No, the Islamic State Will Not Be Defeated — and if It Is, We Still Lose

GettyImages-497044984-640x480Breitbart, by Ben Shapiro, Nov. 24, 2015:

Barack Obama has now created an unwinnable war.

While all of the 2016 candidates declare their strategies for victory against ISIS, President Obama’s leading from behind has now entered the Middle East and the West into a free-for-all that cannot end any way but poorly.

The best way to understand the situation in Syria is to look at the situation and motivation of the various players. All of them have varying agendas; all of them have different preferred outcomes. Few of them are on anything approaching the same page. And Barack Obama’s failure of leadership means that there is no global power around which to center.

ISIS. ISIS has gained tremendous strength since Barack Obama’s entry to power and pullout from Iraq. They currently control northern Syria, bordering Turkey, as well as large portions of northern Iraq. Their goal: to consolidate their territorial stranglehold, and to demonstrate to their followers that they, and not other competing terrorist groups like Al Qaeda, represent the new Islamic wave. They have little interest in toppling Syrian dictator Bashar Assad for the moment. They do serve as a regional counterweight to the increasingly powerful Iranians – increasingly powerful because of President Obama’s big nuclear deal, as well as his complete abdication of responsibility in Iraq.

Iran. Iran wants to maximize its regional power. The rise of ISIS has allowed it to masquerade as a benevolent force in Iraq and Syria, even as it supports Assad’s now-routine use of chemical weapons against his adversaries, including the remnants of the Free Syrian Army (FSA). Iran has already expanded its horizons beyond Iraq and Syria and Lebanon; now it wants to make moves into heretofore non-friendly regions like Afghanistan. Their goal in Syria: keep Bashar Assad in power. Their goal in Iraq: pushing ISIS out of any resource-rich territories, but not finishing ISIS off, because that would then get rid of the global villain against which they fight.

Assad. The growth of ISIS has allowed Assad to play the wronged victim. While the FSA could provide a possible replacement for him, ISIS can’t credibly do so on the international stage. Assad knows that, and thus has little interest in completely ousting them. His main interest is in continuing to devastate the remaining FSA while pretending to fight ISIS.

Egypt/Saudi Arabia/Jordan. As you can see, ISIS, Iran, and Assad all have one shared interest: the continued existence of ISIS. The same is not true with regard to Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan, all of whom fear the rise of radical Sunni terrorist groups in their home countries. They are stuck between a rock and a hard place, however, because openly destroying ISIS on behalf of Alaouite Assad, they embolden the Shia, their enemies. Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan would all join an anti-ISIS coalition in the same way they did against Saddam Hussein in 1991, but just like Hussein in 1991, they won’t do it if there are no Sunni alternatives available. Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan are the top three sources of foreign fighters for ISIS.

Turkey. The Turks have several goals: to stop the Syrian exodus across their borders, to prevent the rise of the Iranians, and to stop the rise of the Kurds. None of these goals involves the destruction of ISIS. Turkey is Sunni; so is ISIS. ISIS provides a regional counterweight against Iran, so long as it remains viable. It also keeps the Kurds occupied in northern Iraq, preventing any threat of Kurdish consolidation across the Iraq-Turkey border. They will accept Syrian refugees so long as those other two goals remain primary – and they’ll certainly do it if they can ship a hefty portion of those refugees into Europe and off their hands.

Russia. Russia wants to consolidate its power in the Middle East. It has done so by wooing all the players to fight against one another. Russia’s involvement in the Middle East now looks a good deal like American involvement circa the Iran-Iraq War: they’re playing both sides. Russia is building nuclear reactors in Egypt, Jordan, Turkey and Iran. They’re Bashar Assad’s air force against both the FSA and ISIS. Russia’s Vladimir Putin doesn’t have a problem with destroying ISIS so long as doing so achieves his other goal: putting everyone else in his debt. He has a secondary goal he thought he could chiefly pursue in Eastern Europe, and attempted with Ukraine: he wants to split apart the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which he rightly sees as a counterbalance to check Russian aggression. Thanks to today’s Turkish attack on a Russian plane, and thanks to the West’s hands-off policy with regard to the conflict, Putin could theoretically use his war against ISIS as cover to bombard Turkish military targets, daring the West to get involved against him. Were he to do so, he’d set the precedent that NATO is no longer functional. Two birds, one war.

Israel. Israel’s position is the same it has always been: Israel is surrounded by radical Islamic enemies on every side. Whether Iranian-backed Hezbollah or Sunni Hamas and ISIS, Israel is the focus of hate for all of these groups. Ironically, the rise of Iran has unified Israel with its neighbors in Jordan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. All three of those countries, however, can’t stand firmly against ISIS.

All of which means that the only country capable of filling the vacuum would be the United States. Just as in 1991, a major Sunni power is on the move against American interests – but unlike in 1991, no viable option existed for leaving the current regime in power. And the US’ insistence upon the help of ground allies is far too vague. Who should those allies be, occupying ISIS-free ISISland?

The Kurds have no interest in a Syrian incursion. Turkish troops movements into ISIS-land will prompt Iranian intervention. Iranian intervention into ISIS-land would prompt higher levels of support for Sunni resistance. ISIS-land without ISIS is like Iraq without Saddam Hussein: in the absence of solidifying force, chaos breaks out. From that chaos, the most organized force takes power. Russia hopes that should it destroy ISIS, Assad will simply retain power; that may be the simplest solution, although it certainly will not end the war within the country. There are no good answers.

Barack Obama’s dithering for years led to this. Had he lent his support in any strong way to one side, a solution might be possible. Now, it’s not.

Ben Shapiro is Senior Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News, Editor-in-Chief of, and The New York Times bestselling author, most recently, of the book, The People vs. Barack Obama: The Criminal Case Against The Obama Administration (Threshold Editions, June 10, 2014). Follow Ben Shapiro on Twitter @benshapiro.

Must Read Report – Islamic State: ‘The Threat to the United States’

isis-marching-AP-640x480 (2)Breitbart, by Jordan, Schachtel, Nov. 23, 2015:

A Mclean, Virginia-based defense think-tank has published a prescient white-paper on the Islamic State terror group, which has been made available exclusively to Breitbart News prior to its release.

The Threat Knowledge Group (TKG), headed by Katherine C. Gorka, its President, and Dr. Sebastian Gorka, the Chair of Military Theory at Marine Corps University and a Breitbart Contributor, released a comprehensive study Monday titled “ISIS: The Threat to the United States.”

After last week’s attacks in Paris that killed over one-hundred people and wounded hundreds more, particular national attention has turned to national security issues, as the American people continue to fear that the United States is becoming more vulnerable to jihadist attacks.

“The scope and lethality of the Paris attack changes everything. The U.S. will have to take the domestic threat of ISIS much more seriously now,” Threat Knowledge Group President Katherine Gorka told Breitbart News.

“We wanted to do this study because we felt that the Administration was downplaying the domestic threat of ISIS, focusing instead on ‘right-wing extremism.’ The problem with that is that it means law enforcement is not prepared. They’re looking out the window while the threat is coming in the door,” she added.

Threat Knowledge Group supports the Defense Department and FBI with strategic analysis and training, and this latest report unveils the Islamic State’s recruitment network inside of the United States.

They found that over 250 people from the United States have attempted to join ISIS, according to a report from the House Homeland Security Committee. Also, some 82 individuals in the United States have been interdicted by federal agents as part of ISIS plots, according to a database compiled by Threat Knowledge Group.

And the FBI already has almost 1,000 active ISIS investigations in the United States, the report adds.

In its study, TKG also compares and contrasts the Islamic State with Al Qaeda.

The report notes that “ISIS is a fully-fledged insurgency” and has been able to achieve far more than Al Qaeda has in its past. In such a short amount of time, ISIS has been able to recruit a force of tens-of-thousands of jihadis while also controlling territory, a feat that Al Qaeda has never accomplished by itself.

ISIS has trumped Al Qaeda’s recruiting capacity as well, according to the report. TKG found that from March 2014 to November 2015, ISIS arrests occurred over three times more often than for Al Qaeda members, with 4.1 ISIS cases per month compared to Al Qaeda’s monthly 1.5 average.

In an ultra-important measure to establish legitimacy in the Islamic world, ISIS “successfully declared the Caliphate after 90 years of absence, and it is growing,” the report adds.

The study also delves into several other issues related to understanding ISIS as a jihadi organization, covering topics such as “What ISIS believes in” and “Who is ISIS recruiting?”

TKG warns that the United States must steel itself for the “difficult times ahead” and be ready to counter the threats posed by ISIS inside of the United States. They recommend that U.S. officials follow five steps in countering the current threat environment.

In summary, TKG recommends that American officials should:

  1. “Stop downplaying the seriousness of the threat.”
  2. “Recognize that ISIS is targeting youth, and do more to protect youth from radicalization.”
  3. “Target the ideologues.”
  4. “Better utilize open-source intelligence.”

TKG Report the ISIS Threat

‘ISIS Delenda Est’—What the Romans Knew About Winning a War

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Breitbart, by James P. Pinkerton, Nov. 21, 2015:

I. The Roman Way

In writing about the Paris massacre in The Wall Street Journal, Peggy Noonan was blunt:

These primitive, ferocious young men will not stop until we stop them.  The question is how.  That’s the only discussion.

Okay, let’s take up Noonan’s challenge: How do we stop ISIS? Once and for all?

Let’s stipulate that President Obama, who has been waging a phony war against ISIS for over a year, is not the man for the job.  And let’s stipulate, also, that Islam is not “peace,” as George W. Bush so famously suggested back in 2001.

Islam is something different. Not all Muslims are terrorists, not by a long shot, but in its current form, Islam provides safe harbor for way-y-y too many Salafi jihadists, aka, terrorists.  Here at Breitbart, Pamela Geller provides a handy itemization; her list of Islamic terrorist groups runs a full 27 lines.

As the late Samuel Huntington wrote in his landmark 1998 book, The Clash of Civilizationsa work approvingly cited by Sen. Marco Rubio earlier this month—Islam has “bloody borders.”

History tells us that no attitude is permanent.  Yet for now, extremist elements within Muslim societies make it impossible for many Muslim states to get along with their neighbors, either near, in Eurasia, or far, in America.

So what should we do in the face of a relentless, and remorseless, enemy?  The Roman Empire had a good answer.  Yes, 2,000 years before Ronald Reagan summed up his Cold War strategy as, “We win, they lose,” the Romans had the same idea.

Rome’s dogged determination to prevail is perhaps best exemplified by its long struggle against the rival empire of Carthage, in what’s now Tunisia.

The Rome-Carthage conflict—the so-called Punic Wars, of which there were three—raged all over the Mediterranean littoral and lasted, on land and sea, for over a century, from 264 BC to 146 BC.  Interestingly, the single best general on either side was the Carthaginian, Hannibal.  His smashing pincer-movement victory over the Romans atCannae in 216 BC is still studied at West Point and other military academies.

And yet the Romans were more organized and resourceful, as well as determined, and, over time, those qualities gave them the edge. For literally decades, the Roman senator Cato the Elder closed every speech to his colleagues with the ringing words, Carthago delenda est—“Carthage must be destroyed.”  And yet Cato, who died in 149 BC, didn’t actually live to see the final victory, which came three years later, when the Roman legionnaires besieged and and conquered the city of Carthage itself.

Appian of Alexandria described the final victory in his Historia Romana, written in the second century AD.  Here’s Appian describing Rome’s final military operations against Carthage; as we can see, under the leadership of General Scipio Africanus, the Roman legionarii were not nice:

Now Scipio hastened to the attack [on] the strongest part of the city, where the greater part of the inhabitants had taken refuge… All places were filled with groans, shrieks, shouts, and every kind of agony. Some were stabbed, others were hurled alive from the roofs to the pavement, some of them alighting on the heads of spears or other pointed weapons, or swords. . . . Then came new scenes of horror.  As the fire spread and carried everything down, the soldiers did not wait to destroy the buildings little by little, but all in a heap. So the crashing grew louder, and many corpses fell with the stones into the midst.  Others were seen still living, especially old men, women, and young children who had hidden in the inmost nooks of the houses, some of them wounded, some more or less burned, and uttering piteous cries.  Still others, thrust out and falling from such a height with the stones, timbers, and fire, were torn asunder in all shapes of horror, crushed and mangled.

You get the idea. Tough stuff, to be sure, but after Scipio’s triumph, Carthage was never again a problem for Rome.  In fact, the Romans not only razed the city but, for good measure, plowed the ground with salt to make sure that nothing would ever grow there.

The Roman historian Tacitus quoted a barbarian enemy to make an approving point about the Roman strategic approach: “And where they make a desert, they call it peace.”  Yes, when the Romans wanted to make a point—they made a point.  We might note that the Roman Empire endured for another 622 years after the fall of Carthage, all the way to 476 AD.

Of course, Americans would never do anything like obliterating Carthage, even if the few German survivors of the 1945 firebombing of Dresden, or the even fewer Japanese survivors of Hiroshima, later that same year, might beg to differ.  Still, we might pause to note that both Germany and Japan—two countries once both full of fight—haven’t so much as raised their fist at us even once in the last 70 years.

II. The Challenge in Our Time

Today, there’s an echo of the old Roman resolve in the voice of many Republicans.  As Sen. Ted Cruz, who frequently quotes Reagan’s we-win-they-lose maxim, declared the other day, “In a Cruz administration, we will say to militants, if you wage war against America, you are signing your death warrant.”

Needless to say, Cruz doesn’t speak for the intellectually fashionable, who preach a kind of defeatist sophistry.  Among the smart set, it is often said that we shouldn’t attack ISIS because that’s just what they want.   CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, for example, writing of possible US retaliation in the wake of the Paris raid, assures us that ISIS “wants all of this.”  And Sally Kohn, also of CNN, adds her voice: “Bombing terrorists feeds their ideology.”

And we have this dire headline from the lefties at Salon:

We’re already caving to ISIS: Bloodthirsty jingoism is precisely what the terrorists want: The chief goal of these terrorists is to launch a “cosmic war.” Bigotry and calls for invasion provide exactly that.

Well, maybe the leftists are correct: Maybe it would be a mistake for us if we defeated ISIS—but maybe not.  Indeed, it sure seems that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS, is doing his best to survive.  To be sure, he says he’s ready for martyrdom, but he’s not seeking it out.  If he really wanted to be dead, he already would be.

Yes, there’s something to be said for winning, not losing—for living, not dying.  As Osama bin Laden himself observed, “When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature, they will like the strong horse.” And of course, it’s no accident that Al Qaeda went into eclipse after bin Laden was killed by US forces in 2011, to be replaced, alas, by ISIS.

To put the matter starkly, being killed suggests that maybe God is not on your side.  It’s perhaps glorious to die for a winning cause, but not so glorious to die for a losing cause.

So let’s hereby resolve that we will be on the winning side.  And let’s get right down to it, and name—yes, name—the central challenge of our time: Defeating the Salafi terrorists once and for all.

Michael Vickers, a counter-terrorism subcabinet official in the Obama and Bush administrations—and an operative with a record going back to the CIA campaign against the Soviets in Afghanistan—is flatly declarative about what must be done; we must defeat ISIS, or ISIL, by depriving it of its territory.  By any name, they—including the remnants of Al Qaeda—need to be defeated and their home-base destroyed:

ISIL, as its name implies, is a de facto state. It holds territory, controls population, and funds its operations from resources that it exploits on territory it controls. If there’s one thing the American military knows how to do it is defeating an opposing force trying to hold ground.

So yes, we must defeat ISIS.  ISIS delenda est.  But yet there are more variables to consider: Unless we plan to do to the Jihadi Zone exactly what the Romans did to the Carthaginians—that is, kill them all—we need a plan for not only pacifying the area, but also for keeping it pacified.

Read more

Obama: ‘Un-American’ Not to Take in More Muslim Refugees

Calais-Migrants-Line-Up-AP-PhotoMarkus-Schreiber-640x480Breitbart, by Ben Shapiro, Nov. 16, 2015:

President Obama wants more Syrian Muslim refugees in the West. Speaking in Turkey on Monday, Obama explained that the West needed to open its heart to Muslim refugees, who after all were fleeing from terrorism in the Middle East to the safe and warm arms of the West. Meanwhile, Obama continued to maintain that Islamic radicalism presents no threat to the world.

To President Obama, the issue of Syrian Muslim refugee immigration into the United States is a simple risk-reward analysis. The risk: terrorist attack. The reward: not being “Islamophobic.”

First, the risk. We know that President Obama believes that Americans can take a terrorist attack. Back in 2010, according to Bob Woodward, Obama stated, “We can absorb a terrorist attack. We’ll do everything we can to prevent it, but even a 9/11, even the biggest attack ever…we absorbed it and we are stronger.” And Obama acknowledged today that American intelligence officials have considered ISIS capable of attacks beyond its borders for months. So Obama knows that accepting Syrian Muslim refugees carries a risk above zero. He’s willing to accept that risk.

And the risk is substantial. We now know that at least one of the terrorists in Paris entered Europe as a refugee and carried an ID for Syrian refugees. According to CNN:

[The] bomber falsely declared himself to be a Syrian named Ahmad al Muhammad, born on September 10, 1990, and was allowed to enter Greece on October 3. From there he moved to Macedonia, then Serbia and Croatia, where he registered in the Opatovac refugee camp, the lawmaker said. Eventually, he made his way to Paris, where he was one of three men who blew themselves up at the Stade de France.

He’s not the only one. As Senator Sen. Ted Cruz explained, “If there were a group of radical Christians pledging to murder anyone who had a different religious view than they, we would have a different national security situation.” That’s true. According to The Express (UK), “An operative working for Islamic State has revealed the terror group has successfully smuggled thousands of covert jihadists into Europe.” Two Turkish refugee-smugglers agreed.

It didn’t take Syrian refugees to launch the risk of Islamic terrorism in France. In 2014, a poll showed that 16 percent of French people had positive attitudes toward ISIS, including 27 percent of French people between ages 18 and 24. According to Ann-Elizabeth Moutet of Newsweek, “This is the ideology of young French Muslims from immigrant backgrounds…these are the same people who torch synagogues.”

Beyond the risk of terrorism, heightened Islamic immigration to Europe has led to increased crime and massive cultural fragmentation as well. Yesterday, The New York Times admitted that Europe has its own no-go zones in Muslim areas; Belgium’s home affairs minister said that the government has no “control of the situation in Molenbeek,” a working-class area of Brussels. That’s been true in France for years, where “semi-autonomous” sectors have become more and more common. Increased Muslim immigration has spelled a significant rise in anti-Semitic crime as well as more crime generally. In Germany, crime rates have skyrocketed as the number of those seeking asylum has risen. In Sweden, Jews have fled certain cities like Malmo altogether over the rising threat of radical Islam; the rate of rape in Sweden has jumped tremendously as well.

So yes, increased Islamic immigration to the West is a major risk.

Which brings us to the reward. What’s the reward for allowing a certain number of Westerners to die, allowing Western welfare systems to be overloaded by poor immigrants, allowing Western culture to be fragmented by Islamic fundamentalism? Avoiding charges of Islamophobia. Today, President Obama explained that proposals by Republicans to house Christian refugees but not Muslim refugees were un-American:

When I hear folks say that maybe we should just admit the Christians but not the Muslims, when I hear political leaders suggesting that there would be a religious test for which person who is feeling from a war-torn country is admitted, when some of those folks themselves come from families who benefitted from protection when they were fleeing political persecution, that’s shameful. That’s not American. That’s not who we are.

So, to be clear, it’s un-American to accept only Christian refugees from a region of the world where they are routinely persecuted for their religious persuasion, despite the heightened risk of terrorism from Muslim refugees. But it’s perfectly American for the State Department to consider ruling that Christians living under ISIS rule are not victims of an impending genocide, and to insist that the West house, feed, and clothe Muslim refugees. It’s un-American to protect American lives; it’s perfectly American to take in un-vetted refugees of the same general religious persuasion as the terrorists of 9/11 and 7/7 and Paris, without regard to the safety of the citizenry.

While the West churns its guts over Muslim refugees, Muslim countries aren’t doing so. There are fifty Muslim-majority countries all over the globe. Just five Muslim countries have taken in significant numbers of refugees: Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Egypt. Only Egypt does not share a border with Syria. A huge percentage of refugees entering Europe are doing so not directly from Syria, but through Turkey, which has taken in approximately two million refugees but is housing hundreds of thousands in internment camps. This isn’t rare. For decades, Muslim countries have refused to integrate fellow Muslim refugees, which is why Palestinian Arabs still live in refugee camps in Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan seventy years after the foundation of the State of Israel. The umma won’t deign to take in fellow Muslims the same way, say, that the Jewish state has taken in and integrated every Jewish refugee population from Russia to Ethiopia.

Nonetheless, President Obama says that morality requires the West to risk its own citizenry to save Muslim refugees without proper background checks and without any distinction between the capacity of Christians and Muslims to integrate into Christian-based societies.

No shock there. After all, President Obama obviously dislikes the West more than he dislikes radical Islam, seeing as he won’t even recognize radical Islam’s existence.

Ben Shapiro is Senior Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News, Editor-in-Chief of, and The New York Times bestselling author, most recently, of the book, The People vs. Barack Obama: The Criminal Case Against The Obama Administration (Threshold Editions, June 10, 2014). Follow Ben Shapiro on Twitter @benshapiro.

ISIS Supporter To Breitbart: ‘We’re Coming For The U.S.’ – ‘We’ll Shake Your Existence’

nusra-front-black-flag-AP-640x480Breitbart, by Aaron Klein, Nov. 17, 2015:

Abu Al-Ayna al-Ansari, leader of an ISIS-aligned Salafi jihadist group in the Gaza Strip, said he believes ISIS will strike the home fronts of “all countries that participate in the anti-Islamic State coalition” in Syria and Iraq.

“The [Islamic] State will not leave these countries alone without them having to suffer from the blows of the Mujahideen in a way that will let them understand that their war is lost,” the terrorist said. “There is no way that ISIS territory remains under aerial bombardment without a violent retaliation deep in the capitals of those countries.”

Ansari addressed the possibility of attacks inside the U.S., saying, “Certainly the Mujahideen of the Islamic State will not hesitate to attack the head of the infidel states and the head of global terrorism – America – and all those who support the U.S. and back it in its crusade war against the Muslims in Syria and Iraq.”

Ansari further stated that “the Mujahideen of the Islamic state are waiting for every opportunity in order to carry out attacks in all countries of the crusader coalition.”

The gunman continued with a diatribe against “America and the Jewish enemy, as well as Russia and all the infidel Western countries that take part in the crusade against our brothers, the Mujahideen.”

He warned that these countries “must wait for more of our strikes that will shake their existence. Wars are dynamic and the battle will move soon to the depth of their homes, it will happen sooner or later.”

Al Ansari added that “the little drop of the Russian plane was the beginning and the blessed invasion of Paris will not be the end. … Our Mujahideen are scattered everywhere and will not hesitate to offer their lives for the sake of Allah.”

He was asked how ISIS can justify the indiscriminate killing of civilians in Paris, some of whom may have been Muslims.

Ansari sidestepped the question, asking, “Does France and America and their followers of the Cross alliance differentiate between civilians and armed Mujahideen when they bombard innocent civilians in Raqqa, in Aleppo and in Mosul?”

When Breitbart Jerusalem persisted, Ansari claimed that “dozens of civilians” are killed in “the daily raids of the crusader coalition and then you lie to the world by saying the raids target the headquarters and sites of the Islamic State.”

“The civilian victims and the areas targeted prove that it has nothing to do with the ISIS infrastructure,” he claimed.

Ansari went on to bash reports that Middle Eastern refugees may have participated in the Paris massacres. The passport of a Syrian refugee was found on or near the body of one of the suicide bombers, and Greece subsequently confirmed that it was used by a refugee registered on the island of Leros in early October. The same passport was used to cross the southern border of Serbia a few days later.

Nonetheless, Ansari said that “Such claims have nothing to do with reality and are not true. No refugee is among the brothers who carried out these blessed attack. … No refugee who wanted to come and live in France was chosen for this attack.

“Some political forces are trying to exploit the incident in a campaign against the refugees. Even before the Paris attack, those political forces were against the migrants for numerous reasons that are connected to the nature of their countries and to their general position on the migration phenomenon.”

Ansari failed to mention that ISIS documents released in February announced that the group was planning to use Libya as a “gateway” to smuggle refugees into Europe.

The ISIS material further raised the possibility of storming southern European cities to cause “pandemonium” or attempting to close international shipping lines in the Mediterranean Sea.

U.S. Warned By Ex-Mossad Chief: Time For Armed Guards At Cafes, Malls and Clubs


Very excited to see the launch of Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau with Aaron Klein reporting. I have been following him at WND for a long time and his work is excellent. Now if only they would open a Canadian bureau with Ezra Levant and his band of Rebels?

Breitbart, by Aaron Klein, Nov. 17, 2015:

TEL AVIV, Israel – The U.S. and European countries should seriously consider adapting the Israeli model of combatting terrorism in order to fight an increasingly aggressive Islamic State, former Mossad chief Shabtai Shavit told Breitbart Jerusalem.

These measures include deploying armed guards to protect soft targets like restaurants, shopping centers, and movie theaters.

“You have to strike the right balance between defense and offense,” posited Shavit, who led Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency from 1989 to 1996. “If you adopt only the defensive strategy, pretty soon you realize that your investments achieve a prohibitive level.”

Shavit argued that the coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris last Friday need to be analyzed in the wider context of other purported ISIS assaults over the past week. These include the group’s claim that it downed a Russian airliner over Egypt, as well as a double suicide attack in Beirut on Thursday.

These three events, said Shavit, indicate a change in ISIS strategy. “Until recently, ISIS was involved in killing other Arabs and Muslims, but now they have made a strategic change in their strategy. They have decided to go after what they call the infidels, and kill not only Arabs and Muslims but also Europeans and others.”

“Being able to perpetrate all of these terrorist attacks within one week in territories very far from each other indicates a high level of capability and preparedness,” he said.

Shavit stated that the U.S. and Europe should utilize the Israeli model of fighting terrorism, which consists of three main elements:

  • Intelligence. “The more intelligence you have, the smaller the threat you will have to face,” said Shavit. “And because of that, any investment in improving intelligence is worthwhile and proves itself every time.”
  • Defense: “The Israeli strategy consists of guards at each and every mall, train station, and so on and so forth,” he said.
  • Offense: Take the war directly to ISIS strongholds, perhaps by aiding Kurdish and moderate Sunni Arab ground forces with airstrikes.“My advice, if asked, is to develop a comprehensive strategy consisting first and foremost of good intelligence and then the right balance between offensive and defensive measures,” said Shavit. He also criticized the Western powers for failing to adequately arm the Kurds.

“I want to point to the Kurds, whom I know in person,” he said. “They are the most courageous warriors in that part of the world and had the West, namely the U.S. and European countries, given them enough armored vehicles and tanks, the Kurds could have been the arm that fights ISIS directly on the ground with the cooperation of Western air forces. Together, they can do the work and achieve the aim I described to you.”

Russian Intel: ISIS Has 80,000 Jihadis in Iraq and Syria


Breitbart, by Jordan Schachtel, Nov. 12,2015:

Russian intelligence reports are claiming that the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) terror group has amassed 80,000 soldiers in Iraq and Syria for its drive towards the goal of a global caliphate.

A senior Russian official told state-run TASS news agency that 30,000 ISIS jihadis are currently stationed in Iraq, and another 50,000 are fighting the jihad in Syria. Some 7,000 militants are originally from states that were formerly part of the Soviet Union, according to the report.

“According to reports, militants now control around 40 percent of Iraqi territory and 50 percent of Syrian territory,” said Yevgeny Sysoyev, the deputy leader of Russia’s FSB security services, which was formerly the infamous KGB during the soviet-era.

“Among members of the group are citizens of 80 countries, including France, Great Britain, Germany, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, the US, Canada, as well as Russia and other [Commonwealth of Independent States] countries. Among them are about 30,000 foreign terrorists. Most of them come from the Middle East and North Africa,” Sysoyev added from a conference in Sochi, Russia.

The estimates did not account for the members of ISIS affiliates throughout the region. The group now sustains terror cells of significant stature in Afghanistan, Yemen, Egypt, Libya, Nigeria, Gaza, and in other countries and territories.

Russian forces are engaged in a campaign to support Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad against all forces that oppose his rule, including ISIS. Russian air power has also heavily-targeted rebel areas where ISIS does not retain a significant presence. Moscow’s military has also worked side-by-side in Syria with forces from the Iranian regime and its proxy, the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah.

Russia denies that its forces have targeted groups besides ISIS. But the Pentagon has claimed that over 90% of Russian strikes in Syria have not targeted the Islamic State.

On late Tuesday, Assad-backed forces broke a two-year ISIS siege on Kwairis military airport, which is located near the hotly-contested city of Aleppo.

Assad’s troops killed “hundreds of ISIS terrorists and destroyed their dens and cells with all weapons inside,” Syria’s state-controlled SANA news reported.

“The regime has been fighting since the end of September to break the siege,” Rami Abdurrahman, who heads the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, told CNN. “Taking this airport back from siege means they can advance to ISIS areas. They can use it to shell areas around Aleppo.”


Also see:

ISIS Sinai Leader ID’d As Potential ‘Mastermind’ of Russian Airliner Terror Attack


Does anyone remember how Morsi allowed jihadists to gather in the Sinai?

Breitbart, by Jordan Schachtel, Nov. 9, 2015:

Abu Osama Al Masri (also referred to as Sheikh Osama al Masri), has been identified by intelligence sources as the likely mastermind behind the attack on a Russian airliner that crashed in the Sinai Peninsula in late October, killing all 224 passengers on board.

al-Masri is an Egyptian cleric who graduated from Egypt’s infamous Al Azhar University, a known hotbed for jihadi theology. It is the same place from where U.S. President Barack Obama gave his famous Cairo speech in 2009, shortly after being elected president.

In recent months, al-Masri – whose jihadi outfit used to be known as Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis (ABM), before switching allegiance to ISIS – has often called for fellow terror sympathizers to attack members of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s government.

On Sunday, British officials told the Sunday Times that the 42-year-old ISIS cleric is a “person of interest” in the suspected attack, adding that British forces may be utilized in a “kill or capture” mission targeting al-Masri.

In a statement following the suspected attack, al-Masri said the alleged bombing was a “blessing of our gathering under a single banner and leader,” in reference to the fact that the suspected attack also occurred on the one-year anniversary of the group pledging to follow ISIS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

“We are the ones who downed it by the grace of Allah, and we are not compelled to announce the method that brought it down,” al-Masri said defiantly, following the Sharm el-Sheikh to St. Petersburg jet crashing in the desert.

al-Masri’s jihadi group, which in the past had strong ties to Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood, has rebranded itself as an ISIS affiliate. Throughout this process, the Sinai Province (of the Islamic State) has continued its insurgent effort primarily focused on Egypt’s military and police.

Before joining the caliphatist ISIS, ABM had more immediate regional goals, such as plotting attacks against Egypt and Israel, strengthening its alliances with the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, and smuggling weapons into the Gaza Strip. Sinai Province has completed its objectives with some success, killing dozens over the past year alone and injuring hundreds more.

“Poison their food… Surveil them at home and in the street… destroy their homes with explosives if you can,” al-Masri said in a past message discussing Egyptian judges, a calling that was similar to countless more messages demanding the massacre of innocents.

ABM has been listed as a terrorist group by the United States and many other western nations. In November, 2014, the U.S. State Department added the Sinai Province as another alias of al-Masri’s terror organization.

In its initial terror designation of the Sinai-based organization, the U.S. State Department described the Islamic militant group as one that “shares some aspects” of Al Qaeda ideology and “generally maintains a local focus.”

Also see:

Patriarch of Antioch: Muslims Want to Conquer Europe with ‘Faith and the Birthrate’



Breitbart, by Thomas D. Williams, Nov. 6, 2015:

In a stunning interview, the Maronite patriarch of Antioch, Cardinal Bechara Boutros al-Rahi, has contended that Islam has a clear, two-pronged strategy to take over Europe: religion and procreation.

The cardinal said that Muslims look on Christians as weak and believe that since they have no children and barely practice their faith, Islam will easily conquer them. Sadly, he said, Muslims take their faith more seriously than most Christians, and they are gaining ground because of it.

“I have often heard from Muslims that their goal is to conquer Europe with two weapons: their faith and their birthrate,” al-Rahi said in a recent interview with Famiglia Cristiana, an Italian Catholic weekly magazine.

For the Muslims, the Cardinal said, “the practice of the faith is essential and fundamental. In Saudi Arabia they go to Friday prayers even if they need a walking stick. They know the Koran by heart, and when they talk they often cite it. The same is not true for Christians who do not refer either to the Bible or the teachings of the Church.”

The Muslims “believe that God’s will is to procreate and that marriage is aimed at this,” he said. “They think that numbers will give them the upper hand.”

Christians, however, “hardly get married anymore, and have few children,” he said.

The Cardinal also said that Muslims “identify anything that comes from the West as Christian per se. All Western politics is Christian politics, it is a new crusade. They say that Christians are the remains of the Crusades and of Western imperialism,” he said.

At the same time, al-Rahi sharply criticized the EU’s ineffective solutions to Europe’s migration crisis, arguing that the only way to end the chaos is by stopping the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

The 75-year-old cardinal is the Maronite Patriarch of the ancient city of Antioch, where Christianity has deep and millennial roots. He said that the ongoing conflict provoked by the Islamic State is forcing both Christians and moderate Muslims to emigrate from the Holy Land, so before all else, attention must be given to putting an end to the siege.

It is useless for Europe to quarrel over the reception of refugees without addressing the root cause of emigration from the Middle East, which is armed conflict, he said.

“The first thing to do to protect Christians in the Middle East is to end the war in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Palestine,” the Cardinal said. “European states quarrel with each other about the number of refugees to be admitted but do nothing to end the conflict.”

“The Middle East is emptying and leaving the field open to fundamentalist and terrorist organizations,” al-Rahi said. For some reason, he said, “States do not talk about it, the only one making appeals is Pope Francis.”

“Europe is talking about the reception of refugees, those who would like ten thousand and another who will take three thousand people, but this does not help us,” he said. “Europe should focus on the cause of migration, namely the war. You have to turn off the tap and ensure that Muslims and Christians will return to their lands.”

“A Middle East without Christians,” the Cardinal continued, “has no identity.”

“This is the place of all divine revelation. It is where Jesus took flesh, died and rose again. It is where the Church was born and began to proclaim the Gospel to the world,” he said.

Al-Rahi also noted that Christians resent being called a “minority” in the Middle East. We have been here for two thousand years, he said, “six hundred years before the arrival of Islam.”

“Just as Europe discusses how to preserve its identity, it is urgent that we do the same,” he said.

Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter @tdwilliamsrome

Obama’s Favorite Muslim Dictatorships


Frontpage, by Daniel Greenfield, Nov. 5, 2015:

Michelle Obama is heading to Qatar, a state sponsor of just about every Islamic terrorist group you can name, on a mission of “gender parity” accompanied by late night comedian Conan O’Brien.

That makes sense since the idea of equal rights for women in Qatar is a joke.

Qatar charges rape victims with adultery, has no law against domestic violence and women need permission from their male guardian to get an education, a driver’s license, a job or to leave the country.

Women aren’t equal in Qatar. They’re property.

But Qatar is one of Obama’s favorite Muslim dictatorships. Secretary of State John Kerry recently launched an economic dialogue with Qatar. Qatar got a free pass to smuggle weapons past the NATO blockade of Libya even though the administration knew the weapons were going to terrorists.

While Qatar was buying weapons from Sudan, a country whose leader is wanted for crimes against humanity, to pass along to Islamic terrorists in Syria, the State Department was clearing Qatar to buy American weapons. Qatar was, of course, a Clinton Foundation donor.

The Reagan administration had cracked down on Qatar for illegally getting its hands on Stinger missiles. The first Bush administration had forced Qatar to destroy them. But these days we are the arms dealer for a nasty tyranny that has ties to terrorists. Or as the State Department report politely stated, “U.S officials are aware of the presence of Hamas leaders, Taliban members, and designated Al Qaeda and Islamic State financiers in Qatar.” These nice folks share a country with U.S. Central Command.

Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the Al Qaeda bigwig who planned 9/11, was tipped off by a member of the Qatari royal family and the former Minister of the Interior which allowed him to escape.

That made it the perfect place to host the “moderate” Taliban for negotiations that went nowhere. It was also where Obama sent the 5 Taliban commanders after their release.

When meeting with the Emir, Obama claimed that “Qatar is a strong partner in our coalition to degrade and ultimately defeat ISIL.” But Qatar has allegedly funded and armed ISIS and other Al Qaeda groups. Islamic State financiers and supporters comfortably move around Qatar flying their ISIS freak flag.

Vice President Biden and Germany’s Development Aid Minister Gerd Mueller were forced to apologize for accusing Qatar of financing terrorists because some truths about our “ally” simply could not be spoken. Meanwhile an Egyptian intelligence document reportedly claimed that Qatar had provided anti-aircraft missiles to ISIS.

But Qatar is only Obama’s second favorite Muslim dictatorship and state sponsor of terror. Topping the list is Turkey, which just underwent another ugly Islamist election defined by accusations of fraud.

Obama had spoken of building a “model partnership” with Turkey between “a predominantly Christian nation and a predominantly Muslim nation”.  The United States, Obama said, is not “a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation”. He suggested that “modern Turkey was founded with a similar set of principles.” But the Turkish Republic has long since been ground under the wheels of Erdogan’s Islamist Turkey whose model is the Ottoman Empire and whose ruler lives in a billion dollar palace.

A little insight into Erdogan’s view of Islam can be gained from the fact that Turkey’s tyrant was once sent to prison for reciting an Islamic poem with the infamous lines, “The mosques are our barracks, the minarets our bayonets, the domes our helmets and the believers our soldiers.” It’s not surprising that Erdogan’s Turkey supports most of the same Islamic terrorist groups as Qatar including Hamas.

While Turkey still has elections, it is increasingly an Islamist one-party state where the political opposition, journalists, prosecutors and even police can be locked up by the forces of the regime.

And much of that controversy stems from a criminal investigation into arms smuggling to terrorists.

Having helped create the mess in Syria, Turkey has become a waypoint for Syrian Muslims invading Europe. Once shunned by Germany, whose Turkish Muslim settlers are his strongest base of support, the refugee crisis sent Merkel and the Europeans with hat in hand to beg Erdogan to stop the invasion.

But Obama has always been Erdogan’s faithful friend. When the Islamist wanted to build mosques in this part of the world, Communist Cuba turned him down, but he got his $100 million mega mosque in Maryland.  Millions calls Erdogan another Hitler, but Obama calls him “my friend.”

Another friend of Obama is the Sultan of Brunei. Obama called the Sultan, “My good friend” and rolled out a $6 billion green energy financing scheme for Brunei and Indonesia; two Muslim countries that violate human rights like it’s a spectator sport.

While Obama was palling around with the Sultan of Brunei, his “good friend” was bringing back Sharia law complete with stoning gays. The Sultan also banned Christmas and the Chinese New Year while urging “all races” to unite under Islamic law.

African Christian countries that outlawed homosexuality had faced pressure and criticism from the White House, but Obama had no lectures on human rights to offer his good Islamist friend.

Neither did Hillary Clinton whose Clinton Foundation had received millions of dollars from the regime.

But the most explosive allegations about Brunei, like those about Qatar and Turkey, involve Al Qaeda. In one of the more controversial uses of the “super-injunction” in UK law, the ex-wife of the Sultan had filed a gag order against a British businessman involving allegations that the Sultan of Brunei had met with a senior member of Al Qaeda, funded the terror group and even that “the claimant knew or suspected from conversations with her ex–husband that there would be major terrorist attacks on the UK (7/7) and Israel.” There is of course no way to verify the truth of these allegations. But the Islamization of Brunei parallels the goals of groups such as Al Qaeda and ISIS.

Obama has many “good friends” among the tyrants and terrorists of the Muslim world. But one of them is both a tyrant and a terrorist whose illegal regime is heavily subsidized by American taxpayers.

Muslim terrorists in Israel stabbed an 80-year-old woman and a 71-year-old man just this week. They did it because the PLO’s media operation, under President Abbas, told them it was their way to paradise.

Or as Abbas, the dictator whom Obama described as “someone who has consistently renounced violence”, said, “We bless every drop of blood, that has been spilled for Jerusalem…blood spilled for Allah…Every Martyr will reach Paradise.”

The blood includes the blood of elderly women and children, and the blood of families murdered together. Every murder is funded by US foreign aid because every terrorist knows that he can count on a lifetime salary from the PLO. The PLO paid out $144 million to terrorists last year alone.

Some terrorists have even confessed that they tried to kill Israelis to be able to pay off their debts.

Hillary Clinton and the State Department were sued by terror victims for funding terrorism in Israel. But nothing has changed. And when American terror victims won a lawsuit against the PLO in America, Obama’s people stepped in to protect the interests of the PLO against its victims.

The PLO is funded by hundreds of millions in American foreign aid. Over the years, $4.5 billion was spent on promoting “Palestinian democracy”. There is now less democracy than ever because Obama’s PLO pal doesn’t bother with elections. He just takes the money and runs a totalitarian terror state.

Obama’s favorite Muslim dictatorships are the opposite of everything that America stands for. They are places where human rights are a myth and terrorism a virtue. They are everything that we should reject. But instead their tyrants and terrorists are the good friends of their man in the White House.


Also see:

Moral Equivalence in the Middle East


The West has developed a dangerous concern for ‘proportionality.’

National Review, by Victor Davis Hanson — October 20, 2015:

In the current epidemic of Palestinian violence, scores of Arab youths are attacking, supposedly spontaneously, Israeli citizens with knives. Apparently, edged weapons have more Koranic authority, and, in the sense of media spectacle, they provide greater splashes of blood. Thus the attacker is regularly described as “unarmed” and a victim when he is “disproportionately” stopped by bullets.

The Obama State Department has condemned the use of “excessive” Israeli force in response to Palestinian terrorism. John Kirby, the hapless State Department spokesman, blamed “both” sides for terrorism, and the president himself called on attackers and their victims to “tamp down the violence.”

In short, the present U.S. government — which is subsidizing the Palestinians to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars a year — is incapable of distinguishing those who employ terrorist violence from the victims against whom the terrorism is directed. But why is the Obama administration — which can apparently distinguish those who send out drones from those who are blown up by them on the suspicion of employing terrorist violence — morally incapable of calling out Palestinian violence? After all, in the American case, we blow away suspects whom we think are likely terrorists; in the Israeli instance, they shoot or arrest those who have clearly just committed a terrorist act.

RELATED: The One-State Solution, Ctd.

Two reasons stand out.

One, Obama’s Middle East policies are in shambles. Phony red lines, faux deadlines, reset with Putin, surrendering all the original bargaining chips in the Iranian deal, snubbing Israel, cozying up to the Muslim Brotherhood, dismissing the threat of ISIS, allowing Iraq to collapse by abruptly pulling out all American troops, giving way to serial indecision in Afghanistan, ostracizing the moderate Sunni regimes, wrecking Libya, and setting the stage for Benghazi — all of these were the result of administration choices, not fated events. One of the results of this collapse of American power and presence in the Middle East is an emboldened Palestinian movement that has recently renounced the Oslo Accords and encouraged the offensive of edged weapons.

RELATED: The Obama Intifada

Mahmoud Abbas, the subsidized president of the self-proclaimed Palestinian State, and his subordinates have sanctioned the violence. Any time Palestinians sense distance between the U.S. and Israel, they seek to widen the breach. When the Obama team deliberately and often gratuitously signals its displeasure with Israel, then the Palestinians seek to harden that abstract pique into concrete estrangement.

Amid such a collapse of American power, Abbas has scanned the Middle East, surveyed the Obama pronouncements — from his initial Al Arabiya interview and Cairo speech to his current contextualizations and not-so private slapdowns of Netanyahu — and has wagered that Obama likes Israel even less than his public statements might suggest. Accordingly, Abbas assumes that there might be few consequences from America if he incites another “cycle of violence.”

RELATED: Palestinian Reasoning: Yield to Our Crazy Religious Intolerance or We’ll Kill You

The more chaos there is, the more CNN videos of Palestinian terrorists being killed by Israeli civilians or security forces, the more NBC clips of knife-wielding terrorists who are described as unarmed, and the more MSNBC faux maps of Israeli absorption of Palestine, so all the more the Abbas regime and Hamas expect the “international community” to force further Israeli concessions. The Palestinians hope that they are entering yet another stage in their endless war against Israel. But this time, given the American recessional, they have new hopes that the emerging Iran–Russia–Syria–Iraq–Hezbollah axis could offer ample power in support of the violence and could help to turn the current asymmetrical war more advantageously conventional. The Palestinians believe, whether accurately or not, that their renewed violence might be a more brutal method of aiding the administration’s own efforts to pressure the Israelis to become more socially just, without which there supposedly cannot be peace in the Middle East.


But there is a second, more general explanation for the moral equivalence and anemic response from the White House. The Obama “we are the ones we’ve been waiting for” administration is the first postmodern government in American history, and it has adopted almost all the general culture’s flawed relativist assumptions about human nature.

Affluent and leisured Western culture in the 21st century assumes that it has reached a stage of psychological nirvana, in which the Westernized world is no longer threatened in any existential fashion as it often was in the past. That allows Westerners to believe that they no longer have limbic brains, and so are no longer bound by Neanderthal ideas like deterrence, balance of power, military alliances, and the use of force to settle disagreements. Their wealth and technology assure them that they are free, then, to enter a brave new world of zero culpability, zero competition, and zero hostility that will ensure perpetual tranquility and thus perpetual enjoyment of our present material bounty.

RELATED: There Is No God But Hephaestus — And Fire Is His Messenger

Our children today play tee-ball, where there are no winners and losers — and thus they are schooled that competition is not just detrimental but also can, by such training, be eliminated entirely. Our adolescents are treated according to the philosophy of “zero tolerance,” in which the hero who stops the punk from bullying a weaker victim is likewise suspended from school. Under the pretense of such smug moral superiority, our schools have abdicated the hard and ancient task of distinguishing bad behavior from good and then proceeding with the necessary rewards and punishments. Our universities have junked military history, which schooled generations on how wars start, proceed, and end. Instead, “conflict resolution and peace studies” programs proliferate, in which empathy and dialogue are supposed to contextualize the aggressor and thus persuade him to desist and seek help — as if aggression, greed, and the desire for intimidation were treatable syndromes rather than ancient evils that have remained dangerous throughout history.

Human nature is not so easily transcended, just because a new therapeutic generation has confused its iPhone apps and Priuses with commensurate moral and ethical advancement. Under the canons of the last 2,500 years of Western warfare, disproportionality was the method by which aggressors were either deterred or stopped. Deterrence — which alone prevented wars — was predicated on the shared assumption that starting a conflict would bring more violence down upon the aggressor than he could ever inflict on his victim. Once lost, deterrence was restored usually by disproportionate responses that led to victory over and humiliation of the aggressive party.

The wreckage of Berlin trumped anything inflicted by the Luftwaffe on London. The Japanese killed fewer than 3,000 Americans at Pearl Harbor; the Americans killed 30 times that number of Japanese in a single March 10, 1945, incendiary raid on Tokyo. “They have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind” was the standard philosophy by which aggressive powers were taught never again to start hostilities. Defeat and humiliation led to peace and reconciliation.

The tragic but necessary resort to disproportionate force by the attacked not only taught an aggressor that he could not win the fight he had started, but also reminded him that his targeted enemy might not be completely sane, and thus could be capable of any and all retaliation.

Unpredictability and the fear sown by the unknown also help to restore deterrence, and with it calm and peace. In contrast, predictable, proportionate responses can reassure the aggressor that he is in control of the tempo of the war that he in fact started. And worse still, the doctrine of proportionality suggests that the victim does not seek victory and resolution, but will do almost anything to return to the status quo antebellum — which, of course, was disadvantageous and shaped by the constant threat of unexpected attack by its enemies.

Applying this to the Middle East, the Palestinians believe that the new American indifference to the region and Washington’s slapdowns of Netanyahu have reshuffled relative power. They now hope that there is no deterrent to violence and that, if it should break out, there will be only a proportionate and modest response from predictable Westerners.

Under the related doctrine of moral equivalence, Westerners are either unwilling or unable to distinguish the more culpable from the more innocent. Instead, because the world more often divides by 55 to 45 percent rather than 99 to 1 percent certainty, Westerners lack the confidence to make moral judgments — afraid that too many critics might question their liberal sensitivities, a charge that in the absence of dearth, hunger, and disease is considered the worst catastrophe facing an affluent Western elite.

The question is not only whether the Obama administration, in private, favors the cause of the radical Palestinians over a Western ally like Israel, but also whether it is even intellectually and morally capable of distinguishing a democratic state that protects human rights from a non-democratic, authoritarian, and terrorist regime that historically has hated the West, and the United States in particular — and is currently engaged in clear-cut aggression.

NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the author, most recently, of The Savior Generals.

The US Vacuum in the Middle East


The Gorka Briefing, by Sebastian Gorka, Oct 12, 2015:

The Obama administration created a vacuum in the Middle East and then ISIS moved in and now Russia is establishing a beachhead. I discuss this and more on the Sam Sorbo radio show. (17 min)

audio snip 2

Also see:

Expeditionary Warfare  Is the Russian venture in Syria a “Force Protection” or  Expeditionary War at quite a significant scale? NATO countries seem to be missing a common threat assessment over what Moscow is undertaking. I discuss these issues and more on the John Batchelor radio show. (9 min)

Hillary Clinton: Post-Qaddafi Libya Is ‘Smart Power At Its Best’

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

Breitbart, by John Hayward, Oct/ 14, 2015:

During the course of the Democratic Party debate on Tuesday night, Hillary Clinton was asked to defend her disastrous intervention in Libya. In response, Clinton hailed Libya as “smart power at its best,” capturing a delusion that appears to be very common in the current iteration of her Party: the belief that magical “coalitions” of good guys can be whistled into existence to handle foreign-policy crises.

If such a belief had any grounding in reality – and it doesn’t – Hillary Clinton has proven herself an exceptionally poor choice to be America’s Whistler-in-Chief.

Clinton’s remarks on Libya, from the Washington Post’s transcript, began as follows:

Well, let’s remember what was going on. We had a murderous dictator, Gadhafi, who had American blood on his hands, as I’m sure you remember, threatening to massacre large numbers of the Libyan people. We had our closest allies in Europe burning up the phone lines begging us to help them try to prevent what they saw as a mass genocide, in their words. And we had the Arabs standing by our side saying, “We want you to help us deal with Gadhafi.”

Our response, which I think was smart power at its best, is that the United States will not lead this. We will provide essential, unique capabilities that we have, but the Europeans and the Arabs had to be first over the line. We did not put one single American soldier on the ground in Libya. And I’ll say this for the Libyan people…

There is no shortage of murderous dictators with blood on their hands in the world. Whether Qaddafi was poised to carry out a “mass genocide” is a matter of considerable debate, not the open-and-shut case for intervention Clinton presents it as. “Killing a large number of your insurgent citizens” is not the definition of “genocide,” no matter how reprehensible it might be, or how richly an evil dictator deserves to be deposed.

The Democratic Party has been driven so utterly around the bend by its Bush-hating rhetoric, and its determination to score political points by losing the Iraq War, that it thinks the presence of American boots on the ground is the sole metric of military success. Clinton’s definition of “smart power at its best” is the United States launching a far more unilateral, unwise, and poorly-conducted war than Iraq, because Europeans pushed Clinton into it, and then Clinton badgered President Obama until he agreed.

Comparisons between Libya and Iraq are silly. Libya is much, much worse than Iraq, from inception to its current disastrous state. Unlike George Bush, President Obama did not secure congressional approval.  The Iraq intelligence on WMD may have been substantially mistaken – although, contrary to Democrat mythology, it most certainly was not entirely mistaken, as Saddam did indeed have WMD stocks – but that intelligence was sincere. Professional analysts in multiple nations believed it with a high level of confidence.

President Obama and Clinton dithered too long and missed the best moment to strike, if they were truly inclined to do so. By waiting until Qaddafi recovered from early defeats and drove his rebels back to the verge of slaughter, they weakened Libya and made it easier prey for ISIS, al-Qaeda, and the other bands of savages currently fighting for turf.

They worked hard to distract the American people from seeing the grisly fruits of their labors, which is one of the reasons the consulate in Benghazi was so disgracefully unprepared for a terrorist attack on Clinton’s watch – and that, in turn, is why she lied extravagantly about the nature of that terrorist attack during the 2012 election.  Then she worked overtime concealing her dereliction of duty and thwarting congressional oversight, which is why the Benghazi investigation she keeps complaining about is still in progress.

CNN moderator Anderson Cooper asked Clinton about those deaths in Benghazi, although he sadly missed the opportunity to challenge her to name the four dead men. Her response:

But let — I’ll get to that. But I think it’s important, since I understand Senator Webb’s very strong feelings about this, to explain where we were then and to point out that I think President Obama made the right decision at the time.

And the Libyan people had a free election the first time since 1951. And you know what, they voted for moderates, they voted with the hope of democracy. Because of the Arab Spring, because of a lot of other things, there was turmoil to be followed.

But unless you believe the United States should not send diplomats to any place that is dangerous, which I do not, then when we send them forth, there is always the potential for danger and risk.

Libya’s “free election” vote for “moderates” in the blossoming of the “Arab Spring” means absolutely nothing. The country is run by warlords and terror gangs, thanks to Clinton and Obama’s blunders. The “moderate” government can’t even sit in the capital of Tripoli, because a different gang controls that city. Clinton’s rival Jim Webb touched on this point after her remarks by saying, “Try to get to the Tripoli airport today. You can’t do it.”

The Arab Spring was no flowering of democracy – it was anarchy unleashed, followed by takeovers from organized Islamist thugs like the Muslim Brotherhood.

Our choice is not between getting ambassadors killed, and never sending them anyplace dangerous. Hillary Clinton oversaw the first death of an American ambassador in decades. Chris Stevens died because of her failures, not because he rolled the dice by going somewhere dangerous and came up snake eyes. He was sent into a terrorist hot zone with nonexistent protection, in stubborn defiance of several violent outbreaks in the area, with absolutely no “Plan B” to rescue him if anything went wrong. Brave men defied instructions and raced to his side, dying in battle against a terrorist enemy whose identity Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama lied about copiously to conceal for as long as possible.

The media action line Wednesday morning was that Clinton “won” the debate and firmed up her position as a front-running candidate. In truth, her competitors scored some points against her on Libya, including Webb pointing out her procedural errors: “We had no treaties at risk. We had no Americans at risk. There was no threat of attack or imminent attack. There is plenty of time for a president to come to the Congress and request authority to use military force in that situation.”

And even Martin O’Malley made a solid point about how badly Clinton and Obama fumbled the pre-war intelligence: “I think there’s lessons to be learned from Benghazi. And those lessons are that we need to do a much better job as a nation of having human intelligence on the ground so that we know who the emerging next generation leaders are that are coming up to replace a dictator when his time on this planet ends.”

None of that will matter much in the Democrat primary, because O’Malley is not a plausible candidate, while Webb is a plausible candidate for the Republican Party. But sharp Republican candidates should be able to see plenty of opportunities to hit Clinton hard on Libya, working from her ridiculous responses on Tuesday night. They should also clearly see that the debate moderators will not ask those questions for them.

If Libya was “smart power at its best,” we really don’t want to see what smart power at its worst looks like.

Also see:

IS Targets Kurdish Civilians in Ankara Bombing-Turkey Drags its Feet into Action

The ISIS Study Group, Oct. 13, 2015:

This past weekend had a lot going on, didn’t it? Aside from Iran’s conviction of an American journalist, testing of new ballistic missile technology and death of a senior IRGC officer in Syria, we had a suicide attack in Ankara, Turkey targeting Kurdish civilians. Just a little while ago the Erdogan government finally broke down and admitted that it was the work of the Islamic State (IS) – although we strongly suspect they did it kicking and screaming. They really wanted to pin that rose on the PKK – but that didn’t make any logical sense as the PKK doesn’t operate like that. Especially when they get a bigger bang for their buck by targeting hapless Turkish conscripts – which they do extremely well.

Turkish PM blames Ankara bombing on Islamic State

At least 86 killed in twin bombings near train station in Turkey’s capital

At least 86 killed in Turkey’s deadliest attack

The aftermath of the attack Source: The ISIS Study Group

The aftermath of the attack
Source: The ISIS Study Group

Reporting indicates two suicide bombers detonated themselves on Saturday. The target? a peace rally held by the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party or “HDP.” The demonstration’s participants had gathered to call for an end to the renewed conflict between the PKK and the Erdogan government and for the two sides to go after the real enemy – IS. Reporting on the casualties continue to fluctuate, but the numbers have consistently been between 86-90 people killed and another 186 wounded. This attack represents the worst attack Ankara has seen in a while.

First responders finally arrive to secure the scene Source: Defne Karadeniz (Getty Images)

First responders finally arrive to secure the scene
Source: Defne Karadeniz (Getty Images)

Of course the Kurdish community knew it was IS. They also knew that Erdogan will do the minimum amount of work required to demonstrate he’s “doing something” about a jihadist organization that he’s perfectly fine with operating inside his country – provided that they only target Kurds inside Turkey. Rallies were held in Istanbul as well as select locations in Germany and France slamming the Erdogan government for their slow reaction and failure to crackdown on IS as hard as they have the PKK. The protestors have a point, you know. In last year’s “The Real Turkish Agenda,” we discussed how in light of IS attacks against Kurdish refugees in Southern Turkey Erdogan decided to launch airstrikes against PKK positions – while the Kurdish group was actively fighting IS.

Turkey hit by protests over government response to suicide bombings

Pro-Kurdish ralliers slam Ankara twin blasts in Germany, France

The Real Turkish Agenda…

One of the many demonstrations that emerged in protest to the Erdogan government’s slow response to the Ankara attack Source: Sedat Suna (EPA)

One of the many demonstrations that emerged in protest to the Erdogan government’s slow response to the Ankara attack
Source: Sedat Suna (EPA)

Our 26 JUL 15 piece “The Curious Case of Turkey’s Military Action Against IS” covered a similar incident where IS executed a suicide bombing that killed 31 Kurdish activists trying to get humanitarian aid into Kobane. Erdogan’s response? He launched a “anti-IS campaign,” only the targets were predominately PKK and YPG personnel fighting IS in Northern Syria. That’s why the Kurdish community has so much anxiety right now. On one side they’re on the forefront of the battle of good vs. evil, civilization vs. anarchy. On the other side, they have an opportunistic Turkish head of state who desires to rid himself of his “Kurdish problem” and obtain supremacy of the Middle East region over Iran and Saudi Arabia. Erdogan’s refusing to lift a finger to help the besieged Peshmerga forces in the battle of Kobane was bad enough – but what he did last NOV and earlier this summer is something that makes the US government complicit in those actions whether President Obama likes it or not.

The Curious Case of Turkey’s Military Action Against IS

Situation in Kobane Bleak; Missed Opportunity for Coalition Forces

Source: Hachfeld (

Source: Hachfeld (

Erdogan is willing to “look the other way” as long as IS only targets the Kurds. That could change should IS decide to start targeting Westerners and Turkish citizens, but right now their arrangement with Erdogan appears to remain intact. Our loyal readers are fully aware of the arrangement made between Erdogan and the IS leadership where Turkey allows the easy passage of fighters and weapons into Syria with access to medical and Turkish financial institutions in exchange for limiting the violence inside Turkey to the Kurds (If this is your first time here, check out “The Emperor Has no Clothes – Erdogan Thinks he “Controls” IS”). Turkey apologists in the American IC will point to the “great things Erdogan did” to combat IS. Our counter to that is at what time were Erdogan’s security forces ever proactive in targeting IS cells operating inside the country? You see, the dirty little secret is the Turks will only go after IS when another country tells them about a specific threat or personality – otherwise they act like they don’t know what’s going on which is inaccurate. The Turkish security forces know a great deal what goes on in their country, especially when it comes to the PKK, IRGC-Qods Force and Hezbollah, yet we’re made to believe they’re “not aware” of the heavy IS presence in their own country. This is no different than the Pakistani government’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) relationship with the Haqqani Network. They claim to be “reliable allies” in the fight against IS, but all the evidence points to the contrary – just as it did for Pakistan during the OEF years. We don’t trust a thing Erdogan or his flunkies say regarding IS – and neither should the US government. Its time that the Obama administration reevaluate our relationship with Erdogan.

The Emperor Has no Clothes – Erdogan Thinks he “Controls” IS

Screen-Shot-2015-10-12-at-11.46.14-AMYeah we know trying to figure out how we could possibly trust Turkey is quite the head-scratcher; we’re just going to have to trust the likes of Marie Harf (a potential advisor for VP Biden should he run in the 2016 election) because she wears glasses and a “Masters Degree” – because, you know, this administration “knows more” than we do
Source: The ISIS Study Group

Other Related Articles:

Why Do We Still Consider Turkey an “Ally?”

Is Turkey a Reliable Partner In The Fight Against ISIS?

Turkey Evacuates the Tomb of Suleiman Shah

Reports are Credible that Turkey Swapped 180 Islamic State Prisoners for its 46 Diplomats

Biden Turkey Visit Highlights the Failure of US Foreign Policy

VP Biden Makes Apology to US Coalition Partners Turkey and UAE

Turks increasingly sympathetic to Islamic State – Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

Update on the Baghdad and Kobane Fronts

Kurdish Fighters Help Islamic State Group Militants in Battle for Key Syrian Town of Kobani

Also see:

How America Should Respond to Russia’s Syria Venture: A Guide

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Breitbart, by  ADMIRAL JAMES A. “ACE” LYONS, Oct. 8, 2015:

To respond to Russia’s military campaign in Syria, first, we have to be realistic about the facts on the ground. Iraq and Syria, for all practical purposes, are failed states.

There is no chance that either Iraq or Syria will ever be reconstituted as mandated by theSykes-Picot Agreement of 1916, which basically divided up control or influence over the Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire between France and England.

Since the combined remaining military forces of Hezbollah, the Iranian Quds Force and Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad have not been sufficient to assure Assad’s survival, Russia’s deployment of its air and marine ground forces to an airbase at Latakia, Syria should have come as no surprise. The preparations for this deployment clearly have gone on for some time. Our intelligence community certainly must have detected these preparations as well as the pre-deployment of surface-to-air missile batteries to the Latakia airbase about two months ago.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s objectives are very clear. Notwithstanding his statements that his main objective is to defeat the Islamic State, he intends to support the retention of Syrian President Assad in power at all costs. In that sense, he will confront all the Sunni militias, including Jabhat al-Nusra, Ahrar al-Sham, as well as ISIS, which threaten the Assad regime. The announcement by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi that Iraq intends to share intelligence with Syria and Russia, plus his statement that he would welcome Russian air strikes against ISIS in Iraq, clearly adds a new dimension to Russia’s involvement. Should Putin expand Russian involvement into Iraq, it would certainly provide some balance to the theory of an emerging Damascus-Baghdad-Beirut-Tehran-Moscow axis. Another complicating factor is the deployment of the Russian cruiser, Moskva, armed with 64 advanced S-300 surface-to-air missiles. This is one of Russia’s most advanced air defense systems and may indicate that Russia is taking over air defense responsibilities for Syria.

The survival of both the Syrian and Iraqi regimes are key elements in the “unwritten plan” for Iranian regional hegemony.  However, President Obama’s apparent complicity with the Russian deployment of military forces and suggestion that they could be even a stabilizing factor fits right in with his “leading from behind” strategy. Our enemies clearly view this strategy as weakness and will continue to exploit the power vacuum created by our lack of leadership. It will provide further substance to a Tehran-Baghdad-Beirut-Damascus-Moscow axis for Iranian regional dominance.

Such a strategy certainly will not be welcomed by Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, UAE, Jordan, or for that matter, our ally Israel.  Clearly, Sunni opposition to Shiite domination will ensure that a chaotic situation will remain for the foreseeable future. Other complicating factors will be how long Israel decides to wait before launching a strike to destroy Iran’s key nuclear infrastructure, and how long it will be before Saudi Arabia and its Sunni allies obtain their own nuclear weapons capability.

In the current complicated and dangerous situation, what is the most sensible course for the U.S. to follow to protect our interests and regional allies, given our lack of leadership, which is clearly evident? We have nothing to gain by further involving U.S. forces in what should be recognized as failed states – Syria and Iraq. In this sense, our principal objectives remain the prevention of Iran from achieving a nuclear weapons capability and the removal of the corrupt jihadist Iranian theocracy. Let’s not forget, the removal of Bashar al-Assad from Syria is a principal objective pushed by the Muslim Brotherhood and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey. Leaders in the Middle East will follow the “strong horse.” With President Obama’s “leading from behind” strategy, Putin has become the strong horse!

There have been recent calls for the establishment of a “no-fly zone” over so-called moderate rebel areas. The window for such action was closed once Russia completed its military force deployment and commenced air strikes. It makes no sense to create a situation that elevates this classic Sunni-Shiite conflict into a potential direct U.S.-Russian conflict. With our current weak and inept leadership, the current chaotic situation needs to be kept at the lowest possible conflict level. Therefore, steps that the United Stated could take that would require no further commitment of U.S forces, but would complicate Russia’s and Iran’s ability to achieve their objectives, would be the following:

  1. To counter recent Russian and Chinese naval deployments off Syria, we should deploy a Carrier Strike Group to the Eastern Mediterranean. This would send a very positive signal to our NATO allies as well as to Egypt and Israel.
  2. We should establish a Forward Operating Base (FOB) in Kurdistan by redistribution of in-theater air resources to include F-16’s, A-10’s, C-130 gunships and AH-1 attack helicopters.
  3. Provide direct military equipment to Kurdistan’s Peshmerga military forces.  With Baghdad clearly aligned with Tehran, Damascus and Moscow, it makes no sense to continue sending military equipment for the Peshmerga through Baghdad, from which it is never passed on.
  4. Support the establishment of a sovereign Kurdistan. They have been a loyal, reliable ally along with Israel. Such action would clearly complicate the situation for Iran, but also for Turkey, which should be manageable.
  5. We should be providing direct defensive military equipment to Ukraine to counter Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine. We should also provide more direct support in terms of NATO forces to the Baltic States to preempt potential Russian aggressive moves.

The above actions are what we should be doing to protect our interests in the region, as well as those of our allies. Such action would complicate and make it more costly for Russia and Iran to achieve their objectives and possibly prevent a nuclear arms race in this most unstable region.

James A. Lyons, U.S. Navy retired Admiral, has served as commander-in-chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet and senior
U.S. military representative to the United Nations.