CSP, by Clare Lopez, Feb. 15, 2015:
If it seems that Islamic State (IS) atrocities are descending to ever-more horrific levels of barbarity, then the message is getting through as intended. As Congress begins to consider the President’s proposed new Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF), it would be well to understand just how desperately IS has been trying to lure Western ground forces into the land of Al-Sham. The amputations, beheadings, crucifixions, immolations, and sex slavery – perpetrated in meticulous emulation of the Life of Muhammad and obedience to Islamic Law (shariah) – were from the beginning carefully calculated to ‘strike terror into the hearts of the enemy’ (Q 8:12, 8:60), while also eliciting an emotional reaction that would drive the U.S. recklessly to send its military back to the region’s battlefields.
The name of the place matters: it’s not ‘the Levant.’ It’s al-Sham, which means Greater Syria, an historical and geographical term that includes the entire southeastern littoral of the Mediterranean Sea from Turkey to Egypt and inland as far as Jordan and Iraq. The Arabic abbreviation for Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) is Da’esh – which, letter for letter, stands for the same words that ISIS does. But more to the point is what IS calls its slick, full-color, English language, online magazine: DABIQ. Dabiq is the name of a town in northern Syria (north of Aleppo) that figures prominently in a Sunni hadith (a saying attributed to Muhammad) that foretells the End Times. According to that hadith, the Day of Judgment for the Muslim believers will not arrive until an army from the West, sometimes called ‘Romans’ or ‘Byzantines’ or ‘Crusaders,’ will land at Dabiq and be met and defeated in battle by the Muslim forces. See Dabiq Issue 3 for the IS strategy in its own words.
Alastair Crooke has an excellent 13 February piece at Huffington Post entitled “Is Jordan Facilitating IS’ Grand Strategy?” in which he explains all this, but then takes it one step further, to consider how the deliberate destabilization of Jordan (triggered by the early 2015 immolation murder of its pilot) could be intended to bring IS that much closer to Israel. I would suggest additionally that potentially regime-threatening chaos in Jordan (home of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the forerunner of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi) could open a backdoor route, not just to Israel, but to Sinai (base of operations for IS affiliate Ansar Beit al-Maqdis) and also to Saudi Arabia – which, for all the sophistication of its top-of-the-line arsenal, does not field the most disciplined or motivated military force in the region. Apart from Israel, that distinction would go to IS at the moment, against which Bashar al-Assad’s formidable army, bolstered by significant resources from Iran and Hizballah, has been able to hang onto barely one-third of what used to be called Syria.
And so to the AUMF. It misrepresents the Islamic State, for some odd reason calling it “ISIL,” and seemingly oblivious to developments of the past eight months, appears to have missed the fact that ISIS long time since became IS, and then, in late June 2014, was declared a Caliphate. The question must be asked whether an AUMF against “ISIL” includes the use of military force against the Caliphate, if and when IS expands operations westward into Jordan or southward into Saudi Arabia. Would the explicitly worded AUMF that authorizes U.S. military action only in Iraq and Syria (neither of which actually exists anymore) have to be rejected to consider a new AUMF for operations in those two additional countries? What about IS ‘franchise’ operations in Libya or the Sinai or its reported presence in Yemen?
The problem with the president’s proposed AUMF language is not that it declares war against IS, but that it places such tight limits on what the U.S. response is to be against the Global Jihad Movement. Of course, ever since the 2011-2012 Muslim Brotherhood-supervised language and curriculum purge in the U.S. government, neither the White House nor Pentagon would describe the enemy in such terms, but that’s in fact what we face. And it’s why the Center for Security Policy (CSP) issued the comprehensive Secure Freedom Strategy: A Plan for Victory Over the Global Jihad Movement and then followed that with a Defeat Jihad Summit that define the enemy as all who fight or support jihad to impose Islamic Law (shariah) and propose a comprehensive all-of-government strategy to defeat that enemy.
The CSP plan does not cringe from confronting the enemy threat doctrine, which is shariah. Rather, the CSP strategy understands that the jihadist enemy’s ultimate objective is not merely to rampage, slaughter, and terrify, but to use such tactics in order to impose and enforce shariah worldwide. That is why IS is so determined to erase nation state borders, drawn a century ago by colonial powers. IS seeks above all to destroy the Westphalian nation state system and replace it with the shariah rule of an ever-expanding Caliphate. Savage attacks against police and military in Canada; a chocolate shop in Sydney, Australia; an irreverent newspaper in Paris; police in Copenhagen; and Jews everywhere, from Brussels to Paris to Copenhagen and Jerusalem are not random, Mr. President. This is the strategy of Islamic terror, of jihad.
An AUMF that does not forthrightly identify the enemy as the Global Jihad Movement and all who support it has no chance of defeating IS or any Islamic terror group. A national security strategy that is more concerned with climate change than jihad is absurd and useless. And a commander-in-chief who cannot or will not lead America in defense of liberty must be challenged – by Congress as it meets to consider a new AUMF and by We, The People, whose liberty is every bit as much in peril as that of the citizens’ of Copenhagen, Denmark tonight.