past and present, just as the liberal media would not discuss Obamas activities at the Chicago Annenberg Challenge or the disastrous economic policies that Obama either sponsored or supported as an Illinois senator- or any of Obama’s other sordid associations. It seems this is just one area where the Arab and Western worlds “merge together” as Foukara would say.


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