Articles by " Khalil A. Haddad"
30 Jun
2012
Posted in: Announcements
By    Comments Off

100th NYYRC Annual Dinner Thank You

Thank you to all those who attended the 100th Annual Alumni Dinner Gala and to all who have contributed to ensuring its success. We had an outstanding lineup of speakers, an amazing band, great food, and above all, wonderful company. We were delighted to have with us:

  • Congressman Louie Gohmert, this years recipient of the New York Young Republican Award
  • 81st Attorney General to the United States, Michael B. Mukasey, this years recipient of the Herbert Brownell Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Chris Wight, this years recipient of the Candidate of the Year Award
  • Stephen Baldwin, this years emcee
  • Nick Palumbo and the Flipped Fedoras

We thank them for their support and generosity towards the Club.

19 May
2012
Posted in: Announcements
By    Comments Off

100th NYYRC Annual Alumni Dinner Gala

100th NYYRC Annual Alumni Dinner Gala

JOIN US AS WE CELEBRATE OUR 100TH ANNUAL DINNER! The Annual Dinner is our Club’s signature event and is attended by members, politicians, and donors from in and around the New York metropolitan area.

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012
6:30PM – 10:00PM
Manhattan Penthouse – 80 5th Avenue (at 14th Street)

Includes passed hors d’oeuvres, a three course dinner, a 3 hour open bar, and a silent auction surrounded by amazing views of Manhattan!

After party at the Ainsworth (26th & 6th)
Drink Specials are $4 Paige Amber Ales, $6 Cosmos
Light Appetizers – on the house

The event will feature actor and talk show host Stephen Baldwin as emcee, and Congressman Louie Gohmert, former US Attorney General Michael Mukasey, and NY 12th Congressional District Candidate Chris Wight as guest speakers. Also featuring music by Nick Palumbo and the Flipped Fedoras.

NYYRC Member Rates
NYYRC Member Rate Dinner Ticket $165
NYYRC Member Rate Dinner Ticket w. Photo Opp $195

Non-Member Rates
Non-Member Rate Dinner Ticket $215
Non-Member Rate Dinner Ticket w. Photo Opp $265


Table Rate
Table Rate w. Photo Opp $3,250

12 Jul
2011
Posted in: Announcements
By    Comments Off

THE THREE MONKEYS BAR, Monthly Social August 3rd

NYYRC Monthly Social

THE THREE MONKEYS BAR

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011
 
7:00PM – 10:00PM
 
236 W 54th Street (b/w Broadway &  8th Avenue)
Subways B, C, D to 7th Avenue-53rd Street
$4 Select Beers
$5 Cocktails of the week
Drink Specials, Cash Bar & Free Appetizers!
Free event for Members and Non-Members.
First event or coming alone? Let us know and we’ll introduce you around!
RSVP rsvp@nyyrc.com
 
15 Dec
2010
Posted in: Announcements
By    Comments Off

Thank You & Happy Holidays

Thank you to everyone who attended our Annual Fall Celebration and helping us make it successful again this year. The New York State Young Republican Holiday Dinner will be held this Saturday, December 18th. To RSVP, please email rsvp@nyyrc.com.

There is no December meeting. Our next event will be the January social on 1/5/2011. Please remember to renew your 2011 membership!

We wish everyone a very happy holiday.

1 Aug
2010
Posted in: Blog
By    1 Comment

20 Years Later: Lessons on Global Peace from the 1990 Kuwaiti Invasion

August 2nd, 2010 marks the twentieth anniversary of the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq. While this event may be a distant and insignificant memory to most, it remains a real event in my life, as one of the 2 million who woke up early that morning without a home. The majority of us who resided in Kuwait were thankfully vacationing abroad. Yet our concerns and fears were drawn to family and friends who were now among the 500 thousand “guests” of our northern neighbor, Saddam Hussein.

In late August 1990, my family decided to settle in North Carolina. Southern hospitality was at its finest when we were welcomed and embraced by the Greensboro community who sought to lend their assistance. Cell phones, which were at the time actually bag phones, were carried by a select few. The Internet was in its infancy, and I had no opportunity to connect with the people who were a major part of my life up until this point. In the coming months, CNN would only begin to realize its global reach with its 24 hour news cycle as the world witnessed for the first time in history a war, live on television.

Having spent much of my early years as a member of the American expatriate community, I reflect upon America’s self worth from those who lived within her borders, those who had become my new neighbors, my new friends and classmates, and my new church congregation. I reflect upon their view of an America caught within a major internal debate as to its role in the world. This is a view that has become even more prevalent today and it is one that I certainly do not share. I harbor no such conflicts and believe now as I did then that America must lead.

In discussing a resolution to this crisis, I recall being astonished at the three major arguments, circulating at that time, regarding America’s role and the world’s response to the invasion. The first was that a peaceful solution to Kuwaiti liberation would be possible through the use of sanctions. Sanctions do not work, especially in the Middle East. This revered tool is a repulsive trait of global diplomacy. Sanctions are merely a delay of responsibility by nations who choose not to deal with a crisis. War was the only clear path to liberation and freedom for the Kuwaitis. Sanctions take years and decades to achieve a non-result at the expense of innocent civilians. Those who argued for sanctions also demonstrated a lack of understanding around the relentless mind of Middle Eastern people. Sanctions would continue to harm those who lived under the rule of a despotic regime whose only concern was for its hold on power, not its citizens. Those in power can and often do patiently wait out the global community and they continue to work towards fulfilling their objectives. Thankfully, the vision and resolute nature of Margaret Thatcher compelled the elder George Bush to stand firm when she noted that this was not the time to go “wobbly.”

The second argument was that war with Saddam Hussein’s Iraq was surely going to yield heavy casualties for the US and her allies and therefore should not be fought. Proponents of this argument believed that Saddam’s army was well equipped and battle hardened after its brutal eight year war with Iran. This was utter nonsense. When a weak army (Iraq) defeats a weaker army (Iran), only the weak army remains. Who was able to stand up against the might of the United States? Why the lack of confidence in American power by those who possess it? The Vietnam syndrome that has plagued virtually every American military intervention since the early 1970s may answer this question, but it is a poor answer. This syndrome was born of nothing more than the fear of making a commitment that is politically unpopular. Those of us who lived in the Middle East understood that there was no nation on earth that was able to stand up to American power. We also knew that only the United States was capable of winning. The US was the superpower that protected the nations of the world from the aggressors, and in this conflict, the US would be the victor in a short war.

Finally, and perhaps the most ridiculous idea of all was that the United Nations would provide the leadership to resolve global aggression. Believing that the United Nations is able to play a vital leadership role in resolving global conflicts is fanciful. There has been only two times in history when the UN has acted militarily to assert and enforce its resolutions and even then, it was not the UN, but the United States that provided the leadership. The first was during the Korean War and the second was during the first Gulf War. I still recoil today thinking about how one of my classmates spoke on the momentous victory the United Nations achieved, days after the war had ended. Victory for the UN? The implication that the United States followed obsequiously behind the skirt of the United Nations diminishes the values and ideals of liberty and freedom from the nation that embodies them, while at the same time lifting up those who clearly are not defined by those principles. The United States and only the United States provided the leadership during that conflict. Without America, Kuwait would never have been liberated.

All of these arguments were and are still wrong. Despite my insistence that war, not sanctions, was the solution, that war against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq would be easy and quick, and despite my dismissal of the UN’s ability to provide leadership apart from the US, my new friends and neighbors in the States, and not surprisingly the media, begged to differ. At times it takes those who have lived abroad to clearly see how the world works.

The 1980s was a great decade to live in and experience. I lived in a Middle East that was rapidly changing. Oil revenue continued to bring opportunities, development, and prosperity to the Arabian Peninsula. Yet, the Lebanese civil war, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the Iran-Iraq war were constant news-worthy events. Familiarity with Hafez al-Assad, Saddam Hussein, and the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini stood in sharp contrast to leaders like Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan. The paradox for the US is that while America was believed to create burdens and spread misery to the peoples of the Middle East, it was also believed to be the only nation with the moral obligation to step in, stop the threats, and enforce the peace. While many may argue that our presence there since the 1990 military buildup is objectionable to Arabs and the Muslim world, I have rarely come across anyone from the region who truly objects to that presence. The issue rather is whether the US will protect her allies there, or will she cower and flee as she has in the past.

The arguments for the United States taking a muted international role were the same in the early 90s as they are today. We are told that the end of the Cold War has given us no reason to maintain military might, and that it is time to turn our attention to domestic matters, rather than continue to bear the burdens of those overseas. We are also told that due to our large deficits, the world can no longer count on us for international peace, nor can our consumers be counted on to absorb the world’s exports and drive global economic prosperity. Rather, we are told that the United States should “reset” her relations with the world and take on the role of intermediary. These arguments are false. There is no other nation that has the economic and military power to succeed, nor is there any other nation that has the political might and moral obligation to protect and extend peace.

We are able to be effective intermediaries. The United States is the only nation ever to have become a super power without seeking to be one. We have acted credibly and as an honest broker during an age when other powerful nations have only sought to expand their borders and subjugate other nations and peoples for their own gain. We protect Europe, the Middle East, South Korea, and much of the world, and we have been invited to do so by the governments of these regions. We protect the seas and the air. We provide humanitarian aid, monetary aid, and industrial and commercial know-how.

We have also, until the current presidential administration, supported democratic revolutions such as the Cedar Revolution in Lebanon. Yet to assume that the role of intermediary is our purpose while we limit military intervention and focus on domestic issues is to misunderstand the essence of peace, and demonstrate a basic understanding of how the world operates. Yes, we have pursued our national self-interests, and yes, we have made mistakes, however, the United States has been the greatest force for good in history. Our leadership has provided greater political freedom and economic prosperity to the world than any other nation, at any other time.

For the world to maintain peace, the United States must remain strong. Peace is not, as some assume, the cessation of hostilities between nations based upon a set of agreed conditions that are never enforced. Nor is peace true peace if safety needs to be guaranteed. Any agreement reached on peace and safety upon that premise is not peace as it implies that we cannot trust one another. If history is any guide, it tells us that evil exists, and eventually one nation will resume hostilities. Only with the complete defeat and surrender of our enemies can the process of true peace be achieved and confirmed through strength. The United States is the only nation that can ensure and nurture an enduring peace.

To be strong at home, we must be strong abroad. How can we foster domestic growth and prosperity when we have allowed foreign aggressors to threaten peace? If we cannot sell our goods and services abroad, if other nations cannot sell their goods and services, how are we to become prosperous? How are we to provide the means for maintaining our infrastructures, our justice, and our charity? If global peace is at risk, no amount of domestic policies, stimuli, or entitlements will make us economically vibrant and fiscally strong. If we are not strong abroad, we will be weak at home. With the world drunk off of American prosperity and security, if we are weak abroad, no nation will be strong at home.

If we do not lead, who will? The United Nations? As I previously mentioned, the UN has only provided true leadership twice to enforce resolutions, and then only through American leadership. Are we willing to submit to a global body whose vital interests reflect the whims of despots and tyrannical regimes? The UN will never act of its own accord to be the enforcer of peace and the mouthpiece of freedom. Do we also place American troops under UN leadership? This is immoral, not only for the United States but for any nation. To place our sons and daughters in the trust of an international body hostile to American interests is an abrogation of the president’s oath of office and duty as the Commander in Chief. If not UN leadership, who remains? China? Russia? Venezuela? Iran? If we seek to diminish our role, who among the nations will fill the void? I assure you someone will. No, our political and economic values born of the American Revolution compels us to a leading role. It is our moral duty.

The policies of the past two years have not provided the United States with policy advancements for the cause of peace. We sided with socialist Manuel Zelaya in Honduras, and, even worse, legitimized the Iranian regime by turning our backs on Iran’s pro-democracy and pro-freedom demonstrators. Our president palled up with the Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez and sought to open relations with Syria, a supporter of Hamas. We have also stated our timetable for withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan, again, reinforcing too many in the world that we tire from our commitments. Would we have the will to stand against a nuclear Iran or North Korea if we leave Iraq prematurely, or if we choose failure in Afghanistan?

Our foreign policy must protect our vital interests, but we must also protect those values and ideals that make us Americans. We must support democracy. We must encourage economic freedom. We must stand for human rights. We must stand for liberty against those that oppress. This is our purpose. If we do not, no one will. If we fail to answer this call, no one will stand for us. My reflections upon the unfortunate circumstances that befell my family as a result of the Iraqi invasion, and the skill our military demonstrated in liberating Kuwait and protecting her neighbors leads me to one conclusion. America must lead.

26 Jan
2010
Posted in: Blog
By    1 Comment

My Plan for Health Care Reform

As the election of Scott Brown to the late “Ted Kennedy’s seat” last week has temporarily muted the winds of socialized medicine, it is time for the Republican party to boldly proclaim their reasoned alternatives within the current health care debate. Despite the rhetoric regarding the “party of no”, alternatives to the Democrat’s disastrous plan have been proposed over the course of the past year. As the Heritage Foundation noted, three alternatives were brought to the floor:

  • The Patients Choice Act of 2009
  • The Improving Health Care for All Americans Act
  • The Empower Patients First Act

While the above proposals differ, the basic premise is rooted in reforming the tax inequalities of the current system. For example, there are an unlimited number of tax breaks that exist if you were to purchase insurance through your employer. This is not the case should you purchase insurance on your own. The Republican alternatives seek to create universal tax credits rather than further the inequalities of the current system.

It is my belief that any proposal must be rooted in the sound principles of limited government and the private market. In so doing, we only enhance our choices and maximize our benefits from a multitude of options without the restrictions that government naturally imposes on its citizens. The merits of these principles are evident from President Lincoln’s domestic agenda and how it relates to three successful pieces of legislation; the Homestead Act, the Land-Grant Colleges Act, and the Pacific Railway Act. As William J. Stuntz writes in the April 2009 pages of the Weekly Standard, these laws worked as:

Their success did not depend on complex judgments made by members of Congress or government regulators. The statutes in question were meant to confer opportunities, not to solve problems—yet they offer a terrific model for problem-solving government. Notice who did the hard work: not members of Congress, not Lincoln’s omnicompetent cabinet, and not the president himself. Rather, the necessary elbow grease was supplied by the private citizens whose prospects Lincoln aimed to improve.

Therefore, under the proven principles of limited government and private enterprise, and for the cause of the environmentally conscious (2 pages vs. 2074), I wish to propose my guideline plans for health care reform, as outlined below.

The first aspect of my plan would abolish Medicare and Medicaid and replace it with a Direct Insurance Purchase Program (DIPP). The benefits of Medicare and Medicaid do not warrant the amount of tax payer money wasted to keep them afloat. A more cost effective approach would be for the Federal government to directly purchase insurance from the private market for those who truly cannot afford to pay for their own health insurance. As the bills recently passed by both the House and Senate place the costs of “reform” over $1.2 trillion, a DIPP will cost roughly $230 billion per year (assuming the average annual premium for an individual is $5,000 and the number of uninsured is 46 million). Given the governments penchant for cost underestimation, DIPP costs fall well below current proposals, including the OMB’s 2010 estimated spend of $735 billion on both Medicare and Medicaid. It will also ensure limited government involvement, and allow the private sector to provide the product mix that best maximizes the benefits in relation to their costs.

The second aspect has already been given much print and must be a necessary component of any proposal. The ability of individuals to purchase insurance across state lines opens up the market to competition, provides more insurance purchase options, enhances the flexibility to alter one’s choices based on need, and most surely leads to a reduction of costs.

The third component of my plan is a hybrid between a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and an IRA. Today, our laws limit our tax exempt FSA contribution, by an individual, to $3,000 per year, to be spend on approved health related costs. Should we not exhaust all of the contributed amount, the Federal Government will take the balance for itself. My plan seeks to create a Health Spending Account (HSA) that (1) allows an annual tax exempt contribution of $10,000 per year for an individual, (2) allows year on year rollovers on any year end remaining balances, (3) allows for the investment of these funds in low risk instruments such as CD’s and money markets, (4) allows for supplemental retirement withdrawals above the age of 65 on a pre-defined amount, and (5) allows beneficiaries to rollover unused balances into their own HSA’s, tax exempt of course. This vehicle places the burden of health care on the individual, promotes freedom of choice, encourages savings for unexpected health bills, removes the current tax inequalities, and limits government intrusion.

It is expected that opposition to my plan will be planted in arguments of lost government revenuelost revenue that can only ensure that the people’s money is less inclined to be used for wasteful spending, an unnecessary bureaucracy, bribes, and fraud. Further, it places ownership of the people’s money in the hands of the people. Who, other than the people, are best suited to manage their own private property?

23 Jan
2010
Posted in: Blog
By    1 Comment

Ray Kelly Speaks to the NYYRC

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly spoke to a crowd of over 180 attendees at the January NYYRC meeting kicking off with the NYPD’s stellar record of pubic safety. New York City remains extremely safe given its current population of 9 million, with the murder rate having declined to 471 cases per year in 2009, a decline of over 79% since 1990 (theft was down by 82% and assault by 62% over that same period). This record of achievement has ensured that NYC remains a global tourist attraction and the “new Disney”.

Commissioner Kelly was first appointed in 1992 by Mayor Dinkins, where he served until 1994. Among his numerous accomplishments was the reduction of crime as well his leadership through the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993 while Mayor Dinkins was in Asia. Reappointed in 2002, the Commissioner’s major accomplishment has been to remake the NYPD into a world class counter terrorism operation. The NYPD is the first police department in the world to hold a global view of public safety. With detectives stationed around the globe in cities such as London and Mumbai, the department is better suited to determine whether international activities are connected, or pose a treat, to the city. The NYPD continues to provide safety from foreign and domestic threats with the assistance of sophisticated cameras and radiation detectors positioned at all bridges and tunnels, and at major centers throughout the city.

One of the discussion points during the meeting related to the upcoming trials of Khalid Sheikh Mohammad and four other 9/11 conspirators in NYC. No public information has been disclosed as to when those trials will occur, however, law enforcement will be given a 45 day notice for final preparations. In response to a question, it was surprising to hear that the Justice Department’s decision for holding the trials was not made in consultation with the major stakeholders, such as Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Kelly, nor were any prior discussions held to mitigate possible concerns. Rather, city leaders were informed on the morning of November 14th, 2009, the day this decision was made public. Nevertheless, it is evident that the NYPD is preparing for security and is more than capable of addressing any possible threats.

We thank the NYPD and Commissioner Kelly for their service. We could not be better protected.

17 Dec
2009
Posted in: Blog
By    Comments Off

Steve Forbes Speaks to the NYYRC

Over 200 people came to the November monthly meeting of the New York Young Republican Club to hear Steve Forbes speak. Mr. Forbes analyzed the current economic situation, such as by showing how monetary policy related to real estate and commodity bubbles.  He also showed why free markets are preferable to government control for health care and more.

After the meeting, Mr. Forbes also signed copies of his books, “How Capitalism Will Save Us: Why Free People And Free Markets Are The Best Answer In Today’s Economy” and “Power Ambition Glory: The Stunning Parallels between Great Leaders of the Ancient World and Today…and the Lessons You Can Learn for a long line of those in attendance.  Mr. Forbes’ terrific sense of humor, graciousness and valuable insights made for a delightful evening.

DSC_0133

DSC_0139

DSC_0141

DSC_0138

DSC_0140

DSC_0149

DSC_0153

DSC_0148

DSC_0154

DSC_0156

DSC_0159

DSC_0161

14 Jul
2009
Posted in: Blog
By    Comments Off

The World Is Watching

As the windows stopped clattering, the emergency siren quickly sounded after a large explosion violently shook the walls of my classroom.  Two thousand students were escorted out of the school’s main entrance, passing by the parked school buses before sitting down on the desert sands.  A pillar of smoke could be seen rocketing into the sky from behind the school walls. As teachers and school administrators tried to calm down some of my classmates, news arrived that a car bomb exploded at the French embassy two blocks away.  Just an hour earlier, another explosion had taken place at the US embassy.  The coordinated bombings of the US and French embassies in Kuwait were among six attacks within the emirate on December 12th, 1983, only two months after the bombings of the US and French barracks in Beirut.

Among the vivid memories I hold from my childhood, the French embassy bombing was one.   I was 8 year old.  I also recall the days surrounding the hijacking of Kuwait Airways Flight 422 in April 1988 where two bodies were dumped on the tarmac in Larnaca, Cyprus.   So was life living in the shadows of Iranian hostility during the Middle East of the 1980’s.

Since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, the world watched the 1984 hijacking of Kuwait Airways Flight 221, the 1985 hijacking of TWA Flight 847, the 1992 and 1994 bombings of the Israeli embassy and the Jewish community center in Buenos Aries, the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia, the lethal roadside attacks on the US military in Iraq after the 2003 invasion, the extensive meddling in Baghdad’s 2005 elections, the delivery of arms to Palestinian militants, and the ever growing link between Hezbollah and the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese PM Rafik Hariri, all of which have solidified Tehran’s resume of terrorism and foreign meddling in pursuit, no doubt, of “peace and lasting calm”.

As a candidate, Mr. Obama promised to stand for the human rights of the bloggers in Iran, to support those who marched and bled for democracy and for those who seek a secure and lasting peace.  Now as President, Mr. Obama has demonstrated that his view on human rights and democracy were mere words.  Rather than stand with freedom, Mr. Obama’s tepid statements on Iranian unrest in the aftermath the elections has only helped to quench the flame of freedom in favor of oppression.  He further seems to believe, as Leon Wieseltier stated, “that there is some force in the admonition that the world is watching; but history plentifully demonstrates that when the world is watching, all the world does is watch.”

Mr. Obama has secured a position of weakness for the United States and yielded the cause of liberty to our enemies.  While the French uphold the mantle of moral clarity, while Obama develops a naive foreign policy based solely on being un-Bush, and while the rest of the world watches, the Iranians grow closer to developing a nuclear weapon.  It is hard to imagine Iran, the Iran I’ve known since my childhood, who has fostered 30 years of global violence, who threatens its neighbors, and who denies basic unalienable rights to their citizens sitting down to negotiate their nuclear ambitions, or worse, their soon to be nuclear arsenal, with its regional neighbors or any other nation.  Mr. Obama is partially right, the world is watching; watching the United States no longer bear the burden of the downtrodden for the cause of liberty.

24 Jun
2009
Posted in: Blog
By    1 Comment

Timid and Passive

This is truly an embarrassment.  The response and near silence of the Obama administration towards the events in Iran over the past several days is shameful.  Our concern with the “tenor and tone” of Mullah Khamenei’s threats laying the responsibility of the “bloodshed and chaos” on protesters was an invitation for the regime to exert it’s muscle against the confrontation to tyranny.  And now we are “appalled and outraged by the threats, the beatings and imprisonments” on those who seek freedom and democracy despite the administrations public declaration of Iran’s sovereignty and their pursuit of a Mid-East policy with words and a limp hand.

This is one crisis we cannot afford to waste.  If the United States does not stand firmly resolute with the Iranian people, as we did with the Lebanese in 2005 and with the Iraqi’s during past years, then who will?  If we become too concerned in walking on a diplomatic tight rope with an enemy, then what leadership do we provide?  Moments ripe for revolution come to so few throughout the corse of human history.  Iran has been blessed with such a moment and we must bear with it’s people.  Let us speak and so do as men and women that are to be judged by the liberty we have inherited.