UK: Politicians Urge Ban on the Term “Islamic State”

political correctnessGatestone Institute, by Soeren Kern,July 4, 2015:

  • “If we deny any connection between terrorism and religion, then we are saying there is no problem in any of the mosques; that there is nothing in the religious texts that is capable of being twisted or misunderstood; that there are no religious leaders whipping up hatred of the West, no perverting of religious belief for political ends.” — Boris Johnson, Mayor of London.
  • “O Muslims, Islam was never for a day the religion of peace. Islam is the religion of war… Mohammed was ordered to wage war until Allah is worshipped alone… He himself left to fight and took part in dozens of battles. He never for a day grew tired of war. — Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of the Islamic State.
  • While Western politicians claim that the Islamic State is not Islamic, millions of Muslims around the world — referring to what is approved in the Islamic texts — believe that it is.

The BBC has rejected demands by British lawmakers to stop using the term “Islamic State” when referring to the jihadist group that is carving out a self-declared Caliphate in the Middle East.

Lord Hall of Birkenhead, the BBC’s director general, said that the proposed alternative, “Daesh,” is pejorative and using it would be unfair to the Islamic State, thereby casting doubt upon the BBC’s impartiality.

Prime Minister David Cameron recently joined the growing chorus of British politicians who argue that the name “Islamic State” is offensive to Muslims and should be banned from the English vocabulary.

During an interview with BBC Radio 4’s “Today” program on June 29 — just days after a jihadist with links to the Islamic State killed 38 people (including 30 Britons) at a beach resort in Tunisia — Cameron rebuked veteran presenter John Humphrys for referring to the Islamic State by its name.

When Humphrys asked Cameron whether he regarded the Islamic State to be an existential threat, Cameron said:

“I wish the BBC would stop calling it ‘Islamic State’ because it is not an Islamic state. What it is is an appalling, barbarous regime. It is a perversion of the religion of Islam, and, you know, many Muslims listening to this program will recoil every time they hear the words ‘Islamic State.'”

Humphrys responded by pointing out that the group calls itself the Islamic State (al-Dawlah al-Islamiyah, Arabic for Islamic State), but he added that perhaps the BBC could use a modifier such as “so-called” in front of that name.

Cameron replied: “‘So-called’ or ISIL [the acronym for Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] is better.” He continued:

“But it is an existential threat, because what is happening here is the perversion of a great religion, and the creation of this poisonous death cult, that is seducing too many young minds, in Europe, in America, in the Middle East and elsewhere.

“And this is, I think, going to be the struggle of our generation. We have to fight it with everything that we can.”

Later that day in the House of Commons, Cameron repeated his position. Addressing Cameron, Scottish National Party MP Angus Robertson said that the English-speaking world should adopt Daesh, the Arabic name for the Islamic State, as the proper term.

Daesh, which translates as Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (Syria), is the Arabic equivalent to ISIL. Daesh sounds similar to the Arabic word “Daes,” which means “one who crushes something underfoot,” and “Dahes,” which means “one who sows discord.” As a result of this play on words, Daesh has become a derogatory name for the Islamic State, and its leaders have threatened to “cut the tongue” of anyone who uses the word in public.

Robertson said:

“You are right to highlight the longer-term challenge of extremism and of radicalization. You have pointed out the importance of getting terminology right and not using the name ‘Islamic State.’ Will you join parliamentarians across this house, the US secretary of state and the French foreign minister in using the appropriate term?

“Do you agree the time has come in the English-speaking world to stop using Islamic State, ISIS or ISIL and instead we and our media should use Daesh — the commonly used phrase across the Middle East?”

Cameron replied:

“I agree with you in terms of the use of Islamic State. I think this is seen as particularly offensive to many Muslims who see, as I see, not a state but a barbaric regime of terrorism and oppression that takes delight in murder and oppressing women, and murdering people because they’re gay. I raised this with the BBC this morning.

“I personally think that using the term ‘ISIL’ or ‘so-called’ would be better than what they currently do. I don’t think we’ll move them all the way to Daesh so I think saying ISIL is probably better than Islamic State because it is neither in my view Islamic nor a state.”

Separately, more than 100 MPs signed a June 25 letter to the BBC’s director general calling on the broadcaster to begin using the term Daesh when referring to the Islamic State. The letter, which was drafted by Rehman Chishti, a Pakistani-born Conservative MP, stated:

“The use of the titles: Islamic State, ISIL and ISIS gives legitimacy to a terrorist organization that is not Islamic nor has it been recognized as a state and which a vast majority of Muslims around the world finds despicable and insulting to their peaceful religion.”

Scottish Nation Party MP Alex Salmond, in a June 29 newspaper column, wrote:

“We should start by understanding that in a propaganda war language is crucial.

“Any description of terrorists which confers on them the image that they are representing either a religion or a state must surely be wrong and an own goal of massive proportions. It is after all how they wish to refer to themselves.

“Daesh, sometimes spelled Daiish or Da’esh, is short for Dawlat al Islamiyah fi’al Iraq wa al Sham.

“Many Arabic-speaking media organizations refer to the group as such and there is an argument it is appropriately pejorative, deriving from a mixture of rough translations from the individual Arabic words.

“However, the real point of using Daesh is that it separates the terrorists from the religion they claim to represent and from the false dream of a new caliphate that they claim to pursue.

“It should become the official policy of the government and be followed by the broadcasting organizations.”

The BBC, which routinely refers to Muslims as “Asians” to comply with the politically correct norms of British multiculturalism, has held its ground. It said:

“No one listening to our reporting could be in any doubt what kind of organization this is. We call the group by the name it uses itself, and regularly review our approach. We also use additional descriptions to help make it clear we are referring to the group as they refer to themselves, such as ‘so-called Islamic State.'”

The presenter of the BBC’s “The World This Weekend” radio program, Mark Mardell, added:

“It seems to me, once we start passing comment on the accuracy of the names people call their organizations, we will constantly be expected to make value judgements. Is China really a ‘People’s Republic?’ After the Scottish referendum, is the UK only the ‘so-called United Kingdom?’ With the Greek debacle, there is not much sign of ‘European Union.'”

London Mayor Boris Johnson believes both viewpoints are valid. In a June 28 opinion article published by the Telegraph, he wrote:

“Rehman’s point is that if you call it Islamic State you are playing their game; you are dignifying their criminal and barbaric behavior; you are giving them a propaganda boost that they don’t deserve, especially in the eyes of some impressionable young Muslims. He wants us all to drop the terms, in favor of more derogatory names such as “Daesh” or “Faesh,” and his point deserves a wider hearing.

“But then there are others who would go much further, and strip out any reference to the words “Muslim” or “Islam” in the discussion of this kind of terrorism — and here I am afraid I disagree….

“Why do we seem to taint a whole religion by association with a violent minority? …

“Well, I am afraid there are two broad reasons why some such association is inevitable. The first is a simple point of language, and the need to use terms that everyone can readily grasp. It is very difficult to bleach out all reference to Islam or Muslim from discussion of this kind of terror, because we have to pinpoint what we are actually talking about. It turns out that there is virtually no word to describe an Islamically-inspired terrorist that is not in some way prejudicial, at least to Muslim ears.

“You can’t say “Salafist,” because there are many law-abiding and peaceful Salafists. You can’t say jihadi, because jihad — the idea of struggle — is a central concept of Islam, and doesn’t necessarily involve violence; indeed, you can be engaged in a jihad against your own moral weakness. The only word that seems to carry general support among Muslim leaders is Kharijite — which means a heretic — and which is not, to put it mildly, a word in general use among the British public.

“We can’t just call it “terrorism”, as some have suggested, because we need to distinguish it from any other type of terrorism — whether animal rights terrorists or Sendero Luminoso Marxists. We need to speak plainly, to call a spade a spade. We can’t censor the use of “Muslim” or “Islamic.”

“That just lets too many people off the hook. If we deny any connection between terrorism and religion, then we are saying there is no problem in any of the mosques; that there is nothing in the religious texts that is capable of being twisted or misunderstood; that there are no religious leaders whipping up hatred of the west, no perverting of religious belief for political ends.”

What does the leader of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, have to say? In a May 2015 audio message, he summed it up this way:

“O Muslims, Islam was never for a day the religion of peace. Islam is the religion of war. Your Prophet (peace be upon him) was dispatched with the sword as a mercy to the creation. He was ordered to wage war until Allah is worshipped alone. He (peace be upon him) said to the polytheists of his people, ‘I came to you with slaughter.’ He fought both the Arabs and non-Arabs in all their various colors. He himself left to fight and took part in dozens of battles. He never for a day grew tired of war.

“So there is no excuse for any Muslim who is capable of performing hijrah [migration] to the Islamic State, or capable of carrying a weapon where he is, for Allah (the Blessed and Exalted) has commanded him with hijrah and jihad, and has made fighting obligatory upon him.”

While Western politicians claim that the Islamic State is not Islamic, millions of Muslims around the world — referring to what is approved in the Islamic texts — believe that it is. While the former are performing politically correct linguistic gymnastics, the latter are planning their next religiously-inspired attacks against the West. A new twist on an old English adage: The sword is mightier than the pen.

Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute. He is also Senior Fellow for European Politics at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group. Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter.

Designating Foreign Terrorist Organizations and Immigration Enforcement

rId14_image2Center for Immigration Studies, By Dan Cadman, July 2, 2015:

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has just issued a public report on the process used to designate foreign terrorist organizations (FTOs) under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), which assigns lead responsibility to the Secretary of State. It is called “Combating Terrorism: Foreign Terrorist Organization Designation Process and U.S. Agency Enforcement Actions”.

GAO initially prepared and distributed the report to the Department of State (DOS) and other government parties in April, but withheld it publicly until material that DOS identified as “sensitive but unclassified” (SBU) was redacted from the public version just released.

Even with the SBU redactions, one finds some interesting and suggestive factoids buried in the report in typically dry bureaucratic language.

Among them is that, under the designation process developed by DOS, various agencies participating in the targeting and review can put “holds” on designation. Section 219 of the INA, which outlines the legal basis for designation of FTOs contains no such proviso.

The reasons described for placing “holds” are just a wee bit fuzzy and this arouses my suspicious nature because, in addition to the other government agencies one would expect to participate (such as the Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency, Justice and Homeland Security Departments, etc.), one finds mentioned the DOS regional bureaus (see note 16 in the report). These are the folks that look out for the political angles of inter-governmental relationships between the United States and other countries. Could it be that bilateral politics are involved in FTO designation? One fears so, because it is suggestive that, although various other statistics are scattered throughout the GAO report, the number of holds and who placed them is nowhere to be found. Could this be the “sensitive” data that DOS didn’t want revealed to the public? If so, under which secretaries of State did such regional bureaus exercise this extra-statutory ability? And how many such holds have been placed, and for how long?

Another interesting factoid is that between 2009 and 2014 Customs and Border Protection inspectors denied entry to over 1,000 alien applicants for admission based on terrorism grounds, including membership in or affiliation with designated FTOs. We can reasonably assume that some portion of these aliens were applying for admission under the visa waiver program (VWP) and that a significant number were granted multiple entry visas by DOS consular officers before the terrorist connection was known, but that their visas were not revoked by DOS after the connection was made.

Then there is the abysmally low number of aliens taken into custody within the United States on terrorism-related removal grounds, presumably by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. During the same date range used to calculate CBP figures, (2009-2014 — half of a decade), ICE agents have removed exactly three aliens. Three. And yet the FBI director, the director of national intelligence, and others tell us that the nation is peppered with Islamic State supporters, not to mention the plethora of other terrorist groups one can choose to affiliate with.

The shockingly low number comports with remarks I made in a prior posting when I commented that since the formation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), whose mission is obviously to protect the homeland, we Americans — and most particularly the leaders in this administration — seem to have forgotten the important lesson about the nexus between safe communities and using the deportation laws to remove foreign threats.

Two other noteworthy items that merit their own examinations in full, but not here: that waivers have been granted to individuals with terrorist connections, apparently both to enter the United States, and to gain various immigration benefits administered by one of DHS’s subordinate agencies; and that of the 69 FTOs designated since 1997 when the law authorizing designation took effect, 10 (nearly 15 percent of total designations) have been removed from the list by the Secretary of State.

What Fireworks Does ISIS Plan for the 4th of July?

0 (5)PJ Media, by  James Jay Carafano On June 29, 2015:

What to make of reports that ISIS may try to pull off a terrorist attack on Independence Day?

Let’s look at the facts.

It is not the first time after 9/11 that U.S. authorities have expressed concerns about possible terrorist attacks timed to coincide with significant dates like the 4th of July.  In 2011, a senior U.S. official told reporters, “We have received credible information very recently about a possible plot directed at the homeland that seems to be focused on New York and Washington, D.C.,” timed for the anniversary of al Qaeda’s big attack on the two cities. Some hold that the assault on the U.S. compound in Benghazi was scheduled to coincide with 9/11.   In fact, warnings of impending terror threats from authorities go back as far as 2002.

Next, we know that ISIS is active—both promoting and inspiring transnational terrorist attacks. Just last week near simultaneous assaults occurred in France, Kuwait and Tunisia.

Further, the US remains a prime target for terrorist activity.  There was another Islamist terrorist related plot uncovered last week—the third in less than a month.

Additionally, we can’t even be sure of where an attack might happen. Terrorists have contemplated hitting everything from high-profile targets in big cities to shopping malls in the suburbs.

None of that necessarily means that something bad will happen between grilling the hot dogs, cheering on the main street parades and watching the fireworks over the capitol.

Coordinating a terrorist attack to happen at a specific time and place, particularly when there will likely be heightened awareness and security, complicates the challenge of pulling off a terror strike–though those obstacles didn’t thwart two relative amateurs who bombed the Boston Marathon (and who had also considered conducting an attack on Independence Day).

Still, if an attack does occur the odds of any particular American being a victim are pretty small.  That’s cold comfort, as the real purpose of terrorist attacks is to terrorize us, killing us is just a consequence.

Best advice is to have a nice day, but take the common-sense precautions that people should always take in public. There are plenty of lists out there of the right steps to take. Read one.

The reality is that even the best security can’t child-proof a free society.  On July 4, of all days, Americans shouldn’t want it any other way. When a free society gives up on freedom the terrorists win.

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Also see:

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I’ve been searching for a good article on situational awareness and there is precious little out there. If my readers can find any please leave links in a comment. Here is an interesting one:

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Personal-security-2-Situational-awareness_0Stratfor.com series:

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Rep. Nunes: America Faces Highest Terror Threat Level Ever

ftnnunes0621-450x323Frontpage, June 25, 2015 by Michael Cutler:

Usually the first challenge I face in writing my commentaries is to come up with a concise title that captures the most salient part of the issue I am writing about. Today I found this task easy, I simply borrowed the headline from CBS News’ Face the Nation article that quoted none other than Congressional Representative Devin Nunes, the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

That headline is concise and echoes the very same concerns I have had in reviewing all of the publicly available information on the issue of threats posed by international terrorists.

What is impossible to understand is how the administration, members of Congress, local and state politicians and journalists have been absolutely unwilling to “connect the impossible to ignore dots” that are flashing, not unlike the strobe lights on a police car or other emergency vehicle.

Here is the segment of the article that accompanied the headline and addressed the topic of the threat of terrorism in the United States today:

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-California, said the nation faces “the highest threat level we have ever faced in this country” due to the flow of foreign fighters to and from Iraq and Syria and the radicalization of young people on the Internet.

U.S. officials have been warning for months about the threat posed by people from America or Western Europe who travel to the Middle East to fight with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and then return to their home countries, where they may carry out attacks. Nunes said the U.S. is not aware of all the people who have made the trek or who have now come back, although FBI Director James Comey has said there are cases open in all 50 states.

Officials are increasingly looking for ways to combat radical jihadists’ effectiveness in recruiting supporters through social media.

“They’re very good at communicating through separate avenues where it’s very difficult to track,” he said. “That’s why when you get a young person who is willing to get into these chat rooms, go on the Internet and get radicalized, it’s something we are not only unprepared [for], we are also not used to it in this country.”

He said that investigations often “do no good” in encrypted chat rooms where those communications take place, so Americans should be diligent about reporting suspicious activity to the proper authorities because “we are having a tough time tracking terrorist cells within the United States.”

The warnings are particularly pertinent with the July 4 holiday approaching. Nunes noted that there will be large gatherings in every city across America.

“It’s just tough to secure those types of areas if you have someone who wants to blow themselves up or open fire or other threats of that nature and we just don’t know or can track all of the bad guys that are out there today,” he said.

The famed playwright, George Bernard Shaw’s statement says it all:

We learn from history that we learn nothing from history.”

If our leaders were to seek to learn history’s lessons they should read the appropriate history books.

The 9/11 Commission Report and the “9/11 and Terrorist TravelStaff Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States” are the most complete and authoritative “history books” concerning the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 and even included evaluations of vulnerabilities that led to previous terror attacks — both those that succeeded and those that failed. These books were prepared by the government of the United States in response to the horrific terror attacks that left more than 3,000 innocent victims dead.

My May 22, 2015 commentary for the Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) website, “Bin Laden, The 9/11 Commission Report and Immigration,” addressed the fact that when the U.S. Navy SEALS raided the bin Laden compound, among the documents found in his library were a copy of the 9/11 Commission Report and a copy of an application for United States citizenship. It must be presumed that he had no intentions of filing for U.S. citizenship himself, but was contemplating embedding his terrorist operatives in the United States through the naturalization process.

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A Problem From Heaven – Why the United States Should Back Islam’s Reformation

Egyptian men read the Koran at Al-Azhar mosque in Cairo,  September 2008 NASSER NURI / REUTERS

Egyptian men read the Koran at Al-Azhar mosque in Cairo, September 2008 NASSER NURI / REUTERS

Imagine a platform for Muslim dissidents that communicated their message through YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Imagine ten reformist magazines for every one issue of the Islamic State’s Dabiq or al Qaeda’s Inspire. Imagine the argument for Islamic reform being available on radio and television in Arabic, Dari, Farsi, Pashto, and Urdu. Imagine grants and prizes for leading religious reformers. Imagine support for schools that act as anti-madrasahs.

Such a strategy would also give the United States an opportunity to shift its alliances to those Muslim individuals and groups that actually share its values and practices: those who fight for a true Muslim reformation and who currently find themselves maligned, if not persecuted, by the very governments Washington props up.

Foreign Affairs, by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, June 16, 2015:

We have a problem—not a problem from hell, but one that claims to come from heaven. That problem is sometimes called radical, or fundamentalist, Islam, and the self-styled Islamic State is just its latest iteration. But no one really understands it. In the summer of 2014, Major General Michael Nagata, the commander of U.S. special operations forces in the Middle East, admitted as much when talking about the Islamic State, or ISIS. “We do not understand the movement,” he said. “And until we do, we are not going to defeat it.” Although Nagata’s words are striking for their candor, there is nothing new about the state of affairs they describe. For years, U.S. policymakers have failed to grasp the nature of the threat posed by militant Islam and have almost entirely failed to mount an effective counteroffensive against it on the battlefield that matters most: the battlefield of ideas.

In the war of ideas, words matter. Last September, U.S. President Barack Obama insisted that the Islamic State “is not Islamic,” and later that month, he told the UN General Assembly that “Islam teaches peace.” In November, Obama condemned the beheading of the American aid worker Peter Kassig as “evil” but refused to use the term “radical Islam” to describe the ideology of his killers. The phrase is no longer heard in White House press briefings. The approved term is “violent extremism.”

The decision not to call violence committed in the name of Islam by its true name—jihad—is a strange one. It would be as if Western leaders during the Cold War had gone around calling communism an ideology of peace or condemning the Baader Meinhof Gang, a West German militant group, for not being true Marxists. It is time to drop the euphemisms and verbal contortions. A battle for the future of Islam is taking place between reformers and reactionaries, and its outcome matters. The United States needs to start helping the right side win.

TONGUE-TIED

How did the United States end up with a strategy based on Orwellian Newspeak? In the wake of 9/11, senior Bush administration officials sounded emphatic. “This is a battle for minds,” declared the Pentagon’s no. 2, Paul Wolfowitz, in 2002. But behind the scenes, there was a full-blown struggle going on about how to approach the subject of Islam. According to Joseph Bosco, who worked on strategic communications and Muslim outreach in the Office of the Secretary of Defense from 2002 to 2004, although some American officials defined Islam as inherently peaceful, others argued that, like Christianity, it had to go through a reformation. Eventually, an uneasy compromise was reached. “We bridged the divide by saying that most contemporary Muslims practice their faith peacefully and tolerantly, but a small, radical minority aspires to return to Islam’s harsh seventh century origins,” Bosco wrote in The National Interest.

Administration officials could not even agree on the target of their efforts. Was it global terrorism or Islamic extremism? Or was it the alleged root causes—poverty, Saudi funding, past errors of U.S. foreign policy, or something else altogether? There were “agonizing” meetings on the subject, one participant told U.S. News & World Report. “We couldn’t clarify what path to take, so it was dropped.”

It did not help that the issue cut across traditional bureaucratic demarcations. Officers from the U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command argued for the integration of public diplomacy, press relations, and covert operations. State Department officials saw this as yet another attempt by the Pentagon to annex their turf. Veterans of the campaign trail warned against going negative on a religion—any religion—ahead of the 2004 election. For all these reasons, by the middle of that year, the Bush administration had next to no strategy. Government Accountability Office investigators told Congress that those responsible for public diplomacy at the State Department had no guidance. “Everybody who knows how to do this has been screaming,” one insider told U.S. News. But outside Foggy Bottom, no one could hear them scream.

Administration officials eventually settled on the “Muslim World Outreach” strategy, which relied partly on humanitarian projects carried out by the U.S. Agency for International Development and partly on Arabic-language media outlets funded by the U.S. government, such as Alhurra (a plain vanilla TV news channel) and Radio Sawa (a 24-hour pop music station that targets younger listeners). In effect, “Muslim World Outreach” meant not touching Islam at all. Karen Hughes, who was undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs from 2005 to 2007, has said that she “became convinced that our nation should avoid the language of religion in our discussion of terrorist acts.”

Here, if in few other respects, there has been striking continuity from Bush to Obama. From 2009 to 2011, Judith McHale served in the same position that Hughes had. “This effort is not about a ‘war of ideas,’ or winning the hearts and minds of huge numbers of people,” McHale said in 2012. “It’s about using digital platforms to reach that small but dangerous group of people around the world who are considering turning to terrorism and persuading them to instead turn in a different direction.” The whole concept of “violent extremism” implies that the United States is fine with people being extremists, so long as they do not resort to violence. Yet this line of reasoning fails to understand the crucial link between those who preach jihad and those who then carry it out. It also fails to understand that at a pivotal moment, the United States has opted out of a debate about Islam’s future.

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The Extreme View that IS and Al Qaeda Can Become Moderate

1569667742CSP, by Jennifer Keltz, June 15, 2015:

Last week, articles suggesting the US should ally itself with Al Qaeda and should consider the Islamic State (IS) as a legitimate power were published by the prominent news sources The Wall Street Journal and Foreign Policy. These articles are part of a growing trend, demonstrated by an earlier 2014 Foreign Affairs article, calling for greater US complacency in regards to violent jihadist groups.

The recent pieces present different, equally dangerous ideas, and should be addressed individually.

Yaroslav Trofimov, of the Wall Street Journal, reports influential policy thinkers and U.S. Allies are discussing the possibility of a US alliance with the Syrian Al Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra (Nusra). They say that many secular, Western-backed militants fighting in Syria already work closely with Nusra on the battlefield. They also point to Middle Eastern governments, such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Qatar, that work closely with Nusra to help topple IS and the Assad regime, which has a horrible human-rights record. This perspective fails to recognize that these are Sunni states and their backing of Nusra has more to do with their desire to weaken Shia Iran and Syria than to help Syrian civilians.

The report presents Nusra as the lesser of two evils: in comparison to IS, its religious views are “certainly radical” but “aren’t nearly as extreme.”

The policy-makers in question lack a greater perspective of the Syrian conflict and of Nusra and Al Qaeda. Its Al Qaeda affiliation demonstrates that, while it may have local goals now, it ultimately wants to install Islamic regimes all over the world, and indeed has the same end goal as IS.

The only reason why Nusra is not attacking the West is because Al Qaeda Central ordered it to refrain from doing so. That does not mean that it is not planning to attack in the future. Any group that must be ordered to not attack the US is not a group with which the US should be aligned.

In an unrelated op-ed in Foreign Policy, Stephen M. Walt, a Harvard professor, asks his audience to consider what the US should do if IS “wins.” He believes IS is likely to establish itself and retain power, similarly to how the USSR and People’s Republic of China started as revolutionary movements before establishing themselves as states.

Walt believes the US should treat IS and its worldview in the way that it treated the USSR and communism throughout the twentieth century – with containment. He ignores history: the Soviets never abandoned efforts to violently spread their ideology, from the 1919 invasion of Poland to the 1989 retreat from Afghanistan.

Walt states that IS is not powerful on a global scale, and its foreign recruitment of 25,000 from a world population of 7 billion is not that large. In fact, he says he would rather see all of the people that desire to join IS actually join it because this would put them all in one place, where they can be isolated from the rest of society. Unfortunately, he only considers IS’s foreign recruitment. Size estimates of the organization range from the tens- to hundreds-of-thousands.

Walt ignores IS’s calls for its international followers to attack Western people and civilizations, and that its followers are listening. A quick Google search shows that it inspired attacks in Texas, New York (where one woman “couldn’t understand why U.S. citizens like herself were traveling overseas to wage jihad when they could simply ‘make history’ at home by unleashing terrorist attacks”), Australia, Canada, and elsewhere.

Though its ranks may be small in comparison to the world population, with its strategic use of the internet and media it has permeated through Western society. The US is not as far away from IS’s violence as Walt wants to think. The widespread use of the Internet means that containment can never truly happen and its ideas will still spread, leading more people to want to join. Additionally, recognizing IS as a state would legitimize it, leading to increased recruitment.

He states IS has few resources, and can now no longer surprise its enemies. However, it brings in millions of dollars daily from oil alone, and it has other sources of income. It is also much larger and better-resourced than Al Qaeda was at the time of the 9/11 attacks, which had a core membership between 500-1000 people. IS is therefore expected to have capabilities far beyond those of Al Qaeda in the early 2000s.

Walt’s argument that IS would self-moderate if it became an actual country is important to his argument for containment. He explains it would need to self-moderate in order to gain legitimacy amongst other nations and to be welcomed into international politics and the world economy. This argument lacks an understanding of the IS worldview.

Cole Bunzel, in “From State to Caliphate: The Ideology of the Islamic State,” describes it as “the view that the region’s Shi’a are conspiring with the United States and secular Arab rulers to limit Sunni power in the Middle East.” In IS’s declaration of return of the caliphate, “This is the Promise of Allah,” they laid out its founding principles and described it in verse:

“We took it forcibly at the point of a blade/…We established it in defiance of many./ And the people’s necks were violently struck,/ With bombings, explosions, and destruction,/ And soldiers that do not see hardship as being difficult…”

Fundamental to IS’s beliefs is that they cannot be compromised because they are mandated by Allah.  Founded upon religious beliefs, which do not appeal to logic but instead to faith, IS cannot and will not become more moderate. Its members view the western concept of “moderation” as the antithesis of what their divinely-conceived worldview requires. It already operates as a pseudo-state anyway; international recognition is irrelevant to its purpose for existence.

The points of view expressed in the two op-ed pieces mentioned are dangerous if left unaddressed. They display a shallow and dangerous understanding of the nature of the Jihadist organizations, their methods, and their goals.

Catastrophic Failure: Blindfolding America in the Face of Jihad

1710871446Secure Freedom Radio, June 10, 2015: With Stephen Coughlin

STEPHEN COUGHLIN, author of “Catastrophic Failure: Blindfolding America in Face of Jihad”:

PART ONE:

  • The Islamic law of the land: Shariah
  • The non-kinetic battle space of information operations
  • Political, military, legal, and religious arms of Shariah
  • Defining “Jihad”

PART TWO:

  • Western misconceptions of the term “jihad”
  • The Muslim Brotherhoods explicit purpose in America
  • David Shipler’s Freedom of Speech
  • An Islamist alignment with the Left

PART THREE:

  • Examining the relationship between the Pentagon and the Islamic Society of North America
  • The true reach of Muslim Brotherhood agents and affiliates within the US government
  • What does it mean if “you don’t know your enemy?”

PART FOUR:

  • State Department mantra that “ISIS isn’t Islamic”
  • U.N. Resolution 1618, Hillary Clinton, and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation
  • Understanding the Interfaith Movement as a cultural, Marxist organization
  • The Muslim Brotherhood’s stealth jihad within the US

America’s See-No-Islam Problem Exposed With Boston Jihadism

The Blaze, by Ben Weingarten, June 9, 2015:

The Boston Globe published a column in the wake of the shooting of an Islamic State-linked jihadist from Rosindale, Massachusetts that is a quintessential example of why the West is losing to Islamic supremacists.

In “Are Boston terrorism cases a trend?” two Globe authors reach out to several “antiterrorism specialists” and ask why it is that Boston appears to be so “vulnerable to violent extremism.”

Some submit that Boston’s “emergence as an international hub may leave it exposed to strains of radicalized behavior.”

Others find the existence of Boston-based jihadists curious given these jihadists “cannot be traced to one network, and individuals and groups do not appear to be connected.”

One such expert who has written on the Islamic State, J.M. Berger, acknowledges that “There is some degree of social network here that seems to be involved in radical thought.”

Halfway through the Globe article, the reader is left utterly unaware of any link between Boston jihadists and…jihadism. In fact, readers will not find the word “jihadist” in the column.

What readers do see is the lexicon of our see-no-Islam national security establishment, including euphemisms such as “violent extremism,” “homegrown terrorist,” and “radical presence.”

Somewhat closer to the mark are comments of James Forest, director of security studies at the University of Massachusetts Lowell’s Center for Terrorism and Security Studies, who says: “The ideology that motivates these kind of attacks, there are no geographical boundaries.”

What this “ideology” is, the reader is left to guess.

Usamma Rahim was wielding a knife when he was shot by Boston police. Rahim had planned to attack “boys in blue” according to his intercepted communications. (Source: WCVB-TV)

Usamma Rahim was wielding a knife when he was shot by Boston police. Rahim had planned to attack “boys in blue” according to his intercepted communications. (Source: WCVB-TV)

Next quoted in the piece is Farah Pandith, the first special representative to Muslim communities in then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s State Department.

Pandith asserts that Muslim millennials are “asking questions that parents aren’t answering. The loudest voices seducing these kids are extremists.”

Pandith notes that “extremism” is not so much a matter of geography as “what’s happening in virtual space around the world.”

As for the “seductive” “extremist” voices and the impact of social networks, of course the young and impressionable can be brainwashed, but what are they being brainwashed in, and who is doing the brainwashing? Should not these millennials and their parents be both rejecting as well as rooting out this ideology from their communities altogether?

Some experts seem to recognize an ideological component to what we have seen in Boston – an Islamic supremacist ideology that can proliferate wherever computers or cell phones are found, that thrives especially in tight-knit Muslim communities in free Western countries — yet they cannot bring themselves to define this ideology.

Credit: Steven Coughlin

Credit: Steven Coughlin

Juliette Kayyem, another Obama administration official who served as Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs in the Department of Homeland Security, is next given the floor.

Kayyem believes that Boston — which the columnists describe as a “global city that is diverse, tolerant, and welcomes immigrants and students” – is “a breeding ground for the disaffected to either radicalize or hide.”

Kayyem asserts that “We are going to see this kind of radicalization in any urban area globally.”

But do global cities become “breeding grounds[s] for the disaffected to either radicalize or hide” in a vacuum?

Throughout world history, international locales have been free of the scourge of “violent extremism,” a politically correct term used to avoid offending Muslims while simultaneously drawing moral equivalence with and thereby smearing “right-wing” Americans.

One would think that modern, cosmopolitan, liberal urban areas by their very nature would consist of modern, cosmopolitan, liberal people.

Only to the degree to which these global cities invite in people with retrograde views antithetical to these ideals does their diversity and tolerance make them “breeding grounds” for jihadism.

It is hard to fault the piece’s authors for quoting “mainstream” “antiterror experts.” Yet these “experts” all seem to subscribe to the very see-no-Islam philosophy that paralyzes our national security establishment more broadly, rendering us unable to defeat our enemy.

Parenthetically, the idea of an “antiterror” expert should itself draw our ire, given that terror is a tactic, not the name of an ideologically-driven enemy. After all, during the Second World War we didn’t call upon anti-Blitzkrieg experts to define our enemies. We understood and were able to articulate that we were at war with a foe, not a fighting method.

Meanwhile, today there is nary a mention of Islamic religious tenets like jihad, abrogation and taqqiya, nor a discussion of Islam’s ultimate goal to create a global Ummah under which all submit to Shariah law.

This is not an issue of semantics. If we fail to be precise in how we describe our enemy and its ideology, it will defeat us.

How did we get to a point over a decade after Sept. 11, 2001 when columnists writing about Boston jihadists dance on egg shells around the Islamic supremacist ideology that by the jihadists’ own admission animates them?

While Nazism and Communism were political ideologies, jihadists subscribe to a theo-political ideology based in Islam’s core texts and modeled on the behaviors of Muhammad.

This offends the sensibilities of Americans either ignorant of Islam or uncomfortable with the idea that religion could be used to justify the slow motion worldwide slaughter of Jews, Christians, Hindus, infidel Muslims, gays, women, apostates, cartoonists and others.

In the case of the recently killed would-be jihadist Usamma Rahim, a simple set of Google searches regarding Rahim and the Islamic Society of Boston (ISB) might have provided the Globe columnists and the antiterror experts they quote an illuminating fact pattern worth investigating in response to their question, “Is Boston more vulnerable to violent extremism than other parts of the country?”

Below are some of those relevant data points:

  • Usamma Rahim had been a security guard at the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center (ISBCC) in Roxbury, Massachusetts, an affiliate of the Islamic Society of Boston (ISB)
  • Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev prayed at the ISB’s Cambridge, Massachusetts mosque
  • Notwithstanding ISB denials, Tsarnaev had been the latest in a long line of jihadists linked to the organization:
    • The ISB was founded by Abdul Rahman al-Amoudi, a supporter of Hamas and Hezbollah currently serving a 23 year prison sentence on terrorism charges
    • ISB’s Cambridge mosque is operated by the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Muslim American Society
    • According to Discover the Networks, among other revelations:
      • “FBI surveillance documents show that two days before the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Suhaib Webb, Imam of ISB’s Boston mosque, joined al-Qaeda operative Anwar Awlaki in headlining a fundraiser on behalf of the Atlanta-based Muslim extremist Jamil al-Amin (formerly H. Rap Brown), who had recently murdered two police officers in Georgia.”
      • “Aafia Siddiqui, who occasionally prayed at ISB’s Cambridge mosque, was arrested in Afghanistan in 2008 while in possession of cyanide canisters and plans to carry out a chemical attack in New York City. Siddiqui subsequently tried to gun down some U.S. military officers and FBI agents, and is now serving an 86-year prison sentence for that offense.”
      • “Tarek Mehanna, who worshipped at ISB’s Cambridge mosque, received terrorist training in Yemen and plotted to use automatic weapons to inflict mass casualties in a suburban shopping mall just outside of Boston. In 2012 he was sentenced to 17 years in prison for conspiring to aid Al Qaeda.”
      • “Yasir Qadhi, who lectured at ISB’s Boston mosque in 2009 and again in 2012, advocates replacing American democracy with Sharia Law; characterizes Christians as “filthy” polytheists whose “life and prosperity … holds no value in the state of Jihad”; and accuses Jews of plotting to destroy Muslim peoples and societies. Further, Qadhi is an acolyte of Ali al-Timimi, a Virginia-based Imam who is currently serving life in prison for inciting jihad against U.S. troops in Afghanistan.”

The Boston Globe article is instructive because it represents the very line of thinking and questioning that is mandated in the halls of America’s national security institutions.

It is also instructive — in light of the facts about the ISB — that a see-no-Islam national security stance leads us to ignore the threats hiding in plain sight, to America’s great detriment.

Those who ignore the nature of the Islamic supremacist threat we face are doomed to submit to it.

Also see:

IG report: TSA failed to identify 73 workers ‘linked to terrorism’

tsa-todd-starnes-620x362Fox News, June 9, 2015:

On the heels of Transportation Security Administration workers flunking a security test at airport checkpoints, the results of a new audit show that — while the agency keeps a robust system for screening commercial airport workers — it still failed to flag 73 airport workers “linked to terrorism.”

Apparently, TSA does not have access to all the terror watchlist information it needs to make those judgments.

“The TSA did not identify these individuals through its vetting operations because it is not authorized to receive all terrorism-related categories under current interagency watch-listing policy,” the June 4 Inspector General report stated.

According to TSA data, the people in question were working for major airlines, airport venders and other employers.

The agency acknowledged that individuals in these categories “represented a potential transportation security threat,” according to the report.

To test the accuracy and effectiveness of TSA’s terrorism vetting procedures, the National Counterterrorism Center was asked to match more than 900,000 records of active aviation workers against its Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment database.

According to the report, the TSA had been unable to find 73 individuals “linked to terrorism” because the information the TSA received from the Department of Homeland Security Watchlist Service and used for vetting did not contain the terrorism “codes” associated with the 73 individuals. In other words, TSA did not have the entire terror watchlist.

Some parts of the IG report, including codes, were redacted.

Overall, the report concluded, the vetting and re-vetting procedures that TSA used were “generally effective” in identifying workers with links to terrorism. Since 2003, the agency has advised airports to deny or revoke 58 airport workers as a result of its vetting process for credential applicants and holders.

The TSA had “less effective controls” in place to ensure airports have a robust verification process for a credential applicant’s criminal history and authorization to work in the United States.

The report advised the TSA to “request and review additional watchlist data, require that airports improve verification of applicants’ right to work, revoke credentials when the right to work expires and improve the quality of vetting data.”

The IG investigation is just the latest in a series that have called out the TSA for massive security breaches at some of the country’s largest airports.

Last week, news broke that undercover federal agents had a 95 percent success rate at sneaking fake bombs and other banned weapons past airport security checkpoints during multiple tests.

Acting TSA Administrator Melvin Carraway was re-assigned less than 24 hours after the report went public. The Senate homeland security committee plans to hold a hearing on the TSA security issue on Tuesday.

In an op-ed piece published Monday, Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., wrote that last week’s full report should be made available to the public. Parts of it had been redacted.

“The publicly available facts are disturbing, but the classified details are even worse,” he wrote in USA Today. “Millions of families will soon fly to summer vacations, but if moms knew what members of Congress have learned behind closed doors, they would march on Washington demanding an urgent, top-to-bottom reevaluation of airport security.”

In the column, Sasse said the findings were troubling for passengers who rely on the TSA to prevent terrorist attacks.

“Until last week, Americans were led to believe that jihadi terrorists could never again weaponize commercial airliners. After last week, it is time to rethink that.”

Not mincing words, he wrote, “We are not safe. It is time to start effectively protecting U.S. flights from those hell-bent on killing us.”

***

A Contrast in Delusions: The TSA vs. Domestic Immigration Enforcement

Berlin_Schönefeld_Airport_metal_detectors-427x350Frontpage, June 9, 2015 by Michael Cutler:

On June 2, 2015 the Washington Times published a report about how massive failures of screeners employed by the TSA, an agency that operates under the aegis of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), failed to find weapons, in the great majority of instances, when undercover operatives went through the screening process. The article, “TSA chief ousted after airport security flunks test, misses most weapons, explosives” included this excerpt:

The acting chief of the Transportation Security Administration was ousted late Monday night after an embarrassing new report found that airport security officers badly failed a new test, missing almost every firearm and explosive investigators tried to sneak by them.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson announced the move, saying Melvin Carraway had been “reassigned” to another part of the department and his deputy would take over, serving until the Senate can confirm a new chief.

Earlier in the night Mr. Johnson had said he’d just been given a classified briefing on the inspector general’s findings that found a major loophole in security that could allow people to sneak prohibited items by TSA screeners and into what were supposed to be secure areas of airports.

Mr. Johnson said the preliminary findings were classified and said it wasn’t “appropriate or prudent” to talk about them — but ABC News reported that IG investigators managed to sneak contraband material by TSA screeners in 67 of 70 tests.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was created in the wake of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 and contains a number of agencies that are charged with addressing the failures that enabled the terrorists who carried out those attacks, to enter the United States, embed themselves in the United States and then hijack airliners, using them as de facto “cruise missiles.”

Among the agencies that operate under the aegis of the DHS are:

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA): This agency is charged with keeping weapons or other harmful materials off of airliners along with people who appear on “no fly lists.” It is a simple concept and one that is apparently easy for people to comprehend. In order to achieve this goal officers employed by the TSA carry out ever more intrusive searches of airline passengers and their baggage. Passengers are subjected to x-rays, raising concerns. Passengers are also prohibited from bringing certain items into the passenger cabin of the airliners including large quantities of liquids, etc.

Customs and Border Protection (CBP): The mission of this agency, which includes inspectors at ports of entry, and Border Patrol, which operates between ports of entry, is to make certain that aliens and cargo are not smuggled into the United States and that the inspection of both people and objects keep criminals and terrorists along with other foreign nationals whose presence would be problematic, from entering the United States.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE): This agency is charged with enforcing our immigration laws from within the interior of the United States to backstop the personnel at CBP. When aliens evade the inspections process by entering the United States without inspection, ICE is supposed to seek them out and take them into custody so that they can be removed (deported from the United States). ICE is also responsible for identifying, locating and arresting aliens who are lawfully admitted but then go on to violate the terms of their admission by overstaying their authorized period of admission, accepting unlawful employment, failing to attend schools (in the case of foreign students) or being convicted of committing crimes.

ICE is also supposed to conduct investigations into possible fraud when applicants lie about material facts in applications for various immigration benefits for aliens filed with USCIS and to conduct investigations to identify, arrest and prosecute fraud document vendors.

Finally, ICE assigns agents to work on various multi-agency task forces.

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS): This agency employs adjudications officers who are responsible for adjudicating applications for immigration benefits. If an Alien Registration Receipt Card, a “Green Card,” and especially United States citizenship are the “keys to the kingdom,” then USCIS is America’s locksmith. This agency confers these benefits, in addition to others, upon aliens.

The ink was barely dry in the newspaper reports about the failures of the TSA to find planted weapons when the director of that agency was re-assigned. Jeh Johnson wasted no time in shaking up the agency that is supposed to keep weapons and terrorists off of our airliners.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if he was as determined to keep alien criminals, terrorists and narcotics out of the United States and off the streets of towns and cities across our nation?

Read more

Investigation: Undercover agents snuck fake explosives, banned weapons past TSA

7941074_GFox News, June 1, 2015:

Undercover agents were able to sneak fake explosives and banned weapons through Transportation Security Administration checkpoints, in an investigation that revealed a massive, system-wide security failure at America’s airports.

The findings were part of a DHS inspector general probe. The report is still classified, but Fox News has confirmed the investigation found security failures at dozens of airports.

Homeland Security officials confirmed to Fox News that TSA screeners failed 67 out of 70 tests — or 96 percent — carried out by special investigators known as “red teams.”

In one case, an undercover agent with a fake bomb strapped to his back set off a magnetometer — but the screener still failed to find it.

Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson issued a statement late Monday outlining a series of actions he had ordered in response to the findings, including more training for all transportation security officers, re-evaluation of airport screening equipment and continued covert testing.

“We take these findings very seriously,” he said.

The tests, and findings, were first reported by ABC News.

The tests were designed to push the boundaries of the screening system — set up after 9/11 — to prevent weapons from getting onto planes. These tests are covert and designed to be as challenging as possible.

Johnson reportedly sought a briefing on the findings last week at TSA headquarters.

“Red Team testing of the aviation security network has been part of TSA’s mission advancement for 13 years,” the DHS spokesman told Fox News in a statement. “The numbers in these reports never look good out of context, but they are a critical element in the continual evolution of our aviation security.”

The spokesman said “several” of the changes Johnson directed following the report are now in place.

“These actions are in addition to a number of security enhancements the Secretary has directed TSA to implement to our aviation and airport security since the beginning of his tenure,” the official said, stressing that all travelers are “subject to a robust security system that employs multiple layers of protection, both seen and unseen.”

On Capitol Hill, an aide to Senate homeland security committee Chairman Ron Johnson, R-Wis., said the chairman has not yet seen the full report but preliminary news reports “raise valid concerns in light of earlier inspector general findings and ‘red team’ tests of TSA’s vulnerabilities.”

The aide, said, “Taxpayers have spent billions of dollars to secure our air travel system. It’s important for that goal to be met.”

Fox News’ Catherine Herridge and Matthew Dean contributed to this report.

Jindal’s Message To Rand Paul Was Incompetently Delivered, But He Was Correct In His Assessment

Rand Paul2The Hayride, by MacAoidh, May 28, 2015:

It brings me no pleasure to make the assertion in the headline, because I like much of what Paul says about domestic policy and he’s correct in his view that the George W. Bush vision of the Middle East as a collection of millions of would-be Americans was dangerously naive. There is some truth in Paul’s assessment that the John McCains and Lindsey Grahams of the world, who couldn’t love Hillary Clinton’s plan to bomb Muammar Qaddafi out of existence enough while finding just the right bunch of Syrian jihadist rebels to slather with weapons, were wrong.

There are points to be made in those arguments. The GOP needs to present a different view of what an engaged foreign policy looks like from that of McCain and Graham – who perfectly represent The Stupid Party in all its glory. For example, sending in troops to rout ISIS out of Iraq and Syria and then coming home, even if the aftermath results in turning the areas retaken from them over to local warlords, is a perfectly acceptable use of American troops. It’s time to start thinking along those lines.

But had Paul articulated that and gone no further, he might have made a case for himself as a potential president. That isn’t what he said, though.

What Paul said was that the neocons and the hawks created ISIS.

Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul is blaming his own party for the rise of the Islamic State group.

The freshman senator from Kentucky said Wednesday that the GOP’s foreign policy hawks “created these people.” That assertion led potential 2016 rival Bobby Jindal, Louisiana’s governor, to say Paul was unqualified to be president.

The Islamic State group, commonly referred to as ISIS, has seized one-third of Iraq and Syria and in recent days made gains in central Iraq.

“ISIS exists and grew stronger because of the hawks in our party who gave arms indiscriminately,” Paul said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” He continued: “They created these people. ISIS is all over Libya because these same hawks in my party loved – they loved Hillary Clinton’s war in Libya. They just wanted more of it.”

There is a great deal wrong with such a statement, and when Jindal attacked it as “taking the most liberal Democrat position” on the question of jihadist Islam in the Middle East he’s correct. He just violated the Louisiana constitution in saying so on his official Louisiana government letterhead and with his official, rather than proto-campaign, staff issuing the release.

First of all, ISIS and Al Qaeda spring from the same ideological source, but they are not the same. In fact, they are rivals. And it’s Al Qaeda who’s all over Libya; ISIS has a presence there but they’re not running anything. And it wasn’t ISIS who massacred our people in Benghazi, it was Al Qaeda.

Second of all, ISIS is what became of the former Al Qaeda in Iraq. That group, which was kicked out of Al Qaeda because of the way it treated Sunni Muslims in that country, was also kicked out of the Sunni areas of Iraq during the surge in 2007 and 2008. The surge – which was an idea brought forth from George W. Bush and his neocons (along with our military on the ground) and supported by the McCains and Grahams of the world – created an opening for the Sunni Awakening, in which the regular people in Anbar Province who were being abused by AQI (in a similar manner to the way ISIS abuses people living in areas they control now) rose up against them and, in concert with the American military presence there, drove AQI out of Anbar.

AQI was thus forced into exile in Syria, where they ultimately wrested territory away from the Assad regime as part of the civil war there.

The flow of weapons to AQI as a result of what the U.S. government did after the fall of Libya helped it grow into ISIS. But it is naive in the extreme to believe that ISIS couldn’t have gotten its hands on weaponry any other way. ISIS was supported from the beginning by oil sheikhs in the Arab gulf states and in Saudi Arabia; they could easily have bought weapons elsewhere. Understand that most of ISIS’ army is made up of “technicals” – pickup trucks with machine guns mounted on them – and infantry with small arms. What heavy weaponry they have they looted from vanquished enemies. Machine guns and small arms are readily available on the world market.

Even if you agree that U.S. government policy aided the rise of ISIS, which is a tenuous case but one with valid arguments to support it, it’s not John McCain and Lindsey Graham who set that policy. It was the Obama administration who set it, not Republicans. It was Obama who pulled American troops out of Iraq and allowed the Shiite Maliki government to persecute Sunnis, thus creating a power vacuum ISIS could re-fill in Anbar. It was the Obama administration which started the war in Libya which led to Qaddafi’s stockpiles being transferred to Syrian rebels ultimately aligning with ISIS. It was the Obama administration which refused to directly arm the Kurds who could have routed ISIS before they took Mosul. It was the Obama administration who decided not to engage in a robust campaign of airstrikes to keep ISIS out of Ramadi and Tikrit. McCain and Graham and the other GOP hawks might have supported some of those early mistakes but the inaction creating the power vacuum ISIS has grown to fill is owned by Obama, not the party Paul belongs to.

And we should also back this analysis out to 30,000 feet and recognize, as PJ Media’s Roger L. Simon does, that events in places like Iraq and Syria do not depend on decisions made in Washington. ISIS exists because there are lots of jihadist Muslims in the world who want a caliphate and are willing to kill and die to create one as a vehicle for Islamic world supremacy as laid out in the Quran and the hadith. There is nothing we can do about that; it is a reality which has persisted for 1400 years and it will not go away. Rand Paul, like his father, refuses to recognize that this evil predates America and will threaten us regardless of what foreign aid we give or don’t give and what military actions we take or don’t take.

To understand the history of ISIS and to say it was created by the Bushies and/or John McCain and Lindsey Graham is to lie. Paul has a perfectly legitimate argument in saying that Bush was wrong to engage us in Iraq, and that McCain is wrong in wanting to bomb and invade a country like Libya where we had established normal relations with Qaddafi. He went far further, and irresponsibly so. And in doing that, he demonstrated that he’s either fundamentally ignorant of how the world works or he’s not moored to the truth.

Or both.

That means Paul can’t say he’d be any different or any better than what we currently have in the White House where foreign policy is concerned, or that he’s a fundamental improvement over Hillary Clinton.

And Jindal was correct in saying Paul isn’t qualified to make American foreign policy as a result of his statements. He simply should have said so on his campaign letterhead rather than that of his current elected position.

Asylum Seekers, Beheaders and Mega Mosques – One Month of Islam in Europe: April 2015

Gatestone Institute, by Soeren Kern, May 24, 2015:

  • Hackers claiming to belong to the Islamic State attacked TV5Monde, a French television network, and knocked it off the air globally. The network broadcasts in more than 200 countries. “Our websites and social media sites are no longer under our control.” — Yves Bigot, Director General, TV5Monde.
  • “We hate no one. We fight for our freedom and hence we object to totalitarian Islam, but we do not hate Muslims…. I am happy that we in the Netherlands and in Germany are allowed to demonstrate against each other. Without violence. Without hatred.” — Geert Wilders, Dresden, Germany, April 13, 2015.
  • “I’ve come here [to Syria] to behead infidels. I am ready. At some point, we’ll be in Switzerland.” — Jihadist who has had a Swiss passport since 1995, in a social media message.

In Austria, a new report from the Federal Criminal Police (Bundeskriminalamt) revealed that 34,070 illegal immigrants arrived in Austria in 2014, a 24% jump over 2013. Most of the migrants came from Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Eritrea and Kosovo. More than half, roughly 20,750 of the migrants, hired smugglers to bring them to Austria; the remainder arrived on their own. More than two-thirds of the migrants arrived from Italy (51.6%) and Hungary (34.4%).

On April 7, Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz called on the European Union to launch a military operation against the Islamic State. He also called for a crackdown on so-called foreign fighters in Europe. Kurz said: “We are a militarily neutral country, but in terms of the Islamic State, our position is clear: Humanitarian aid for the victims is necessary, but much more needs to be done.”

Also in April, a 17-year-old girl whose parents sent her to an Asian Muslim country to be married against her will was returned to Austria after she managed to alert the Austrian foreign ministry about her plight. Because of loopholes in the law, the girl’s parents, Muslim immigrants still living in Austria, were not punished.

As a future deterrent, Austrian Justice Minister Wolfgang Brandstätter said the government would ask Parliament to approve an amendment to Section 106a of the Austrian criminal code to stipulate that anyone convicted of coercing someone into marriage could face up to five years in prison. Some 200 Austrian women and girls are subjected to a forced marriage each year.

Meanwhile, a “tolerance survey” found that 65% of Austrians are opposed to a family member converting to Islam, and 64% are opposed to the building of a mosque in their neighborhood.

In Britain, Irfan Chishti, an imam from the Rochdale Council of Mosques, warned that the reach of the Islamic State is spreading “far and fast” throughout the British Muslim community. “No one is immune to it, he said. “The tentacles of ISIS really are spreading so quickly, not just into homes but into palms, via the internet on phones.”

On April 5, the Sunday Times reported as many as 100 Islamist teachers and teaching assistants could face lifetime bans from working in schools as a result of an investigation into their alleged links to the so-called Trojan Horse scandal. The paper revealed that the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL), the profession’s watchdog that can ban teachers from classrooms, was considering possible disciplinary cases against current and former staff members at schools in Birmingham, where hardline Islamists were attempting to take control of state schools.

In London, a court ruled that a Libyan immigrant, convicted of more than 70 criminal offenses, would be allowed to remain in the UK because he is an alcoholic. The 53-year-old man, who first came to Britain to study aeronautical engineering in 1981, successfully argued that he would face physical punishment and imprisonment in his homeland, where alcohol consumption is illegal. Judge Jonathan Perkins ruled that returning the man to Libya would “expose him to a risk of ill-treatment” and “interfere disproportionately with his private and family life.”

In Birmingham, Mohammed Waqar, 23, and Mohammed Siddique, 60, pleaded not guilty to charges that they had beaten a ten-year-old boy at the Jamia Mosque in Sparkbrook for wrongly reciting the Koran. The two men face up to ten years in prison for the offense of cruelty to a person under 16.

More news about Islam in Britain during April 2015 can be found here.

In Bulgaria, public prosecutors pressed charges against eight Islamists for carrying out subversive activities. All of the defendants were accused of being members of an Islamic extremist group that spread Islamist propaganda, including calls for the establishment of Islamic Sharia law in Bulgaria. The move is part of a broader crackdown on Islamic extremism in the country, where Muslims make up approximately 10% of the total population.

In Denmark, a 23-year-old man from Copenhagen had his passport confiscated after he was suspected of attempting to join the Islamic State in Syria. It was the first use of a new law that came into effect on March 1 that gives police the right to confiscate passports and impose travel bans on Danish citizens suspected of planning to travel to Syria or Iraq to fight.

At least 115 Danes have become foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq since Syria’s civil war broke out in 2011, 19 of whom have been killed, according to the Danish Security and Intelligence Service PET.

In France, Prime Minister Manuel Valls revealed that more than 1,550 French citizens or residents are involved in terrorist networks in Syria and Iraq. The figures have almost tripled since January 2014.

Addressing the National Assembly on April 13, Valls said that a controversial new law aimed at increasing the powers of French intelligence services was needed to prevent another Charlie Hebdo-style of attack in France. The law allows the intelligence services to carry out surveillance activities without first obtaining a judge’s authorization. Valls refuted the idea that the law is the equivalent to a French “Patriot Act.”

An opinion poll published on April 13 found that nearly two-thirds (63%) of French citizens were in favor of restricting civil liberties in order to combat terrorism. Only 33% said they were opposed to having their freedoms reduced, although this number increased significantly among younger respondents.

On April 27, the Justice Ministry said that French police are investigating 125 terrorism cases connected to the conflict in Syria. Most of the cases involve people hoping to help the Islamic State. Of the 166 people who have been taken in for questioning, 113 have been jailed and are awaiting trial. Justice Minister Christiane Taubira told Le Parisien newspaper that 39 cases have been opened, and 35 people charged, since the beginning of 2015.

On April 22, French police arrested Sid Ahmed Ghlam, a 24-year-old Algerian computer science student who was suspected of planning an attack on Christian churches in Villejuif, a suburb south of Paris. He was arrested after apparently shooting himself by accident. Police found three Kalashnikov assault rifles, handguns, ammunition and bulletproof vests, as well as documents linked to al-Qaeda and Islamic State, in his car and home. Police said Ghlam had expressed a desire to join the Islamic State in Syria.

On April 8, hackers claiming to belong to the Islamic State attacked TV5Monde, a French television network, and knocked it off the air globally. The network broadcasts in more than 200 countries. “We are no longer able to broadcast any of our channels. Our websites and social media sites are no longer under our control and are all displaying claims of responsibility by Islamic State,” the broadcaster’s director general Yves Bigot said. The hackers accused French President François Hollande of having committed “an unforgivable mistake” by joining a US-led military coalition carrying out air strikes against IS positions in Iraq and Syria.

On April 4, the rector of the Grand Mosque of Paris, Dalil Boubakeur, called for the number of mosques in France to be doubled over the next two years. Speaking at a gathering of French Islamic organisations in the Paris suburb of Le Bourget, Boubakeur said that 2,200 mosques are “not enough” for the “seven million Muslims living in France.”

On April 15, a 21-year-old Muslim was arrested after destroying more than 200 gravestones at a Catholic cemetery in Saint-Roch de Castres, a town near Toulouse in southern France. Police said the man was sent to the hospital because he was in a “delusional state and unable to communicate.”

Meanwhile, a 15-year-old Muslim girl in the northeastern town of Charleville-Mezieres wasbanned from class twice for wearing a long black skirt, which the head teacher considered to be a religious symbol and a violation of France’s secularism laws.

In Germany, Dutch politician Geert Wilders addressed a rally of the German grassroots anti-Islamization movement known as PEGIDA in the eastern city of Dresden on April 13. Wilders said that there is “nothing wrong with being proud German patriots. There is nothing wrong with wanting Germany to remain free and democratic. There is nothing wrong with preserving our own Judeo-Christian civilization. That is our duty.” He added:

“Most of the politicians, media, churches and academics are looking away from the threat of Islamization. They are afraid. But you are not.

“We hate no one. We fight for our freedom and hence we object to totalitarian Islam, but we do not hate Muslims. Neither do we hate our political opponents who are protesting here in Dresden against us. I am happy that we in Germany and the Netherlands are allowed to demonstrate against each other. Without violence. Without hatred.”

 

Geert Wilders addresses a rally of PEGIDA supporters in Dresden, Germany, on April 13, 2015. (Image source: RT video screenshot)

On April 8, Federal Police Chief Dieter Romann revealed that more than 57,000 people had tried to enter the country illegally in 2014, a 75% jump in comparison to 2013. In addition, police arrested 27,000 people who had managed to enter the country and were living there illegally, a 40% jump. Most of the illegal immigrants were from Afghanistan, Eritrea, Kosovo, Serbia, Somalia and Syria.

On April 22, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, a center-right think tank based in Berlin, announced the launch of the “Muslimisches Forum Deutschland.” The new forum aims to promote the voices of liberal Muslims in order to counter-balance the influence of conservative Muslim groups in Germany.

On April 30, police in Oberursel, a town near Frankfurt, foiled an alleged Islamic terror attack on a professional cycling race. Authorities detained a 35-year-old Turkish-German man and his 34-year-old Turkish wife. Police were alerted after the man attempted to purchase large amounts of bomb-making materials under a false name. Police said the couple was active in Frankfurt’s Salafist community and were supporters of al-Qaeda.

In Greece, Chatitze Molla Sali, 65-year-old Muslim widow in north-eastern province of Thrace has taken an inheritance dispute to the European Court of Human Rights. After the woman’s husband died in 2008, she was to receive his estate, but his family disputed the inheritance based on Islamic Sharia law.

Although Sali’s won her case in a civil court, Greece’s Supreme Court ruled in 2013 that matters of inheritance involving members of the Muslim minority must be settled by a mufti (Islamic scholar), in accordance with the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne, which allows minority communities in Greece and Turkey to live according to their existing religious customs.

The Greek government is apparently wary of abandoning the Lausanne Treaty for fear of retaliation against the Greek community in Turkey. Sali said: “I was overwhelmed. But I decided to fight and take the matter to the European Court of Human Rights. I’m a Greek citizen and Europe must uphold my rights.”

In Hungary, plans emerged for the construction of a mega-mosque in Budapest. A YouTube video posted by the Turkish government’s Religious Affairs Directorate, the Diyanet, shows an architectural rendition of a sprawling complex that includes a mosque with four towering minarets, a cultural center, a guest house and extensive gardens.

Also in April, controversy erupted over the Hungarian edition of French author Michel Houellebecq’s new novel “Submission,” which has a candidate from the Muslim Brotherhood winning the French presidential elections and introducing Islamic Sharia law in the country. While the cover of the French edition has no images whatsoever, the Hungarian cover shows an image of Mona Lisa covered in an Islamic veil. The French newspaper L’Obs claimed that it is a manifestation of “Islamophobia.”

In Italy, supporters of the Islamic State posted photographs of well-known landmarks in Rome other Italian cities. The pictures included small pieces of paper that included the logo of the Islamic State along with threatening notes. One read: “We are on your streets, we are locating targets.” Another read: “We are waiting for zero hour.”

On April 24, police arrested 10 members of a jihadist cell that was accused of planning terror attacks in Italy, including a possible assassination attempt against the Pope. The cell, comprised of Pakistanis and Afghans, was operating from the island of Sardinia. Among those detained was Sultan Wali Khan, the head of the Islamic community of Olbia, a city in northeastern Sardinia. Police said intelligence intercepts indicated that Khan had been in regular contact with two Pakistani suicide bombers who were believed to have made their way to Rome. At least eight members of the cell remain at large.

Meanwhile, police in Sicily arrested 15 Muslim immigrants from the Ivory Coast, Mali and Senegal for allegedly throwing 12 fellow passengers into the Mediterranean Sea during a voyage from Libya to Italy on the night of April 14. The victims were murdered because they were Christians. The men are being charged with homicide “aggravated by religious hatred.”

In the Netherlands, a group of Muslim parents are suing the Dutch government for failing to prevent their children from travelling to Syria to join the Islamic State. The lawsuit is being initiated by Mohamed Nidalha, a Moroccan immigrant living in Leiden, whose Dutch-born son Reda is now in the Syrian city of Raqqa, the de facto capital of the Islamic State.

In an interview with Radio West, Nidalha said he went to the police asking for help, but they told him they could do nothing because Reda, who is now 20 years old, was an adult when he decided to travel to Syria last summer.

According to Nidalha, Reda was radicalized through the Internet, where he came into contact with jihadist recruiter aptly named Abu Jihad. In a phone call, Reda told his sister that he travelled to Syria to “help small children and raped women.”

Nidalha said he decided to file the lawsuit after Turkish police arrested a 27-year-old Dutch woman from Leiden in early April who was allegedly attempting to travel to Syria. Turkish authorities said the woman, identified only as Monique S., was arrested at a hotel in Antalya, where she was waiting to be taken to Syria. Based on an Interpol arrest warrant, Turkey sent the woman back to the Netherlands. According to Nidalha, there is a double standard at play because Monique was returned to the Netherlands but Reda was not.

Meanwhile, a 23-year-old jihadist from Amsterdam named Omar H. was reportedly killed on the battlefield in northern Syria. He had slipped out of the Netherlands in late 2014. The Islamic State congratulated Omar’s parents over the death of their son. Another Dutch jihadi said: “Omar has become a martyr, just like he had hoped. It sounds cruel, but I am glad for him and his family.”

In Norway, the Dagbladet newspaper on April 23 reported that an Islamic State fighter who was filmed beheading a man in the Syrian city of Raqqa is a Norwegian who goes by the name Abu Shahrazaad al-Narwegi (Arabic for the Norwegian). The victim was a former Sharia judge who had tried to escape from the Islamic State and settle in Qatar. Norwegian police estimatethat more than 140 Norwegians have joined the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.

In Spain, police in the northeastern Spanish region of Catalonia arrested eleven members of a jihadist cell that was planning to behead a random person in Barcelona. The cell, which prosecutors say was actively recruiting jihadists for the Islamic State, is also accused of planning to bomb public and private buildings in Catalonia, including a Jewish bookstore in Barcelona.

The cell — known as the Islamic Brotherhood for the Preaching of Jihad — was broken up on April 8, when more than 350 police officers conducted seven raids in five Catalan municipalities. According to police, the cell’s primary objective was to show that terrorist attacks such as those perpetrated by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria could be carried out in the West.

In Switzerland, a 25-year-old man became the first suspected Swiss jihadist to be prevented from travelling abroad when he was arrested at Zurich airport on April 7 before boarding a flight to Turkey. The individual, whose identity has not been made public, was released on April 20. He has been banned from travelling and has had his passport and ID confiscated.

According to the Swiss Federal Intelligence Service, there have been 55 known cases of people leaving Switzerland between 2001 and September 2014 to fight in jihadist conflicts — including 35 just since May 2013. Of the total, 31 went to Iraq or Syria, while 24 went to Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen and Somalia.

On April 18, a 21-year-old Swiss-Turkish jihadist who was holding his wife and child “hostage” in Syria released them near the town of Reyhanli, on the Syrian-Turkish border. The woman, a German national who converted to Islam, followed the man to Turkey in October 2014 thinking that the couple would be vacationing there. Once in Turkey, however, the husband took the woman to the Idlib region of Syria and held here there against her will. The child was born in March.

The woman’s plight came to light in early March, when Swiss public television’s Rundschau news program aired an audio clip from the woman saying: “I want to go home. Please help me.”

The Swiss Federal Prosecutor’s Office said the man, who has had a Swiss passport since 1995, joined the al-Nusra Front, a branch of al-Qaeda operating in Syria and Lebanon. In a social media message, he wrote: “I’ve come here [to Syria] to behead infidels. I am ready. At some point we’ll be in Switzerland.”

Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute. He is also Senior Fellow for European Politics at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group. Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter.

Dr. Sebastian Gorka on Conventional vs Irregular War and the Cult of Complexity

Dr. Sebastian Gorka briefing at SOCOM Wargame Center

Dr. Sebastian Gorka briefing at SOCOM Wargame Center

May 2, 2015 Webinar: 

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I highly recommend watching this 2012 interview of Dr.Sebastian Gorka:

Gorka interview with Ginni

http://thegorkabriefing.com/leaders-with-ginni-thomas/

The Daily Caller spoke with Gorka about President Obama’s muddled foreign policy choices, the threat political correctness poses to our national security, the threats to our constitutional order from forces both outside and inside our borders, myths of conventional thinking on national security matters and much more.

Questions asked:

  • Help us make sense of President Obama’s foreign policy
  • What is at stake in America right now?
  • Have conservatives, Republicans and their donors put too many eggs in the political basket?
  • What is your background and your mission in life?
  • If you could have national attention for a moment, what would you tell every American?
  • What are three myths of conventional thinking?
  • What is the optimal way to oppose jihadi ideology?
  • How would you balance liberty and security in practical circumstances?
  • What gives you hope, and what can ordinary citizens do to help?

Also see:

George W. Bush Didn’t Create ISIS; Islam Did

pic_giant_052115_SM_ISIS-FightersNRO, by David French, May 21, 2015:

There are few things the Left loves more than a college liberal “speaking truth” to conservative power. Days ago, 19-year-old University of Nevada student Ivy Ziedrich seemed to enjoy just such a moment and “made headlines around the world” when she confronted Jeb Bush about ISIS. Ms. Ziedrich had the gumption to confront Bush in the midst of a scrum of reporters and confidently recite leftist conventional wisdom about the current Middle East crisis, declaring: “Your brother created ISIS!” After all, according to accepted academic conventional wisdom, the war in Iraq is the source of all (recent) jihadist evil.

And with that statement, the clock started running on 15 minutes of fame — no, 15 minutes of public adulation. Interviews with ABC News, the New York Times, and other outlets followed, with reporters eager to hear her thoughts on the Middle East. And while Ms. Ziedrich is no expert, there is one thing she said that is all too true: “It’s frustrating to see politicians ignore the origins of our conflicts abroad.”

Yes, Ms. Ziedrich, it certainly is. And if you’re on the left or from some quarters of the right, it must be downright exhausting to not only “understand” those origins but also link them in some way to the failings of American, Israeli, or imperialist European policies. Here’s the current scorecard: ISIS is George W. Bush’s fault. Al-Qaeda and the Taliban exist because of Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush (through the Afghan war against the Soviets and then the Desert Storm-related American troop presence in Saudi Arabia, of course), with the various al-Qaeda franchises in Syria, Yemen, and North Africa merely the fruit of the same poisonous Reaganite tree. The jihadist destruction of ancient — pre-Muslim — world heritage sites? That’s just collateral damage in the war against Reagan and the Bushes. Hamas, Hezbollah, and the PLO are easy to peg — Israeli creations, one and all, existing solely because of the “Occupied Territories.” As for Libya, we actually put those jihadists in power. But what about Boko Haram? I’m sure any decent professor can tell me some way we’re responsible for their atrocities.

But that’s just the last few decades. What about tracing further back? To the founding of the Muslim Brotherhood or to the Ikhwan of the Arabian peninsula? The Ikhwan — as savage as ISIS — trace their origins back to 1913, before the Europeans dominated the Middle East. What about the centuries of conflict between Christian Europe and the Ottoman Empire? Vienna must have richly deserved its sieges. After all, Europeans launched the Crusades, right?

And before the Crusades, when jihadist Muslim armies invaded and conquered the Christian lands of the Middle East and North Africa, capturing the Iberian Peninsula and threatening modern-day France, there’s little doubt that they were simply striking out at . . . something the Christians did. No, Ms. Ziedrich, George W. Bush didn’t create ISIS. Islam did. Embedded within this faith is a concept called “jihad,” and no matter how many professors tell you otherwise, there are countless millions of Muslims throughout more than a millennium of history who’ve interpreted “jihad” not as a mandate for self-help and personal improvement but as a mandate for war and conquest, a mandate to purify and spread the faith at the point of the sword. The influence of militaristic jihadists waxes and wanes, but it is there, always.

To believe that American actions have created the jihad is to give America greater influence over the Muslim heart than Allah. The current jihad is an extension of the ancient jihad. The foes have changed (the Habsburgs are long gone, and the Holy League peaked at Lepanto in 1571), but the motivation is the same. Why did Osama bin Laden mention “the tragedy of Andalusia” (the more than 500-year-old reconquest of Muslim Spain) in his post-9/11 address? Because, for the jihadist, it’s all one war.

So, by all means, let’s not ignore “the origins of our conflicts abroad.” Regarding our conflict with Islamic terrorists, the origins lie in a religious imperative, one that predates the founding of the United States by more than ten centuries. George W. Bush is no more responsible for creating that conflict than he is for writing the Koran, passing down the Hadith, or establishing the first Caliphate. And in confronting that foe, our choices are the same choices faced by the great non-Muslim powers that came before us: convert, submit, die, or fight. Given those options, there is but one valid choice for a free people. It’s too bad that Ms. Ziedrich, her peers, and her media cheerleaders can’t see past the politics to understand the troubling truth. After all, it will soon be her generation’s turn on the wall. Will they accept the challenge? — David French is an attorney, a staff writer at National Review, and a veteran of the Iraq War.

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Daniel Greenfield explains another leftist narrative: