Hero of the Middle East: Abdel Fattah el-Sisi

Gatestone Institute, by Bassam Tawil, February 23, 2015:

The courageous, historic speech yesterday by the Grand Imam of al-Azhar University, the seat of Sunni Islam, calling for the reform of Islam, was the result of the even more courageous, historic speech delivered a few weeks ago by Egypt’s devoutly Muslim President, Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.

The Muslim Brotherhood, the current American administration’s great friend, is the tree whose fruit is the Islamist terrorism embodied by the ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Al-Nusra Front, Boko Haram and others.

Apparently some of the Sunni Arab States have not yet realized that their own national security, and ability to withstand Iran, depend on how strong Egypt is.

It is possible, in fact, that U.S. policy is to weaken the Sunni world seeking to unite under el-Sisi’s flag of modernity. With European complicity, the U.S. Administration is trying to defraud the Arabs and turn the Israel-Palestine conflict into a center of Middle Eastern chaos, in order to hide the nuclear deal they are concocting with Iran.

The treachery of the U.S. Administration is the reason why Egypt’s faith in the United States, which is supposed to defend the Arabs against a nuclear Iran, has effectively evaporated.

And now the greatest American insanity of all time: America and Turkey are arming and training Islamist terrorist operatives in Turkey, on the ground that they are “moderates” opposed to Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria. They either ignore or are unaware that there is no such thing as a moderate Islamist terrorist. The other name of the “moderates” opposing Assad is ISIS.

The Muslim Brotherhood, in effect, runs Turkey. According to recent rumors, Turkey is also planning to build a nuclear reactor, “for research and peaceful purposes.”

Sheikh Dr. Ahmed al-Tayyeb, the Grand Imam of Cairo’s Al-Azhar University, the seat of Sunni Islam, yesterday delivered a courageous, historic speech in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, urging reform in religious education to curb extremism in Islam. Al-Tayyeb’s address was the result of an even more courageous and historic speech, delivered a few weeks ago by Egypt’s devoutly Muslim President, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, at Al-Azhar University.

El-Sisi’s monumental statement, truly worthy of a Nobel Prize, is having a seismic result. Al-Sisi directed his remarks, about the ills of Islam to Islamic clerics in Egypt and around the world. It was enormously brave of him. He did not single out radical Islam, but he did call on all Muslims to examine themselves, carry out a religious revolution and renew their faith.

El-Sisi, a man of monumental courage, urged Muslims not to behave according to the ancient, destructive interpretations of the Qur’an and Islam that make the rest of the world hate them, destroy Islam’s reputation and put Muslim immigrants to Western countries in the position of having to fight their hosts. He claimed that it is illogical for over a billion Muslims to aspire to conquer and subdue six billion non-Muslims.

Egypt’s President, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, delivered a historic speech to top Islamic scholars and clergy at Al-Azhar University in Cairo, December 28, 2014. (Image source: MEMRI)

Islam deals in depth with uniting the Muslim nation (umma) and mutual responsibility among Muslims, as though they were one entity. The Prophet Muhammad (S.A.A.W.) said that every drop of Muslim blood is more precious than the entire Kaaba. Thus the liberty ISIS took upon itself to burn alive a Jordanian pilot and 45 Egyptians, to spread terrorism throughout Syria, Iraq and Egypt and to kill other Muslims in various locations around the globe, claiming they were “infidels,” is heresy in and of itself.

The calls for the deaths of “a million shaheeds” and the killing of Jews for the sake of Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, as was done by Arafat in the past, and is being done now by his heirs in the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, are a crime; they are extremist incitement that is opposed to the forgiving and compromising spirit of Islam. The murder and terrorism carried out by terrorist organizations such as ISIS, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad [PIJ] and other Islamist organizations against Jews, Christians and other non-Muslims is contrary to the modern Islam needed in the contemporary era.

El-Sisi was correct that the Muslim Brotherhood’s Sunni ideology, which drives most of the extremist Islamist organizations around the world, preaches forced conversion of “infidels” to Islam at any price, or death. Some of the “infidels” are supposed to join Islam of their own accord (targ’ib), out of self-serving interest, and some not of their own accord (tarhib), out of fear and death threats. Such conversions are also contrary to the original Islam, which states that no one is to be forced to convert to Islam and that a calm religious dialogue should be held.

However, a few days after President el-Sisi’s speech, which attempted to unify Muslims and Christian Copts, the Muslim Brotherhood and their affiliated terrorist organizations increased their attacks on Egyptian civilians and security forces throughout Egypt and the Sinai Peninsula, as well as murdering 21 Egyptian Christian Copts in Libya. The Muslim Brotherhood knows that behind the scenes, U.S. President Obama supports the movement, especially the branch in Egypt seeking to overthrow President Sisi. This approval from the U.S. encourages the Muslim Brotherhood to be even more determined to subvert and undermine Egypt’s stability, sabotage its economic rehabilitation and destroy the el-Sisi regime.

In this atmosphere of American support, the Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis terrorist group in the Sinai Peninsula operates under Muslim Brotherhood protection. It recently changed its name to the “Sinai Province” of the Islamic State and swore allegiance to the “Caliph,” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. It is currently working hand-in-hand with Hamas in the Gaza Strip to weaken el-Sisi’s Egyptian forces in the Sinai Peninsula.

Other Islamist terrorist organizations also kill Egyptian civilians and security forces with bombs and assault rifles. In the name of the Muslim Brotherhood’s ideology, they indiscriminately attack people on public transport, in airports and in public places, with the intent of retaking control of Egypt.

For this reason, an Egyptian court recently designated Hamas a terrorist organization, along with its military wing, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, and outlawed both of them. In response, Qatar, a slippery agent in the service of America but also, treacherously, in the service of Iran, allowed armed Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades operatives to be interviewed by its Al-Jazeera TV. The operatives called the Egyptian president a traitor to the Islamic-Arab cause and to those seeking to “liberate Palestine.”

At the same time, Qatar continues to use its Al-Jazeera TV to broadcast hate propaganda targeting the el-Sisi regime, to disseminate videos and to fabricate insulting quotes intended to cause friction between el-Sisi on one side and the leaders of the Arab world and the Gulf States on the other — and to keep them from giving hungry Egyptians economic aid.

As the date for the economic conference in Sharm el-Sheikh (in the Sinai Peninsula) nears, Al-Jazeera’s propaganda machine has moved into ever-higher gear. Apparently, some of the Sunni Arabs states have not yet realized that their own national security and ability to withstand Iran depend on how strong Egypt is.

The U.S. Administration could easily halt the subversion of Egypt, but not only does it turn a blind eye, it suffers from a peculiar form of ignorance that makes it fight ISIS while at the same time supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, the hothouse of most Islamic terrorist organizations, including ISIS. The damage done to Egypt and the cracks in the weak Sunni Muslim ranks in the Middle East will eventually harm American interests and expose the Gulf States to the increasing Iranian threat.

The Muslim Brotherhood, the current American administration’s great friend, is the tree whose fruit is the Islamist terrorism embodied by ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Al-Nusra Front, Boko Haram and others. This linkage has become obvious to all the Arab states, while the U.S. and Europe steadfastly ignore the danger to their own survival, and refuse to outlaw them.

It is possible, in fact, that U.S. policy is to weaken the Sunni world that is seeking to unite under el-Sisi’s flag of modernity. With European complicity, the U.S. Administration is trying to defraud the Arabs and turn the Israeli-Palestinian conflict into a center of Middle Eastern chaos, in order to hide the nuclear deal they are concocting with Iran. That is why the West does not really want to rehabilitate the Palestinian refugees by settling them in the Arab states, and why the West continues to nourish false Palestinian hopes that perpetuate this conflict.

The treachery of the U.S. Administration is the reason why Egyptians’ faith in America, which is supposed to defend the Arabs against a nuclear Iran, has effectively evaporated.

In the meantime, Iran’s Houthi proxies have taken over Yemen, threatening the entire Persian Gulf from the south. The el-Sisi regime is currently in the market for new allies, such as Russian President Vladimir Putin. Putin recently paid a visit to Egypt to examine the possibilities of building a nuclear reactor, sounding the first chord of a regional nuclear arms race.

The problems of the Middle East begin in the United States: that was the claim of participants in the Al-Jazeera TV show, “From Washington.” They described American policy towards Egypt as hesitant, indecisive and undemocratic. They claimed that the U.S. Administration had not yet decided whether or not to support el-Sisi, who heralded change and the willingness to fight radical Islam (a fight America used to participate in) or to remain neutral and waffle, in view of Egypt’s presumed instability. The Americans seem to be putting their all money on the extreme Islamists, who they seem to think will eventually win the bloody conflict currently being waged in Egypt.

The Americans have forgotten that under Mubarak, the regime turned a blind eye to attacks against Israel that were carried out by the Muslim Brotherhood and their carefully fostered agents. Unfortunately, since el-Sisi was elected, Egypt itself has become a victim of radical Islamic terrorism. The U.S. Administration, however, appears clearly to hate el-Sisi, and seems to be doing its utmost to undermine him and see him thrown out.

Under ousted President Mohamed Morsi, Egypt was tolerant and patient toward the U.S. Administration’s best friends, the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as Islamist and Palestinian terrorist organizations such as Hamas, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, Al-Qaeda, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, all of which set up camp in the Sinai Peninsula. These terrorist groups smuggled weapons in from Iran, Sudan, Libya and Lebanon; dug smuggling and attack tunnels; developed missiles and carried out terrorist attacks “only” against Israel, the current U.S. Administration’s other apparent enemy, even though so many American Jews foolishly voted for them.

Now those same Islamist and Palestinian terrorist organizations are striking a mortal blow to the security or Egypt, and killing its civilians and security personnel.

The Muslim Brotherhood, mindful of America’s pro-Islamist policy toward it, is deliberately indulging in a wave of terrorism in Egypt and the Sinai Peninsula. Muslim Brotherhood operatives there are targeting civilians, public transport, airports and natural gas pipelines, all to undermine Egypt’s internal security and bring down el-Sisi’s regime in favor of extremist Islamists and a nuclear-threshold Iran.

In the current international situation, the U.S. Administration has apparently finally cut a deal with Turkey — which will be flimsy and ethereal — that allows Turkey to do the only thing it really cares about: to bring down the regime of Syria’s President, Bashar al-Assad.

The U.S. is also trying to cut a deal with Qatar, which along with Turkey openly supports the Muslim Brotherhood and its terrorist proxies in Egypt, Gaza, Syria and Iraq, who in general work against Western interests.

The ironic result is that Turkey plays host to both NATO and senior Hamas figures, while it deliberately ignores the slaughter by ISIS of Kurds and other ethnic minorities in Iraq and Syria. The Muslim Brotherhood, in effect, actually rules Turkey. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his AKP party make it easy for foreign fighters to cross the Turkish border into Syria and join the ranks of ISIS. Meanwhile, the Turkish government wages a diversionary propaganda war against Israel. According to recent rumors, Turkey is also planning to build a nuclear reactor, “for research and peaceful purposes.”

Another surreal result is that Qatar hosts the U.S. military bases, while it finances and encourages terrorist organizations operating against Israel and the Egypt. It also panders to Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the spiritual mentor of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist terrorist who issues fatwas permitting the murder of civilians and approves death sentences for apostasy.

And now the greatest American insanity of all time: the U.S. and Turkey are arming and training Islamist terrorist operatives in Turkey, on the grounds that they are “moderates” opposed to Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria. They either ignore or are not aware that there is no such thing as a moderate Islamist terrorist.

The other name of the “moderates” opposing Bashar Assad is ISIS; Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei and Hezbollah’s Hassan Nasrallah are now even saying that the U.S. is arming ISIS.

In the meantime, the Egyptian army continues its struggle against Islamist terrorist targets in the Sinai Peninsula and Libya, unaided, and even undermined, by the U.S.

In view of the U.S. Administration’s collaboration with the Muslim Brotherhood and terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip, I am persuaded that in the near future it will be possible to find a joint Egyptian-Israeli-Palestinian formula for eradicating the Hamas-PIJ enclave of terrorism, this time by Arabs.

Most ironically of all, in the shadow of American zigzagging, a joint Arab-Israeli front is developing against Sunni and Shi’ite radicalism, and the Palestinians can only profit from it. Thus el-Sisi, who, with towering vision and courage, dares to speak openly about the tree of radical Islam and its fruit, when others are afraid, is a truly great Islamic hero.

Bassam Tawil is a scholar based in the Middle East.

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On the Ground in Egypt: Patrick Poole and Stephen Coughlin – US Policy and Egyptian Counter-terrorism Efforts

Published on May 13, 2014 by securefreedom

Recorded at Center for Security Policy’s National Security Group Lunch on Capitol Hill on Friday, 9 May, 2014
Patrick Poole, National Security and Terrorism Correspondent for PJ Media; and Stephen Coughlin, Senior Fellow, Center for Security Policy

Also see:

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Obama Must Confront the Threat of Radical Islam

An ISIS member waves an ISIS flag in Raqqa, Syria on June 29, 2014.

An ISIS member waves an ISIS flag in Raqqa, Syria on June 29, 2014.

ISIS is recruiting young Muslims from around the globe to Jihad, and the White House apparently doesn’t understand why

Time, By Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Feb. 20, 2015:

How can the Obama Administration miss the obvious? Part of the answer lies in the groups “partnering” with, or advising, the White House on these issues. Groups such as the Muslim Public Affairs Council or the Islamic Society of North America insist that there should be no more focus at the Summit on radical Islam than on any other violent movements, even as radical Islamic movements continue to expand their influence in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Nigeria, and elsewhere.

Amplifying a poor choice of Muslim outreach partners, however, President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have argued in recent days that economic grievances, a lack of opportunities, and countries with “bad governance” are to blame for the success of groups such as ISIS in recruiting Muslims to their cause. Yet, if this were true, why do so many young Muslims who live in societies with excellent governance—Denmark, the Netherlands, the UK, the United States—either join ISIS or engage in Jihadist violence in their own countries? Why do young Muslims with promising professional futures embark on the path of Jihad?

Neither the Summit partners nor the U.S. Administration can effectively answer these questions.

Both Denmark and the Netherlands have “good governance.” Denmark and the Netherlands not only offer free health insurance but also free housing to Muslim refugees, along with high-quality education for their children. This should produce an outpouring of gratitude by young Muslims towards the host society, and no Jihadists.

Yet there are dozens of Jihadists hailing from the Netherlands and a recent attack in Copenhagen was committed by a man who was raised in Denmark and had effectively enjoyed years of Danish hospitality.

The question is not limited to Europe. Minnesota, for instance, is hardly a state with “bad governance.” Minnesota offers ample opportunity for immigrants willing to work hard. Yet more than a dozen young men from the Twin Cities area have joined the Jihadist movement in recent years.

How can Barack Obama or John Kerry explain this? Based on President Obama’s public statements and John Kerry’s analysis in The Wall Street Journal, they cannot.

It is worth remembering Aafia Siddiqui, the M.I.T.-educated neuroscientist who could have enjoyed a prestigious and lucrative career in the bio-tech industry but instead chose to embrace radical Islam, eventually becoming known as “Lady Al-Qaida.”

Or think of the three Khan siblings who recently sought to leave Chicago in order to go live in Syria under the rule of ISIS. The Khan sister, intelligent and studious, had planned to become a physician. The siblings were intercepted before they could fly out of the country, and prosecutors argue they wanted to join armed Jihad. Defense attorneys have a different explanation, stating the siblings desperately wanted to live under a society ruled by Shariah law—under the rule of Allah’s laws, without necessarily wanting to commit acts of violence.

It is this motivation—the sincere desire to live under Islamic religious laws, and the concomitant willingness to use violence to defend the land of Islam and expand it—that has led thousands of Western Muslims, many of them young and intelligent—and not the oft-described “losers”—to leave a comfortable professional and economic future in the West in order to join ISIS under gritty circumstances.

In its general strategy, the U.S. Administration confounds two things. It is true that in “failed states” criminal networks, cartels, and terrorist groups can operate with impunity. Strengthening central governments will reduce safe havens for terror networks. Secretary Kerry’s argument in The Wall Street Journal is different, however, namely: If we improve governance in countries with “bad governance,” then fewer young people will become “violent extremists.” That’s a different argument and not a plausible one. In fact, it’s a really unpersuasive argument. Muslims leave bright, promising futures to join ISIS out of a sense of sincere religious devotion, the wish to live under the laws of Allah instead of the laws of men.

In reading Kerry’s piece, I am glad that in the late 1940s the U.S. had people such as George Kennan employed in its service to see the Communist threat clearly and describe it clearly. But where is today’s Kennan in this administration? Who in the U.S. government is willing to describe the threat of radical Islam without fear of causing offense to several aggressive Islamic lobby groups?

American policymakers do not yet understand Islamism or what persuades young Muslims to join Jihad: sincere religious devotion based on the core texts of Islam, in particular early Islam’s politicized and aggressive period in Medina (compared to Islam’s spiritual and ascetic period in Mecca).

How does one tackle misguided religious devotion of young Muslims? The answer lies in reforming Islam profoundly—not radical Islam, but mainstream Islam; its willingness to merge Mosque and State, religion, and politics; and its insistence that its elaborate system of Shariah law supersedes civil laws created by human legislators. In such a reform project lies the hope for countering Islamism. No traditional Islamic lobbying group committed to defending the reputation of Islam will recommend such a policy to the U.S. government. Yet until American policymakers grapple with the need for such reform, the real problem within Islam will remain unresolved.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is the founder of the AHA Foundation and the author of Infidel, Nomad, and the forthcoming Heretic: The Case for a Muslim Reformation, to be published next spring.

Obama Suggests His Critics Are ‘Embracing the Terrorists’ Narrative’

obama1-640x480 (1)Breitbart, by JOHN HAYWARD, 20 Feb 2015

President Obama accused those who note that the Islamic State is an Islamic organization of providing the group with recruitment rhetoric in a speech on Thursday.

The President’s remarks are delivered in a Time article headlined “Obama Claims Republican Rhetoric Could Help ISIS,” just in case anyone misses the political maneuver Obama is pulling here:

The newest front in the American war against the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) will not take place in the deserts of Syria, Iraq or Libya, but on the covers of the nation’s tabloids and the airwaves of its cable television jabfests. President Obama, with two speeches in as many days, has decided to take the battle to his conservative critics.

Those who identify the black-clad extremists with their religious roots, the commander-in-chief argued repeatedly, are peddling a “lie” that will drive recruitment by the nation’s enemies and ultimately hurt U.S. interests. “These terrorists are desperate for legitimacy. And all of us have a responsibility to refute the notion that groups like ISIL somehow represent Islam, because that is a falsehood that embraces the terrorists’ narrative,” he said, using the U.S. government’s preferred acronym for ISIS, which is also known as the Islamic State.

But he did not stop there. A day after talking about the “debate in the press and among pundits” over terminology, he accused others in the public sphere Thursday of aiding the terrorist cause by highlighting the connection between Islamic teachings and Islamic State’s tactics, which include rape, beheadings, crucifixions and slavery. “That narrative sometimes extends far beyond terrorist organizations,” he continued. “That narrative becomes the foundation upon which terrorists build their ideology and by which they try to justify their violence, and that hurts all of us, including Islam and especially Muslims who are the ones most likely to be killed.”

Given the energy his loyal followers are putting behind boiling Rudy Giuliani in rhetorical oil for daring to suggest President Obama does not love America, this might have been a bad time for the President to mutter that his critics are helping ISIS by reinforcing its “narrative” of jihad.  There has always been an enormous double standard for Obama and other Democrats to be as nasty as they like in questioning the intelligence, compassion, patriotism, and very humanity of Republicans, but the President’s latest remarks are timed especially badly.  The point he wants to make about how linking any iteration of Islam to the Islamic State is playing into ISIS’ hands is also silly, an elaborate excuse to justify Obama’s lax response to Islamist terror, and it flies in the face of everything we know about the enemy.

Since Obama supporters want to give him credit for taking the gloves off and going bare-knuckle against his critics, I’ll do the same: the American political figure who is most prominently promoting the “narrative” of ISIS is Barack Obama. His cheesy effort to build moral equivalence between Christians and the Islamic State by invoking the Crusades precisely mirrors what Islamists say about the Crusades, and they say it quite frequently. This isn’t just a verbal “gotcha” game revolving around use of the terms “Crusade” and “Crusaders” – it is a core element of Islamist philosophy that modern-day Christians remain morally culpable for the Crusades, which they portray as a unique outrage, exactly the way Obama did at the National Prayer Breakfast. Every single page of the Islamic State’s magazine Dabiq rails against “Crusaders.”

Obama is most definitely repeating and reinforcing an important Islamist “narrative” when he tells Christians they have no moral standing to get up on their “high horses” and criticize contemporary Islamist atrocities because of what the Crusaders did. (Try to imagine Obama doing the reverse, and lecturing a Muslim audience at a prayer breakfast about how they have no standing to complain about Israel because of Mohammed’s bloody conquests.)

As to this business of helping ISIS by refusing to join Obama in pretending they have nothing to do with Islam – well, that’s also much more helpful to the Islamist “narrative” than what Obama’s critics have been saying. Another important element of ISIS ideology is their assertion that all Muslims who disagree with them are apostates. You will find that argument on nearly every page of Dabiq as well, especially when it is justifying the brutal treatment of such Muslim adversaries as burned-alive Jordanian pilot Mu’ath al-Kaseasbeh.

ISIS explicitly and energetically invokes religious authority to command allegiance – they have captured the requisite territory to found a caliphate, head honcho Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi meets the scriptural requirements for a caliph, and so forth. Obama isn’tchallenging these claims – he is trying to deny that ISIS is making them at all, or that a significant number of Muslims are taking them seriously. That is going to reinforce the Islamic State narrative about how its opponents are henchmen of the godless West.

When dealing with a hateful and virulent ideological enemy, it could be argued that virtually anything we say can be slotted into their “narrative” somehow; it is not as if al-Baghdadi and his gang will respond to criticism from Obama, or any Republican leader, by saying “The Americans have an excellent point!” The question is, how does our rhetoric influence those who might be persuaded to either join ISIS, or oppose them? Obama says that denying the Islamic component of Islamism will rob the terrorists of much-needed “legitimacy,” but does anyone really get the sense they need to be certified as authentically Islamic by secular Western leaders to obtain legitimacy?

On the contrary, downplaying the ideological threat posed by Islamists does their Muslim adversaries and potential recruits no favors. This is an ideological enemy we’re fighting, not just a barbarian horde with a constellation of lone-wolf admirers. They’re apocalyptic, but not “nihilists,” as Obama often describes them. Confronting and defeating their ideology is the task before us, not ignoring the problem and hoping it blows over. There are a significant number of Muslims buying what the various brands of Islamism are selling. How can we give needed cultural support to the Muslims we want to prevail over them by claiming they are up against Generic Extremism?

To take a recent example of such good Muslims, the young people organizing this weekend’s “peace ring” demonstration at a synagogue in Norway certainly don’t seem to think they are taking a stand against Generic Extremism or the “random” shooting of non-specific “folks.”

Obama’s intellectual pretensions are just excuses for his half-hearted, annoyed response to ISIS – there are many things he would rather be spending his time and political capital on, and he is scared to death that history will hold him responsible for letting the Islamic State into Iraq. If he is going to bother with this mess at all, he’d rather reframe it as something politically useful to him; he can work his domestic political agenda into a crusade against Generic Extremism, a term he uses to describe all political opposition to him. You’ll never guess who Obama’s Department of Homeland Security just portrayed as America’s big terrorist threat: “right-wing sovereign citizen extremists.” No one seems concerned that calling them out by name will reinforce their “narrative.”

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Tom Cotton: ISIS Already Winning Without Obama ‘Legitimizing’ Them with Islamic Label (nationalreview.com)

Aiding Islamic Terrorists Is Our Foreign Policy

s3tttf7n-14138040081-370x350Frontpage, February 20, 2015 by Daniel Greenfield:

Obama says that we are not fighting a war on Islam. What he leaves out is that under his administration the United States is fighting in a civil war that is taking place within Islam.

It’s not a conflict between the proverbial moderate Muslim and the raging fanatic. That was an outdated Bush era notion. Instead Obama has brought us into a fight between Muslim governments and Muslim terrorists, not on the side of the governments we were allied with, but on the side of the terrorists.

It’s why Egypt is shopping for French planes and Russian nukes. Yemen’s government was run out of town by Obama’s new Iranian friends in a proxy war with Saudi Arabia. And the Saudis are dumping oil.

Iran and Qatar are the regional powers Obama is closest to. What these two countries have in common, is that despite their mutual hostility, they are both international state sponsors of Islamic terrorism.

Obama’s diplomats will be negotiating with the Taliban in Qatar. Among the Taliban delegation will be the terrorist leaders that Obama freed from Gitmo. And Iran gets anything it wants, from Yemen to the bomb, by using the threat of walking away in a huff from the hoax nuclear negotiations as leverage.

In Syria and Iraq, Obama is fighting ISIS alongside Islamic terrorists linked to Al Qaeda and Iran. In Libya, he overthrew a government in support of Islamic terrorists. His administration has spoken out against Egyptian air strikes against the Islamic State Jihadists in Libya who had beheaded Coptic Christians.

At the prayer breakfast where he denounced Christianity for the Crusades was the foreign minister of the Muslim Brotherhood government of Sudan that has massacred Christians. Unlike Libya, where Obama used a false claim of genocide to justify an illegal war, Sudan actually has committed genocide. And yet Obama ruled out using force against Sudan’s genocide even while he was running for office.

The United States now has a strange two-tier relationship with the Middle East. On paper we retain a number of traditional alliances with old allies such as Egypt, Israel and Saudi Arabia, complete with arms sales, foreign aid and florid speeches. But when it comes to policy, our new friends are the terrorists.

American foreign policy is no longer guided by national interests. Our allies have no input in it. It is shaped around the whims of Qatar and Iran; it’s guided by the Muslim Brotherhood and defined by the interests of state sponsors of terror. Our foreign policy is a policy of aiding Islamic terrorists.

It’s only a question of which terrorists.

Obama’s familiar argument is that ISIS and Al Qaeda fighters shouldn’t be called Islamic terrorists. Not even the politically correct sop of “Radical Islam” is acceptable. The terrorists are perverting Islam, he claims. The claim was banal even before September 11, but it bears an entirely new significance from an administration that has put Muslim Brotherhood operatives into key positions.

The administration is asserting the power to decide who is a Muslim. It’s a theological position that means it is taking sides in a Muslim civil war between Islamists.

This position is passed off as a strategy for undermining the terrorists. Refusing to call the Islamic State by its name, using the more derogatory “Daesh,” denying that the Islamic terrorists are acting in the name of Islam, is supposed to inhibit recruitment. This claim is made despite the flood of Muslims leaving the West to join ISIS. If any group should be vulnerable to our propaganda, it should be them.

But that’s not what this is really about.

According recognition to a state is a powerful diplomatic tool for shaping world politics. We refuse to recognize ISIS, as we initially refused to recognize the USSR. Obama resumed diplomatic ties with Cuba. His people negotiate and appease the Taliban even though it was in its own time just as brutal as ISIS.

Obama is not willing to recognize ISIS as Islamic, but he does recognize the Muslim Brotherhood as Islamic. Both are violent and murderous Islamists. But only one of them is “legitimate” in his eyes.

Those choices are not about terrorist recruitment, but about building a particular map of the region. Obama refuses to concede that ISIS is Islamic, not because he worries that it will bring them more followers, this is a tertiary long shot at best, but because he is supporting some of their rivals.

The White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism has brought a covert strategy out into the spotlight. Despite its name, it’s not countering violence or extremism.

The new director of the Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications, the axis of Obama’s CVE strategy, is Rashad Hussain who appeared at Muslim Brotherhood front group events and defended the head of Islamic Jihad. In attendance was Salam Al-Marayati of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, yet another Muslim Brotherhood linked group, who had urged Muslims not to cooperate with the FBI and defended Hamas and Hezbollah.

In Syria, the United States is coordinating with Assad and backing the Syrian rebels, who have their own extensive ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and even Al Qaeda. This could be viewed as an “enemy of my enemy” alliance, but this administration backed the Brotherhood before it viewed ISIS as a threat. Top Democrats, including Nancy Pelosi and John Kerry, had focused on outreach to Assad under Bush.

They’re not allying with Assad and the Brotherhood to beat ISIS. They’re fighting ISIS to protect the Brotherhood and their deal with Iran.

In the White House, Obama has tried to shape an Islamist future for the Middle East, favoring Islamist governments in Turkey and Islamist movements such as the Muslim Brotherhood. He saw his role as paving the way for the next generation of regional regimes that would be explicitly Islamist.

The Arab Spring was a deceptive code name for a clean sweep that would push out the old leaders like Mubarak and replace them with the Muslim Brotherhood and other likeminded Islamists. Islamic terrorism, at least against the United States, would end because their mission had been accomplished.

Stabilizing unrest by putting the destabilizers in charge wasn’t a new idea. Carter helped make it happen in Iran. And the more violent an Islamic terrorist group is, the more important it is to find a way to stop the violence by putting them in charge. The only two criteria that matter are violence and dialogue.

So why isn’t Obama talking to ISIS? Because ISIS won’t talk back. It’s impossible to support a terrorist group that won’t engage in dialogue. If ISIS were to indicate any willingness to negotiate, diplomats would be sitting around a table with headchoppers in less time than it takes a Jordanian pilot to burn.

And that still might happen.

Obama isn’t trying to finish off ISIS. He’s keeping them on the ropes the way that he did the Taliban. Over 2,000 Americans died on the off chance that the Taliban would agree to the negotiations in Qatar. Compared to that price in blood, the Bergdahl deal was small potatoes. And if Obama is negotiating with the Taliban after all that, is there any doubt that he would negotiate to integrate ISIS into Iraq and Syria?

Obama’s foreign policy in the region has been an elaborate exercise in trying to draw up new maps for a caliphate. The inclusion of terrorist groups in this program isn’t a mistake. It’s not naiveté or blindness. It’s the whole point of the exercise which was to transform terrorist groups into governments.

Stabilizing the region by turning terrorists into governments may sound like pouring oil on a fire, but to progressives who believe in root causes, rather than winning wars, violence is a symptom of discontent. The problem isn’t the suicide bomber. It’s our power structure. Tear that down, as Obama tried to do in Cairo, and the terrorists no longer have anything to fight against because we aren’t in their way.

Bush tried to build up civil society to choke off terrorism. Obama builds civil society around terrorists.

Obama does not believe that the terrorists are the problem. He believes that we are the problem. His foreign policy is not about fighting Islamic terrorists. It is about destroying our power to stop them.

He isn’t fighting terrorists. He’s fighting us.

What the White House Summit to Counter Violent Extremism Can’t Fix

President Obama speaking at the White House summit on countering violent extremism on Feb. 19. Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press

President Obama speaking at the White House summit on countering violent extremism on Feb. 19. Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press

WSJ, by Aaron David Miller, Feb. 19, 2025:

The problem that Barack Obama’s summit to counter violence and extremism is meant to address isn’t one that community activism can resolve. The president’s message about the need for tolerance, understanding, and  inclusiveness to prevent and preempt radicalization of American youth is well suited to our historic notion of the “big tent.” But the world confronts a radicalized version and vision of Islam that requires a military and political approach. This isn’t something that Washington can fix quickly or comprehensively. First and foremost, the Arab states and the Muslim world must own up to the radical extremists in their midst.

We aren’t at war with Islam, and the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims aren’t jihadis. President Obama has acknowledged this. But he won’t clearly define the enemy we face. Determination to avoid playing into jihadi hands or alienating our Arab friends has led the president to a world of obfuscation and denial. The current threat isn’t from Basque separatists, Chechen radicals, or the Kurdish PKK; it’s from radicalized Muslims who are spreading their poison from Pakistan to Syria to Nigeria to the alienated and aggrieved Muslim communities of Europe.

This is a long war, specifically against those individuals and groups that have chosen to resurrect an austere, violent and fundamentalist version of their religion. To describe the fight by claiming, as President Obama did in his Los Angeles Times op-ed, as a battle against terrorism gets at only the visible hunk of the iceberg. The mass below the water line is where the danger lurks. And that threat is not some generic global challenge but resides primarily in the lands of the Arabs and among disparate Muslim groups such as Boko Haram that thrive in empty spaces and highly fractured societies.

The rise of Islamic State–and that’s why this summit is taking place–is a direct result of years of no governance, bad governance, and Sunni-Shiite sectarian rivalry fostered willingly (see: Iran) and unwillingly (see: U.S. invasion of Iraq) in the Middle East and South Asia. Force is required to preempt, contain, and to keep these radical jihadis at bay. The problem of ISIS will not be resolved until the broken spaces in which it thrives are filled with good governance, security, and prosperity. And that is not only beyond U.S. capacity but also may not necessarily be desired by the Iranian and Arab governments that play this dangerous game. Iran, the United States’ new putative partner, isn’t interested in turning Iraq into a cohesive state where the majority Sunnis rule; nor is Tehran–or the Russians and the U.S., for that matter–interested in getting rid of Bashar al-Assad, who feeds ISIS recruitment by killing Syrian Sunnis. Islamic State can’t be “ultimately defeated,” as President Obama is fond of saying, without a fundamental transformation in the Middle East.

The notion that Washington can somehow take the lead in this effort is preposterous. In conjunction with our regional partners, particularly the Gulf states, we must play a relentless and key role on the military aspect of the fight. But the U.S. should be under no illusions that we can fix what ails the Middle East. Some of our regional allies–the Saudis, Qataris, and Kuwaitis in particular–have funded and supported Islamist fundamentalist groups, including those on the Syrian battlefield. By propagating their own fundamentalist version of Islam, the Saudis contributed for years to the problem we all face now. And because we have so few friends in the region, we have no choice but to continue to depend on states (think Egypt and Saudi Arabia) whose values are fundamentally different from ours and whose repressive policies toward legitimate dissent help feed radical jihad.

We may not be able to come up with a neat prescription for how to defeat Islamic State and jihadi radicals. But as we fight this long war we can at least be honest about the challenge and the enemies we face. That clarity might bring more focus and urgency to the fight.

Aaron David Miller is a vice president at the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars and most recently the author of “The End of Greatness: Why America Can’t Have (and Doesn’t Want) Another Great President.” He is on Twitter: @AaronDMiller2.

Our Dangerous Historical Moment

Photo via NRO

Photo via NRO

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online, Feb. 19, 2015:

World War II was the most destructive war in history. What caused it?

The panic from the ongoing and worldwide Depression in the 1930s had empowered extremist movements the world over. Like-minded, violent dictators of otherwise quite different Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Imperial Japan, and the Communist Soviet Union all wanted to attack their neighbors.

Yet World War II could have been prevented had Western Europe united to deter Germany. Instead, France, Britain, and the smaller European democracies appeased Hitler.

The United States turned isolationist. The Soviet Union collaborated with the Third Reich. And Italy and Japan eventually joined it.

The 1930s saw rampant anti-Semitism. Jews were blamed in fascist countries for the economic downturn. They were scapegoated in democracies for stirring up the fascists. The only safe havens for Jews from Europe were Jewish-settled Palestine and the United States.

Does all this sound depressingly familiar?

The aftershocks of the global financial meltdown of 2008 still paralyze the European Union while prompting all sorts of popular extremist movements and opportunistic terrorists.

After the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, America has turned inward. The Depression and the lingering unhappiness over World War I did the same to Americans in the 1930s.

Premodern monsters are on the move. The Islamic State is carving up Syria and Iraq to fashion a fascist caliphate.

Vladimir Putin gobbles up his neighbors in Ossetia, Crimea, and eastern Ukraine, in crude imitation of the way Germany once swallowed Austria, Czechoslovakia, and Poland.

Theocratic Iran is turning Yemen, Iraq, and Lebanon into a new Iranian version of Japan’s old Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.

The Western response to all this? Likewise, similar to the 1930s.

The NATO allies are terrified that Putin will next attack the NATO-member Baltic states — and that their own paralysis will mean the embarrassing end of the once-noble alliance.

The United States has now fled from four Middle Eastern countries. It forfeited its post-surge victory in Iraq. It was chased out of Libya after the killings of Americans in Benghazi. American red lines quickly turned pink in Syria. U.S. Marines just laid down their weapons and flew out of the closed American embassy in Yemen.

America has convinced its European partners to drop tough sanctions against Iran. In the manner of the Allies in 1938 at Munich, they prefer instead to charm Iran, in hopes it will stop making a nuclear bomb.

The Islamic State has used almost a year of unchallenged aggression to remake the map of the Middle East. President Obama had variously dismissed it as a jayvee team or merely akin to the problems that big-city mayors face.

Europeans pay out millions to ransom their citizens from radical Islamic hostage-beheaders. Americans handed over terrorist kingpins to get back a likely Army deserter.

Then we come to the return of the Jewish question. Seventy years after the end of the Holocaust, Jews are once again leaving France. They have learned that weak governments either will not or cannot protect them from Islamic terrorists.

In France, radical Islamists recently targeted a kosher market. In Denmark, they went after a synagogue. In South Africa, students demanded the expulsion of Jewish students from a university. A Jewish prosecutor who was investigating the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Argentina was found mysteriously murdered.

Meanwhile, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is being blamed for stoking Middle Eastern tensions. Who cares that he resides over the region’s only true democracy, one that is stable and protects human rights? Obama-administration aides have called him a coward and worse. President Obama has dismissed the radical Islamists’ targeting of Jews in France merely as “randomly shoot[ing] a bunch of folks in a deli.”

Putin, the Islamic State, and Iran at first glance have as little in common as did Germany, Italy, and Japan. But like the old Axis, they are all authoritarians that share a desire to attack their neighbors. And they all hate the West.

The grandchildren of those who appeased the dictators of the 1930s once again prefer in the short term to turn a blind eye to the current fascists. And the grandchildren of the survivors of the Holocaust once again get blamed.

The 1930s should have taught us that aggressive autocrats do not have to like each other to share hatred of the West.

The 1930s should have demonstrated to us that old-time American isolationism and the same old European appeasement will not prevent but only guarantee a war.

And the 1930s should have reminded us that Jews are usually among the first — but not the last — to be targeted by terrorists, thugs, and autocrats.

Also see:

Obama says world should address ‘grievances’ that terrorists exploit

obama extremist summit washingtonFox News, Feb. 18, 2015:

President Obama defended his administration’s approach to the terror threat at a White House summit Wednesday, standing by claims that groups like the Islamic State do not represent Islam — as well as assertions that job creation could help combat extremism.

Obama, addressing the Washington audience on the second day of the summit, said the international community needs to address “grievances” that terrorists exploit, including economic and political issues.

He stressed that poverty alone doesn’t cause terrorism, but “resentments fester” and extremism grows when millions of people are impoverished.

“We do have to address the grievances that terrorists exploit including economic grievances,” he said.

He also said no single religion was responsible for violence and terrorism, adding he wants to lift up the voice of tolerance in the United States and beyond.

Obama’s address came as Republican lawmakers and others criticized the administration for declining to describe the threat as Islamic terrorism.

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf has also come under fire for suggesting several times this past week that more jobs could help address the terrorism crisis.

On Tuesday, Rob O’Neill, former Navy SEAL Team 6 member who claims to have fired the shot that killed Usama bin Laden, told Fox News: “They get paid to cut off heads — to crucify children, to sell slaves and to cut off heads and I don’t think that a change in career path is what’s going to stop them.”

Obama also called on Muslim leaders to “do more to discredit the notion that our nations are determined to suppress Islam, that there is an inherent clash in civilizations.”

Obama acknowledged that some Muslim-Americans have concerns about working with the government, particularly law enforcement, and that their reluctance “is rooted in the objection to certain practices where Muslim-Americans feel they’ve been unfairly targeted.”

He said it was important it make sure that abuses stop and are not repeated and that “we do not stigmatize entire communities.” He also said it was vital that “no one is profiled or put under a cloud of suspicion simply because of their faith.”

Although Obama called for a renewed focus on preventing terrorists from recruiting and inspiring others, some thought his message seemed to miss the mark.

“He was meandering, unfocused and weak,” said Richard Grenell, former U.S. spokesman at the United Nations during the George W. Bush administration and a Fox News contributor. “He was talking about isolating terrorists. He doesn’t understand the threat that we face… People are being burned in cages and he’s talking about more investments?”

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in an interview with Fox News, called Obama an “apologist for radical Islamic terrorists.” And he mocked the president for recently comparing modern-day atrocities to those committed during the Crusades.

“I don’t think it’s too much to ask the president to stay in the current millennia,” Cruz said, describing the rhetoric as “bizarre politically correct double-speak.”

Recent Fox News polling showed most voters think Obama should be tougher on Islamic extremists. It showed 68 percent think Obama should be tougher; only 26 percent said he’s being tough enough.

The poll of 1,044 registered voters was taken Feb. 8-10. It had a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

Leaders from 60 different countries traveled to Washington for the summit this week.

Community leaders from Boston, Minneapolis and Los Angeles were also in attendance and discussed how their cities could help empower communities to protect themselves against extremist ideologies.

The Ideological Islamist Threat

PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

The radicals are waging a war of ideas the West refuses to fight.

WSJ, Feb. 18, 2015:

President Obama opened this week’s White House Conference on Violent Extremism with a speech about community-based counter-radicalization efforts, and his Administration is being roundly mocked for its refusal to use terms like “Muslim terrorism” or “Islamism.” The mockery is deserved. Foreign policy is not a Harry Potter tale of good versus He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. And war cannot be won against an enemy we refuse to describe except in meaningless generalities.

But there is a deeper problem with the Administration’s semantic dodges. Al Qaeda, Islamic State, Boko Haram and other jihadist groups are waging more than a military conflict. They are also waging an increasingly successful ideological war for the soul of Islam and its 1.6 billion followers.

Their version of jihad is gaining adherents precisely because it is motivated by an idea that challenges the values and beliefs of moderate Islam, the West and modernity. The free and non-fanatic world won’t win this deeper struggle if the Obama Administration refuses even to acknowledge its nature.

The 9/11 Commission Report put this front and center. Its second chapter, “The Foundation of the New Terrorism,” traces what it calls “ Bin Ladin ’s Appeal in the Islamic World.” It discusses the late al Qaeda leader’s faith in “a return to observance of the literal teachings of the Qur’an and the Hadith.” It underscores bin Laden’s reliance on Muslim theologians, from Ibn Taimiyyah in the 14th century to Sayyid Qutb in the 20th. And it explains how bin Laden turned Islam into a licence for murder.

“Qutb argued that humans can choose only between Islam and jahilyya,” referring to a world of licentiousness and unbelief. “No middle ground exists. . . . All Muslims—as he defined them—therefore must take up arms in this fight. Any Muslim who rejects his ideas is just one more nonbeliever worthy of destruction.”

None of this is denied in the Muslim world, which is well aware of the increasingly radical bent of mainstream Islamist theology. Not for nothing did Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi recently visit Cairo’s al-Azhar university, Sunni Islam’s premier center of religious learning, to warn leading clerics of where Islam is heading: “Let me say it again, we need to revolutionize our religion.”

That’s exactly right, but it’s hard to see how such a revolution might take place—much less who might carry it out—if Islam can barely be mentioned in the context of a conference on “violent extremism.” In his speech Wednesday, Mr. Obama acknowledged that “al Qaeda and ISIL do draw selectively from the Islamic texts,” and he called on Muslim leaders to reject grievance narratives against the West.

But the President also insisted that the West must never grant al Qaeda and Islamic State “the religious legitimacy they seek” by suggesting they are Muslim religious leaders rather than mere terrorists. That’s a fine sentiment, but it elides the fact that the two categories aren’t mutually exclusive. The Islamic State may speak for only a minority of Muslims, but it is nothing if not Islamic in its beliefs, methods and aims. Ignoring that reality for the sake of avoiding injured feelings helps nobody, least of all Islamic State’s many Muslim victims or Islam’s would-be reformers.

The useful analogy here is to the Cold War, when the world was also challenged by an ideology that professed its superiority over an allegedly decadent West. The difference then is that Western leaders didn’t shrink from describing the evil of that ideology and defending the superiority of our way of life. The same needs to be done now.

This will have to include more sophisticated arguments to counter radical Islamism. Jihadist ideology has gained millions of adherents because it makes fundamental claims about personal virtue and social justice. Countering that narrative requires something more than making an appeal, as State Department spokesperson Marie Harf did this week, to working on “root causes” such as insufficient schooling and job opportunities in the Arab world. There is little or no correlation between poverty and Islamist extremism, many of whose most notorious figures are wealthy and well-educated.

It will also require far more support for reform-minded Muslims, from granting political asylum to persecuted Muslim intellectuals to funding civil society groups seeking to spread liberal concepts of individual liberty and religious tolerance.

Above all, we need to recognize that the strength of radical Islamists is directly correlated to their battlefield success, and the growing perception that they are the strong horse against moderate Muslim leaders. Communist ideology lost its appeal when it was seen to fail against the prosperity and freedom of the West. Islamic State will lose its allure when it is defeated and humiliated in the arena it cares about most, which is the battlefield. Mr. Obama and other Western leaders must summon the will to win the war on the ground, or they will find themselves in permanent retreat in the war of ideas.

The Muslim Brotherhood-ISIS Connection

isis-hamas-450x248Frontpage, February 18, 2015 by Arnold Ahlert:

President Obama’s ongoing antipathy towards Egypt is no accident. Our feckless president has long had a soft spot in his heart for the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), and Egypt’s removal of the terror group from the corridors of power has rankled the administration. So what is it the Egyptians understand and our president denies? The Egyptian Minister of Religious Endowments insists that ISIS was birthed by the MB.

Dr. Mohamed Mokhtar Gomaa and other Egyptian scholars have explained that while ISIS is publicly hostile to the MB, they share identical goals. Last August, the Ministry illuminated those goals. “They are both waging a war against their homelands with vandalism, destruction and murder—murder on behalf of the enemies of the state who fund them,” read a published statement. Other similarities include the exploitation of women to further their agenda, and the reality that both groups use “lying and deception in the name of religion,” and both have “ignorant and lying” leaders who “use religion to play with the minds of the public,” the statement explained. “The main commonality between the two groups is their terrorist acts,” it added.

A month later, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, who pledged to support the Obama administration’s war against ISIS, urged the president to recognize the bigger picture of Islamic extremism that extends beyond the borders of Iraq and Syria. He cited terrorist threats in Libya, Sudan, Yemen and the Sinai Peninsula as examples of identical danger posed by ISIS. “We can’t reduce the danger lurking in the region to ISIL (ISIS). We have to bear in mind all the pieces of the puzzle,” he insisted. “We can’t just limit the confrontation to checking and destroying the Islamic State.”

Unfortunately for his nation, Al Sisi’s prescience proved correct: 21 Egyptian Christians were beheaded by ISIS in Libya, where they have established another presence. Such an opportunity was made possible by the Obama administration’s determination to topple Muammar Gaddafi—followed by its refusal to help the new U.S.-backed Libyan government train their police and military. As a result Libya is in complete chaos. Moreover the administration’s political pettiness has allegedly reached a new low: according to Oliver North, Obama denied both Egypt and Jordan targeting information on ISIS in Libya and Syria, despite the decapitation of the Egyptian Christians and the incineration of Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kaseasbeh.

The administration’s behavior in this context runs completely counter to the reality illuminated by Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukr. “Ultimately this extremist ideology is shared by all terrorist groups. We detect ties of cooperation between them and see a danger as it crosses borders,” he explained.

Part of that mix includes includes Hamas, also spawned by the MB. Writing for the Times of Israel, Ryan Mauro, National Security Analyst for the Clarion Project, wonders why the world agrees that ISIS is morally repugnant even as Hamas gets a pass. “Both implement sharia governance, deliberately target civilians, have genocidal beliefs and seek the establishment of a caliphate,” he writes. He further explains that ISIS’s determination to exterminate Iraq’s Yazidi population is “no more egregious” than Hamas’s determination to eliminate millions of Jews. And the only difference between the MB, Hamas and ISIS is in regard to their method of achieving the same goal. The MB and Hamas wish to establish a Muslim caliphate incrementally, while ISIS is willing to do anything and everything to bring one about as quickly as possible.

Moreover, the MB’s and Hamas’s desire to eliminate the Jews is nothing new. The MB was established in 1928 by Hasan al-Banna, who admired Hitler and wrote to him expressing his desire to collaborate with the Nazi Party. During World War II, the MB made good on that desire. Its members spied for Hitler in the Middle East and formed two Muslim Waffen-SS Handschar Divisions to fight for the Nazis. Following the war, the MB was supported by the West, who saw them as a counterweight to the Soviet Union’s Middle East aspirations. And while some MB members eschewed violence and built schools and medical clinics, others continued to promote violence that included two failed assassination attempts against Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser. Hamas was spawned in 1987 by the MB in Israel.

Two years later, the MB’s Mujahedeen army repelled the Soviets from Afghanistan and then split into two groups—one of which was Al Qaeda. And as Americans are now fully aware, MB-educated Osama bin Laden became their leader. Both groups, along with other Sunni Islamists, were inspired by al-Banna’s successor Sayyid Qutb. In his 1964 manifesto, Milestones, he insisted that governments not based on Sharia Law are apostate, making them legitimate targets of jihad.

ISIS has ideological roots that trace all the way back to the Wahhabist strain of Islam founded by Muhammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhab during the 16th century in Saudi Arabia. Like ISIS, al-Wahhab believed in a strict and conformist form of Islam. Those who dissented were to be killed, their property confiscated, and their wives and daughters violated. The essential rift between the two groups arises from Wahhabism’s “One Ruler, One Authority, One Mosque” doctrine that refers to the Saudi king, the absolute authority of Wahhabism, and its control of the mosques and their teachings. ISIS rejects this doctrine, which explains why Saudi Arabia feels as threatened as anyone else by their rise, even as much of the kingdom still embraces Wahhabism. With the rise of Saudi oil wealth, the West preferred to look at the kingdom’s modernization, even as they ignored the Wahhabist part of the equation.

ISIS’s modern roots can be traced to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian street thug who arrived in Afghanistan too late to fight the Soviets. After a return to Jordan, he went back to Afghanistan a decade later, meeting bin Laden in 1999, but refusing to join al Qaeda. When the Taliban fell in 2001 he fled to Iraq, and in 2003 he set up ISIS’s precursor, Jama’at al-Tawhid w’al-Jihad (the Party of Monotheism and Jihad). It was comprised mostly of non-Iraqis, and al-Zarqawi’s primary targets were Iraq’s Shi’ite Muslim majority. By 2004 his campaign of suicide bombings in that nation made him a jihadist superstar, earning Bin Laden’s endorsement in the process. Al-Zarqawi returned the favor by rebranding his group al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI).

Yet by 2005, al Qaeda began to have misgivings about AQI’s brutality towards civilians. The American troop surge, coupled with Sunni Iraq’s own disenchantment with Zarqawi’s strict sharia rules gave birth to the “Awakening” that allowed the U.S. to prevail in Iraq—until the deadly combination of a Shi’ite-dominated Maliki government looking for payback after years of Sunni Ba’athist domination, coupled with the Obama administration’s precipitous troop withdrawal in 2011, laid the groundwork for ISIS’s current rise.

In 2011, AQI was being run by current ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and had become a largely Iraqi organization. Another rebranding took place as these “Sons of Iraq” became ISI, until their ranks were swelled by former commanders and soldiers in Saddam’s military. With the addition of new troops, Baghdadi opened a second front in Syria, once again targeting Shi’ite Muslims and their Shia sub-sect Alawite rulers led by Bashar Assad. When Syrian became part of the equation, ISI became ISIS.

And while all of this was occurring, Obama not only ignored the metastasizing threat, but used his 2012 presidential campaign to assure the American public that al Qaeda had been “decimated” and terror was “on the run.” More accurately, ISIS has been on a roll, seizing large swaths of both Iraq and Syria, along with billions of dollars, courtesy of bank seizures and oil revenue that make them the richest terrorist organization in the history of the world.

Moreover despite the “conventional wisdom” that al Qaeda and ISIS are enemies, the terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo indicates there was at least some indication that al Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and ISIS worked together to perpetrate that atrocity.

On 25 December, Egypt declared the MB a terrorist organization, with the Egyptian courts dissolving nearly all of its institutions, organizations and charities. By contrast on Feb. 4, Obama hosted a meeting at the White House with 14 Muslim leaders, including Azhar Azeez, President of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), and Hoda Elshishtawy of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC).

Both groups were founded by members of the MB.

Former congressman Pete Hoekstra was incensed. The Michigan Republican  insisted it was “absolutely outrageous” for Obama to invite “the Muslim Brotherhood into our government to meet with the White House.” “These are people who are committed to destroying our way of life,” the Michigan Republican warned. “The policy failures go on and on and on, and that’s how we need to be addressing this president and challenging him that his policies are just not working.”

Such challenges will have to overcome that complicity, as well as the grim determination by this administration not to link terror with Islam. Both challenges are epitomized by the Summit on Countering Violent Extremism beginning today. As the AP explains, the Summit will “highlight domestic and international efforts to prevent extremists and their supporters from radicalizing, recruiting and inspiring others, particularly disaffected young people.”

The words “Islamist” or “terror?” Nowhere to be found. As for complicity, one of the Summit’s attendees is the Islamic Society of Boston (ISB) an organization with extensive ties to terror, including former Cambridge mosque worshipper Ahmad Abousamra who is currently ISIS’s top propagandist, as well as the Tsarnaev brothers who carried out the Boston Marathon bombing.  The Cambridge mosque, ISB’s first house of worship was founded in 1982 by Abdulrahman Alamoudi, currently serving a 23-year prison term for his conviction as an al Qaeda fundraiser. Yusuf Qaradawi, the spiritual leader of theMuslim Brotherhood, was a founding trustee at the ISB’s second mosque in Roxbury.

One of the Obama administration’s ostensible ideas for preventing recruitment and radicalization? State Department spokesperson Marie Harf, epitomizedtheir enduring recklessness, insisting we cannot “kill” our way to victory against ISIS. “We need, in the longer term, medium and longer term, to go after the root causes that lead people to join these groups, whether it’s lack of opportunity for jobs,” she declared.

Jobs? Twenty-one Egyptian Christians went to Libya in search of jobs. ISIS decapitated every one of them.

The Obama administration is morally bankrupt. And as the history of the MB-ISIS connections presented here suggests, it is only a matter of time before Americans pay an unconscionable price for that bankruptcy.

Obama and the Muslim Gang Sign

Update: This article has been roundly criticized and thoroughly debunked

Washington Post:

5. A 2014 photo does not show President Obama flashing a “Muslim gang sign.” For starters, Islam is a religion, not a gang. And the religious gesture in question — basically pointing one’s finger upward, or “Usbu al-shahada” — is made while reciting the Muslim testimony of faith, not just casually walking around. Finally, as if all that evidence weren’t yet enough, video of the event makes it pretty clear that Obama is just wagging his finger. Alas, this bit of conspiracy-mongering shenanigans has been shared 5,000 times on Facebook and has only begun to make the conservative blogosphere rounds. A scoop, for the entrepreneurial among you: Did Ronald Reagan make a Muslim gang sign, too? –

Walid Shoebat –  A Photo Of Obama Extending His Index Finger. Is This Proof OBAMA IS MUSLIM?

 

American Thinker, by  F. W. Burleigh, Feb. 18, 2015:

Is President Obama a Muslim?  A lot has been written about this, but if photographs speak louder than words, then a photo taken at last August’s U.S.-African Leaders’ Summit in Washington D.C. might shed considerable light.

It shows Barack Hussein Obama flashing the one-finger affirmation of Islamic faith to dozens of African delegates.

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Barack Hussein Obama flashes the Muslim shahada to delegates of the US-African Leaders Conference in Washington DC in August 2014.

The Associated Press took this astonishing photo as the African dignitaries joined Obama, who hosted the event, in a State Department auditorium for a group photograph.  It was published in an article in Britain’s Daily Mail, and it was the only use ever of the photo.

The one-finger display is the distinctive Muslim gang sign: The index finger points 194113_5_straight up while the thumb wraps underneath and presses against the digital phalange of the middle finger.  The remaining fingers are squeezed against the palm in order to highlight the extended forefinger.  The extended finger is symbolic of the one-God concept of Muhammad and is understood by all believers to be a symbolic shahada, the Muslim affirmation of faith: There is but one God and Muhammad is his messenger.

Thus when believers stick their index finger in the air, they demonstrate they are partisans of Muhammad’s God concept.  And they also affirm their belief in Muhammad’s claim he was the interface between God and man. They also demonstrate they are part of the umma, the exclusive transtribal supertribe of believers that Muhammad started 1,400 years ago.

With his forefinger in the air, Obama affirmed his membership in this tribe.

194108_5_

ISIS fighter displays the gang sign. To Muslims, the extended forefinger is symbolic of the fundamental belief of Islam: There is but one God and Muhammad is his messenger.

The Daily Mail editors did not understand what they were looking at.  They captioned it “finger wagging” by Obama.  But the African dignitaries understood, and a range of reactions can be detected among the ones who observed the gesture: amusement, surprise, curiosity, disapproval, contempt.  Note the reactions of Abdelilah Berkirane, the prime minister of Morroco pictured just behind Obama’s left shoulder, and Ibrahim Boubacas Keita, the president of Mali in white garb and hat. They are Muslims through and through, and they are all smiles. They knew what Obama’s upright forefinger meant.

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The reaction of Togo president Faure Gnassingbe, at the top row second to the left, is less approving.  Through his face you can read the mind of this Sorbonne- and George Washington University educated leader. His mind is screaming, “You gotta be kidding!”

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Gnassingbe’s country is squeezed between Benin and the Ivory Coast and is not far from Nigeria and its Boko Haram plague — perhaps a two-hour flight in a slow Cessna from Togo’s capital to the Nigerian capital, less than an hour in something faster.  At the time of the Washington conference, Boko Haram’s leader Abubakar Shekau had just declared Borno State in northeastern Nigeria as the seat of his caliphate.  Massacres of entire villages were taking place; only a few months earlier nearly three hundred girls were abducted from a Borno secondary school.

Togo has seven million people, 50 percent animists, 30 percent Christian.  The remainder are Muslims, part of the umma. Gnassingbe and all other non-Muslims of Togo have reason to worry about radicalization of some of these members of the transtribal supertribe of Muhammad who reside among them. And so his look of disdain. “You gotta be kidding.”

194111_5_Maybe it was Obama’s idea of a joke, but that is unlikely.  The finger in the air was a position statement brazenly stated.  His entire administration has been a promotion of Islam at home and abroad, and just cataloging the evidence would fill a book.  He has made this country cozy for Islam, from ordering NASA to make Muslims feel good about themselves to calling ISIS beheading victim Peter Kassig by the Muslim name that he had adopted in the vain hope of saving his life.

If only Obama’s coziness were limited to such gestures, but from the very beginning of his administration, he labored to topple the strongman governments that had kept a lid on Islamic extremism:  Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen.  Overthrowing the Syrian government was also part the program, not yet achieved but still possible. The methodology of each was a tactic from old-school radicalism: stir up domestic trouble that triggers a crackdown, then use the reaction to discredit the government and as a pretext for stirring up greater cycles of trouble until the targeted regime is replaced.

Obama is comfortable with Islam’s extreme.  He arms such people throughout the Middle East.  He has let them into our government.  He supported the Muslim Brotherhood’s Muhammad Morsi as the replacement for Hosni Mubarak, a staunch US ally and enemy of the Muslim Brotherhood, and threatened and bullied Egypt when a massive revolt replaced Morsi with a religious moderate.

The thread of all of these efforts was the reestablishment of the Islamic caliphate, the line of successors of Muhammad that ended nearly a century ago with the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.  This has always been a Muslim Brotherhood objective.  In their grandiose plans, the reestablished caliphate would stretch across the Middle East with Jerusalem as its capital.  The glory of Islam resurrected!  These people aspire to world domination, and the caliphate would serve as the base for an ever-expanding war on the world until domination is achieved.  That was always the goal of their role model.  Muhammad ordered his followers to make Islam the only religion — to create a universal umma.  As with Obama, they are just following orders.

The caliphate was resurrected last year, only it is not in the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood — not yet anyway.  However it came about, the caliphate was Obama’s creation, and he has only half-heartedly pushed back against it.  Now he has asked the U.S. Congress for authorization for use of military force against what he created.  What is Obama up to with this? In everything he does, mischief is the purpose.  What mischief does he intend now?

There is nothing in Obama’s head that is American.  He is an antithetical American, a polar opposite of its values that he is routinely undermining.  He is an unabashed member of the transtribal supertribe that Muhammad created 1,400 years ago; he is of the umma, not of America.  His finger in the air at the African Leaders’ Conference is unambiguous evidence.

And it is evidence that you have been had America.  God, have you ever been had.

F. W. Burleigh is author of It’s All About Muhammad, a Biography of the World’s Most Notorious Prophet. The author blogs at http://www.itsallaboutmuhammad.com

ISIS Burns Iraqis Alive in Message to US – Government Remains Oblivious

February 18, 2015 / /

The Islamic State (IS) burned alive 45 Iraqis in the town of Khan al-Baghdadi on Tuesday. It remains unclear who the victims were, but its likely they were a combination of IA personnel and pro-government tribal fighters who were cut off and isolated when the rest of the town’s garrison fled in panic. We also hear that some of the families of security personnel may be among the victims, although that remains unconfirmed at this time. The location of the executions isn’t a coincidence as Khan al-Baghdadi is only 5 miles from al-Asad Airbase. The message IS sent to the Obama administration is clear: “We’re doing this right in front of your American military and there’s nothing they can do about it. In fact, they’re too scared to do anything.” This act throws more fuel on the propaganda fire and it also fuels the whole “Flames of War” theme they’ve been going with these days.

ISIS militants reportedly burn to death 45 people in western Iraqi town
http://www.foxnews.com/world/2015/02/18/isis-reportedly-burns-alive-45-people-in-western-iraqi-town/

Islamic State militants ‘burn to death 45 in Iraq’
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-31502863

ISIS Launches First Wave of Attacks Against al-Asad Airbase as Kirkuk Heats Up
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=4779

Islamic state Seizes Town of Khan al-Baghdadi, Threaten US Marines at Ayn al-Asad
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=4755

Pro-Government Tribal Forces in Anbar Running Out of Steam
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=3626

flames

Source: al-Hayat Media Center

Every six months we’ve seen an exponential growth for IS. We have about two more years of President Obama’s weak responses and complete lack of understanding the problem that could allow IS to grow somewhere between 4-8 times larger than it is now by the time he leaves office. If one were to overlay the areas AQI/IS controlled during OIF the thing that would be noticed is they controlled very little areas in Iraq such as safe-houses and maybe some specific neighborhoods and desert areas in 2008. From late-2010 you’d begin to see the end of IS’ decline (ISI during this time), overlay that around OCT 12, OCT 13 through OCT 14 and you will see the startling growth pattern. In two more years of limited airstrikes it will control a sizable chunk of Libya, parts of Egypt, Most of Syria and the Kurds of Iraq will be hanging by a thread. By then we’ll probably see Western Pakistan and Eastern Afghanistan carved up between IS and the Taliban/AQ. In Nigeria, Mali, Morocco, Algeria and other Maghreb nations we may see open conflict by the later part of this time frame. Some of them are already in open conflict and others are seeing latent-incipient stages of conflict. What we do know is that Islamic State has been sending cadre of seasoned commanders to organize groups like Boko Haram, which if you look at their strength and growth you will see it gaining momentum in tandem with the Islamic State over the past 12 months. These cadre from Islamic State are likely natives of the lands they are sent to organize already existing movements. Islamic State has also attracted military professionals from some of the 90 plus countries it has been able to recruit from. Some people will look at this with great skepticism, but 5 years ago the Islamic State was a skeleton compared to what it is now. This is something that we here at the ISIS Study Group have been talking about since we started posting articles about the Islamic State in the summer of 2014. The US needs to begin an aggressive campaign to regain the initiative to include providing more material support to Arab allies such as Egypt and Jordan. The United States and indeed the rest of the world cannot afford to have a President Buchanan type in the White House right now which is exactly what Barack Obama is doing. He is doing the minimum hoping to run out the presidential clock without a major incident and pass this problem off to the next president where it could be exponentially worse as we’ve stated.

UAE Strikes ISIS in Iraq – Jordan Masses Troops to Prevent Retaliatory Attacks
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=4721

Egypt Strikes ISIS Positions in Libya – Moderate Muslims Rise Up Against Terror
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=4889

Jordan Steps Up Airstrikes Against ISIS, Egypt Launches New Sinai Offensive
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=4669

ISIS: Still Going Strong Despite Coalition Efforts
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=3154

Unfortunately, the Obama administration remains oblivious to the threat. Just recently DoS spokeswoman Marie Harf got on TV and said that “we can’t kill our way to victory” and then said that the root cause of the threat is all jihadists really want are “jobs” – just like what the delusional Danish government thinks. Ms. Harf is a reflection of the incompetence that’s endemic throughout the Obama administration’s DoS and National Security Council. Its highly unlikely that she even understands any of the things she gets told to say on TV. Meanwhile, other members of the administration are either downplaying the threat to our 300 Marines stationed at al-Asad Airbase or they’re puffing out their chests claiming how “easy” it will be to “kill more IS fighters because they’ll all be in one place.” However, IS has proven to be extremely resilient and are adapting to US airstrikes and our overly restrictive ROE – which they’re exploiting to the fullest. Yes, al-Asad is a large base and yes, it will take a sizable force – and time – to completely secure it. As the fall of the Syrian Army’s 17th Division and Taqba Airbase have demonstrated, IS has quickly applied lessons learned to refine their TTPs for follow-on operations. The current siege of al-Asad Airbase has already demonstrated several of these lessons. Unless aggressive action is taken now, our troops will be in even greater risk than they are now in the coming days. Ms. Harf and the rest of the Obama administration doesn’t understand this because they’ve never served a day in the lives in the military. If they did, they would know that this enemy can’t be reasoned with, they can’t be bargained with and they absolutely will not stop until they’ve eradicate the world of all “nonbelievers” or “Kufar.” This is how Baghdadi and his followers think – jobs or a free phone is nowhere on their list of priorities. They also only respect strength through instilling fear, which is a common theme with everything they do. Until the Obama administration – and its European counterparts – comes to terms with this, IS will continue to expand and threaten the civilized world.

Harf Truths and Whole Lies

http://www.wsj.com/articles/harf-truths-and-whole-lies-1424207249

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State Department Spokeswoman Marie Harf has become the butt of jokes like this one and worse on a near daily basis. This is the only job DoS Spokeswoman Marie Harf is qualified to do
Source: @exjon (twitter)

Other Related Links:

The Main Act: ISIS Tightens its Grip on Anbar Province, Preps to Take al-Asad Airbase
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=4916

Shia Militias Sent to Reinforce al-Asad Airbase: IA on Verge of Collapse
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=2758

Obama’s ISIS Strategy: Failed Before it Started
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=1730

Another Reason Obama’s ISIS Strategy Failed
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=1757

Interview With Surviving Member of Syrian Army 17th Division
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=537

Inside the Islamic State (2nd Installment From Vice News)
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=733

Syrian Army 17th Division Barracks Overrun by Islamic State
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=229

Make the ISIS Caliphate a Jihadist Kill Zone

isis-427x350Frontpage, February 17, 2015 by Bruce Thornton:

President Obama’s proposed Authorization for the Use of Military Force against ISIS comes at a time when Iran and ISIS are fomenting disorder and destruction throughout the Middle East. Despite the enmity between these two species of jihadism, both pose serious threats to our interests and security and those of our allies in the region. The president’s stubborn refusal to strengthen his dubious negotiations with Iran by approving Congress’s more punishing sanctions, along with his pledge not to use force against the mullahs, is guaranteed to make Iran a nuclear power that will dominate the region. And nothing in the AUMF will achieve his alleged “core objective” to destroy ISIS. Quite the contrary–– it will squander an opportunity to concentrate and eliminate tens of thousands of jihadists.

Iran’s regional power and reach are increasing every day. The collapse of Yemen to Iranian-supported rebels proves prophetic an Iranian member of parliament last November. “Three Arab capitals (Beirut, Damascus, and Baghdad) have already fallen into Iran’s hands and belong to the Iranian Islamic Revolution,” he bragged, and implied Sana would be number 4. As for ISIS, it is setting up franchises in Libya, Afghanistan, Egypt and Algeria, contrary to Obama’s claim that it is “on the defensive” and “is going to lose.” More troublesome, so far some 20,000 foreigners from 90 different countries have journeyed to northern Iraq to fight for the new caliphate, creating the danger that ISIS-controlled territory will become what Taliban-controlled Afghanistan was in the decade before 9/11––a training camp for jihadists planning to attack the West, this time filled with recruits possessing passports from Western countries.

Obama’s responses to these serious challenges have been criminally naïve and incompetent. He has downgraded terrorist attacks to crimes a “big city mayor handles,” and blames the media for hyping the terrorist threat. He denies that jihadism has anything to do with Islam or anti-Semitism, most recently when he said that the murder of Parisian Jews in a kosher deli was perpetrated by malcontents who decided to “randomly shoot a bunch of folks in a deli.” He preposterously asserts, contrary to years of data from Pew polls, that “99.9% of Muslims” want “order, peace, prosperity.” He indulges Orwellian misdirection like “strategic patience,” a euphemism for inertia, retreat, and appeasement. And he relies on the magical thinking of diplomatic “engagement” to transform Iran’s Islamic Republic––for 35 years a relentless enemy of our country, killer of our citizens, and fomenter of global terrorist violence––into a “strategic partner” whose nuclear capabilities will be limited to peaceful use.

Just as bad, from the beginning of his presidency he has ceded the moral high ground to the jihadists by apologizing for the alleged historical crimes of America against Islam that presumably have driven the denizens of the “religion of peace” to murder, enslave, rape, behead, crucify, and torture those deemed enemies of Allah. His recent fatuous historical analogy between the Crusades and Muslim terror, and his embarrassing ignorance of the Spanish Inquisition, are merely reiterations of groveling statements he made during the infamous 2009 “apology tour,” when in Cairo he told the Muslim Brothers he invited to sit in the front row that the “tension” between Islam and the West resulted from “colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims.”

Now we have the AUMF against ISIS, which astonishingly is valid only for 3 years, and subjects the authorization to this limitation: “The authority granted in subsection (a) does not authorize the use of the United States Armed Forces in enduring offensive ground combat operations.” No doubt this proviso is a political sop to the quasi-pacifist, anti-war left, not to mention gratifying neo-isolationist Congressmen on the right. And it is probably pleasing to millions of Americans who are sick of fighting in the Middle East. But these shortsighted preferences and politics are what a farsighted leader must challenge and overcome. Just think of Churchill’s relentless fight in the 1930s against disarmament, pacifism, and appeasement if you need a historical example. And in what alternative universe does telling your enemy what you won’t do help you to win?

In fact, the prohibition against ground troops misses an opportunity to destroy thousands of the most committed jihadists who are now concentrating there, something critical for slowing down the movement’s momentum. We need to remember that a passionately ideological movement like Islamic jihadism depends on a hard core of fanatics. William Sherman understood this psychological truth during the Civil War. For the Union to prevail, he wrote, “We must kill three hundred thousand . . . and the further they run the harder for us to get them.” Any mass movement based on passionate belief depends on the true believers and bitter-enders, the ones most willing to kill and die. The bulk of the rest, even if they share the beliefs and support the cause, will go along only while the movement is successful, and will give up when the true believers are destroyed and momentum stalls.

Jihadism, of course, is different because it is a tenet of a religion with 1.6 billion adherents and a 1000-year record of military success and dominance that wasn’t checked until the 17th century, a success predicated on doctrines and dogmas still fundamental to Islam. Hence we cannot definitively stop the jihadist threat the way the Southern slavocracy or 20th century fascism was. But we can deal it a serious blow that diminishes its glamour, buys us some years of relative peace, and shows the region that the U.S. is the strongest tribe who will help its friends and punish its enemies. Remember what happened after our military quickly destroyed Saddam Hussein’s army, the largest in the region? Libya’s Ghaddafi abandoned his WMD program, Syria ended its 29-year occupation of Lebanon, and Iran suspended its development of nuclear weapons, at least until we returned to our current posture of retreat and appeasement.

Defeating the ISIS jihadist franchise, then, means committing enough American troops to the caliphate’s territory to kill as many jihadists as possible. Yes, the “international community” will squeal, but so what? When has Vladimir Putin or Xi Jinping ever been deterred by complaints and scolding from foreign media, progressive professors, NGO’s, and U.N. functionaries? When do China and Russia agonize over the anger of the world’s Muslims the way the West constantly does? Putin handled his jihadist problem in Chechnya by killing up to 160,000 people and shelling Grozny. China continues to wage a repressive culture war against 10 million Uighurs and their Islamic faith. But that hasn’t elicited from the Muslim world the condemnations and violence that greet satirical cartoons or preposterous rumors of mistreated Korans. Russia and China pursue their interests without regard for the world’s opinion, and so should we––particularly since our interests, unlike Russia’s or China’s, are consistent with a world governed by law and respectful of human rights.

But won’t we get bogged down in yet another endless war? Not if we don’t make our goal the transformation of Iraq into a liberal democracy, or pursue some other three-cups-of-tea fantasy. But what happens after we depart? If this time we leave behind sufficient forces and bases to patrol the area, we will be able to keep groups like ISIS from metastasizing. Doesn’t that mean an open-ended commitment? But we already have had for decades several deployments of U.S. forces abroad. Right now there are about 12,000 troops in Kuwait, nearly 50,000 in Japan, 28,500 in South Korea, and 38,500 in Germany, with another 60,000 scattered across the globe. We have had troops in Europe and Japan for 70 years, and in South Korea for 62. For 4 decades during the Cold War, 250,000 U.S. troops were stationed just in West Germany, facing not glorified gangs, but a nuclear-armed Soviet enemy and its 1.8 million soldiers. That’s what you have to do to protect your global interests and security when you are the world’s sole guarantor of order.

Committing 100,000 of the world’s best warriors to the fight would seriously degrade ISIS’s forces and its ability to hold territory, let alone expand. It would kill off thousands of future jihadist infiltrators of the West. It would also concentrate the minds of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, and put the mullahs on notice that all options are not just rhetorically, but actually on the table. But if we continue down the feckless, appeasing road Obama is driving us, we will soon have a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, Iraq and Syria turned into Iranian client states, Israel facing a nuclear-armed genocidal enemy, and a jihadist statelet in northern Iraq. And what follows those developments will make the current disorder look tame.

Jihad Is Authentic Islam – But According To The State Department Jihad Is Unemployment

The Last Refuge, By Sundance, Feb. 17, 2015:

Marie Harf joined Chris Matthews on MSNBC yesterday to advance an ideology we have actually heard before. When discussing radical Islam, and more specifically ISIS, according to Harf:

c825a-marie-harf

 

“We’re killing a lot of them and we’re going to keep killing more of them. So are the Egyptians, so are the Jordanians. They’re in this fight with us. Butwe cannot win this war by killing them. We cannot kill our way out of this war. We need in the medium to longer term to go after the root causes that leads people to join these groups, whether it’s lack of opportunity for jobs”.

Now pause for a moment, turn your head at a 25° angle, cross your eyes, pretend she is in direct eye contact with yourself…. and ask the obvious:  “Dear Ms. Harf, if that be true – then why in sam kittens is President Obama asking for AN AUTHORIZATION OF MILITARY FORCE” ? {{Mic Drop}}

Thankfully even the insufferable Chris Matthews stopped Harf mid pontification to pointspit out the obvious.  Segments of society in all nations, not just Muslims, will always be poor/unemployed – yet that does not instinctively mean an expectation to grab the closest battle axe and start lopping off heads. (Video  HERE)

The logic implies – If poverty, as claimed, was a direct link to religious zealotry (ie fascism) then India would be a 24/7 killing field.

However, as bizarre as this sounds, we should not be surprised by such a position from the U.S. State Department.  After all, this is not the first time the State Department has proclaimed Jihad is an outcome of “Islamic Unemployment”.

Back in April of 2013 while at a conference in Brussels newly appointed Secretary of State, John Kerry, coined the phrase “economic diplomacy” as a tool to defeat global jihad:

“[W]e’re not going to solve this challenge of terror and of extremism and of people finding an alternative if we’re not reaching out to people, talking to them, bringing them to the table and trying to work through major, perceived differences.  I believe we have to create a new paradigm, frankly, to deal with this.”

Kerry went on to say that businesses, private businesses, should be “motivated” (a subtle way to say funded) to expand business operations into the heart of war torn mid-East countries whose populations are fighting, engaging in violent confrontation and civil war, along with other acts of extremist violence.

In Secretary Kerry’s view the businesses would work as a tool to stop violent extremism. According to Kerry the “new paradigm” includes public-private partnerships, and he pointed to new initiative that’s just getting under way with Palestinians in the West Bank, “where U.S. businesses are being urged to invest in places for the sake of peace, not profit”.  

Make Peace, Not Profit – that sure has the makings of a great bumper sticker.  Secretary Kerry went on to say:

 “If they grow up without education, without opportunities, it’s pretty predictable what kind of challenges we can all face. So I think this is urgent, President Obama believes this is urgent, and that we need to come together in an effort to try to change it.”

Taken in full context it would appear that 2015 Marie Harf is merely expressing the opinion of her boss.  An opinion, plan, strategy or “new paradigm” that Secretary Kerry first announced in 2013 and continues to believe will replace or defer the ISIS recruitment strategy.

abbas-1-with-kerry

 

Simply combat ISIS with a few new strategically placed Taco Bell restaurants and the menu might include Jihadi’s El’ Grande’. 

Brilliant !!

obama-wiping-forehead1-e1305400756777

Also see:

The Cost to America of an AWOL President

Screen-Shot-2015-02-14-at-9.13.28-AM-640x480Breitbart, by DR. SEBASTIAN GORKA, 14 Feb 2015:

In the recently released, but largely unheralded, National Security Strategy of the United States, the new buzz-word was “strategic patience.” As our unarmed Marines hastily departed Yemen, and ISIS closed in on their fellow devil-dogs in Iraq, the President was more than showing patience: he was making video about taking selfies.
The new National Security Strategy of the United States, which was a year late and strangely dropped on a Friday – a technique usually reserved for documents the administration doesn’t want to be read – opens with a a letter from President Obama. In it, he states that his answer to the threats and challenges that face the nation is “strategic patience.” Instead of tackling the dangers of the word proactively and head-on, America will play a waiting game. This fits neatly into previous approaches from the White House that have emphasized “leading from behind.” Given the geopolitical realties of today’s world, American voters should draw their own report card of what a reactive and “patient” approach has brought the Republic in the last six years:
  • The Global Jihadist Movement: Not only is Al Qaeda not on the ropes, but ISIS /The Islamic State has overtaken it as a fully-fledged insurgency which is so powerful that latest reports have it attacking the base in Iraq where US Marines are deployed to assist the Iraqi army in standing itself back up after being routed last Summer. As media attention focuses again on the Middle East, especially after thegruesome immolation of Lt. Moaz al-Kasasbeh of the Royal Jordanian Air Force, the Jihadist movement grows ever stronger in Africa, with Boko Haram killing thousands and enslaving hundreds of Christian girls. Back home, we have theunprecedented statement by the director of the FBI that the Bureau is investigating ISIS activity in 49 states of the union. (Every state except Sarah Palin’s Alaska).
  • On the Shia side of this global war, we see that not only is Iran very deftly outmaneuvering the administration when it comes to its nuclear program, its proxies are gaining ground in South Asia and the Middle East, most especially in Yemen, where the Houthis have captured the capital. This despite the fact that Yemen was lauded last year by the President as one of the true success stories of his counterterrorism strategy.
  • The most populous and important Arab Muslim state, Egypt, has not responded well to “strategic patience” – or rather, strategic neglect and rejection of the White House. When the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood government of Mohammad Morsi was deposed by General Sisi, Cairo became the black sheep of the region as far as the administration is considered. This despite the fact that now-president Sisi is the only Muslim leader since 9/11 to openly call for a “religious revolution” in Islam aimed against the violent jihadists that threaten his nation as much as ours.
  • With the “pivot to Asia” declared by then-Secretary Clinton resulting in nominal, if any actual, redirection of our attention to the region, China has proceeded to build up its military and use it to intimidate its neighbors and lay claim to new territories in ways that could very easily lead to a shooting war in the region.
  • And in Europe, Vladimir Putin has managed to break a 60-plus year international taboo by using force to redraw borders and annex the territory of a neighboring state. Clearly, the former KGB colonel believes in being a pro-active leader.
This is just a short version of a disturbing list that could be made much longer. The empirical truth on the ground is that we have enemies at home and abroad, enemies who believe neither in “leading from behind” nor in “strategic patience.” At the same time, the most powerful nation the world has ever seen has a Commander-in-Chief who is Absent With Out Leave.
Sebastian Gorka Ph.D. is the Matthew C. Horner Distinguished Chair of Military Theory at the Marine Corps University. Follow him at @SebGorka.

Former DIA Chief Flynn Calls for Global War on Islamic Extremists

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The respected general tells Congress it’s time to launch—and fund—a war that will last generations. Authorize the use of military force against ISIS? Yeah. And then some.

The Daily Beast, Kimberly Dozier, Feb. 13, 2015:

The Obama administration’s former military intelligence chief is warning Congress that Islamic extremism has expanded in every way imaginable over the past year—and the administration he was once part of is not doing enough to stop it.

“According to every metric of significance, Islamic extremism has grown over the last year,” said retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn Friday, in remarks submitted to the House Armed Services Committee which were obtained by The Daily Beast.  “We are at war with violent and extreme Islamists (both Sunni and Shia) and we must accept and face this reality.”

His remarks are a pointed attack on the Obama administration’s handling of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, and a public airing of some of the frustrations that led Flynn to leave his post as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency last summer—a year early.

“There are some who counsel patience, arguing violent Islamists are not an existential threat and therefore can simply be managed as criminals,” he said. “I respectfully and strongly disagree.”

His comments also reflect frustration with the White House’s refusal to use the term “Islamic militant”—linking the religion with acts of violence. Flynn stated in earlier remarks to a group of retired special operators in January that only by calling the movement by its name can one martial the right kind of tools to fight it.

“You cannot defeat an enemy you do not admit exists,” Flynn told the National Defense Industry Association in Washington last month.

Administration officials have said they reject using such a term at the request of Arab and Muslim allies who do not want to play into the Islamic State group’s aspirations of building a caliphate.

Flynn also took issue with that, railing against U.S. cooperation with Arab nations he says support militancy by supporting extreme versions of Islam—a dimly veiled reference to Saudi Arabia and Qatar who support Islamic schools and charities beyond their borders that practice a strict version of Islam.

“If our so-called partners do not act in accordance with internationally accepted norms and behaviors or international law, the United States must be prepared to cut off or severely curtail economic, military and diplomatic ties,” he said.

The White House rejected Flynn’s comments.

“There is no question that we are at war those who carry out acts of terrorism in service to a corrupted version of the Muslim faith,” including al-Qaeda, ISIS and others said Ned Price, the National Security Council’s assistant press secretary. “The President has not shied away from this confrontation with those who would do us harm, and anyone who may be inspired by their hate-filled rhetoric, and we will continue to be aggressive in confronting them,” he wrote by email Friday, in response to an emailed copy of Flynn’s prepared remarks.

“Regardless of what you call them, at their core, these individuals are terrorists,” Price wrote, adding that after six years in office, “no one can doubt the President’s resolve to confront this threat. He’s made it clear that we are at war with terrorist groups—AQ and ISIL. He’s taken scores of high level terrorists off the battlefield—from Osama Bin Laden to Anwar al-Aulaqi and Abu Khattalah, the Benghazi plotter. Whatever others call these individuals, we call them our enemies, and we will continue to treat them as such.”

Flynn, however, is calling for a wider, worldwide campaign against militancy.

“We have to energize every element of National Power—similar to the effort during WWII or during the Cold War—to effectively resource what will likely be a multi-generational struggle,” he said. “There is no cheap way to win this fight.”

The Iraq and Afghan war veteran, who once served as intelligence chief for the elite counterterrorist force, the Joint Special Operations Command, urged going on the attack, rather than waiting for the enemy to launch new violence inside the U.S.

“We must engage the violent Islamists wherever they are, drive them from their safe havens and kill them,” he said. “There can be no quarter and no accommodation.”

Flynn said he supported Congress issuing a new Authorization for the Use of Military Force to fight the new threat, but said the legislation should be free from time limits and other restrictions to allow the military to fight the enemy as long as it exists.

Flynn’s sentiment was reflected by many on the committee including ranking member, Washington state Democrat Adam Smith, who sees the fight against the militants as a “long-term ideological struggle,” much like the 75-year campaign against communism.

But Smith caveated that, saying the fight-back had to include moderate Muslim voices.

“The Muslim world does not want the United States to show up and tell it what it ought to do,” he said. “We have to figure out how we can be helpful to support those moderate voices so that they can triumph, so that they can defeat these extremist ideologies.”

Flynn’s testimony was countered by one of his fellow panelists, Dr. Marc Lynch, a Mideast specialist from George Washington University, who said the administration’s campaign against the Islamic State Group is working.

“The momentum of ISIL (ISIS)…has been halted,” he said. “They’re no longer able to advance, they suffered a serious defeat in—in Kobani thanks to coalition air power.”

Committee chairman Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, said he hoped Lynch was right, but his tone seemed to indicate doubt, throughout a hearing which seemed mostly designed as a vehicle to hear Flynn warn against a sweeping battle with militants to come.

***

Former Obama DIA Chief: Administration ‘Struggling to Define’ Threat of Islamic Extremism