ISIS-beheading-Christians-Libya-ap-640x480Breitbart, by John Hayward, Sep. 28, 2015:

President Obama’s address to the U.N. General Assembly on Monday morning was a rambling journey through a fantasy world where his foreign policy hasn’t been an unmitigated disaster.

Perhaps the most bizarre moment came when he tried to tout his Libyan adventure as asuccess.

There was plenty of tough-guy posturing that intimidated absolutely no one.  The Russian and Iranian delegations were especially good at looking bored and unimpressed when he called upon them to do this-or-that because The World supposedly demanded it. Obama hasn’t figured out he’s the only leader at the U.N. eager to sacrifice his nation’s interests to please The World.

Obama made the weird decision to vaguely threaten Russia over its invasion of Ukraine by claiming that The World would not stand idly by and allow it… when that’s exactly what The World, and especially First Citizen of the World Barack Obama, has been doing.  He essentially pleaded with Iran to stop supporting terrorist proxies and pursuing its aggressive regional ambitions, and focus on their economy instead.  (Of course, in Obama’s vigorous imagination, the U.S. has been enjoying an economic boom under his stewardship, instead of an endless grinding non-recovery and limp, sporadic growth, after Obama’s spending doubled the national debt in a single presidency.)

It was bad enough that the President talked about American troops coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan as the triumphant conclusion of an effective policy, rather than the hideous blunder that allowed ISIS to create a terror state, al-Qaeda to rise from the ashes, and the Taliban to begin planning its return to power.  At the same moment Obama was speaking, the Taliban was conducting a major offensive in Afghanistan, on par with the importance of ISIS taking Mosul in Iraq.  Obama’s pitifully small “New Syrian Force” of U.S.-backed rebels just handed a good deal of its American equipment over to al-Qaeda, and no one really knows what became of the unit itself.  Their predecessors were destroyed by al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front in Syria, with less than half a dozen survivors still on the field.

When Obama boasted of the Libyan operation as the successful removal of a tyrant, jaws must have hit the floor around the room.  Libya is an unholy disaster, a wasteland of warlords fighting to keep ISIS off their turf.  It’s a key gateway for the incredible migratory tide blasting out of Africa and the Middle East and now surging across Europe.  And yet, Obama portrays it as laudable example of tyrant removal… while modestly admitting that “our coalition could have, and should have, done more to fill a vacuum left behind.”

Of course he blamed everyone else in the “coalition” for the disaster in Libya.  He’s Barack Obama.  The day may come when he takes responsibility for something, but today is not that day, and tomorrow isn’t looking good either.

The scary thing about Obama is that he believes so completely in the power of his own rhetoric.

He thinks he can reshape reality with his words.  When he scolds the Iranians for their “Death to America!” rhetoric by saying bloodthirsty chants don’t create jobs, he’s asking Iran to live up to the silly talking points he foisted off on the American people to cover the Iranian nuclear deal.  He’s commanding Iran to act like the enlightened, responsible nation-state he gambled the future of Israel, America, and much of the Western world on.

The Iranians, on the other hand, see no reason to knock off the “Death to America!” chants, disband their theocracy, and begin spending their days arguing about stimulus bills.  Belligerence has gotten them everything so far.  They’ve been rewarded for it… by Barack Obama.  They’ve got $150 billion in sanctions relief coming their way.  They can afford to send a few guys to sit in the U.N. General Assembly with pissy expressions on their faces while Obama rambles on about how geo-political crime does not pay.  They know for a fact it pays, quite handsomely.  The Iranians are already using their Obama loot to reinforce terror proxies like Hamas and Hezbollah, and secure Bashar Assad in power.

Ah, yes, Bashar Assad… the dictator Obama still blathers on about removing from power, even as his own diplomatic apparatus gets used to the idea Assad is not going anywhere.  The only really good part of Obama’s speech was when he spent five seconds glaring at the Syrian ambassador before launching into his denunciation of barrel bombs and chemical weapons.  But you know what?  That Syrian ambassador gets paid enough to take a few seconds of hairy eyeball from the ineffectual American president.  The Russians are smoothly replacing American influence across the Middle East, in partnership with Iran.  The new order is taking shape.  Obama isn’t going to reverse that process by telling aggressive, bare-knuckle conquerors they should be ashamed of themselves.

The other dangerous thing about this delusional President is his belief in the “judgment of history.”

He’s constantly hitting on the idea that all of the world’s villains are on the wrong side of history, and will find themselves buried in the sands of time any day now.  It’s a dodge, a way of Obama evading responsibility.  Bashar Assad is going to remerge from the Wrong Side of History in pretty good shape.  ISIS is very comfortable there, as is Iran.  Qaddafi didn’t assume room temperature because History caught up with him. Vladimir Putin has a lovely view of Crimea from the wrong side of history.  The history of Europe is being reshaped by the tramping of a million “refugee” feet.

In every example, Obama clings to the idea that he can change the world by talking and scoring debate points, while his adversaries seize territory and control the course of events.  It’s not as though Obama has some deep-seated reluctance to use deadly force – there have been a lot of deaths by drone strike since he won that Nobel Peace Prize.  What Obama lacks is commitment.  His foreign policy is all about gestures and distractions.  He cooks up half-baked plans that will blow up a terrorist here and there, so he can’t be accused of doing “nothing,” but he won’t do anything that could cost him political capital at home.  Even Libya was half-hearted and calculated for minimum risk, which is why the place went to an even deeper Hell after Qaddafi was overthrown.

Obama talks as if he’s taken action against numerous crises, but all he ever did was talk about them.  The men of action are stacking up bodies, and raising flags over conquered cities, while this President is writing speeches and trying to win applause from editorial boards.  The men of action know that Obama’s promises all have expiration dates, his vows of action always have escape clauses, and no matter how he loves to boast that he heads up the most powerful military the world has ever seen, he’s done everything he can to make it weaker.

President Obama is still clinging to a romantic vision of the “Arab Spring” as a flourishing of democracy, despite all evidence to the contrary.  He’s giving the same foreign policy speeches he gave in 2009 because he can’t bear to live in the world he made.  He talks about filling vacuums and voids… but those voids are already filled, by hard characters with plans to make the most of the extraordinary opportunity Barack Obama afforded them.



Brigitte Gabriel’s Speech at Values Voter Summit


Breitbart, by Robert Wilde, Sep. 26, 2014:

Brigitte Gabriel, an Arab Christian, who as a young girl was a victim of radical Islam during the Lebanese Civil War, joined Breitbart’s Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon and Editor-in-chief Alexander Marlow on Breitbart News Saturday, broadcasting live at the Values Voter Summit in Washington D.C.

In her book Because They Hate, Gabriel recounts that in 1975 when she was 10-years-old living in southern Lebanon, militant Muslims from throughout the Middle East poured into her country and declared jihad against the Lebanese Christians. For over seven years Brigitte and her family lived in an underground bomb shelter. Her experience qualifies her well to speak about the current invasion of “migrants” into Europe from Northern Africa and the Middle East.

The first thing grass roots organizations in America have to do is to stop the “refugees” from these foreign countries from coming to Europe and America, the author and expert on Islamic terrorism insists.

Gabriel, the founder and President of Act for America, who  lectures internationally about national security and current affairs, told Bannon and Marlow that her group has 930 chapters working to protect America. “We do not want any ‘Syrian’ refugees coming into the country” she asserted.

Gabriel claims that they are not really Syrian refugees anyway. “They are people from Libya, Tunisia, Eritrea, Egypt, the Horn of Africa. They are not only people that are escaping wars, but they are people seeking economic freedom. T’hey are people trying to suck off of the people from the West. They know they can get a free ticket for money. They are not coming here to build empires and become great business men and entrepreneurs. They are coming here to get the free checks from you and me who work very hard to pay our taxes.”

Other issues that bother the Lebanon native about “refugees” are that terrorists embed themselves in the migrant population. Gabriel points out that last week an ISIS recruiter turned up in a vetting of a pool of migrants in Germany.

Moreover, she explained that the other countries in the Middle East are not taking them in. “What better place for these so-called Middle Eastern refugees to go than the ones in their own region, where they can write and speak Arabic.”

Gabriel suggest that “they should go to Saudi Arabia, a very wealthy Middle Eastern country, or Dubai. I mean look at Dubai. They have money growing on trees in Dubai. Kuwait, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi.”

Bannon asked the Middle East expert,if it is an overstatement to call what is happening in Europe an invasion. “It is not an overstatement,” she replied. “Europe will no longer be Europe by 2050. Europe has already become Eurabia. Europe is Eurabia right now.”

Gabriel spoke of the inception of this transformation that should send chills down the spine of every American. “What happened in Europe, ever since they started bringing the Muslims workers to rebuild Europe in the 1970s after the war, was to bring them in under a guest-worker program. Does that word sound familiar? We’ll let them come in and work for two years and they will go back and then we will bring new workers. I will pay them less money and we don’t have to do the dirty jobs.”

The Europeans began to enjoy the cheap labor so much that they created a “family reunification  program.” Now the Muslims could stay and work with their families nearby and the Europeans felt better about themselves. The problem, Gabriel pointed out, is that the Muslim men tend to have multiple marriages and reproduce at a rate that has caused a huge Muslim population crisis in many of the countries. Many of the men now don’t work and live on welfare, she stated.

The entire phenomenon has morphed Europe, making it unrecognizable over the last forty years, claims Gabriel. The mistake Germany made by inviting all the “refugees” over the last month is that they “reacted on emotions and they were not thinking,” said the leading Middle Eastern anti-refugee activist. “They have no intention of assimilating into Western culture,” Gabriel asserted.


Also see:

Middle East Provocations and Predictions

by Daniel Pipes
Mackenzie Institute
September 9, 2015

The Middle East stands out as the world’s most volatile, combustible, and troubled region; not coincidentally, it also inspires the most intense policy debates – think of the Arab-Israeli conflict or the Iran deal. The following tour d’horizon offers interpretations and speculations on Iran, ISIS, Syria-Iraq, the Kurds, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel, Islamism, then concludes with some thoughts on policy choices. My one-sentence conclusion: some good news lies under the onslaught of misunderstandings, mistakes, and misery.


Iran is Topic No. 1 these days, especially since the nuclear deal the six great powers reached with its rulers in Vienna on July 14. The “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action” seeks to bring Tehran in from the cold, ending decades of hostility and inducing Iran to become a more normal state. In itself, this is an entirely worthy endeavor.

The problem lies in the execution, which has been execrable, rewarding an aggressive government with legitimacy and additional funding, not requiring serious safeguards on its nuclear arms program, and permitting that program in about a decade. The annals of diplomacy have never witnessed a comparable capitulation by great powers to an isolated, weak state.

The Iranian leadership has an apocalyptic mindset and preoccupation with the end of days that does not apply to the North Koreans, Stalin, Mao, the Pakistanis or anyone else. Supreme Leader Ali Khamene’i et al. have reason to use these weapons for reasons outside of the normal military concerns – to bring on the end of the world. This makes it especially urgent to stop them.

Ali Khamene'i (r) is often placed along side Ayatollah Khomeini in Iranian iconography.

Ali Khamene’i (r) is often placed along side Ayatollah Khomeini in Iranian iconography.

Economic sanctions, however, amount to a sideshow, even a distraction. The Iranian government compares to the North Korean in its absolute devotion to building these weapons and its readiness to do whatever it takes, whether mass starvation or some other calamity, to achieve them. Therefore, no matter how severely applied, the sanctions only make life more difficult for the Iranian leadership without actually stopping the nuclear buildup.

The only way to stop the buildup is through the use of force. I hope the Israeli government – the only one left that might take action – will undertake this dangerous and thankless job. It can do so through aerial bombardment, special operations, or nuclear weapons, with option #2 both the most attractive and the most difficult.

If the Israelis do not stop the bomb, a nuclear device in the hands of the mullahs will have terrifying consequences for the Middle East and beyond, including North America, where a devastating electromagnetic pulse attack must be considered possible.

To the contrary, if the Iranians do not deploy their new weapons, it is just possible that the increased contact with the outside world and the disruption caused by inconsistent Western policies will work to undermine the regime.


The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (aka ISIS, ISIL, Islamic State, Daesh) is the topic that consumes the most attention other than Iran. I agree with Ron Dermer, the Israeli ambassador to Washington, that Iran is a thousand times more dangerous than ISIS. But ISIS is also a thousand times more interesting. Plus, the Obama administration finds it a useful bogeyman to justify working with Tehran.

Emerging out of almost nowhere, the group has taken Islamic nostalgia to an unimagined extreme. The Saudis, the ayatollahs, the Taliban, Boko Haram, and Shabaab each imposed its version of a medieval order. But ISIS went further, replicating as best it can a seventh-century Islamic environment, down to such specifics as public beheading and enslavement.

This effort has provoked two opposite responses among Muslims. One is favorable, as manifested by Muslims coming from Tunisia and the West, attracted moth-like to an incandescently pure vision of Islam. The other, more important, response is negative. The great majority of Muslims, not to speak of non-Muslims, are alienated by the violent and flamboyant ISIS phenomenon. In the long term, ISIS will harm the Islamist movement (the one aspiring to apply Islamic law in its entirety) and even Islam itself, as Muslims in large numbers abominate ISIS.

One thing about ISIS will likely last, however: the notion of the caliphate. The last caliph who actually gave orders ruled in the 940s. That’s the 940s, not the 1940s, over a thousand years ago. The reappearance of an executive caliph after centuries of figurehead caliphs has prompted considerable excitement among Islamists. In Western terms, it’s like someone reviving the Roman Empire with a piece of territory in Europe; that would get everybody’s attention. I predict the caliphate will have a lasting and negative impact.

Syria, Iraq, and the Kurds

In certain circles, Syria and Iraq have come to be known as Suraqiya, joining their names together as the border has collapsed and they have each simultaneously been divided into three main regions: a Shiite-oriented central government, a Sunni Arab rebellion, and a Kurdish part that wants out.

This is a positive development; there’s nothing sacred about the British-French Sykes-Picot agreement of 1916 which created these two polities. Quite the contrary, that accord has proven an abject failure; conjure up the names of Hafez al-Assad and Saddam Hussein to remember why. These miserable states exist for the benefit of their monstrous leaders who proceed to murder their own subjects. So, let them fracture into threes, improving matters for the locals and the outside world.

As Turkish-backed Sunni jihadis fight Iranian-backed Shi’i jihadis in Suraqiya, the West should stand back from the fighting. Neither side deserves support; this is not our fight. Indeed, these two evil forces at each others’ throats means they have less opportunity to aggress on the rest of the world. If we do wish to help, it should be directed first to the many victims of the civil war; if we want to be strategic, help the losing side (so neither side wins).

As for the massive flow of refugees from Syria: Western governments should not take in large numbers but instead pressure Saudi Arabia and other rich Middle Eastern states to offer sanctuary. Why should the Saudis be exempt from the refugee flow, especially when their country has many advantages over, say, Sweden: linguistic, cultural, and religious compatibility, as well as proximity and a similar climate.

The rapid emergence of a Kurdish polity in Iraq, followed by one in Syria, as well as a new assertiveness in Turkey and rumblings in Iran are a positive sign. Kurds have proven themselves to be responsible in a way that none of their neighbors have. I say this as someone who, 25 years ago, opposed Kurdish autonomy. Let us help the Kurds who are as close to an ally as we have in the Muslim Middle East. Not just separate Kurdish units should come into existence but also a unified Kurdistan made up from parts of all four countries. That this harms the territorial integrity of those states does not present a problem, as not one of them works well as presently constituted.

Read more



Frontpage, by Bruce Thornton, September 11, 2015:

The terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 should have been a rude awakening from the dogmatic slumbers of the previous decade. Instead, after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the West went on a vacation from history. The seeming triumph of liberal democracy and free-market capitalism convinced many that all we had left to do was to oversee the inevitable triumph of the Western paradigm throughout the world. Unfortunately, the “world,” especially the Islamic ummah, had other plans, ones that our own bad ideas and cultural dogmas have advanced.

Most broadly, the centuries-long belief that all peoples everywhere are embryonic Westerners should have been shattered by the slaughter in Manhattan and at the Pentagon. The attacks were a horrifically graphic reminder that our core ideals––human rights, sex equality, tolerance of difference, peaceful coexistence, personal and political freedom, material prosperity, the separation of church and state, free speech, and consensual government founded on law––were historical anomalies rather than the destiny of all humanity.

The 19 murderers were acting on a radically different set of ideals and principles––the doctrines of Islam that had destroyed the mighty Byzantine and Persian Empires, and that had invaded, plundered, and occupied southern Europe for 1000 years. We should have learned that nearly a quarter of the world’s people still take seriously what we have reduced to a life-style choice––faith in a transcendent power for whose commands the believer will kill and die, and whose spiritual imperatives trump freedom, human rights, and all the other goods we desire.

At the same time we indulged this universalism, we incoherently endorsed multiculturalism, a doctrine of cultural relativism­­––the idea that all cultures and their differences are equally good and admirable, that no basis exists for judging a culture or saying one is better than another, and that to say one is better is insensitive ethnocentrism or even racism. September 11 should have exposed this superstition as a dangerous lie, and reminded us that all cultures and social practices are not equal. Islamic sharia law, which codifies beliefs founded on fossilized tradition, intolerance, sex apartheid, and justified violence against infidels, are not just “different,” but inferior, for they limit human potential and flourishing by restricting individual freedom.

The next lesson of September 11 should have been the dangerous consequences of the anti-Americanism rife not just in the Middle East and Third World, but among many Europeans and Americans themselves. In the months after the attack numerous American and European intellectuals opined that America had in one way or another “deserved” the attacks. As Obama’s pastor Jeremiah Wright put it, the attacks were “chickens coming home to roost,” and America was paying for its numerous imperialist and racist crimes. This fashionable superstition, whose ultimate origins lie in communist propaganda, had hardened into stale clichés and an unthinking reflex triggered by international envy and resentment of America’s success, and by self-loathing and guilt on the part of Americans who enjoy biting the hand that fattens them.

In fact, there has never been a great power with the cultural, economic, and military resources of America that has been as restrained in using that power. Muslims in particular have benefited from America’s dominance, which saved hundreds of thousands of Muslims in the Balkans and Iraq, and even after 9/11, liberated millions more from the psychopathic Saddam Hussein and the vicious Taliban. Contrary to anti-American propaganda, the U.S. wasn’t targeted by al Qaeda for its alleged “crimes” against Islam, a specious pretext bin Laden cooked up to appeal to self-hating Westerners and rally disaffected Muslims, but for being the world hegemon that wields the power and influence the faithful believe Allah has destined for his believers. We should have learned on 9/11 that as a great power, we will be hated, envied, and resented merely for our existence, and that there is no number of good deeds we can perform to make like us those whose culture and traditions teach that they must hate us.

We also should have learned that our abysmal ignorance of history lies behind the demonization of the United States and our blindness to the reality of Islam. Too many of us endorse the lie that the U.S. has been a racist colonial and imperial power, oppressing and exploiting people across the globe, even as we gush over myths about Islamic “tolerance” and cultural achievements, and ignore the 1000-year record of Imperial Islam’s invasion, conquest, colonization, slaving, slaughter, raiding, and plundering of Christian lands. No better example of this ignorance has been the President, who has decried the Crusades––an attempt to liberate lands that had been Christian for over six centuries from their Muslim conquerors and overlords––and the Spanish Inquisition, whose toll of dead in its whole existence is about the same as the 5000 Jews slaughtered over a few days in Muslim Granada in 1066. Without history to provide the context for evaluating human behavior, we are vulnerable to the propaganda and duplicitous pretexts of the jihadists.

Finally, we should have connected the ignorance of history to the delusional utopianism that infects the West. The carnage on 9/11 should have restored the tragic vision of human existence, the recognition that humans flawed by destructive passions in a brutal indifferent world of chance, change, and death will never create heaven on earth. We should have relearned what our fathers and grandfather knew in World War II: that good men sometimes have to do things they’d rather not in order to keep bad men from prevailing; that the question is not whether people live or die, but whether some people die today so more people don’t die later; that hard, brutal choices have to be made in order to protect our civilization and its cherished goods like freedom and human rights. The simple fact is, if we had fought World War II the way we are fighting the war against jihadists and the states that nourish them, we would have lost.

The last decade and a half, especially the presidency of Barack Obama, has confirmed that many Americans, most on the left, did not learn those lessons. They still think the Middle East can be fixed by more democracy or economic development, since those peoples just want what we want, freedom, peace, and prosperity. Perhaps some do, but millions want more to live in obedience to Allah and restore the dominance Muslims enjoyed for 1000 years.

These Americans still practice a morally idiotic multiculturalism that idealizes the enemy, rationalizes or ignores Islam’s illiberal beliefs and sanctified violence, and proscribes as “hate speech” anybody who speaks the truth about Islam based on its 14 centuries of doctrine and practice. Even the terms “Islamic” and “jihadist” have been erased from our government’s discourse, and jihadist attacks described as “workplace violence” or their perpetrators called vague “extremists.”

These willfully ignorant Americans still indulge a self-loathing that reflexively blames America for all the world’s ills, and as such emboldens our enemies to persevere in the face of our civilizational failure of nerve. They still know nothing of history, refusing to put America’s actions in the context of what other great powers have done, and remaining oblivious to the bloodstained history of Islamic aggression. There is no better example of this cultural neurosis than Obama’s 2009 Cairo speech, in which he apologized for “colonialism” and flattered the mythic achievements of Muslim Cordoba for the benefit of the jihadist Muslim Brothers sitting in the front row.

Finally, the unschooled pursue utopian ideals that claim civilizational order and peace can be maintained without brutal violence, that wars can be fought without all the permanent horrible consequences of mass violence, that conflict with inveterate enemies can be resolved with talk or material rewards, and that economic development and esteem-boosting flattery of an illiberal religion and culture can transform the faith-based identity of the jihadist into something more like us––all delusions evident in Obama’s disastrous deal with Iran.

Three thousand dead and a multi-billion dollar hit to our economy on 9/11 were not enough to school those still clinging to their delusions. But as the Romans said, experience is the teacher of fools. The implosion of the Middle East and the probability of a nuclear-armed Iran suggest that class is still in session, and more hard lessons are on the way.

Hewitt trips up Trump on foreign policy

Hugh HewittWashington Examiner, By AL WEAVER, Sep. 3, 2015:

With the second GOP debate only two weeks away, Donald Trump may need to do some cramming on foreign policy to catch up to his peers.

Trump admitted in a Thursday interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt that he does not know some of the nuts and bolts issues on the world stage, particularly the names of terror leaders and other players in the Middle East. He also didn’t know the difference between Hamas and Hezbollah.

From the outset, Hewitt, who is set to ask questions at the debate on Sept. 16, quizzed the GOP front-runner on a series of issues pertaining to the Middle East. He asked if Trump knew about Gen. Qasem Soleimani, a major general in the Iranian Army.

“Yes,” Trump said with some doubt in his voice. “Go ahead, give me a little — go ahead, tell me.”

When Hewitt explained that Soleimani is the head of the Quds Force, which he likened to the U.S. Navy SEALs, Trump began talking about the Kurdish forces in Turkey.

“I think the Kurds, by the way, have been horribly mistreated by us…” Trump said before Hewitt corrected him. The real estate mogul explained that he heard the name wrong.

“Is he the gentleman that was going back and forth with Russia and meeting with [Vladimir] Putin? I read something — that seems to be, also, where he’s at. He’s going back and forth meeting with other countries, etc. etc.,” Trump asked. Hewitt responded affirmatively.

“Not good. Not good for us,” Trump said. “And what it shows is a total lack of respect, I mean that the other countries would even be entertaining him, and they’re entertaining him big league. Big league.”

Hewitt went on to ask Trump if he knew the “players” in the Middle East “without a scorecard” after rattling off four high-level players from the region such as Hassan Nasrallah, secretary general of Hezbollah, and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State.

“No,” Trump responded. “You know, I’ll tell you, honestly, I think by the time we get to office, they’ll all be changed. They’ll be all gone. I knew you were going to ask me things like this and there’s no reason because, 1.) I will hopefully find Gen. Douglas McArthur in the pack. I will find whoever it is that I’ll find and … but they’re all changing.”

“Those are like history questions. ‘Do you know this one, do you know that one,'” Trump said. “As far as the individual players, of course I don’t know them. I’ve never met them. I haven’t been in a position to meet them. If they’re still there, which is unlikely in many cases — but if they’re still there, I will know them better than I know you.”

Trump went on to tell the host that he was asking “gotcha questions” about the Middle Eastern leaders, adding that by the time he becomes commander in chief, “I will be so good at the military, your head will spin.”

Near the end of the 20-minute segment, Hewitt told Trump that he disagreed with the assertion that he was asking “gotcha” questions. The host said that at the debate on Sept. 16, he may ask the candidates about the leaders of Hezbollah, al-Nusra and Hamas. Does Trump think those are gotcha questions?

“Yes, I do. I totally do,” Trump said to a mystified Hewitt. “I think it’s ridiculous. I’m a delegator. I find great people. I find absolutely great people and I’ll find them in our armed services, and I find absolutely great people.”

“When you start throwing around names of people and where they live and, you know, give me their address — I think it’s ridiculous,” Trump said. “By the way, the names you just mentioned, they probably won’t even be there in six months or a year … First day in office, or before then — the day after the election, I’ll know more about it than you will ever know. I can tell you that.”

“Last question: So the difference between Hezbollah and Hamas does not matter to you yet, but it will?” Hewitt asked.

“It will when it’s appropriate. I will know more about it than you know and believe me, it won’t take me long,” Trump said. “And if you ask any of these candidates, nobody’s going to be able to give you an answer. I mean, there may be one that’s studied it because they’re expecting a fresh question from you. But believe me, it won’t matter. I will know far more than you know within 24 hours after I get the job.”

This isn’t the first time a 2016 Republican presidential candidate has struggled with foreign policy details on Hewitt’s show. Back in May, Ben Carson made repeated missteps in an interview with Hewitt, which led to the host asking the famed neurosurgeon if he “read this stuff?”

U.S. Immigration Experts: Europe’s Progressives to Blame for Huge Migrant Death Toll

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

Breitbart, by Neil Munro, Sep. 3, 2015:

Europe’s post-national progressive governing elite is competing to display its supposed horror over the rapidly rising number of migrants’ corpses now being washed up on Mediterranean beaches.

But those self-regarding progressives deserve much of the blame for the multi-thousand toll of migrants suffering egregious conditions trying to enter Europe, say U.S. immigration experts.

This, they argue, is because the progressives want to ignore the lessons of other migration crises — including the now-ended 2013 Pacific rush into Australia — and want to use the picture of dead migrants to break open their continent’s backdoor to huge migrations from the developing world. So far, they have opened the door wide enough to attract millions of people to make the risky migration around the safe-but-closed legal entrance to Europe’s placid and very civil society.

“The migrants are mainly responsible for making these decisions, and the smugglers are criminals, but the [European] governments share the responsibility,” for casualties along the risky route, said Mark Krikorian, director of the D.C.-based Center for Immigration Studies. “By not enforcing [immigration] rules, they are thereby communicating to potential migrants that [the dangerous trip] is worth the risk.” Many of the migrants are getting through the back door into Europe, so their trail of dead is a rational price for entry into Europe, Krikorian said.

“Unless [European governments] are going to allow hundreds of millions of people to come over legally into Europe, there’s no [smaller] number they could chose that would ensure more people won’t come” via the risky sea passage, said Roy Beck, the founder of NumbersUSA.

“There’s no way to create [narrow] legal channels that stop the dying,” he said, adding the only feasible fix is to create “well-funded, well-run international refugees camps, as close to the home countries are you can, so it is easy for the migrants to to go home.” His group advocates to reduce the annual legal inflow of roughly 1.5 million people into the United States. In comparison, 4 million Americans are born each year.

The risky migration is also a safer option for many Syrian migrants, who would otherwise have to fight the Islamic State’s expanding jihadi army. It is also means that Europe’s progressive governments can eliminate the possibility of recruiting eligible migrants into a Syrian army that can defeat ISIS.

The progressive hand-wringing about the migration has reached a new peak following the garish display of a picture showing a small drowned child, face-down on a Mediterranean beach.

The dead child, along with his two dead siblings and mother, was trying to reach Greece but sank into the sea. Two accompanying smugglers grabbed the only two lifejackets and floated back to shore.

Some progressives are using this photo as an argument to further open the door to more migrants. The New York Times and the Washington Post, for example, posted similar images on their websites Sept. 3. The dead child was used to fill the entire Sept. 2 frontpage of London’s leading progressive daily, The Independent.


“The Independent has taken the decision to publish these images because, among the often glib words about the ‘ongoing migrant crisis,’ it is all too easy to forget the reality of the desperate situation facing many refugees,” the editors intoned. “The pictures, and the tragedy they convey, are hard to ignore, and now senior politicians are calling on [Prime Minister David] Cameron to do more to tackle the crisis,” they claimed.

Most progressive European leaders want more migration and want the resulting chaotic diversity that would be managed by big governments.

Read more


Also see:


american_flag_AP-640x480Breitbartby JAMES LYONS 28 Aug 2015:

Never in my lifetime, did I believe I would witness our great country being taken down and withdrawn from our world leadership role by our own administration.  The latest example is the flawed agreement with Iran on their nuclear weapons program.  This needs to be seen as another manifestation of President Barack Obama’s goal to fundamentally transform America.  All of the known concessions made by our administration to Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism that has been at war with us for over 35 years, and has caused the loss of thousands of American lives, including the key support to the 9/11 hijackers without which that terrorist attack could not have been carried out, humiliated us before our friends, allies and most importantly, our enemies. We have been sabotaged from within.

          Every objective that we set out to prevent Iran from achieving a nuclear weapons capability was conceded to Iran.  Unbelievable! In fact, the administration went beyond what I could imagine by not only agreeing to assist Iran in the development of their nuclear program but also committing us to assist in the protection of their nuclear facilities against attack and sabotage, including cyber-attack. 

Further, the fact that no American inspectors are to be allowed in Iran and incredibly, that Iran is to be allowed to conduct its own evidence collection at the key military site Parchin, are simply mind boggling concessions!   Furthermore, with no constraints on either conventional arms or their ICBM program, we are not only jeopardizing our position in the Persian Gulf but we are ignoring Iran’s previous tests and preparations for conducting an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack against the United States.  Of course, Iran does not need an ICBM for such an attack.  It could be launched from a freighter, which they have tested, or from their missile base in Venezuela—which Ambassador Roger Noriega states is currently operational.  If such an attack occurred against our unprotected national electrical grid, an estimated two out of three Americans would die in a year due to starvation, lack of medical care, and societal collapse.    Everything that our modern society depends on would be shut down, and that includes our military forces.  This is a national security issue which must be addressed now.  As Bernard Lewis, the noted Middle East expert stated, once Iran gets a nuclear weapon deterrence will not work.  Game over!  In my view, this borders on treason!

          However, these concessions and commitments are totally consistent with President Obama’s strategy to fundamentally transform America.  In his warped view, America has caused many of the world’s problems and must be humbled.  Therefore, undercutting our status as leader of the free world is seen as being objectively progressive.

          His strategy is anti-American, and anti-Western. It is pro-Islam, pro-Iran and pro-Muslim Brotherhood.   This raises the question: why the Muslim Brotherhood has been so favored by this president?  Actually, it should be very clear.  The Muslim Brotherhood’s creed to destroy America from within by our own “miserable hands” makes the perfect book-end to Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals.”

          With President Obama’s Marxist background, it was a natural fit with Saul Alinsky who preached that, in the absence of a ripe revolutionary situation and a disciplined Bolshevik-like revolutionary party, you advance the “revolutionary cause” by under cutting the basic social and moral fiber of society, as well as the economic and military structural foundation of America at home and abroad.   Furthermore, causing agitation at low levels of society through community organizers is an important element in achieving transformation.  This explains why recent street rioting in Ferguson, MO and Baltimore, MD, combined with the administration’s policies initiated the so-called war on police, fit a pattern for social unrest. 

          Once the Saul Alinsky concept is understood, then the crushing debt of over 8 trillion dollars since 2009 plus destroying one of the world’s finest medical programs with the forced implementation of Obamacare that represents 1/6 of our economy all makes sense.  The out-of-control immigration policies of the Obama administration, including seeding tens of thousands Muslims with essentially no background checks who have no intention of assimilating also makes perfect sense.   So does dividing America by race and racial profiling.

          The unilateral disarmament of the world’s finest military force world while we are being challenged throughout the world only makes sense in the context of “taking America down.”  The emasculation of our military forces through the social engineering forced upon our military under the guise of “diversity” further jeopardizes our national security by destroying our warrior mentality and the “will to win.”  Our military leadership’s political correctness is clearly at fault here, and they must be held accountable. 

          The out-of-control policies of this administration must be stopped if America is to be saved.  Therefore, all Americans, flood your representatives in Congress with telephone calls, faxes and e-mails demanding that impeachment proceedings be initiated against Executive Branch officials—starting with Secretary of State John Kerry and President Obama.  The damage that this administration can do between now and January 2017 must be stopped now!

Also see – if you think you can handle it:

The Politicization of Intelligence

politicization-intelligenceThe Gorka Briefing, By Sebastian Gorka, Aug. 31, 2012:

Intelligence analysis that contradicts the “ISIS is Losing” narrative is ignored by the chain of command. I discuss the issue of politically-driven censorship on the John Batchelor radio show. 28 August 2015; 9 minutes. Audio HERE.


Spies: Obama’s Brass Pressured Us to Downplay ISIS Threat (Daily Beast)
U.S. intelligence analysts keep saying that the American-led campaign against ISIS isn’t going so well. Their bosses keep telling them to think again about those conclusions.

Senior military and intelligence officials have inappropriately pressured U.S. terrorism analysts to alter their assessments about the strength of the self-proclaimed Islamic State, three sources familiar with the matter told The Daily Beast.

Analysts have been pushed to portray the group as weaker than the analysts believe it actually is, according to these sources, and to paint an overly rosy picture about how well the U.S.-led effort to defeat the group is going.

Reports that have been deemed too pessimistic about the efficacy of the American-led campaign, or that have questioned whether a U.S.-trained Iraqi military can ultimately defeat ISIS, have been sent back down through the chain of command or haven’t been shared with senior policymakers, several analysts alleged.In other instances, authors of such reports said they understood that their conclusions should fall within a certain spectrum.

As a result, they self-censored their own views, they said, because they felt pressure to not reach conclusions far outside what those above them apparently believed.

“The phrase I use is the politicization of the intelligence community,” retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, the former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, told The Daily Beast when describing what he sees as a concerted push in government over the past several months to find information that tells a preferred story about efforts to defeat ISIS and other extremist groups, including al Qaeda. “That’s here. And it’s dangerous,” Flynn said. . . (read the rest)


Is your government lying to you about the war against ISIS? by Lt Col Rick Francona

I thought we had put this issue to rest after the inflated body counts of Vietnam. Quite possibly the Obama Administration is playing a variation of that same alternate reality game. Virtually every assessment and announcement from either the White House or the Pentagon has told us that the military campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is going well and that the terrorist army of the self-proclaimed Islamic State is on the defensive.

As a military analyst for CNN, I follow the fighting in Iraq and Syria closely – I monitor a variety of media from all sides. That includes not only the American press, but official Syrian, Iraqi and yes, ISIS reporting, as well as a variety of social media sites that cover all aspects of the situation in the region.

As you can imagine, there are great discrepancies in the descriptions of the same events. At times, I have shaken my head at some of the pronouncements from the Pentagon press office and even from the U.S. Central Command, the combatant command conducting the military operations.

Normally the CENTCOM reports are factual accounts of sorties flown, weapons employed and damage assessments. On the other hand, Pentagon spokesmen tend to portray the Operation Inherent Resolve as stopping ISIS’s advances and forcing them into a defensive posture. There was certainly a disconnect in the reports of low sortie rates and just a few weapons actually being employed emanating from the theater versus the rosy portrayal coming out of the Pentagon.

I remember the reports of the “success” of the Iraqi Army in ejecting ISIS from the city of Tikrit, when most of the actual fighting was done by Iranian-trained and led Shi’a militias. As the Pentagon assured us that ISIS was now contained, the Islamists mounted a successful assault on the city of al-Ramadi, the capital of al-Anbar province, located on the Euphrates River just 65 miles from Baghdad – all the while under attack from the air. This hardly fits the definition of “on the defensive.”

Obviously there is a problem here – either the intelligence community can’t figure out what is going on with ISIS or someone is misleading the public. Having spent a career in the intelligence business – most of it in the Middle East – I am opting for the latter.

In any case, the Department of Defense inspector general (IG) has opened an investigation. Unfortunately, from the wording of the available reporting it appears that the focus is going to be on professional military officers at CENTCOM rather than the political appointees (that means dyed-in-the-wool Obama supporters) at the Pentagon. Guess who is going to be thrown under the bus….

It is obvious that someone is taking the intelligence reporting and putting the best face on it. Actually, that is too kind – someone is cooking the intelligence to make it fit into the narrative dictated by the White House and the political leadership at the Pentagon.

The anemic air campaign – just 20 strikes today – is having an effect, to be sure, but the Defense Intelligence Agency estimates that ISIS is about as strong and capable today as it was when the air campaign began over a year ago. Much of that is due to the easy access to Syria via Turkey for supplies and the thousands of volunteers wishing to join ISIS. Hopefully Turkey’s recent decision to participate in the U.S.-led coalition will staunch that flow.

I suspect that at each intermediate echelon between CENTCOM’s forward headquarters in Qatar and the Pentagon, the intelligence and operational assessments of the military campaign against ISIS change slightly for the better. Everyone wants to cast the operation in a favorable light – accentuate the positive, downplay the negative. When it gets to the politicos at the Pentagon, I suspect it is tailored to fit the narrative emanating from the White House press room.

I applaud the Defense Department’s decision to launch an IG investigation – it is easily warranted. The IG is supposed to be an independent investigative agency that deals in facts and lets the evidence guide the investigation. Pardon me if I am not filled with confidence – some colonel at CENTCOM will take the fall.

Is our government lying to us? I fear that it is.

New ‘Islamic Commandos’ Terror Group Emerges in War-Torn Afghanistan



Breitbart, by Edwin Mora, August 24, 2015:

The reported emergence of a new terror group in Afghanistan, calling itself the “Islamic Commandos,” indicates that the country remains a safe haven for terrorist organizations.

American troops invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 to prevent terrorist groups, namely al-Qaeda, from using the war-torn country as a base for their operations.

Since then, the U.S. has spent billions of taxpayer dollars and lost at least 2,217 American lives on that effort.

Less than one year after President Obama declared an end to the U.S. combat mission in Afghanistan, Khaama Press reports that Afghan officials are now saying the Islamic Commandos have begun operating in their areas.

The group, which has at least 1,000 members, has begun to function in northern and southern Afghanistan—particularly in the northern provinces of Badakhshan, Kunduz, and Faryab; and the southern Zabul, Urozgan, and Kandahar provinces. This is according to Mohammad Ali Ahmadi, deputy governor of Ghazni province in eastern Afghanistan, who reportedly told Azadi Radio on Sunday, adding that the group is also operating in his province.

“He said [the] majority of this group is currently fighting with security forces in northern Afghanistan,” adds Khaama Press.

The deputy governor pointed out that the group broke away from the Taliban, which it now considers a rival faction.

It is unknown what brought about the division that led to the formation of the Islamic Commandos, notes

A report from the Afghan Bokhdi News Agency, written in Dari, quotes Ahmadi as saying that the Islamic Commandos are linked to al-Qaeda and have entered Afghanistan from Pakistan’s restive North Waziristan tribal region located along the Afghan border, according to an English translation provided by BBC.

Breitbart News was unable to independently confirm whether or not the new terrorist group has ties to al-Qaeda. It is unclear whether or not there is a relationship between the Islamic Commandos, the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL), and al-Qaeda.

The Taliban and al-Qaeda share historic ties. Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri pledged allegiance to the new Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Akhtar Mansour, who took over the group after Taliban founder Mullah Mohammad Omar was reported dead. Mansour has accepted the pledge.

The Taliban and the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) are currently fighting a turf war in Afghanistan.

There are already at least fifteen terrorist organizations operating in the Afghan and Pakistan region, SFGate reports. The Islamic Commandos are the newest terrorist group in Afghanistan.

U.S. and international troops are already dealing with the resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan and the entry of the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL), which has appeared in parts of the country, carrying out brutal executions.

Except for a small Kabul-based embassy presence, the U.S. is expected to withdraw all its troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2016, President Obama has said.

Obama, at the request of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, already slowed down the withdrawal pace of American forces, extending the presence of nearly 10,000 troops until the end of this year.

In 2014, the U.S. president said that by the end of 2015, America would draw down its military presence to about half of the current level.

President Obama has reportedly asked U.S. Gen. John F. Campbell, the top commander of American and international forces in Afghanistan, to reassess the situation on the ground after the 2015 fighting season, the first with the Afghan forces supposedly in the lead.

Earlier this month, The Daily Mirror reported that British special forces (SAS, SBS) were deployed back to Afghanistan to take on both ISIS and the Taliban.

“Just a year after David Cameron said the war was over, members of the SAS and SBS along with US special forces are taking part in military operations almost every night as the insurgent forces close in on the capital Kabul,” noted the article.

“British troops are supposed to be just advisers to the Afghanistan special forces, who they have spent years training,” it added. “But senior defence sources say that in reality the troops are planning and leading counter-terrorist strike operations.”

U.S. Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Afghan president have discussed the possibility of forming a ten-year regional counterterrorism effort against ISIS.

The Five Worst Foreign Policy Statements at Last Night’s GOP Debates

AP_153485696464-640x427Breitbart, by Frances Martel, Aug. 7, 2015:

As Republicans wake up from their first taste of a crowded and extremely accomplished field of 2016 candidates, many will praise the candidates for what will likely be remembered as one of the more substantive and combative debates in recent memory.

As foreign policy tends to be one of the issues on which Republicans agree the most– Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) notwithstanding– it serves as one of the best metrics for which to judge aspiring presidential candidates. After all, they will mostly be saying the same thing, so judging them on how they say it results much easier. While the candidates were much more eager to discuss immigration and the economy last night, viewers did get a taste of the urgency of the Republican Party to tackle radical Islamist terrorism. Some, like former Hewlett Packard executive Carly Fiorina, excelled by virtue of proposing real initiatives to combat both conventional and cyber-terrorism. Others, mostly thanks to a frustrating lack of specificity, floundered.

Below, the five most disappointing comments in both of Fox News’ Republican debates last night.

5. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX):

What we need is a commander in chief that makes — clear, if you join ISIS, if you wage jihad on America, then you are signing your death warrant… We need a president that shows the courage that Egypt’s President al-Sisi, a Muslim, when he called out the radical Islamic terrorists who are threatening the world.

Left to its own devices, this is a great soundbite for the campaign trail. We will kill the terrorists! We will be like Egyptian military strongman Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who ousted his Muslim Brotherhood predecessor before his country became another Libya! But what does any of this mean? Sen. Cruz did offer one bit of concrete policy: he would revoke the citizenship of any Americans fighting with the Islamic State. This is a necessary move and a welcome suggestion from Cruz but, the truth is, most ISIS terrorists aren’t American citizens, and the ones who attempt acts of terror on American soil have mostly been killedbefore revoking their citizenship would make a difference.

Calling radical Islamist terror what it is is a necessary first step that the White House has routinely refused to take, and it is reassuring that Sen. Cruz has no qualms about it. But then what?

4. Sen. Rand Paul:

I’ve been fighting amidst a lot of opposition from both Hillary Clinton, as well as some Republicans who wanted to send arms to the allies of ISIS. ISIS rides around in a billion dollars worth of U.S. Humvees. It’s a disgrace. We’ve got to stop — we shouldn’t fund our enemies, for goodness sakes.

This was, bafflingly, a major applause line at last night’s primetime debate, likely because the situation in which ISIS was born is so complicated many in the audience believed the American military was simply buying the Islamic State Humvees on the taxpayers’ dime.

Yes, the United States gave arms to Syrian rebels opposing President Bashar al-Assad, and destabilizing Syria further allowed for the expansion of the Islamic State. But much of the bulk of U.S. weaponry that has fallen into their hands has been captured from the Shiite Iraqi army operating out of Baghdad– that’s where the Humvees came from. The Shiites are not ISIS’s allies; they are “rafidi infidels.” The Iraqi army is largely a failure, yet, largely out of a desire to see the state of Iraq continue existing, America continues to fund Baghdad.

Solving the ISIS problem would be much easier if all we had to do was stop giving ISIS money.

3. Gov. Mike Huckabee:

The purpose of the military is kill people and break things.

This comment, especially provocative when out of context, was an attempt to reject the idea of allowing servicemen and women to receive sex change treatments on the taxpayers’ dime while in active service. Not spending more money on sex changes may resonate with Republican voters, but reducing the vital and extremely complex services our troops provide the world over to killing people and breaking things?

The Army Corps of Engineers employs 37,000 servicemen dedicated to constructing facilities for both military and emergency purposes, to protect from natural disasters and protecting the nation’s nature areas. Military medical professionals specialize in a wide variety of fields and work to keep our troops healthy as they serve. American soldiers have been pivotal in aiding those harmed by the southeast Asian tsunami in 2004, fighting the Ebola outbreak in west Africa, and cleaning up after the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Our troops are not the hordes of Genghis Khan. They do much more than kill people and break things.

2. Gov. Bobby Jindal:

We’re going to take the political handcuffs off the military. We will arm and train the Kurds. We will work with our Sunni allies. They know we will be committed to victory.

“Arming the Kurds” has become a popular shorthand for many conservatives who want to show they are serious about fighting ISIS, despite the fact that Kurdish groups have not had much success outside of Kurdish areas, and the odds of a successful mission in an Arab Sunni territory is very low. Kurdish forces have been without a doubt the most successful ground troops in fighting the Islamic State, particularly given that the most the Iraqi army has done to fight them is run away and hand them our Humvees. The problem with Gov. Jindal’s statement, particularly in light of the NATO member Turkey’s air campaign against multiple Kurdish factions, is that it is too vague. Which Kurds?

There’s the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a US-designated terrorist group of Marxist stripes that Turkey considers its arch nemesis. There are the People’s Protection Units of Syria– the YPG and YPJ– which have been among the most successful troops against ISIS. And there are the Peshmerga of Iraq, which have also conducted successful operations and made of Erbil the largest Iraqi city safe for Christians and Yazidis.

The YPG/YPJ wear the red star proudly and support the PPK; the Peshmerga under President Masoud Barzani do not.

Without specifying, Jindal may have just committed to arming a group whose propaganda looks like this:

 1. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC):

According to the generals that I know and trust, this air campaign will not destroy ISIL. We need a ground force in Iraq and Syria, and America has to be part of that ground force. According to the FBI and the director of national intelligence, Syria’s becoming a perfect platform to strike our nation. I’ve got a very simple strategy as your president against ISIL. Whatever it takes, as long as it takes, to defeat them.

It is perhaps the greatest failure of last night’s debate moderators that this comment went unchallenged. Graham got away with casually proposing a ground invasion of Syria using American troops that would last “as long as it takes.”

When the United States began its military actions in Iraq, there was a clear villain in power: Saddam Hussein. That nation’s leader was our enemy and an ally of our enemies, and we went in to take him out. Syria has a nominal leader, Bashar al-Assad, who is a mortal enemy of the Islamic State and is embroiled in a bitter, years-long civil war. Many of Syria’s religious minorities, the Christian Assyrians and Alawites, view Assad as the last line of defense against ISIS. An American ground invasion of Syria may very well force us into an alliance with Assad, a mass murderer who has used chemical weapons against civilians– and, by proxy, an alliance with Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei. How does Sen. Graham square his opposition to the Iran deal with a plan to keep the Ayatollah’s favorite puppet dictator in power?

And if he wants to take down ISIS and Assad simultaneously– how, specifically, would we do that? And what is going to fill the resulting power vacuum? For all we know, Sen. Graham may have a strong answer to this; unfortunately, no one at Fox News cared to ask.

Also see:


Screen-Shot-2015-07-29-at-10.59.39-AM-640x480Breitbart, by Daniel Nussbaum, July 29, 2015:

The movie, based on Mitchell Zuckoff’s 2014 book 13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi, tells the story of the September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya in which four Americans–U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, U.S. Foreign Service’s Sean Smith and CIA contractors Glen Doherty and Tyrone S. Woods – were killed by Islamist terrorists.

Bay is directing the film from a script by Chuck Hogan (FX’s The Strain). James Badge Dale, John Krasinski, Pablo Schreiber, Toby Stephens, David Denman, Max Martini, and Dominic Fumusa star.

The trailer conveys a strong sense of dread before the classic Bay-inspired action kicks in.

“When everything went wrong, six men had the courage to do what was right,” the text in the trailer reads.

With a budget reportedly in the range of $30-$40 million, Bay is working on 13 Hourswith a lot less money than he usually gets to play with on blockbuster films likeTransformers. Here’s hoping the result is a return to form for Bay and a tight, focused action film that honors the memories of the American heroes who sacrificed their lives on that day.

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi hits theaters January 15.

Also see:

Obama Makes the Worst Trade in US History: Israel for Iran

iran-oabmaThe Blaze, by Benjamin Weingarten, July 14, 2015:

On the eve of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress, a despicable and disastrous betrayal has become clear: President Barack Obama has traded Israel for Iran.

In the annals of the history of American foreign policy filled with pages of willful blindness, amorality and often State Department-led folly, there are few things more substantively and symbolically egregious than this fundamental transformation.

Consider the two nations of which we are speaking: One is the largest state sponsor of terror in the world, run by genocidal jihadist theocrats who in their Twelver Shiite theology seek to bring on the apocalypse by destroying the cradle of world civilization. The other is a bastion of liberty, plurality, dynamism, creativity and innovation, despite being surrounded by myriad hostile regimes.

In a sane world, it would be unthinkable, unconscionable, and un-American for us to turn on the state of Israel – the front line of Western civilization against barbarians who seek to take us, and who are fast taking themselves, back to the seventh century.

But then we are in year seven of the Obama presidency, an “Alice in Wonderland” world in which the seemingly perverse has become the norm, all in the name of regressive progressivism.

While Americans focus on the seen of beheadings or the destruction of ancient artifacts by Islamic State in high definition, that shock our collective conscience, the unseen is that Iran is quietly becoming the hegemon in the Middle East – and perhaps in the eyes of President Obama, America’s top ally in the region.

The easing of sanctions allowing billions of dollars of wealth to flow to a tottering economy and allowing thecontinued enrichment of uranium – will provide legitimacy to a terrorist regime and show the world that – like Neville Chamberlain’s England – America has chosen to appease evil rather than confront it.

Meanwhile, as DEBKA asserted in a recent memo, Iran has concurrently been “taking up forward positions in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, where they are busy fashioning a Shiite Crescent that encircles Sunni Arab states as well as Israel.”

(Image Source: DEBKA)

(Image Source: DEBKA)

America under this president has consciously chosen to stand by all the while. As Tony Badran wrote in a stunning analysis at NOW [emphasis mine]:

In one of Obama’s several letters to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, he reportedly presented finalizing the deal on the nuclear program as the gateway to a broader regional partnership, especially against Sunni extremist groups like the Islamic State (ISIS).

This partnership is central to Obama’s broader objective of extricating the U.S. from the Middle East and leaving in place a new security structure, of which Iran is a principal pillar. His tacit policy from Baghdad to Beirut has been to partner with Iranian-backed forces as the boots on the ground in the campaign against Sunni extremists. In Iraq and Lebanon especially, the U.S. partnership with Iranian assets and Iran-dominated state institutions has created a de facto condominium between the U.S. and Iran. 

Lest we conclude the spread of Iran’s tentacles throughout the Levant primarily endangers Sunni jihadists, the title of a recent paper from MEMRI spells out the real casualty: “From The Mediterranean to the Golan, Iran Builds Active Front And Direct Military Presence On Israel’s Border To Deter Israel And Further Ideology Of Eliminating The Zionist Regime.”

MEMRI quotes from a columnist for the Lebanese Al-Akhbar paper:

Israel faces a fateful crisis. As much as it feared the Iranian nuclear program, it never imagined that Iran would be standing on its border even before its nuclear agreement with the Americans was complete. The Iranian threat to Israel is no longer theoretical…[t]he threat has become direct, practical and conventional.

President Obama’s strategy during this time, as DEBKA pithily put it, has been to make:

…sure Israel was well supplied with all its material security needs. This enabled him to boast that no U.S. president or administration before him had done as much to safeguard Israel’s security.

But behind this façade, Obama made sure that Israel’s security stayed firmly in the technical-material-financial realm and never crossed the line into a strategic relationship.

That was because he needed to keep his hands free for the objective of transferring the role of foremost U.S. ally in the Middle East from Israel to Iran, a process that took into account the ayatollahs’ nuclear aspirations.

This process unfolding over recent years has left Israel face to face with a nakedly hostile Iran empowered by the United States.

To pause for a second, it bears emphasizing: Today analysts are discussing Iran as the center of stability and top ally in the Middle East, referring to a “special relationship” between America and a genocidal, Jew-hating, jihadist regime. Nary anyone has stopped to acknowledge the monumental, shameful and, dare I say, treasonous implications of this fact.

Those in the Middle East however are fully awake to this metamorphosis, which is why Egypt has perhaps become Israel’s staunchest ally, and why several Arab nations – which may still detest Israel’s existence, but not as much as they fear their own survival — are effectively siding with Israel against Iran.

That the Obama administration was rebuffing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu several days before he was even scheduled to speak in front of Congress – that the Obama administration even had to producetalking points about its support for Israel — evinces the Israel-Iran trade.

Nations, like friends, should not have to recite talking points to prove their allegiance. And actions speak louder than words.


We have two choices:

We can believe that President Obama genuinely thinks Iran — an enemy of America since 1979, whose proxies have been responsible for countless terrorist attacks against our citizens and our interests – will cease its nuclear weapons program, and serve as a stabilizing influence in the Middle East.

Alternatively, we can believe that President Obama knows that the Iranians are committed to undermining Israel and the interests of the West.

If we conclude the former, there is slightly less cause for concern.

Yet if we conclude the latter, we must also conclude that America’s president has knowingly aided, abetted or enabled Israel’s worst enemies – led by Iran – in the Middle East, presumably under the logic that global social justice demands it.

Israel – a free, tolerant and modern nation – has morphed through the propaganda of the global Left into a colonialist, apartheid state. Those who seek her destruction are considered by the Left to be legitimately aggrieved, and “lest we get on our high horse,” as the president likes to say, don’t forget about the Crusades.

In the Edward Said, Rashid Khalidi, Saul Alinsky world of progressive elitism in which President Obama considers himself a global citizen in good standing, what is moral and just is to redistribute power from America’s historical allies (the oppressors) to America’s historical enemies (the oppressed).

Hence President Obama’s “open hand” foreign policy towards “clenched fists,” a policy declared from the beginning of his presidency under which he has aided the global jihad generally and Iran specifically.

Those who argue that President Obama’s foreign policy has been one of retreat are only half right: The president has stepped back from the situations that most require American leadership and moral clarity in support of our allies against evil, while interjecting himself needlessly in other situations – implicitly or explicitly – on behalf of our enemies.

Nowhere is this better illustrated than in President Obama’s trade of Israel for Iran.

Ben Weingarten is a frequent Blaze contributor, Host and Producer of TheBlaze Books podcast, Editor of TheBlaze Books and Publishing Manager, focusing on defense.


Also see:


AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool

Breitbart, by Ben Shapiro, July 14, 2015:

The deal the Obama administration cut today with the Iranian terrorist regime signals once and for all that the Obama administration considers both the United States and Israel to be the key threats to peace in the world.

Why else would the American president have lifted sanctions and granted the Iranian mullahs decades of American cover in the face of overwhelming evidence they support anti-Western, anti-Semitic, and anti-Sunni terror across the region and the globe?

President Obama’s statements today about the strength of this deal carry no weight, given that he has coordinated with the Iranian regime – which is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans over the past few years – in Iraq, has allowed them to prop up Bashar Assad in Syria, has allowed them to continue their subjugation of Lebanon, watched in silence as they flexed their muscle in Yemen, and attempted to cut off weapons shipments to Israel in the midst of its war with Iranian proxy terror group Hamas.

Obama wants Iran to be a regional power, because Obama fears Israel more than he fears Iran. The same day that Obama announced his deal, “moderate” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani tweeted, “To our neighbours: Do not be deceived by the propaganda of the warmongering Zionist regime. #Iran & its power will translate into your power.”

Obama’s counting on it.

Obama had one motivation in this deal: he believes that any Western attempt to stop Iran’s nuclear development with force is more dangerous and less moral than Iran’s elevated terror support and even its eventual nuclear development.

America and the West, in Obama’s global worldview, are so dangerous that he wouldn’t even make minor requests of Iran, such as releasing American prisoners, if that meant the minute possibility of actual Western action on the horizon. Obama doesn’t care if Iran is lying. To him, that risk is acceptable when compared with the certainty of Western action, no matter how constrained, against Iran.

Obama consistently posed the choice about his nuclear deal as one between diplomacy and war, as though a military strike against Iran would have precipitated World War III. But this deal is far more calibrated to provoke World War III than any targeted strike by Israel, the United States, or anyone else.

The deal pats itself on the back with wording about ensuring that “Iran’s nuclear programme will be exclusively peaceful,” and how the deal will be a “fundamental shift” in the international community’s relationship with Iran. Then it gets to details. And the devil isn’t just in the details; the devils in Iran wrote them.

The deal “will produce the comprehensive lifting of all UN Security Council sanctions as well as multilateral and national sanctions related to Iran’s nuclear programme, including steps on access in areas of trade, technology, finance and energy.” Those sanctions end on the first day of the deal: “The UN Security Council resolution will also provide for the termination on Implementation Day of provisions imposed under previous resolutions.” The EU “will terminate all provisions of the EU Regulation.”

Money will now move between “EU persons and entities, including financial institutions, and Iranian persons and entities, including financial institutions.” Banking activities will resume abroad. Full trade will essentially resume. After five years, the arms embargo against Iran will end. After eight years, the missile embargo against Iran will end.

The deal explicitly acknowledges that Iran is gaining benefits no other state would gain under the Non-Proliferation Treaty. In terms of its nuclear development, instead of dismantling Iran’s nuclear program, that program is now protected:

Iran will continue to conduct enrichment R&D in a manner that does not accumulate enriched uranium. Iran’s enrichment R&D with uranium for 10 years will only include IR-4, IR-5, IR-6 and IR-8 centrifuges as laid out in Annex I, and Iran will not engage in other isotope separation technologies for enrichment of uranium as specified in Annex I. Iran will continue testing IR-6 and IR-8 centrifuges, and will commence testing of up to 30 IR-6 and IR-8 centrifuges after eight and a half years, as detailed in Annex I.

We have no way of knowing what Iran has done additionally, however, since the deal has no provisions forcing them to turn over information about what they’ve already done.There is no baseline.

So who will implement this deal? A “Joint Commission” comprised of the UK, France, Germany, Russia, China, the United States and Iran is charged with monitoring all developments under the agreement – meaning that all the signatories, all of whom have an interest in preserving a deal they signed, will be the “objective” monitoring agents.

The International Atomic Energy Agency will monitor and verify Iran’s nuclear program. But not everywhere. Only at key nuclear facilities will the IAEA have access – military sites were not included in the deal in any real way – and even then, the process for access is extraordinarily regulated:

74. Requests for access pursuant to provisions of this JCPOA will be made in good faith, with due observance of the sovereign rights of Iran, and kept to the minimum necessary to effectively implement the verification responsibilities under this JCPOA. In line with normal international safeguards practice, such requests will not be aimed at interfering with Iranian military or other national security activities, but will be exclusively for resolving concerns regarding fulfillment of the JCPOA commitments and Iran’s other non-proliferation and safeguards obligations. The following procedures are for the purpose of JCPOA implementation between the E3/EU+3 and Iran and are without prejudice to the safeguards agreement and the Additional Protocol thereto. In implementing this procedure as well as other transparency measures, the IAEA will be requested to take every precaution to protect commercial, technological and industrial secrets as well as other confidential information coming to its knowledge.

75. In furtherance of implementation of the JCPOA, if the IAEA has concerns regarding undeclared nuclear materials or activities, or activities inconsistent with the JCPOA, at locations that have not been declared under the comprehensive safeguards agreement or Additional Protocol, the IAEA will provide Iran the basis for such concerns and request clarification.

76. If Iran’s explanations do not resolve the IAEA’s concerns, the Agency may request access to such locations for the sole reason to verify the absence of undeclared nuclear materials and activities or activities inconsistent with the JCPOA at such locations. The IAEA will provide Iran the reasons for access in writing and will make available relevant

77. Iran may propose to the IAEA alternative means of resolving the IAEA’s concerns that enable the IAEA to verify the absence of undeclared nuclear materials and activities or activities inconsistent with the JCPOA at the location in question, which should be given due and prompt consideration.

78. If the absence of undeclared nuclear materials and activities or activities inconsistent with the JCPOA cannot be verified after the implementation of the alternative arrangements agreed by Iran and the IAEA, or if the two sides are unable to reach satisfactory arrangements to verify the absence of undeclared nuclear materials and activities or activities inconsistent with the JCPOA at the specified locations within 14 days of the IAEA’s original request for access, Iran, in consultation with the members of the Joint Commission, would resolve the IAEA’s concerns through necessary means
agreed between Iran and the IAEA. In the absence of an agreement, the members of the Joint Commission, by consensus or by a vote of 5 or more of its 8 members, would advise on the necessary means to resolve the IAEA’s concerns. The process of consultation with, and any action by, the members of the Joint Commission would not exceed 7 days, and Iran would implement the necessary means within 3 additional days.

Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry wrote into the deal provisions designed to hamstring Congress and local authorities:

If a law at the state or local level in the United States is preventing the implementation of the sanctions lifting as specified in this JCPOA, the United States will take appropriate steps, taking into account all available authorities, with a view to achieving such implementation. The United States will actively encourage officials at the state or local level to take into account the changes in the U.S. policy reflected in the lifting of sanctions under this JCPOA and to refrain from actions inconsistent with this change in policy.

And if Iran cheats, the United States and EU will have to take the matter to dispute resolution rather than re-implementing sanctions, as Obama has lied:

The U.S. Administration, acting consistent with the respective roles of the President and the Congress, will refrain from re-introducing or re-imposing the sanctions specified in Annex II that it has ceased applying under this JCPOA, without prejudice to the dispute resolution process provided for under this JCPOA. The U.S. Administration, acting consistent with the respective roles of the President and the Congress, will refrain from imposing new nuclear-related sanctions. Iran has stated that it will treat such a re-introduction or re-imposition of the sanctions…

Obama is already moving on this front. While calling for an open conversation on the Iran deal, President Obama has already said he will veto any attempts to curb the deal by Congress. So feel free to chat, gang, so long as you don’t attempt to do anything.

In brief, the agreement trades enormous amounts of cash for Iran’s pinkie swear that they will not develop nuclear weapons now, and the blind hope that Iran’s regime will magically moderate over the next five to ten years – a hope made even more distant by the fact that this deal reinforces the power and strength of the current Iranian regime. The West has no interest in holding Iran to an agreement since, to do so, they would have to repudiate the deal they cut in the first place. Anything short of actual nuclear aggression will draw no response from the West. No wonder Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu called the deal a “historic mistake for the world,” explaining:

Far-reaching concessions have been made in all areas that were supposed to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons capability. In addition, Iran will receive hundreds of billions of dollars with which it can fuel its terror machine and its expansion and aggression throughout the Middle East and across the globe… One cannot prevent an agreement when the negotiators are willing to make more and more concessions to those who, even during the talks, keep chanting: ‘Death to America.’ We knew very well that the desire to sign an agreement was stronger than anything, and therefore we did not commit to preventing an agreement.

So here’s what happens next in the region.

Israel Waits. The chances of an Israeli strike on Iran are now somewhere between slim and none. Obama’s deal prevents Israel from taking action without risking sanctions from the European Union and the United States for endangering this sham deal.

Nothing would make Obama happier than to levy sanctions against the Jewish State – and should Israel act in its own interests, undercutting Obama’s Epitaph Achievement, Obama will react harshly. Israel will be busy enough handling all the Iranian proxies on its borders who will now see cash and resources flow to them, all sponsored by the West.

Hezbollah and Hamas Are Strengthened. Terrorist groups across the Middle East rejoice today, knowing that the money Iran just gained through lifting of sanctions will end up restocking their rocket supply. Hezbollah has already destroyed Lebanon as Iran’s arm; Hamas has already taken over Gaza. Both routinely threaten war on Israel, firing ordinance into Israeli territory.

Now they will not only be emboldened – after all, what happens if Israel retaliates against them, Iran threatens to get involved, and the world, seeking to preserve its newfound magical relationship with Iran, puts pressure on Israel? – they will be empowered. Obama just made the next war between Israel and its terrorist neighbors a certainty.

Saudi Arabia and Egypt Go Nuclear. President Obama came into office touting “America’s commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.” Given that Iran is months from a bomb, and that there are no real verification techniques and no real consequences for violation, Iran’s enemies will quickly seek to go nuclear in order to establish a deterrent, not just to Iran’s nuclear capabilities, but to their expanded conventional capabilities.

Iran has the largest active military in the Middle East, along with its massive paramilitary terror groups. They’ve built that in the midst of heavy sanctions. With Iran getting active on the borders of Egypt and Saudi Arabia, those regimes would be foolhardy not to attempt to develop a nuclear capacity – especially given that Obama has shown there are no detriments to doing so. What’s he going to do, threaten Egypt’s General Al-Sisi? He’s been doing that for years already.

Bashar Assad Stays In Power. Remember the time Obama said Syrian dictator Bashar Assad needed to go? That’s not happening anytime soon, given that Assad is Iran’s tool in Syria. When Obama drew a red line against Syria based on Assad’s use of chemical weapons, he apparently meant that Assad should stay forever, and that his sponsor state should be rewarded with billions of dollars in relieved sanctions. No wonder Assad called the deal a “major turning point” in world history, adding, “We are confident that the Islamic Republic of Iran will support, with greater drive, just causes of nations and work for peace and stability in the region and the world.”

Iraq Splits Permanently Between Iran and ISIS. Supposedly, the United States opposed Shia exclusionary policy against Sunnis in Iraq, and blamed such policy for the breakdown of security there. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard has now taken over the southern half of the country; the new Iraqi Prime Minister is an Iranian proxy. Meanwhile, Sunnis, seeking some sort of security against the Iranians and having no secular American-backed regime to rely upon, have been turning in increasing numbers to the barbarians of ISIS. President Obama has made ISIS a permanent feature of the world landscape, and has turned Iraq into an Iranian proxy state, just like Syria and Lebanon.

Iran Will Foray Into Iran, Afghanistan. Iran’s expansionist ambitions have been increased exponentially by this deal. The deal does nothing to demand Iran stop its military activities abroad, of course, which means that their sponsorship of the Houthis in Yemen and terrorist groups in Afghanistan will continue apace. Al Jazeera has evenspeculated at sectarian unrest in Pakistan.

Obama’s defenders today ask his detractors, “If the deal works, isn’t it a good deal?”

Sure. If the Munich Agreement had worked, it would have been a masterpiece of diplomacy.

But promising a unicorn in a diplomatic negotiation isn’t quite the same thing as delivering one. And delivering billions of dollars, international legitimacy, and a protective shield around a terrorist regime in exchange for that unicorn makes you either a fool or an active perpetuator of that terrorist regime.

Ben Shapiro is Senior Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author 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.


Also see:


unholyalliancePowerline, by Scott Johnson, July 12, 2012:

The David Horowitz Freedom Center’s Texas retreat took place last month in Dallas. I have posted videos of the presentations by Stanley Kurtz and Bret Stephens at the retreat. Other videos from the retreat are posted here.

In the video below, Daniel Pipes presents a survey of the Middle East in the Age of Obama. It works as an excellent companion to Stephens’s presentation; Pipes provides a regional close-up following Stephens’s global view (to borrow the title of Stephens’s weekly Wall Street Journal column). As with the the other two videos, I commend this one to your attention with the thought that it is worth your time. Even if you follow the news closely I think you are likely to learn something from this presentation.

The son of Richard Pipes, the prominent historian of Russia, Daniel Pipes is a brilliant student of the Middle East. He is the author of notable books including The Rushdie Affair and, most recently, Nothing Abides.

One of the ladies at PolitiChicks caught up with Pipes after his presentation in Dallas last month. She asked him to identify the greatest threat to the United States (video below). Let’s just say that we’re on the same wavelength.

I have been a reader and fan of Pipes for a long time. I saw him speak about Islamic terrorism before a campus audience at Yale in 2005 or so. He struck me as a scholar with the soul of a warrior. I caught up with Pipes in Minneapolis in 2012 when he was in town for a family wedding and posted a brief video in which I inarticulately asked him about the current relevance of the Rushdie affair here.


Politichicks also interviewed Andrew McCarthy. They discussed threats to U.S. & justice for Benghazi

ISIS, Saudi Arabia, Iran and the West

The famous photograph of Abdulaziz ibn Saud meeting with President Franklin Roosevelt in February 1945 aboard the U.S.S. Quincy symbolizes the incongruity of the Saudi-American "special relationship." (Image source: U.S. Navy)

The famous photograph of Abdulaziz ibn Saud meeting with President Franklin Roosevelt in February 1945 aboard the U.S.S. Quincy symbolizes the incongruity of the Saudi-American “special relationship.” (Image source: U.S. Navy)

Gatestone Institute, by Salim Mansur, June 14, 2015:

  • What principally mattered in accepting Christian support was whether such support served the followers of Islam in spreading the faith. The same thing could also apply to an alliance with the Jews and Israel in defending Saudi interests.
  • In the age of totalitarianism — which in the last century flourished under the various headings of Marxism-Leninism, Stalinism, Hitler’s National Socialism and Maoism — Hasan al-Banna and Sayyid Qutb added Islamism. Shariah, as God’s law, in covering and monitoring every detail of human conduct, as Qutb insisted, is total; its enforcement through jihad made for an ideology — Islamism — consistent with the temperament of the totalitarian era.
  • American support in the reconstruction of Germany and Japan after 1945 was crucial. The transformation of imperial and militaristic Japan into a peaceful democracy was testimony to how American support can make for a better world. In the Korean Peninsula, American troops have held the line between the North and South since the end of the Korean War in 1953; this has made the vital difference in turning South Korea into a democracy and an advanced industrial society.

In a hard-hitting essay on ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) for The Daily Mail, the 2001 Nobel Prize winning author, V.S. Naipaul, wrote: “ISIS could very credibly abandon the label of Caliphate and call itself the Fourth Reich.” Among the writings on Islam and Muslims in recent years, Naipaul’s, as in the books Among the Believers and Beyond Belief, have been perhaps the most incisive and penetrating in exploring the extremist politics of the global Islamist movement from inside of the Muslim world. And that ISIS on a rampage, as Naipaul observed, revived “religious dogmas and deadly rivalries between Sunnis and Shi’as, Sunnis and Jews and Christians is a giant step into darkness.”

Ever since the relatively obscure Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi stepped forth on the pulpit of the Great Mosque in Mosul, Iraq, on June 28, 2014 to announce the rebirth of the Caliphate (abolished in 1924 by the Turkish leader Mustafa Kemal Ataturk), with al-Baghdadi himself assuming the title of Caliph Ibrahim, the ruling head of the ummah, or worldwide community of Muslims, many might agree with Naipaul, despite the hyperbole — he has left out a potentially nuclear Iran — that “ISIS has to be seen as the most potent threat to the world since the Third Reich.”

It is baffling to read about or watch the sweep of terror spawned by ISIS in the name of Islam — a world religion with a following approaching two billion Muslims. It is insufficient merely to point out that the barbarism of ISIS reflects its origins in the fetid swamps of the Sunni Muslim insurgency of post-Saddam Iraq. But ISIS is neither a new presence in the Arab-Muslim history, nor is the response to it by Western powers, primarily Britain and the United States, given their relationship with the Middle East over the past century.

We have seen ISISes before, and not as al-Qaeda’s second coming.

The first successful appearance of an ISIS in modern times was the whirlwind with which the Bedouin warriors of Abdulaziz ibn Saud (1876-1953) emerged from the interior of the Arabian Desert in 1902 to take hold of the main fortress in Riyadh, the local capital of the surrounding region known as Najd. Some twenty-four years later, this desert warrior-chief and his armies of Bedouin raiders defeated the ruling Sharifian house in the coastal province of Hejaz, where lie Islam’s two holy cities, Mecca and Medina.

Husayn bin Ali (1854-1931), Sharif of Mecca and Emir of Hejaz, had joined his fate with the British against the Ottoman Empire during World War I. One of his sons, Prince Feisal, led the “Arab Revolt” for independence from Ottoman rule made famous by T.E. Lawrence (1888-1935). But in the aftermath of the Great War, which brought the Ottoman Empire to its ruin, Bedouin tribes in the interior of the Arabian Desert were jostling for power, and the House of Sharif Husayn proved inept at maintaining its own against threats posed to its rule over Hejaz, and as the khadim [steward] of the holy cities of Mecca and Medina.

Another Englishman, a counterpart to T.E. Lawrence (“Lawrence of Arabia”), was Harry St. John Philby (1885-1960), sent as a British agent during the Great War into the interior of the Arabian Desert. Philby would get to know Abdulaziz ibn Saud; eventually he worked for Ibn Saud as the warrior-chief rose in power and prominence. Philby chronicled the emergence of Abdulaziz ibn Saud as “the greatest of all the kings of Arabia,” and wrote the history of Ibn Saud’s tribe and people under the title Arabia of the Wahhabis. In the West, ironically, Philby is better known as the father of Kim Philby, the Soviet double agent, instead of the confidant of the founder of modern Saudi Arabia. Philby apparently became Muslim, took the name of Abdullah, and lived among the Arabs.

The defeat of the Sharifian forces in Hejaz in 1925 cleared the path for Abdulaziz ibn Saud’s eventual triumph in creating the eponymous Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The fall of Mecca to the Bedouin warriors known as the Ikhwan, or the Brethren (to be distinguished from the movement known as Ikhwan al-Muslimin [Muslim Brotherhood] founded by the Egyptian Hasan al-Banna in 1928), ended the ambition of Sharif Husayn and his sons to rule Arabia with the support of the British. The Sharifian defeat also meant that Britain would not have to referee the conflict between two of its allies — Sharif Husayn and his sons on one side, and Abdulaziz ibn Saud and his Ikhwan warriors on the other — competing for mastery over Arabia.

Philby’s loyalty to Abdulaziz ibn Saud restrained him from mentioning the terror and havocIkhwan warriors perpetrated in the occupation of Hejaz and the capture of Mecca and Medina.[1]But he was effusive in describing what he viewed as the renewal of Islam’s original revolution in the desert soil of its birth. He became the premier salesman of Abdulaziz ibn Saud and his family to the outside world, as T.E. Lawrence was of Prince Feisal and the Sharifian claims to rule the Arabs.[2] Philby wrote,

“Ibn Sa’ud made it clear from the beginning that he would tolerate no criticism of or interference with God’s law on earth… On Friday, January 8th, 1926, in the Great Mosque of Mecca after the congregational prayers, Ibn Sa’ud was proclaimed King of the Hijaz with all the traditional ceremony prescribed by Islamic precedent. It was at once an act of faith and a challenge to the world: to be made good in due course, without deviation from the principle on which it was based, to the glory of God, of whose sustaining hand he was ever conscious amid all the vicissitudes of good and evil fortune, which in the long years to come were to lead his people, under his guidance, out of the wilderness into a promised land flowing with milk and honey. The great fight, of four and twenty years almost to the day, was over; and a greater span, by nearly four years, yet lay before him to develop the fruits of victory for the benefit of generations yet unborn: generations which ‘knew not Joseph’, nor ever heard the war-cry of the Ikhwan.”[3]


The objective of the ISIS is apparently to remake the map of the Middle East, which was drawn by Britain and France as victorious powers in World War I, following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in 1918. The goal is to unite the Fertile Crescent — the region between the eastern Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf — under the newly resurrected Caliphate’s rule, where “God’s law” will rule without anyone’s interference — much Saudi Arabia’s founder, Abdulaziz ibn Saud, announced in 1926 on entering Mecca.

ISIS’s self-proclaimed leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in announcing the re-establishment of the Caliphate, have set for ISIS a hugely ambitious program, even if it seems anachronistic for Muslims in the twenty-first century.

But ISIS’s gamble to engineer the creation of the Caliphate and obliterate the post-WWI settlement is not entirely far-fetched when considered in the context of the making of Saudi Arabia.

There is also the shared doctrine of the Wahhabi-Salafi interpretation of Islam, which Abdulaziz ibn Saud insisted, and ISIS insists, is the only true Islam; all other versions and sects of Islam among Muslims are denounced as heresy or, worse, as apostasy, to be violently punished.

The collapse of the Ottoman Empire let loose forces in the Middle East, some of which were contained by Britain and France, as victorious powers, in accordance with their Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916.

In the Arabian Peninsula, Britain kept in check the forces let loose, preventing their spillover into the Fertile Crescent, until one coalition of Bedouin warriors led by Abdulaziz ibn Saud emerged as clear winner over the territories previously held by Turkey in the Fertile Crescent.

The deep forbidding interior of the Arabian Peninsula consists of the highlands and desert of Najd, far removed from what were once the major centers of the Islamic civilization at its peak. Inhabited by Bedouin tribes, deeply conservative in their customs and manner of living, and disapproving of the ways of the outside world, Najd was a primitive backwater of the Middle East and was left on its own.

The emergence of Abdulaziz ibn Saud as the ruler of Najd and Hejaz in the 1920s, and then as the monarch of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia under the watchful eyes of Britain as the hegemonic power in the Middle East after the World War I, was not merely the result of one coalition of Bedouin tribes trouncing its opponents for the spoils of war. It was also the victory of a doctrine — of Wahhabism,[4] to which Abdulaziz ibn Saud was wedded as a legacy of his family and tribal history, and which provided the religious and ideological legitimacy for the so-called “conservative revolution” or the Wahhabi version of Islamic “reform” he heralded in establishing his kingdom.

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