Pakistan: State Sponsor of Terrorism?

by Christine Williams:

“The civilian government there [Pakistan] doesn’t control military policy, strategic policy… the army and the intelligence service do.” — Chris Alexander, Canada’s Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.

Pakistan’s High Commission to Canada rebuked Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Chris Alexander for calling Pakistan a state sponsor of terrorism. “Pakistan is not a state sponsor of terrorism, as naively alleged by Mr. Alexander, but is itself a victim of terrorism, determined to fight this menace and extend every possible co-operation to our neighbors and allies in this regard,” said Press Counselor Nazia Khalid.

Alexander, who served as Canada’s ambassador in Afghanistan and authored the book, “The Long Way Back: Afghanistan’s Quest for Peace,” stated on a CBC television news program that “[t]he civilian government there [Pakistan] doesn’t control military policy, strategic policy… but the army and the intelligence service do…. and they have denied the obvious, postponed this reckoning for years with so many terrorist groups, including al-Qaeda.”

 

Chris Alexander, Canada’s Minister of Citizenship and Immigration (2nd from right), pictured in 2005 in Kandahar, Afghanistan, during his time as Ambassador. (Image source: Screenshot from Chris Alexander YouTube video)

Alexander stated that the international community urgently needs to address the situation in Pakistan, as it is connected to other trouble spots including Syria, Iraq and Russia.

Alexander’s reference to Pakistan as a state sponsor of terrorism is far from naïve. It was further highlighted by his press secretary, Alexis Pavlich, who stated: “It is not just that these terrorist groups continue to operate from Pakistani territory: they also enjoy official, albeit covert, sanction and support from some within Pakistan’s state apparatus.”

A report by the Council on Foreign Relations, “Pakistan’s New Generation of Terrorists“, suggests there is nothing naïve about Alexander’s warnings about Pakistan. Its commitment to counterterrorism came into question in May 2011, when U.S. commandos killed al-Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden at a compound not far from Islamabad, and it was discovered that members of al-Qaeda’s leadership, as well as the Afghan Taliban, were living and operating out of Pakistan’s tribal areas and had combined forces with several militant insurgent groups, including the Taliban-linked Haqqani Network, believed to be supported by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence.

According to a Reuters report , in late 2011, the Obama administration created a special unit based in Kabul to coordinate efforts against the Haqqani militant group. The organization had been named in “some of the most audacious attacks of the Afghan war,” including storming hotels popular with foreigners; bombing the Indian embassy in Kabul, and a 2011 attack on the U.S. embassy.

Since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, when Pakistan joined Washington presumably as an ally in combatting terrorism, analysts have accused Pakistan’s security and intelligence services of playing a “double game” and aiding militant groups fighting NATO in Afghanistan. In 2002, supporters of the Afghan Taliban sought refuge in Pakistan’s tribal areas. Five years later, over a dozen disparate militant groups united under the umbrella of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), also known as the Pakistani Taliban. It was led by Baitullah Mehsud of South Waziristan, whom Pakistani authorities accused of orchestrating the December 2007 assassination of Pakistan’s former prime minister, Benazir Bhutto. Authorities produced an intercepted audio communication in which Mehsudreportedly confirmed that his men were responsible for the attack.

Read more at Gatestone Institute

When Women’s Issues Hide Humanity’s Problem

20080404_niqabBy Diana West:

You may have missed it, but March 8 was International Women’s Day, a holiday unconnected to a religious rite or person, and with no national or even seasonal significance. It is socialist in origin, and it was Lenin himself who made it an official holiday in the Soviet Union. Not surprisingly, it is now a rite of the United Nations.

In these origins lie the day’s basic fallacy: that womanhood is an international — global — political state of being; that there is a universal female political condition, which urges, a la Marx, “Women of the world, unite!” Against what? The common foe — men.

As with Marxism itself, for such a sisterhood to coalesce, even on paper or in elite committees and multinational organizations, the profound cultural and religious differences that shape and guide people’s lives have to be minimized, denied or actually destroyed. In real life, however, culture and religion will out, as they did on this year’s International Women’s Day.

In post-U.S. Iraq, Reuters reported on the International Women’s Day activities of “about two dozen” women — a brave handful — who demonstrated in Baghdad against new, sharia-based legislation now before Iraq’s parliament. Known as the Ja’afari Law after an early Shiite imam, the legislation would allow Iraq’s Shiite Islamic clergy to control marriage, divorce and inheritance. Among other things, this would permit marriage between a man and a 9-year-old girl, according to the marital example of Islam’s prophet Mohammed. Indeed, by the Gregorian calendar, as The Associated Press pointed out, such legislation would apply to girls who are 8 years and 8 months old. (The Islamic calendar year is 10 or 11 days shorter than the Gregorian calendar year.)

Guess who has approved of this child rape legislation — some den of social outcasts? No, the ministers of Iraq’s cabinet. They preside, of course, over a government created in large measure by great expenditures of U.S. blood and treasure. The draft law now awaits a parliamentary vote.

The Baghdad protesters shouted: “On this day of women, women of Iraq are in mourning.” At least two dozen of them are, anyway. But more than Iraq’s women should be in mourning. After all, child rape — not to mention marital rape and discriminatory divorce and inheritance practices also legalized in the draft legislation — shouldn’t be defined as “women’s” issues alone. If they are so pigeon-holed, by feminist implication, the modification of “male” behavior will ameliorate all. What these women are protesting, however, aren’t men or the “patriarchy” generally, but rather the brutal impact of Islam and its law on women, on children, on the family itself — the basis of civilization. It is here, in the treatment of the weak and the young, of motherhood, marriage and childhood, where core, existential differences between Islam and most of the world’s religions and cultures emerge. They are obscured as “women’s” issues.

In pre-withdrawal Afghanistan, the celebration of International Women’s Day took place inside the heavily guarded New Kabul Compound. It was an upbeat event, at least according to a Defense Department report, featuring several laudable and prominent Afghan women doctors, who naturally talked up education and the need to retain post-Taliban gains made on behalf of women in Afghanistan. Tragically, the State Department’s most recent report on the shockingly low state of human rights in Afghanistan reveals that such gains for women — not to mention children, boys and girls alike — are already mainly on paper only. As the armed utopians withdraw, the dust of tribal Islam settles.

Read more: Family Security Matters

Also see:

Lt. Gen McInerney: I believe Pakistan or elements in Pakistan, the ISI, Taliban, al-Qaeda, are involved in a second shoe #MH370

McInerney theory

Lt. Gen. Tom McInerney:

I believe the airplane was hijacked by the air crew..the pilot and the co-pilot.

I believe they just didn’t do it to fly 7 hours down into the southern Indian Ocean and crash it. It’s against their religion unless they are Shahids or martyrs. We haven’t heard anything like that. But the fact is that out of the 45 thousand terrorist events since 1998, only 14% have been claimed. So I believe another shoe will fall.

I believe Pakistan or elements in Pakistan, the ISI, Taliban, al-Qaeda, are involved in a second shoe. I don’t know what that second shoe to fall will be but I believe we’ll see that airplane involved in a terrorist incident in the near future.

In all the actions leading up to it, clearly, the plane was hijacked by the air crew.

Everybody has heard ad nauseum the different moves, etc. But the question then is, why would they do that?

I don’t have the why except I know that they were radicalized..and the degree I don’t fully understand yet but I know its there and we’re against a very formidable adversary that will have a huge impact on civil aviation in the world if they’re successful in pulling this off.

First of all, most of them [Americans] know  where Osama Bin Laden was killed…in Abbottabad, right in the heart of their military academy.Number two, most Americans don’t fully understand that the Taliban was created by Pakistan – their intelligence service- the ISI. Most Americans do not fully understand that as the ISI is supporting the Taliban in Afghanistan and we probably ought to be fighting them rather than fighting in Afghanistan. They control the Taliban…if they say cut it off it’s all over.

I think our government knows a lot of what’s going on and for certain reasons they may want to have a diversion down in the south Indian Ocean while, for instance, why isn’t the Global Hawk sown there which could stay up 32 hours and continuously surveill that with it’s synthetic aperture radar. But they’re keeping them up in the Middle East. Probably to watch certain air fields Pakistan which they can fly over Afghanistan and look into those airfields.

I think there are other things that the US government is doing that I do not want to talk about here because there may be operations ongoing. But the fact is we have our best censors in the world, Governor, in the Middle East in Afghanistan right now.

McInerney at 4:43 in the video

 

 

 

 

 

 

Al Qaeda Plots Afghan Comeback

A U.S. soldier with an Afghan interpreter speaking to a local man / AP

A U.S. soldier with an Afghan interpreter speaking to a local man / AP

By Washington Free Beacon Staff:

Al Qaeda is laying the groundwork to relaunch in Afghanistan following the withdrawal of the United States and other international forces.

The Associated Press reports:

Farouq al-Qahtani al-Qatari has been cementing local ties and bringing in small numbers of experienced militants to train a new generation of fighters, and U.S. military and intelligence officials say they have stepped up drone and jet missile strikes against him and his followers in the mountainous eastern provinces of Kunar and Nuristan. The objective is to keep him from restarting the large training camps that once drew hundreds of followers before the U.S.-led war began.

The officials say the counterterrorism campaign – a key reason the Obama administration agreed to keep any troops in Afghanistan after 2014 – could be jeopardized by the possibility of a total pullout.

Officials that spoke on the condition of anonymity say that unless the United States is able to keep a presence in Afghanistan, leaders of the terrorist group will be able to plan new attacks against U.S. targets from the country.

The administration would like to leave up to 10,000 troops in Afghanistan after combat operations end on Dec. 31, to continue training Afghan forces and conduct counterterrorism missions. But without the agreement that would authorize international forces to stay in Afghanistan, President Barack Obama has threatened to pull all troops out, and NATO forces would follow suit. After talking to Afghan President Hamid Karzai this week, Obama ordered the Pentagon to begin planning for the so-called zero option.

U.S. military and intelligence officials say unless they can continue to fly drones and jets from at least one air base in Afghanistan – either Bagram in the north or Jalalabad in the east – al-Qahtani and his followers could eventually plan new attacks against U.S. targets, although experts do not consider him one of the most dangerous al-Qaida leaders.

 

Al Qaeda: Bigger, Stronger & More Dangerous Than Ever

alf-450x299

A few years ago, Al Qaeda’s worldwide numbers were miniscule. There were never more than a few dozen Al Qaeda in Afghanistan when Obama redeployed there and sacrificed the lives of over 1600 American soldiers. But there are now tens of thousands of Al Qaeda in Syria and Iraq.

By Daniel Greenfield:

In 2008, Senator Obama wrote an op-ed for the New York Times laying out his plan for Iraq. “I believed it was a grave mistake to allow ourselves to be distracted from the fight against Al Qaeda,” he wrote to explain his opposition to the Iraq War.

Obama’s plan for Iraq consisted of the obligatory Bush-bashing combined with the Democratic Party’s favorite counterintuitive talking point of the time claiming that, “only by redeploying our troops can we press the Iraqis to reach comprehensive political accommodation.”

It was a talking point that Obama would repeat over and over again in the Senate and on the campaign trail. And the more he repeated it, the less sense it made.

Why would the Sunnis and Shiites be more likely to reach an accommodation if American troops were no longer present in Iraq, with Iran leaving over the shoulders of the Shiite majority and Al Qaeda making a comeback as the defenders of the Sunni minority?

Obama never did get around to answering that question. During the Democratic primaries, he insisted that the best way “to pressure Iraq’s leaders to resolve their civil war is to immediately begin to remove our combat troops. Not in six months or one year – now.”

Obama did not withdraw the troops “now.” He did not withdraw them in six months or in one year. He did fudge matters once in office by staging a fake withdrawal and renaming the mission and then staging a real withdrawal on the Bush timeline. And he left with the situation deteriorating to dangerous levels.

In his 2011 State of the Union address, he boasted of Iraq, “Violence is down, and a new government has been formed.” The ‘Mission Accomplished’ banner was belatedly hung and everyone moved on.

Except Al Qaeda.

Al Qaeda was hardly present in Afghanistan. But it was heavily present in Iraq. And it didn’t go away just because Obama stopped paying attention to it.

Now Al Qaeda in Iraq is trying to take over two countries at once; Iraq and Syria. It’s a big goal, but it knows that in Syria, Obama will help them and that in Iraq, he won’t do anything to stop them.

The United States has carried out drone strikes against Al Qaeda in Somalia, Yemen and Pakistan. But it hasn’t touched the largest concentration of Al Qaeda in the world in Syria where the Al Nusra Front has as many as 20,000 fighters and ISIS has 12,000 fighters in Iraq and Syria

30,000 Al Qaeda terrorists should be the world’s biggest target, but Obama is too busy pretending that they aren’t there.

In response to Al Qaeda in Iraq’s onslaught in that country where the terrorist group has reclaimed Fallujah and parts of Ramadi, the CIA will provide targeting information to the Iraqis while equipping them with surveillance drones and Cessna turboprop planes armed with Hellfire missiles.

It’s a ridiculously complicated way to try and duplicate the drone strikes that have worked so well in Pakistan without actually having a single American aircraft, even unmanned, in the skies over Iraq.

The convoluted workaround is a testament to how much Obama wants to avoid even the appearance of American forces returning to Iraq. Instead of protecting national security by preventing Al Qaeda from gaining the manpower, revenue and weapons to once again seriously threaten the United States, he is putting politics first.

Again.

Read more at Front Page

Defense Secretary: 1,600 Soldiers Died for a War Obama Didn’t Believe In

Obama+Announces+Appointments+Clinton+Gates+hekwG7Iy7GFl-450x277Front Page, By Daniel Greenfield:

One of those blunt assessments from Gates’ memoir. Others include Gates witnessing Hillary and Obama admit that they opposed the Iraq Surge for political reasons.

He recounts a conversation between Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama concerning the Bush administration’s 2007 attempt to change the tempo of the Iraq war through a surge of U.S. troops.

“Hillary told the president that her opposition to the surge in Iraq had been political because she was facing him in the Iowa primary,” Mr. Gates writes. “…The president conceded vaguely that opposition to the Iraq surge had been political. To hear the two of them making these admissions, and in front of me, was as surprising as it was dismaying.”

Obama did a rather cynical dance on the Iraq surge. And it’s rather predictable that he would concede it only “vaguely”. Honesty from O is always vague.

Even more predictably, Biden is a buffoon.

As for Mr. Biden, Mr. Gates said he bristled at the vice president’s attempts to give him orders, reminding him that he wasn’t in the “chain of command.”

He said Mr. Biden was suspicious of military leadership. “I think he has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue of the past four decades,” Mr. Gates writes.

The White House leadership is despised for its political manipulations.

He added: “The controlling nature of the Obama White House, and its determination to take credit for every good thing that happened while giving none to the career folks in the trenches who had actually done the work, offended Secretary Clinton as much as it did me.”

And despite campaigning on an Afghan surge, Obama never believed in it.

In what appears to be one of Mr. Gates most pointed critiques of Mr. Obama, he describes a White House meeting in March 2011 where Mr. Obama expressed doubts about Gen. David H. Petraeus, the man he had chosen to lead the war effort, as well as Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

“As I sat there, I thought: The president doesn’t trust his commander, can’t stand Karzai, doesn’t believe in his own strategy and doesn’t consider the war to be his,” Mr. Gates writes. “For him, it’s all about getting out.”

That’s over 1,600 soldiers dead for a political war that Obama never believed in.

Also see:

Global Terrorist Threat Set To Grow In 2014 – Analysis

By 

January 6, 2014

The past year has been the most violent since the beginning of the current wave of terrorism. Al Qaeda, though truncated, has become more influential globally via the web, guiding its associates to strike official and civilian targets. With the western withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014 the Taliban-led terrorist sanctuary is likely to be revived to threaten stability and security worldwide.

By Rohan Gunaratna

SINCE September 11, 2001 the global terrorist threat has been growing exponentially. According to START, the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, there were 5,100 terrorist attacks in the first six months of 2013, following the 8,400 attacks in 2012, which killed nearly 15,400 people. “The wave of violence shows few signs of ebbing,” reported the US-based START.

The western kinetic operations have failed to reduce the global threat. Indeed, the threat of international and national terrorism is projected to grow in 2014. With half of the countries in the world suffering from political violence and ideological extremism, terrorism will remain the Tier-One national security threat to the stability of most countries.

Hubs of global terrorism

Afghanistan and Syria are emerging as the two most important hubs of global terrorism that threaten the security of South Asia, West Asia and North Africa. Just as the anti-Soviet multi-national Afghan mujahidin campaign formed the foundation of contemporary terrorism, the blowback from the civil war in Syria is likely to produce the next generation of fighters – both guerrillas who attack government forces and terrorists who attack civilians.

The conflicts in Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as India, are the most violent in South Asia. Next are the Middle East: Syria and Iraq; and Africa: Nigeria and Somalia. Since 9/11 over a million people, combatants and non-combatants, have been killed or injured, mostly Muslims, by terrorists and US-led coalition forces fighting insurgents and terrorists. According to START, Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan suffered more than half of the 2012 attacks (54%) and fatalities (58%). The next five most targeted countries were India, Nigeria, Somalia, Yemen and Thailand. The threat is projected to escalate in 2014 and grow even further following the US-led coalition’s withdrawal from Afghanistan at year end.

Counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism efforts since 9/11 have had mixed results. Al Qaeda has weakened but the Al Qaeda family has grown in strength, size and influence. About 30-40 threat groups in Asia, Africa, Middle East and the Caucasus are emulating the Al Qaeda ideology of global violence and methodology of suicide attacks.

While the core Al Qaeda led by Dr Ayman al Zawahiri has transformed from an operational to an ideological and training organisation, the associate groups carry out the bulk of the attacks. Although the death of Osama bin Laden demonstrated that any terrorist can be hunted down, the death of the Al Qaeda leader did not reduce the growing threat.

Threat landscape

SMOKE OVER NAIROBI, KENYA WESTGATE SHOPPING MALL ON 23 SEPTEMBER 2013. PHOTO BY ANNE KNIGHT, WIKIPEDIA COMMONS

SMOKE OVER NAIROBI, KENYA WESTGATE SHOPPING MALL ON 23 SEPTEMBER 2013. PHOTO BY ANNE KNIGHT, WIKIPEDIA COMMONS

The deadliest terrorist groups in the world belong to the Al Qaeda family with the Taliban (both Afghan and Pakistan) heading the list. Others are Al Nusra Front in Syria, Boko Haram in Nigeria, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and Al Shabaab in Somalia. The Al Qaeda ability to influence associate groups was brought to international attention by the brutal attack on the Westgate Mall in Kenya by Al Shabaab. With the decentralisation of the threat Northern Africa is emerging as a new epicentre of terrorism and extremism.

The “Arab Spring” has become a nightmare with multiple Al Qaeda-linked groups emerging throughout North Africa and the Middle East, including Al Nusra in Syria. With 12,000 Sunni and a comparable number of Shia foreign fighters in Syria the threat to the West and the rest of the world will grow.

Stemming from the developments in Syria, the Shia-Sunni conflict is threatening to break out into a regional conflict, involving Bahrain and Lebanon. Further afield in the Caucasus terrorists mounted year-end attacks in Volgograd, Southern Russia, hitting a railway station and a trolley bus. Shumukh al-Islam, the top forum for Al Qaeda-affiliated propaganda, praised the timing of the attacks. The SITE Monitoring Service reported the terrorists as saying Russians are not safe “since their country continues to supply arms to the malicious combatant regime of the doomed apostate Bashar”. From the Caucasus the terrorists are travelling through Turkey to Syria to fight against the Bashar al Assad regime.

Read more at Eurasia Review

Rohan Gunaratna is Head of RSIS’ International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research (ICPVTR), Singapore. He is author of “Inside Al Qaeda” published by Columbia University Press.

Sharia’s Protector

569By Mark Steyn:

Rohullah Qarizada is one of those Afghans you used to see a lot on American TV in the immediate aftermath of the Taliban’s fall. Trimly bearded, dapper in Western suit and tie, he heads the Afghan Independent Bar Association in Kabul. Did you know Kabul had a bar association? A few years back, I ran into one of the U.S. prosecutors who helped set it up, with a grant from the Swedish foreign ministry. Mr. Qarizada currently sits on a committee charged with making revisions to the Afghan legal code. What kind of revisions? Well, for example: “Men and women who commit adultery shall be punished based on the circumstances by one of the following punishments: lashing, stoning.”

As in stoning to death. That’s the proposed improvement to Article 21. Article 23 specifies that said punishment shall be performed in public. Mr. Qarizada gave an interview to Reuters, explaining that the reintroduction of stoning was really no big deal: You’d have to have witnesses, and they’d better be consistent. “The judge asks each witness many questions,” he said, “and if one answer differs from other witnesses then the court will reject the claim.” So that’s all right then.

Stoning is making something of a comeback in the world’s legal codes — in October the Sultan of Brunei announced plans to put it on his books. Nevertheless, Kabul has the unique distinction of proposing to introduce the practice on America’s watch. Afghanistan is an American protectorate; its kleptocrat president is an American client, kept alive these last twelve years only by American arms. The Afghan campaign is this nation’s longest war — and our longest un-won war: That’s to say, nowadays we can’t even lose in under a decade. I used to say that, 24 hours after the last Western soldier leaves Afghanistan, it will be as if we were never there. But it’s already as if we were never there: The last Christian church in the country was razed to the ground in 2010.

At this point, Americans sigh wearily and shrug, “Afghanistan, the graveyard of empire,” or sneer, “If they want to live in a seventh-century s***hole, f*** ‘em.” But neither assertion is true. Do five minutes’ googling, and you’ll find images from the Sixties and early Seventies of women in skirts above the knee listening to the latest Beatles releases in Kabul record stores. True, a stone’s throw (so to speak) from the capital, King Zahir’s relatively benign reign was not always in evidence. But, even so, if it’s too much to undo the barbarism of centuries, why could the supposed superpower not even return the country to the fitful civilization of the disco era? The American imperium has lasted over twice as long as the Taliban’s rule — and yet, unlike them, we left no trace.

Seven years ago, in my book America Alone, I quoted a riposte to the natives by a British administrator, and it proved such a hit with readers that for the next couple of years at live stage appearances, from Vancouver to Vienna, Madrid to Melbourne, I would be asked to reprise it — like the imperialist version of a Beatles cover band. The chap in question was Sir Charles Napier, out in India and faced with the practice of suttee — the Hindu tradition of burning widows on the funeral pyres of their husbands. General Napier’s response was impeccably multicultural: “You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: When men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours.”

Read more at Steyn Online

 

Lessons of Iraq and A-Stan: Infidel Armies Can’t Win Islamic Hearts and Minds

Karzai and Rohani in Tehran, December 8, 2013

Karzai and Rohani in Tehran, December 8, 2013

by Diana West:

I am reposting a couple of columns below from 2009, written at a time before the Obama “surge” in Afghanistan, based on Bush’s “surge” in Iraq, was in full swing.

I have long argued that the Bush surge failed (explanation in three parts here). TheObama surge has failed, too, and for the same basic reason that has nothing to do with leaving Iraq “too soon,” or, I deeply hope, “leaving Afghanistan” in 2014. It is vital to stress that these failures are not due to the bravery and sacrifice and skill of our military forces. These forces have resolutely fufilled their impossible missions, to say the very least. The failures lie in war-planning and political strategy, ignorance and fecklessness, at the highest levels of the Bush and Obama White Houses, in the Pentagon, and in the Congress that failed to check them.

(To such ignorance and fecklessness we may also add an epic show of institutional callousness.)

The simple fact is that an army from Judeo-Christian lands cannot fight for the soul of an Islamic land.

This is the obvious but untaught and thus unlearned lesson of these past twelve years of tragic, costly wars. They call us “infidel.” We think that doesn’t matter. The Koran is their guide and they build their constitutions upon its laws. We help them do so and order our soldiers to risk their lives upholding theses sharia-supreme documents in the fantasy-name of  “universal” rights that exist nowhere but in the West. (See the madness begin here back in 2004). Meanwhile, sharia norms and masked Marxism are eroding liberty in the West while 99 percent of our political leaders do nothing.

They learn nothing, too. They set post-9/11 strategy in Iraq without seeing sharia norms and jihad doctrine as obstacles to “nation-building” on a (flawed) Western model — as though sharia and jihad can be eliminated as the authoritative foundations of Islamic culture by wish or denial. Such a  see-no-Islam strategy was doomed to fail, and so it did. But instead of retooling this failed strategy (which served mainly to the benefit of Iran, China and other enemies), they turned around and implemented it in Afghanistan.

We must win the people’s “hearts and minds,” Gen. Petraeus urged his men back in Iraq.

We must win the Afghans’ “trust,” Adm. Mullen and others   stressed (or buy it).

Thus, our soldiers were ordered to take hills of the Islamic mind-world that infidel armies can never attain.

We must respect their culture, the generals insisted, seeking more and more common ground, but ceding ground (metaphorical and real) instead. Vital ground.

We must protect the Afghan people (at the expense of our own), ordered the COIN corps generals, led by Petraeus, who infamously ordered:

“Walk. Stop by, don’t drive by. Patrol on foot whenever possible and engage the population. Take off your [ballistic] sunglasses. Situational awareness can be gained only by interacting face to face, not separated by ballistic glass or Oakleys.

Such “situational awareness” came at a great and tragic cost – but with little if any lasting benefit. Neither “protecting the population,” nor restricting ROEs, nor insanely profligate public works projects have permitted the infidel counterinsurgency to achieve its goals — winning Islamic hearts, minds or trust.

Cultural prostration hasn’t worked either, but not for want of trying.

We must respect their culture (no matter how barbaric). We must uphold their culture (no matter how vile). We must protect Islam, too. We must submit to its laws, and punish Americans who don’t. And punish Americans.

“Handle the Koran as if it were a fragile piece of delicate art,” a memo to Joint Task Force Guantanamo ordered in January 2003. That wasn’t enough. “We will hold sacred the beliefs held sacred by others,” ISAF declared in 2012.

Soon we will have new and enduring allies in the war on “terror.” What difference will it make if we can only fight together for the other side?

From April and August 2009 — over one thousand combat dead and thousands of combat wounded ago.

From April 3, 2009:

“What Do You Mean: If We Ever Want to Leave Afghanistan?”

From August 14, 2009:

“All Those Boots on the Ground and No Imprint.”

The Taliban: America’s Enemy

Obama and KarzaiBy Brigitte Gabriel:

The Taliban have recently published the autumn edition of their magazine, Azan.

This is the fourth issue of the magazine and is significant in that it calls for Muslims in the West to launch attacks at home or fight in foreign battlefields, urging recruits to even leave behind their children or elderly parents (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/al-qaeda/10503925/Taliban-magazine-urges-jihad-and-profiles-the-Honda-125.html)

Surely such calls to Jihad are nothing new, so why is this particular publication important?

Because it has been released just a few days after the Obama administration was quoted saying that “the Taliban are not our enemies and we don’t want to fight them.” (http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Peace/2013/11/27/Karzai-Will-Sign-Agreement-with-U-S-Says-Obama-Administration-Claimed-Taliban-Not-Our-Enemy)

Such statements about the Taliban are nothing new from the Obama administration. Vice President Joe Biden toldNewsweek magazine the same thing almost exactly two years ago (http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2011/12/vp-biden-says-that-the-taliban-per-se-is-not-our-enemy/).

Not only are these statements from the administration disheartening because our brave troops have been fighting Taliban Jihadis for a decade, they also demonstrate a profound ignorance about Jihadist doctrine.

Jihadist doctrine does not regard nationalities or international borders as significant. Under their doctrine, Jihad is to be waged to make Allah’s law and religion supreme around the entire world. With their latest magazine, the Taliban clearly demonstrate adherence to that doctrine with their call for Muslims in the West to launch attacks at home.

What’s more this is not something new from the Taliban. When they seized power in Afghanistan in 1996, they announced that Afghanistan was to be a launching pad for global Jihad and invited Jihadi fighters to come to their country. Jihadis from all over the Islamic world and even parts of the West and the Pacific Rim heeded that call and gravitated to the new Shariah-ruled outpost established by the Taliban regime.

Among those who relocated to Afghanistan was Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda. We know the rest: Al Qaeda launched its attack on America from Afghanistan and the Taliban harbored Al Qaeda from the US when America sought to bring justice down on them.

How anyone can look at these facts and conclude that the Taliban are not our enemy is mind-boggling. The idea that the Taliban want to strictly limit their evil designs to Afghanistan is absurd.

Read more at ACT! For America

 

Op-Ed: Why Are America and The West Funding Sharia Law?

By Phyllis Chesler:

President Hamid Karzai’s government is considering bringing back stoning for adultery—and imposing 100 lashes (which is a death sentence) for unmarried people who have had sexual relations.

Thus, Afghan men can marry female children, keep male children as sex-toys, maintain four wives, and visit prostitutes from dawn to dawn.

But it is a capital crime if an Afghan man dishonors another Afghan man by having relations with his female “property;” and, if he has raped the poor wife, she is also to be stoned. Worse yet, if two young Afghans meet and fall in love on their own and have sexual relations, but do not marry—they, too, will be committing a capital crime.

Just imagine what it is like to live in a world where marriages are arranged, often to first or second cousins; where a woman cannot divorce a man, no matter how violent or cruel he and his family may be.

Imagine that if a girl is maritally raped, tortured or forced into prostitution by her mother-in-law (these things happen all the time in Afghanistan).

Understand that if a bride is bold enough to run away, she will be jailed—that’s if she is lucky. Otherwise, her family of origin and her husband’s family will kill her for dishonoring them.

This reality is surreal, actually worse than Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel “The Handmaids’ Tale”. Such customs are indigenous, tribal, and pandemic– and have not been caused by Western colonialism, imperialism, militarism or even Zionism!

In fact, Afghans are very proud of the fact that they have never been colonized, not by Great Britain and not by Russia.

Why are America and the West funding such a country which is so clearly headed back towards the darkest days of the Taliban in the 1980s and to the even darker days of the bitter battles between warlords which massacred so many innocent civilians in the 1990s? Do Americans really believe that we can wean the Sunni Afghans from gender and religious apartheid?

Why is America funding humanitarian projects and training an Afghan Army when Hamid Karzai, presumably America’s puppet, is in reality a quintessentially wily Afghan who needs to posture against the infidel West in order to keep his conservative countrymen from assassinating him; who breaks promises as fast as he makes them and considers this clever diplomacy, Afghan-style; whose family has grown very rich allegedly as opium dealers as well as bankers and landlords.

Karzai has just now even gone against the wishes of his own Loya Jirga (mass meeting of elders) by deciding that he would not sign the agreement with America that he promised to sign.

I was once held captive in Kabul—the very country that sheltered Bin Laden as he hatched Al Qaeda and 9/11. Now, the entire civilian world is being held hostage by this style of terrorism and asymmetrical warfare i.e. a war in which soldiers are dressed as civilians and there is no “front.” A suicide bombing can happen anywhere and everywhere.

How eerie, how destined that I would know something about this particular country, the people, the customs, and could bring my hard-won knowledge to bear at this moment in history.

Read more at Arutz Sheva

img422118Phyllis Chesler is the author of fifteen books, including Women and Madness, Woman’s Inhumanity to Woman, and The New Anti-Semitism. She has published three studies about honor killing and is work on a fourth. Her new book, An American Bride in Kabul, (Palgrave Macmillan) has just been published to great acclaim. Professor Chesler may be reached at her website www.phyllis-chesler.com

 

Two Charged with Conspiring to Aid Al Qaida, Taliban

 

Illustrative photo of former Taliban fighters relinquishing their rifles to Afghan government officials in Ghor, Afghanistan, May 2013 (photo credit: Joe Painter/US Department of Defense)

Illustrative photo of former Taliban fighters relinquishing their rifles to Afghan government officials in Ghor, Afghanistan, May 2013 (photo credit: Joe Painter/US Department of Defense)

IPT, by Abha Shankar:

The Muslims Are Coming, Part II

mc2By Mark Tapson:

Several weeks ago I posted a piece on FrontPage Mag entitled “The Muslims Are Coming!” about a recent documentary following a troupe of Muslim standup comics as they toured the country, enlightening all the middle-American clods who have somehow gotten the crazy impression that Islam poses a threat. I harshly attacked this concept; my take was that the world has an Islam problem, not an Islamophobia problem, and that claiming otherwise and slapping a happy face on the issue is insulting and pointless.

The film’s producer and co-director Dean Obeidallah, who is also one of the featured comedians, unsurprisingly took exception to this and called me a bigot and idiot on Twitter for reviewing a film I hadn’t seen. I responded that my article wasn’t a review of the documentary and didn’t claim to be; it was commentary on the very concept of the film based on the abundant information provided on its website, with a few examples drawn from the movie’s three-minute trailer. He seemed to think that watching the film itself would change my mind. I asked him if the trailer and website were not representative of the film’s content; because if they weren’t, and the film is about something completely different, then he has a marketing problem.

Obeidallah, who bills himself as the Dean of Comedy (Get it? His name is Dean) couldn’t or wouldn’t respond. Instead, he went off and wrote about my piece at the Daily Beast where he could dismiss me as a hater for his audience of smug leftist sheep, who either live in willful ignorance about Islam or happily support the agenda of Islamic fundamentalists to tear down western civilization from within and without.

I still haven’t seen Obeidallah’s documentary, so if it is indeed radically different from how it is presented on the website (and you can read the long synopsis for yourself here), then I will apologize and retract my criticisms. But I know I won’t have to. The website and trailer clearly push the message that media distortion, bigotry, ignorance, and the “irrational fear of Islam” – otherwise known by the Brotherhood neologism “Islamophobia” – are the real issues that need to be resolved in order to bring peace to the clash of civilizations. Obeidallah and his cohorts think that, twelve years after 9/11, American non-Muslimsstill don’t understand or appreciate Islam, that anyone who expresses concerns about Islamic fundamentalism is a bigot and Islamophobe, and that if we all just learn to laugh about it together, we’ll see that sharia and jihad pose no threat and Islam is perfectly compatible with western ideals of freedom, human rights, and individualism.

In the month since my article appeared, here is what the world has witnessed of Islam:

  • A photographer documented the gruesome beheading of a bound young victim at the hands of Syrian jihadists, who later slit the throat of a Christian for refusing to deny Christ, then mocked his widow about it.
  • Jihadists attacked the U.S. embassy in Afghanistan.
  • Shi’ite Muslims bombed 30 Sunnis outside an Iraqi mosque;
  • Sunnis returned the favor a few days later, and then they each took another turn, and on and on.
  • Al Qaeda’s Ayman al-Zawahiri called on Muslims to launch attacks on American soil and to “bleed America economically.”
  • As part of the ongoing, intensifying genocide of Christians under Islam, Muslims murdered two Christians in Egypt for refusing to pay the  jizya tax, and two more in Libya for refusing to convert to Islam.
  • A Catholic priest was doused with acid by a Muslim in Zanzibar.
  • A Yemen thief was condemned to have his foot and hand amputated according to sharia. Turkey sentenced a pianist to prison for “insulting Islam.”
  • The West-hating Boko Haram slaughtered upwards of 160 people in Nigeria, and then later massacred another 65 students while they slept.
  • Afghan jihadists posing as our allies murdered three NATO soldiers.
  • Muslims killed 60 Christians and wounded 100 more outside church services in Pakistan. CAIR was caught carrying out a criminal money laundering scheme.
  • Hamas called for a third intifada against Israel. Islamic militants killed 19 in a bus bomb in Pakistan and 33 more in a market with a car bomb.
  • An International Conference on Islamophobia in Istanbul promoted its anti-free speech agenda.
  • A bill was passed in Iran which allows men to marry their adopted daughters as young as 13.
  • Last but not least, there was the subhuman barbarism of the Kenyan mall massacre, in which non-Muslims were singled out for horrific torture and murder, and many dozens were left dead.

Savagery of the lowest order. Totalitarianism. Raging violence against infidels and Muslims alike. This doesn’t even touch on the progress of civilizational jihad that is being waged so successfully against the too-clueless West.

Read more at Front Page

My life of hell in an Afghan harem

Phyllis Chesler, author of "An American Bride in Kabul," spent five months held prisoner in Afghanistan as a young bride.

Phyllis Chesler, author of “An American Bride in Kabul,” spent five months held prisoner in Afghanistan as a young bride.

By Phyllis Chesler:

Naive and in love, I married a man from Kabul — only to discover the horrible life of a fundamentalist Muslim wife.

Phyllis Chesler, 72, is a feminist scholar and a professor emerita of psychology and women’s studies at City University of New York. In her 14th book, “An American Bride in Kabul” (Palgrave Macmillan) out early next month, she shares for the first time the story of the five months she spent, as a young bride, held prisoner in a Afghan household. 

I once lived in a harem in Afghanistan.

I did not enter the kingdom as a diplomat, soldier, teacher, journalist or foreign aid worker. I came as a young Jewish bride of the son of one of the country’s wealthiest men. I was held in a type of captivity — but it’s not as if I had been kidnapped.

I walked into it of my own free will.

It is 1959. I am only 18 when my prince — a dark, older, handsome, westernized foreigner who had traveled abroad from his native home in Afghanistan — bedazzles me.

We meet at Bard College, where he is studying economics and politics and I am studying literature on scholarship.

Abdul-Kareem is the son of one of the founders of the modern banking system in Afghanistan. He wears designers sunglasses and bespoke suits and when he visits New York City, he stays at the Plaza.

He is also Muslim.

I am Jewish, raised in an Orthodox home in Borough Park, Brooklyn, the daughter of Polish immigrants. My dad worked door-to-door selling soda and seltzer.

But none of this matters. We don’t talk about religion. Instead, we stay up all night discussing film, opera and theater. We are bohemians.

We date for two years. Then, when I express my desire to travel, he asks me to marry him.

The author Phyllis Chesler with her husband in 1959.

The author Phyllis Chesler with her husband in 1959.

“There is no other way for us to travel together in the Muslim world,” he says.

Like a complete heartsick fool, I agree.

My parents are outraged and hysterical. They warn me that no good will come of this union. Little did I know then how right they would be. We marry in a civil ceremony in Poughkeepsie with no family present.

For our honeymoon, we travel around Europe with a plan to stop off in Kabul to meet his family. I did not know that this would be our final destination.

When we land, 30 relatives await our arrival. Among them, not one but three mothers-in-law. I am too shocked to speak, too shocked to question what these three women might mean for my future.

I learn that my real mother-in-law, Abdul-Kareem’s biological mother, is only my father-in-law’s first wife. Her name is Bebugul.

There are bear hugs and kisses all around. The family is warm and inviting — I try to forget about my husband’s glaring omission.

But before the caravan of black Mercedes-Benzes can leave, an airport official demands that I turn over my American passport.

I refuse.

Everyone stops. Both the official and my husband assure me that this is a mere formality. It will soon be returned to me, so I reluctantly relinquish it.

I will never see my passport again.

That means — I would soon learn — that I would not be able to leave Afghanistan at will. I am now subject to the laws and custom of Afghanistan, and as a Afghan woman, that means hardly any rights at all.

Read more at NYP

 

 

Re-engaging in the War of Ideas: Lessons from the Active Measures Working Group

Katharine Cornell Gorka

Katharine Cornell Gorka

by Katharine Cornell Gorka,  February 1st, 2013

For all who are concerned about the Islamist threat, these are not happy days.  Our government is not only supporting Islamist groups abroad, but here at home seems to be allowing Islamists to dictate national security policy.  Most infamously, they have silenced all training of counter-terrorism and law enforcement professionals on Islamic terrorism and replaced that with milquetoast powerpoints such as “Cultural Tactics for Intelligence Professionals.” The prevailing belief is that the Islamists are an historic reality who must be accommodated rather than challenged with the result that not only is the war against the Islamist threat not being won, it is not even being fought.

How reminiscent of the 1970s. Policymakers at that time believed the Soviet Union was an historic reality that was here to stay, and they therefore did not believe we could or should even aspire to defeat the Soviet Union. It was widely held that we could at best hope to get along with them. Indeed, Kissinger’s détente policy was premised on the notion that not only were the Soviets here to stay, but we had to accommodate them to get the best terms that they would give us – a fundamentally defeatist policy because it assumed the Soviets were winning.  So rather than stand up to them, we engaged them, hoping that through a series of treaties and negotiations we could somehow control this behemoth foe—in spite of the fact that their foundational principles placed them in direct conflict with the United States.  This was partly an ideological inevitability:  if you do not believe unreservedly in what America stands for—that all men are created equal, are entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and that free-market democracy is the best way to ensure those rights—then accommodation of other forms of political organization, even communist and totalitarian ones, does not seem altogether unreasonable.

To be fair, the military will that was required to stand up to the Soviet Union had been critically wounded by the Vietnam War. The American people and Congress had lost their enthusiasm for military endeavors as a result, and support from Western allies was notably weak as well. But even those constraints might have been overcome had there been the political will to do so.  Today, while U.S. efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan carry little of the ignominy associated with Vietnam, something of the mood in the 1970s has been evoked by the lack of a clear victory, the lives of Americans lost, and the growing pressure from the administration and its cheering section, the media, to cut defense spending and disengage militarily. But most importantly, today’s policymakers appear to not believe the Islamists can be defeated or even should be defeated, and that we must therefore engage them, in spite of the fact that their animating beliefs are in direct conflict with American principles.  Indeed we have gone so far as to expend the tax dollars of our future generations as well as sacrifice the lives of thousands of soldiers (estimated at 6630 as of January 2013) in order to put in place in Iraq and Afghanistan constitutions based on Islam which codify the distinctly un-American principles of inequality and oppression.

I strongly encourage you to read the entire piece at The Westminster Institute.