General Tells Senators al-Qaeda Has ‘Grown Fourfold in Last Five Years’

Published on Jan 28, 2015 by One Post

Full testimony here

PJ Media, By Bridget Johnson On January 27, 2015

The former vice chief of staff of the Army warned the Senate Armed Services Committee today that al-Qaeda has “grown fourfold in the last five years.”

“AQ and its affiliates exceeds Iran in beginning to dominate multiple countries,” retired four-star Gen. Jack Keane testified.

Using a term that the Obama administration now eschews, Keane called radical Islam “the major security challenge of our generation.”

“Radical Islam, as I’m defining it for today’s discussion, consists of three distinct movements who share a radical fundamentalist ideology, use jihad or terror to achieve objectives that compete with each other for influence and power,” he said.

“In 1980, Iran declared the United States as a strategic enemy and its goal is to drive the United States out of the region, achieve regional hegemony, and destroy the state of Israel. It uses proxies, primarily as the world’s number one state sponsoring terrorism. Thirty plus years Iran has used these proxies to attack the United States. To date, the result is U.S. troops left Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq, while Iran has direct influence and some control over Beirut, Lebanon, Gaza, Damascus, Syria, Baghdad, Iraq, and now Sana’a, Yemen,” the general continued.

“Is there any doubt that Iran is on the march and is systematically moving toward their regional hegemonic objective? Iran has been on a 20-year journey to acquire nuclear weapons, simply because they know it guarantees preservation of the regime and makes them, along with their partners, the dominant power in the region, thereby capable of expanding their control and influence. Add to this their ballistic missile delivery system and Iran is not only a threat to the region, but to Europe, as well. And as they increase missile range, eventually a threat to the United States. And as we know, a nuclear arms race, because of their nuclear ambition, is on the horizon for the Middle East.”

Keane detailed the growth of al-Qaeda in its quest to “eventually achieve world domination.”

“Third, the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, ISIS, is an outgrowth from Al-Qaeda in Iraq, which was defeated in Iraq by 2009. After U.S. troops pulled out of Iraq in 2011, ISIS reemerged as a terrorist organization in Iraq, moved into Syria in 2012, and began seizing towns and villages from the Syria-Iraq border all the way to the western Syria from Aleppo to Damascus,” he reminded the committee.

That leads to an “unmistakable” conclusion that “our policies have failed,” Keane added.

“And the unequivocal explanation is U.S. policy has focused on disengaging from the Middle East, while our stated policy is pivoting to the east,” he said. “U.S. policymakers choose to ignore the very harsh realities of the rise of radical Islam. In my view, we became paralyzed by the fear of adverse consequences in the Middle East after fighting two wars. Moreover, as we sit here this morning, in the face of radical Islam, U.S. policymakers refuse to accurately name the movement as radical Islam. We further choose not to define it, nor explain its ideology, and most critical, we have no comprehensive strategy to stop it or defeat it.”

National Security and Conservative Leaders Congratulate Gov. Jindal for His Leadership in Countering the Global Jihad Movement and Shariah

3746103376Center for Security Policy, Jan. 22, 2015:

(Washington, D.C.): Dozens of national security professionals and conservative thought leaders have signed a letter to Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana congratulating him on his recent remarks to the Henry Jackson Society in London, during which he forthrightly identified the threat posed by the Islamic jihadist movement and the shariah doctrine it seeks to impose globally, and the fundamental incompatibility of that doctrine with American Constitutional freedoms.

The letter, organized by the Center for Security Policy, states in part:

“We want to congratulate you for your recent remarks at the Henry Jackson Society in London in which you exhibited exemplary clarity of thought, commitment to truth and dedication to our Constitution and the freedoms it guarantees. The fact that you are being severely, and reprehensibly, attacked for doing so in connection with the central threat of our time – the Islamic supremacist doctrine of shariah and the global jihad being conducted to impose it on all of us – is an indictment of your critics, not of you. To the contrary, such criticisms should be regarded as a badge of honor.

In particular, it was enormously heartening to hear, at last, a senior and highly influential American political figure make the following, entirely accurate observation:

‘We have to stop pretending that right and wrong do not exist. For example – shariah law is not just different than our law, it’s not just a cultural difference, it is oppression and it is wrong. It subjugates women and treats them as property, and it is antithetical to valuing all of human life equally. It is the very definition of oppression.  We must stop pretending otherwise.’”

Among those who signed the letter are:

  • Gen. William G. “Jerry” Boykin, US Army (Ret.), Former Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence; Executive Vice President, Family Research Council
  • Andrew C. McCarthy, Former Chief Assistant United States Attorney, Southern District of New York; Bestselling author of Willful Blindness: A Memoir of the Jihad and The Grand Jihad
  • J. Kenneth Blackwell, Former U.S. Ambassador, U.N. Human Rights Commission
  • Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council
  • Brigitte Gabriel, Founder & CEO, ACT for America
  • Hank Cooper, High Frontier
  • Col. Kenneth J. Benway, US Army Special Forces (Ret.), Co-Founder, Special Operations Speaks

Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., President and CEO of the Center for Security Policy, stated:

“Gov. Jindal has done a tremendous service for the national security of the United States by articulating, unapologetically, that the ideology of shariah is fundamentally incompatible with American democracy and our way of life. It is our hope that other potential candidates for the presidency will follow Gov. Jindal’s lead, and that policymakers will take his watershed remarks as a starting point from which to craft policies recognizing that the threat we face comes not singularly from a nation-state like Iran or a non-state actor like the Islamic State, but from the shariahideology connecting and motivating them and so many other adversaries, both violent and non-violent, who share the goal of supplanting our way of life with theirs.”

The full text of the letter can be found below.

In addition, Mr. Gaffney transmitted a copy of the open letter to Gov. Jindal to other potential Republican and Democratic candidates for the presidency, inquiring as to whether they support his stance on the threat posed by Islamic supremacism and the global jihad movement. A copy of one such accompanying transmittal letter is also attached.

Joint Letter Thanking Gov. Bobby Jindal

Are we toast? Saudi king is dead; ISIS expands; we’re abandoning Yemen and Iran has a missile launcher

ImageSat-Internationals-satellite-image-show-missile-release-facility-in-Iran-300x180By Allen West, Jan. 23, 2015:

On Tuesday evening President Obama stated, “the shadow of crisis has passed and the state of the union is strong” — and of course the blind followers cheered.

Obama also hinted that we had “turned the page” on our fight against terrorism. Remember his unilateral declaration at the National War College that the war on terror had ended — and of course he has commanded that combat operations end in two theaters of operation; Iraq and Afghanistan.

But nothing could shine the light on President Obama’s naiveté (or approval?) more than the fact that just 48 hours after he dismissed the “shadow of crisis,” we are evacuating yet another U.S. Embassy — this time in Yemen.

It’s the same Yemen that just last fall, Obama referred to as the model of his success — just like Vice President Joe Biden once chimed that Iraq would be one of Obama’s greatest successes. When Obama said the shadow of crisis has passed, we had three U.S. Naval warships off the coast of Yemen ready to evacuate the embassy.

Also see:

President and GOP Ignore Elephant in the Room

O noUTT, by John Guandolo, Jan. 22, 2015:

In his speech Tuesday night, President Obama said, “My first duty as Commander in Chief is to defend America.”  So we have him on record as understanding his primary role as our President.

After watching the State of the Union address Tuesday evening, one has to wonder if the President is completely disconnected from reality, grossly and totally incompetent, or simply doing the bidding of our enemies.

As has been detailed on numerous occasions, evidence has been proffered by the U.S. Department of Justice as to the nature of the jihadist threat to America, which identifies the leading Islamic organizations as a part of the Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas Movement here.  Yet, the President continues to grant senior MB/Hamas leaders to the highest levels of our government and claim their ideology has nothing to do with true Islam.

As was detailed in Tuesday night’s UTT blog article , the ideology Al Qaeda teaches is also taught in nearly all of the Islamic schools in the world beginning at the first grade level, which may lead some people to believe it is “true Islam.”

Since all of the jihadi groups across the globe uniformly explain the reasons for what they do in the exact same way using the same authoritative texts in Islam, that might lead one to believe they are following true Islam.

Since there is no published Islamic doctrine contrary to what Al Qaeda teaches, rational and reasonable human beings would come to the conclusion (rightfully so) that Islam is what Islam says it is in it’s authoritative doctrinal texts of Islamic Law (Sharia).

Yet, it is still unclear to our President.

This leaves us with only a few options:   The President is either aware or unaware of these facts.  If he is unaware, he is either disconnected from the reality of these facts, or he is incapable of understanding and absorbing the facts.  In either case, he is unfit for office.

If he is aware of these facts and continues to act as he is acting, he is committing treason and should be dealt with to the full extent of our Constitution.

In his speech Tuesday, the President referred to what happened in Afghanistan as a “democratic transition.”  For mental health professionals, this is a red flag.  In the event the President is unaware, Afghanistan is an “Islamic Republic” whose constitution (written by the United States) mandates Sharia (Islamic Law) as the law of the land.  Which part of a “democracy” is this?  As Walid Phares often says, the only thing this logically shares with a “democracy” is that in Islamic countries they have a vote – once.  One vote, one time.  From that point forward, its an Islamic Republic ruled by Sharia (Islamic Law).

The President also noted, “In Iraq and Syria, our military leadership is stopping ISIL’s advance.”  This is the same ISIL formed out of the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda forces this President provided material support to when he called them the “rebel forces” fighting in Libya and Syria.  That, by the way, is a violation of U.S. federal code for which we put people in jail.

The President identified the threat we face as the “bankrupt ideology of violent extremism.”  This is interesting because our enemy has never identified themselves as “violent extremists.”  They identify themselves as “Muslims waging jihad in the cause of Allah in order to impose Islamic Law and establish the Islamic State (caliphate).”

The term “violent extremism” was created by DHS because they intentionally did not want to identify Islam as the problem.

The GOP response to the President’s State of the Union address was equally shocking in its absence of addressing the real and imminent threat from the global Islamic Movement, which has a massive network here in the United States.

Senator Joni Ernst, spent less than a minute on the threat of the global jihad which she described as “terrorism and the threats posed by al-Qaida, ISIL and those radicalized by them.”

The Emperor’s clothes look great.

After vowing to veto any new sanctions against Iran in the last portion of the State of the Union address, the President spoke of “American values” as the reason “why we continue to reject offensive stereotypes of Muslims, the vast majority of whom share our commitment to peace.”

This is true only if the vast majority of Muslim reject what Islam teaches, because their definition of “peace” is not the same as ours.

Is it reasonable to assume the “vast majority” of Muslims reject the core teachings of Islam?  Is it the kind of assumption we should make when American security is at stake?

Liberal Foreign Policy Guru Leslie Gelb Sounds Alarm: ‘Our Very Survival’ Imperiled

lesliegelbimageNewsBusters, By Jack Coleman | January 15, 2015

Bad enough for foreign policy elder statesman Leslie H. Gelb to condemn President Sharpton, uh, Obama for failing to attend the unity march in Paris that drew millions of people and dozens of world leaders in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo massacre, the executions of police, the murders of hostages at a kosher deli. Even worse that Gelb is urging Obama to dump his inner circle and replace them, at least partially, with … Republicans.

Six years into the Obama regime and it just might happen yet … change we can believe in. Meanwhile, the world is on high alert. What we’ve gotten so far for change has come at a dear cost, and we’re not done paying.

Gelb’s liberal credentials are so finely burnished that it will be all but impossible for Obama and his sycophants to ignore Gelb’s screed, which ends with his dire warning that “our very survival” is imperiled.

After earning his doctorate at Harvard, Gelb worked at the Pentagon and was appointed by then-Defense Secretary Robert McNamara to head up the project that resulted in the Pentagon Papers, later leaked to the New York Times. Following a stint at the left-leaning Brookings Institution, Gelb spent several years as a diplomatic correspondent for the Times before serving in Jimmy Carter’s State Department.

Gelb returned to the Times, working his way up to op-ed page editor and was part of a team that won the Pulitzer in 1986 for a series on the Strategic Defense Initiative. He is probably best known for his decade-long stint as president of the Council on Foreign Relations, which publishes Foreign Affairs magazine, one of the most influential American periodicals of the last century.

In other words, when Gelb speaks, people notice, especially those on the left. He occupies a comparable place in the foreign policy establishment once held by George Kennan, whose anonymous 1947 essay in Foreign Affairs urging containment of the Soviet Union became bipartisan American policy for the next three decades. And what Gelb posted yesterday at The Daily Beast surely must have stung at the White House.

In a post titled “This is Obama’s Last Foreign Policy Chance,” Gelb wrote that the failure of Obama or Joe Biden to represent the US at the Paris unity march was not just “profoundly disturbing” and a “horrendous gaffe.” Worse, “it demonstrated beyond argument that the Obama team lacks the basic instincts and judgment necessary to conduct U.S. national security policy in the next two years. It’s simply too dangerous to let Mr. Obama continue as is,” Gelb warned, with the US and our allies face what could be “one of the most dangerous periods since the height of the Cold War.”

Before getting to the heart of his post, Gelb stated that he knew he might sound paranoid —

Before I continue, I have to tell you that I’ve never made such extreme and far-reaching proposals in all my years in this business. I’ve never proposed such a drastic overhaul. But if you think hard about how Mr. Obama and his team handled this weekend in Paris, I think you’ll see that I’m not enjoying a foreign policy neurological breakdown.

After labeling it an “absolute no-brainer” for Obama or Biden to have attended the rally and condemning the “inexplicable and utter failure” of their staff to recommend this, Gelb put it on the table — it’s time for Obama to dump National Security Adviser Susan Rice, Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, chief speech writer and adviser Ben Rhodes, and “foreign policy guru without portfolio” Valerie Jarrett, the Obamas’ Rasputin. (My words, not Gelb’s).

Who should replace them? Gelb doesn’t hesitate to reach across the aisle —

First-rate former top officials and proven diplomats Thomas Pickering, Winston Lord, and Frank Wisner; Republicans with sterling records like Robert Zoellick, Rich Armitage, Robert Kimmett, and Richard Burt (emphasis added); or a rising young Democrat of proven ability and of demonstrated Cabinet-level quality, Michele Flournoy. Any one of them would make a huge difference from Day 1 in a top role.

While praising State Department No. 2 Anthony Blinken as “quite good” and urging that he stay, Gelb implied without stating outright that Secretary of State John Kerry should seek other employment, since he’s been described “even by the faithful in this administration as quixotic.” Gelb made numerous other appointment recommendations and urged Obama to create a “genuine working relationship” with Bob Corker and John McCain, “two new senatorial power brokers.”

Moreover, Obama needs regular consultation with “the usual wise men” — Henry Kissinger, Brent Scowcroft, Zbigniew Brzezinski, and James Baker. Three of the four were top advisers to Republican presidents; the exception, Brzezinski, Carter’s national security adviser, was loathed by the left as too hawkish.

As if all of that weren’t enough to make his point, Gelb concluded with this sobering assessment —

The world’s challenges to America today are not mere distractions from domestic priorities. They are gut challenges to our national security in the Middle East, with Russia and China, and with the terrorist threat inside and outside our borders. The terrorism and cyber warfare challenges in particular imperil our very survival. (emphasis added, and again).

Mr. Obama will not be a lesser man but a greater man if he recognizes what’s at stake and accepts the help he must have to ensure our survival.

What a distance from Reagan’s prescription for ending the Cold War — we win, they lose — to mulling what must be done to ensure American “survival.” That we’ve gotten to this point is hardly surprising to Obama’s conservative critics. They’ve known all along the folly of elevating a paper-thin resume to the presidency for the sake of expiating racial guilt.

Gohmert Reads Obama Admin’s Top 10 Mistakes of 2014

 

PJ Media, The National Security ‘Not Top 10′ of 2014

By Patrick Poole, December 31, 2014

With the world descending into chaos driven in no small measure by the incoherent, contradictory and frequently non-existent foreign policy of the Obama administration, it was difficult this year to narrow the field for this year’s biggest national security blunders. The task seemed so formidable, I nearly abandoned the endeavor.

But undaunted, I present to you the National Security “Not Top 10” of 2014, in no particular order.

(For past editions of my “Not Top 10”, see: 2012, 2011, 2010)

1) Befriending “moderate Al-Qaeda” in Syria:

There are some ideas so at war with reason and reality they can only exist in the fetid Potomac fever swamps of DC think tanks and foreign policy community. Such was the case in January when three of the best and brightest from those ranks published an article in Foreign Affairs (the same publication that in 2007 brought us the “Moderate Muslim Brotherhood”) contending that the US needed to “befriend” the Syrian jihadist group Ahrar al-Sham as some kind of counter to more extreme jihadist groups, like ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra. The precedent they cited was the US failure to designate the Taliban (!!!) after 9/11.

Mind you, at the time they wrote this, one of Ahrar al-Sham’s top leaders was a lieutenant for Al-Qaeda head Ayman al-Zawahiri who openly declared himself a member of Al-Qaeda. After most of their leadership was wiped out in a bombing in September, they have gravitated closer to the jihadist groups they were supposed to counter and their positions have been bombed by the US – much to the consternation of other “vetted moderate” rebel groups. So ridiculous was their proposition that the original subtitle of their article “An Al-Qaeda Affiliate Worth Befriending” was changed online to “An Al-Qaeda-Linked Group Worth Befriending” in the hopes of minimizing the absurdity of their case.

2) Obama Administration deploys three hashtag divisions in response to Russian invasion of Ukraine.

As Ukrainians made their bid to free themselves from Russia’s interference, Putin responded by deploying tanks and troops into Ukraine in violation of the1994 Budapest Memorandum. Obama’s rejoinder was to give a speech and to deploy three divisions of State Department employees all armed with a #UnitedForUkraine hashtag. Hilarity ensued as the Russian Foreign Ministry counterattacked by hijacking the hashtag, prompting State Department spox Jen Psakito decry, “Let’s hope the Kremlin will live by the promise of hashtag,” leaving many asking: Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot.

3) Obama: ISIS is the “JV team”.

In January President Obama sat down for an interview with the New Yorker, and when asked about ISIS gains in Iraq, he likened them to the JV team, saying ““The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant.” Those words came back to haunt him as ISIS surged in both Syria and Iraq, particular when Obama authorized missile strikes against ISIS in August. Even then Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken defended the president’s “JV team” remark, saying they didn’t pose the threat to America as much as Al-Qaeda. A few week later, the Washington Post noted the attempts to spin the president’s statement. By September, Obama laughably claimed in an interview on Meet the Press that he wasn’t talking about ISIS in his New Yorker interview. But even the notoriously biased Politifact rated his walk-back as “false” and two weeks ago the Washington Post’s fact checker Glenn Kessler branded Obama’s “JV team” spin as “the lie of the year”.

4) State Dept Official denies Boko Haram targeting Christians.

Just weeks after the Nigerian terrorist group abducted nearly 300 Christian school girls in Chibok and committed them to sexual slavery, State Department undersecretary Sarah Sewalldenied in a congressional hearing that Christians were being targeted. As I noted in an article here at PJ Media earlier this month on disturbing trends in Nigeria, the burning of churches and the abduction and murder of Christians continues to intensify, with more than 1,000 churches burned in just a few weeks earlier this year.

Readers might recall that this is the same State Department that in April 2012 was telling Congress that Boko Haram was not driven by religious ideology the day after the group bombed a church during an Easter service that killed 39 worshippers. Not only did the State Departmentvehemently defend not designating Boko Haram a terrorist organization, this year we discovered that they intentionally lied to Congress about the threat posed by the group. Having only designated them barely a year ago, 2014 has been Boko Haram’s deadliest year yet, with 9,000 killed, 1.5 million people displaced, and 800 schools destroyed. Nigerian authorities still complain that the Obama administration is reluctant to provide the country what it needs to fight the Boko Haram terror insurgency.

5) Homeland Security adviser’s pro-caliphate tweet used by ISIS recruiters.

Twitter proved to be the downfall of Homeland Security Advisor Council Senior Fellow Mohamed Elibiary, when he was unceremoniously let go by DHS in September following a long string of extremist social media statements. Critics, including myself, had noted Elibiary long history of promoting radical Islamic groups and publicly defending terrorist supporters. Things began to unravel when earlier this year he tweeted that America was “an Islamic country with an Islamically compliant constitution,” but the wheels definitely came off when he tweeted about the inevitability of the return of an Islamic caliphate – a statement that was later used by ISIS in their recruiting efforts. After his dismissal, which even international media took note of, I talked with Michelle Fields here at PJTV about Elibiary’s highly controversial tenure at DHS.

6) Obama, State Dept give shout-outs to Islamic cleric who OK’d fatwa authorizing killing of Americans in Iraq.

The Obama administration repeatedly promoted their BFF Mauritanian Islamic scholar Sheikh Abdullah Bin Bayyah, whose organization issued a fatwa in 2004 calling for the killing of American soldiers in Iraq and has spoken out in support of the terrorist group Hamas. But as I reported here at PJ Media in 2013, that didn’t prevent Bin Bayyah from receiving a warm welcome in the White House by members of Obama’s national security staff and being feted on Capitol Hill by two of Obama’s top Muslim advisers. When critics noted the cleric’s extremist views, the White House doubled down their support.

That continued when in May of this year, the State Department’s Counterterrorism Bureau tweeted out their support of Bin Bayyah, including a link to his website. Facing a backlash from critics and inquiries from the media, the State Department apologized and deleted the tweet. That didn’t stop President Obama from giving Bin Bayyah a shout-out in his address to the United Nations in September, remarkably praising the extremist cleric as a moderate scholar.

7) Obama administration gives heavy weapons to “vetted moderate” Syrian rebel groups that promptly turn up in hands of ISIS and Al-Qaeda.

Earlier this year, the DC foreign policy establishment was hailing two US-backed “vetted moderate” Syrian groups as the saviors to the Obama administration’s disastrous Syrian policy. The Syrian Revolutionaries Front was billed by Foreign Policy as “the West’s best fighting chance against Syria’s Islamist armies,” and the Muslim Brotherhood-backed Harakat al-Hazm was deemed by DC think tankers as “rebels worth supporting.” In fact, both groups were among the first to receive shipments of US TOW missiles. But as I’ve reported here at PJ Media, both groups were openly allying with jihadist groups, and in response to US airstrikes targeting ISIS, Harakat al-Hazm began denouncing the strikes as an “attack on the revolution.” Within the past two months,both groups have collapsed and many of their fighters have defected to ISIS and Al-Qaeda’s Jabhat al-Nusra.

Even more importantly, they surrendered their weapons to these jihadist groups. Earlier this month I reported that Jabhat al-Nusra was using US TOW missiles – a report confirmed over the weekend by the New York Times. This week brings news that ISIS is now using US TOW missiles in attacks near Damascus. The Iraqi Army has gotten into the act as well, having surrendered to ISIS 1,500 US-provided armored Humvees, 52 M198 howitzers with 20 mile range, and 4,000 PKC belt-fed machine guns.

8) White House defends Muslim Brotherhood’s “commitment to non-violence”.

Earlier this month the White House curtly responded to a “We the People” petition on its website calling for the designation of the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization, saying that “we have not seen credible evidence that the Muslim Brotherhood has renounced its decades-long commitment to non-violence.” Both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates declared the Brotherhood a terrorist group earlier this year.  As I noted as far back as 2007, the popular DC myth that the Muslim Brotherhood had renounced terrorism has no basis in reality. This was summarized ably by Congresswoman Michele Bachmann in an oped earlier this year that not only had the US government itself rejected the notion of a non-violent Muslim Brotherhood, but it has also designated as terrorists branches, leaders and charities of the international Muslim Brotherhood.

Those official US government statements testifying to the Muslim Brotherhood’s long history of violence and terrorism, as well as its violent doctrines, were included as findings in H.R. 5194, sponsored by Bachmann and 19 other House members calling for the Brotherhood’s designation. Events of this year have testified to Brotherhood’s ongoing support for terrorism, such as the raid last January by Egyptian authorities of a Molotov cocktail factory inside a Brotherhood office in Alexandria, the brutal murder in April of a Christian woman who was dragged from her car during a Muslim Brotherhood protest, and thearrest of Brotherhood officials earlier this month in Jordan who were smuggling weapons into the West Bank for terror attacks on Israelis. If to highlight the point, when UK Prime Minister David Cameron announced that his government would be investigating the Muslim Brotherhood, the group’s London office threatened attacks in response.

9) Obama administration defends US Islamic groups branded as terrorist organizations by UAE.

The White House reportedly spent its Christmas appealing to the UAE to remove two US Islamic groups – the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Muslim American Society – from the UAE’s terrorist blacklist. What makes this defense, particularly of CAIR, so remarkable is that the US government itself has noted the terror connections in federal court. In 2007, federal prosecutors named CAIR as unindicted co-conspirators in the largest terrorism financing trial in American history, and during the trial one FBI agent testified that CAIR was a front for Hamas and prosecutors contended in court filings (p. 13) that it was part of an international Muslim Brotherhood conspiracy to provide “media, money and men” to the terror group. The federal judge in the case agreed, stating in a ruling that there was “ample evidence” CAIR and other Islamic groups identified as conspirators acted in support of Hamas. The Justice Department has also said in federal court that MAS was “founded as the overt arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States.” Notwithstanding a FBI ban on official contact with CAIR, White House officials have admitted to hundreds of meetings with the terror front.

10) Having banned discussions of ideology driving Islamic terrorism, Pentagon says it can’t understand ideology of ISIS.

The New York Times reported over the weekend about the unsuccessful efforts of the Pentagon’s Special Operations Command (SOCOM) to counter the ideology of ISIS. “We have not defeated the idea. We do not even understand the idea,” said SOCOM’s Major Gen. Michael Nagata, while “other officials acknowledge they have barely made a dent in the larger, longer-term campaign to kill the ideology that animates the terrorist movement,” the article noted. This is no surprise as the Joint Chiefs of Staff formally banned any discussion of the Islamic ideology driving terrorist groups in its counter-terrorism training and in its war colleges in an October 2011 Joint Action Staff Directive that was sourced solely on the questionable and highly partisan reporting of far Left blogger Spencer Ackerman.

As I have detailed elsewhere, the Joint Chiefs’ actions were part of a larger Obama administration effort to purge counter-terrorism training across all national security and law enforcement agencies. The architect of the Obama administration’s failing counter-terrorism strategy, Quintan Wiktorowicz, defended these polices earlier this year, telling Bill Gertz of the Washington Free Beacon that the US government is prohibited by the First Amendment from discussing the religious ideology of terror groups threatening the US, and that such efforts would have to be outsourced to “partners in the Muslim world.” That didn’t stop Wiktorowicz from saying that more money was needed for efforts to counter the very ideology that he said no one in the US government can talk about.

Needless to say, this list is hardly exhaustive. And the coming year looks to have plenty of candidates for 2015’s “Not Top 10.”

Also see this key report written by Patrick Poole on JUNE 4, 2013:

Judge Jeanine: “We NEED to KILL Them!”

Published on Jan 10, 2015 by Steve Laboe

“It is time for this to be over!” says Judge Jeanine Pirro
in her blistering Opening Statement in response to
the Radical Islamic Terrorist Attacks in Paris this past week

Obama Empowers Enemies and Imperils Friends

national-security-summit-hausman-e1415355363525By Matthew Hausman:

Even after the recent war in Gaza – and in spite of the dangers posed by ISIS and other Islamist forces – many American Jews still do not fully comprehend the risk to Israel and the West of a rejectionist ideology that promotes jihad and genocide.  But the threat is real and arises from a doctrine that demands total submission from the vanquished.  In failing to recognize the scope of the threat, western progressives – Jews and Gentiles alike – view the world as they believe it should be, not the way it actually is.  The reality, however, is that liberal ideals are irrelevant in regions where politics have no existence independent of religion and religion is unforgivingly totalitarian.

This failure is as much political as intellectual.  Moreover, it engenders complacency with the foreign policy of an administration that has not only failed to respond adequately to the Islamist threat, but whose actions have bolstered fundamentalism across the Mideast and undercut the interests of Israel – America’s only stable and dependable ally in the region.

These points were articulated at a security panel conference entitled, “Israel and the US: The Fight to Save Western Civilization from Global Jihad,” which took place in Massachusetts recently.  The program featured retired Generals Jerry Boykin and Tom McInerney, former CIA Station Chief Gary Berntsen, and retired Lt. Colonel (and former congressman) Allen West.  The program focused on the need to recognize the threat of jihadist extremism, as well as the myriad foreign policy failures that have helped destabilize the Mideast.

Secular progressives have become unwitting foils for Islamist radicalism by their failure to acknowledge its supremacist aspirations and their perception of Muslims as a vulnerable minority despite a global population of approximately 1.6 billion.  This view is a little ironic considering the progressive tendency to disparage Jewish national claims and values and to condemn any perceived Christian intrusion into American politics, but nevertheless to discourage speech that criticizes Islam or mentions any Muslim involvement in terrorism.

Secular progressives often support anti-blasphemy laws and are quick to label as racists those who criticize Muslims on political grounds, although Islam is a religion and is not defined by race or ethnicity.  Moreover, while they often rationalize Islamist extremism as an indigenous voice of protest against western chauvinism, its ubiquity is the result of conquest, colonialism, and the subjugation of “infidel” minorities.  It is the height of cognitive dissonance when feminists, gay rights activists and other social progressives express support for religious extremists who persecute and kill based on gender, sexuality, and dissenting religious belief or political opinion, but condemn Israel – the only country in the Mideast where minorities have equal rights and protections under the law.

Over the last six years, the administration has sought rapprochement with the Islamic world through a series of questionable policies.  Domestically, it has discouraged official use of terms such as “Islamic terrorism,” instead referring to terror incidents involving Muslims as criminal acts, workplace violence or violent extremism.  On the foreign stage, it enabled the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, provided funding in areas governed by Hamas despite that organization’s stated goals of jihad and genocide, and failed to honor strategic commitments to Israel during the Gaza war.

Perhaps most troubling, the administration has used the pretense of negotiations to allow Iran to continue its quest for nuclear weapons – to the consternation not only of Israel, but of Saudi Arabia and all Sunni states in the region.  Though it rationalizes that Iran should be permitted to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, critics point out that 55 percent of Iran’s domestic energy comes from natural gas, 42 percent from oil and two percent from hydroelectricity, such that it has no apparent consumer need for nuclear power. Its true intentions are reflected in the statements of its leaders, including Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who recently tweeted that Israel “… has no cure but to be annihilated.”

Whether promoting Islamists, enabling Iran’s nuclear ambitions, or chastising the way Israel defended herself in Gaza, the administration has pursued policies that have empowered America’s enemies and imperiled its allies.  Furthermore, by drawing meaningless redlines that it refuses to enforce and unilaterally disarming in Europe, it has signaled to the world that it is no longer willing to defend its own interests or those of its allies, but instead will stand aside while Russia, China and other geopolitical rivals assert themselves within traditional U.S. spheres of influence.

Speaking to a packed house at Ahavath Torah Congregation in Stoughton, Massachusetts, Generals Boykin and McInerney, Colonel West, and Agent Berntsen discussed the weakening of American strength and prestige under the current administration, and how this has enhanced Islamist resolve, endangered the safety of Israel, and compromised American interests around the globe.

Read more at NER

 

What will it take for us to stop doing business with Qatar?

UN-GENERAL ASSEMBLY-QATAR

We’ve let the desert state face both ways on funding extremism.

The Spectator, Simon Heffer, 4 October 2014:

On 17 June, a meeting of the Henry Jackson Society, held in the House of Commons, discussed (according to the minutes published on the society’s website) how a tribal elder in northern Cameroon who runs a car import business in Qatar has become one of the main intermediaries between kidnappers from Boko Haram and its offshoot Ansaru and those seeking to free hostages. It was alleged that embezzlement of funds going to Qatar via car imports might be disguising ransom payments. It was also alleged that Qatar was involved in financing Islamist militant groups in West Africa, helping with weapons and ideological training, and (with Saudi Arabia) funding the building of mosques in Mali and Nigeria that preach a highly intolerant version of Islam.

This was far from the only time such accusations have been levelled. Yet Qatar is supposed to be one of our allies, supporting air strikes against the Islamic State. Its ruler even thinks his enormous wealth entitles him to blag his way into Her Majesty’s carriage at Royal Ascot. Given Qatar’s questionable role in the current tide of savage Islamism, should its ruler be allowed anywhere near our Queen? And should they be allowed to buy up our country, as they have done relentlessly since the crash of 2008?

After the overthrow of President Morsi of Egypt, Qatar became a place of refuge for the Muslim Brotherhood. However, on 12 September it asked several leading Brotherhood figures to leave. They duly did, not in outrage or indignation, but apologising for causing embarrassment. Clearly, they felt a debt to the Qataris, and a senior Brotherhood spokesman, Amr Darrag, said what it was. He issued a statement thanking Qataris for their support to ‘the Egyptian people in their revolution against the military junta’.

Qatar asked its former friends to leave because of pressure applied by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Some may come to London: there is already a group of Brotherhood members in Cricklewood, under scrutiny from the authorities. But even now, Qatar remains home to an array of exiled Islamists, and thus a focus of suspicion to its neighbours. Bahrain joined Saudi Arabia and the UAE in withdrawing its ambassador from Doha this spring. It has been widely reported that Qatari money funds extremists in Libya, and when these ambassadors were recalled, the Zionist Organisation of America asked the US government to declare Qatar a state sponsor of terrorism.

The Emir of Qatar’s personal fortune and the country’s sovereign wealth fund are rumoured to amount to £50 billion. Qataris own substantial amounts of real estate — such as the Shard, the Olympic Village, One Hyde Park, a part of Canary Wharf, the United States Embassy building in Grosvenor Square, the Chelsea Barracks development and Harrods. They have large stakes in the stock exchange, Sainsburys and Barclays bank. Almost all Britain’s liquefied natural gas comes from Qatar, accounting for a quarter of our gas needs. The desert state has also bought the 2022 World Cup — rather like playing a cricket Test series at the South Pole — in a fashion so seemingly corrupt that there have been widespread calls for a boycott.

Sir John Jenkins, the British ambassador to Saudi Arabia, has compiled a report exposing extremist activity among members of the Brotherhood and their links to jihadis. It named three Muslim charities in Britain that seemed to be sending funds to extremists in the Middle East. At the very least this should lead Britain to expel members of the Brotherhood, close down the charities and sequester their funds; but the problem will never be dealt with until the source of the funding is cut off. At some stage the British government must ask itself a simple question: however much we want Qatari gas, how much longer can we permit commercial relations with such people?

In June the American magazine The Atlantic asserted that Jabhat al-Nusra, an al-Qa’eda proxy in Syria, had somehow received ‘Qatar’s economic and military largesse’. There is no suggestion this was sanctioned or funded by the Qatari government: but every suggestion it came from interest groups based in Qatar and wealthy Qatari nationals. The problem has been around for years. Wikileaks published a memorandum from Hillary Clinton, when US secretary of state, saying Qatar had the worst record of counter-terrorism co-operation of any ally of the United States.

The Qatari foreign minister, Khalid al-Attiyah, called claims such as The Atlantic’s ‘Qatar-bashing’, and denied the country or anyone in it was bankrolling IS. Certainly, most of the evidence for IS’s funding points to groups and individuals in Saudi Arabia. However, Saudi Arabia may provide training camps for anti-IS groups from Syria approved by the Americans. In response to a US request for similar assistance, the Qataris said it would be ‘premature’. Meanwhile, the Americans continue to accuse Qatar and Kuwait of being ‘permissive environments’ for the funding of terrorism, and believe Qatar has unhealthily close links with Jabhat al-Nusra. Certainly, Mr Attiyah has sought to play down its activities by pointing instead to atrocities committed by those loyal to Bashar al-Assad.

Israel has driven America’s scepticism over Qatar, accusing it of funding Hamas and of exporting terror not just through Jabhat al-Nusra but through IS. A German minister, Gerd Müller, then said that when the question was raised about funding IS, ‘The key word there is Qatar.’ This brought an immediate repudiation from the Qataris, who argued they had been among the first to condemn the beheading of the murdered American hostage James Foley.

However, the Americans — whose largest base in the Middle East is, ironically, at Al Udeid in Doha — believe Qatar has funded extremists not merely in Syria and Libya but also in Tunisia, Mali and Iraq. Another Wikileaks cable revealed Meir Degan, a former head of Mossad, telling the US that ‘Qatar is trying to cosy up to everyone’, and warning America to close its bases there.

Qatar’s pretence that it is an honest broker in the Middle East, attempting to see all sides of an argument, may wash in Doha. It won’t, however, resonate in countries such as Britain and America whose citizens are targeted by jihadis financed by people who may be Qataris, and who have enjoyed Qatari hospitality. Qatar needs to be reminded that the civilised parts of the world with which it does business won’t tolerate apologists for savage extremists. It can’t face both ways on this. Britain must expel members of the Brotherhood and sequester their funds. And it must tell Qatar that unless it stops turning a blind eye to some of its people funding murder and extremism, and stops equivocating about extremists, its assets will be frozen and trade with it suspended until it does.

Simon Heffer, is a columnist for the Daily Mail and a former deputy editor of The Spectator.

HAYDEN ON OBAMA: IT’S HARD TO GET INTEL ASSESSMENTS THROUGH TO ‘PEOPLE LIKE THAT’

haydenAudio at Breitbart

Thursday on “Kilmeade and Friends,” retired General Michael Hayden, the former Director of the CIA & NSA, told Fox News Radio’s Brian Kilmeade that because President Barack Obama preferred to read his intelligence briefings instead of engaging with  officials and asking questions like former President George W. Bush, it was not easy to get the assessments across to the current Commander-in-Chief.

Hayden said “people like me have to accommodate to people like that,” adding “my old job is easier when you are face to face,” but he said “President Obama absorbs information by reading and reflecting.”

“It was easier for the intel briefer,” “when the individual engages,” Hayden explained.

Hayden said “it is pretty clear in this case”  we are dealing with “the phenomenon of the unpleasant fact.”

He explained that in President Obama’s case “you’re there briefing a position, a flow, a thread, a development that is absolutely cutting across the grain of the world as the policymaker would like it to be, or he perceives it to be,” he added “you’re in essence telling this individual the world isn’t as he believed it to be, and I think we had an awful lot of that going on.”

********

Obama knew details of Islamic State in 2012:

 

Brooke Goldstein on The Kelly File – Obama Administration & Terror Terminology:

 

Pres Bush Warned Of Iraq Pullout – The Kelly File:

 

Sen. Ron Johnson Blisters ‘Reality-Denying’ Obama Administration

 

Compare and contrast:

h/t Jester’s Court

 

ISIS is the President’s Intelligence Failure

383580128 (1)Center For Security Policy, By Fred Fleitz:

Obama officials made some dubious claims over the summer that the White House was caught off guard by the rise of the terrorist army of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) because U.S. intelligence agencies underestimated the ISIS threat.  Many have disputed this, including Congressman Mike Rogers (R-MI), the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, who said in June that the Iraq crisis is a policy and not an intelligence failure.  Others pointed out there has been press on ISIS activities for almost a year and that Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, testified to the Senate Armed Services Committee last February that ISIS “will attempt to take territory in Iraq and Syria to exhibit its strength in 2014, as demonstrated recently in Ramadi and Fallujah, and the group’s ability to concurrently maintain multiple safe havens in Syria.”

It now looks like the real intelligence failure has been President Obama’s decision to ignore critical U.S. intelligence analysis and warnings.

Fox News correspondent Catherine Herridge reported today that according to a former Pentagon official, “detailed and specific intelligence about the rise of ISIS was included in the PDB, or the President’s Daily Brief, for at least a year before the group took large swaths of territory beginning in June.”  The source also described this intelligence as “strong” and “granular” in detail.

The PDB is a highly classified daily intelligence report prepared for the President and a handful of other high level officials by U.S. intelligence agencies.  The former Pentagon official told Herridge that unlike his predecessors, President Obama reads the PDB and does not receive a PDB briefing.  The source also said U.S. intelligence agencies rarely receive follow-up questions from Mr. Obama on the PDB.

Herridge’s story tracks with a September 12, 2012 Washington Post op-ed by Marc Thiessen that despite White House bragging about President Obama receiving a daily PDB briefing, Thiessen found the president had skipped more than half of them.

The president’s supporters in the news media went after Thiessen over this op-ed.  For example, in a September 24, 2012 column, The bogus claim that Obama ‘skips’ his intelligence briefings, Washington Post reporter Glenn Kessler gave Thiessen’s piece three “Pinocchios” for being inaccurate and said in an update it may have deserved a fourth.  According to Kessler, Presidents Nixon, Carter, Reagan and Clinton also did not receive daily PDB briefings.

While Kessler is right that presidents have had different styles in dealing with intelligence and the PDB, the real issue is whether the information in the PDB reaches the president.  President Carter and both Presidents Bush often sent comments and feedback after reading the PDB.  Presidents Ford and Reagan sent also sent feedback but less than these presidents.  (Kessler also claimed President Reagan almost never wrote questions or comments about the PDB.  I dispute this since I once received a comment from President Reagan written on a PDB I authored when I was a CIA analyst.  Several of my CIA colleagues occasionally received comments and questions on the PDB from President Reagan.)

President Bill Clinton had a very different approach to the PDB and his morning intelligence.  It was well known at CIA that Clinton rarely read the PDB.  Clinton skipped so many PDB briefings that CIA management stopped sending daily read-outs of them to analysts after someone at CIA leaked word about Clinton’s skipped PDB briefings to the press.  I believe Clinton’s ignorance of U.S. intelligence analysis contributed to his underestimation of the threat from al-Qaeda and his timid responses to the al-Qaeda terrorist attacks which occurred on his watch.

Some will interpret Herridge’s report as an explanation for President Obama’s claims that he did not know about the ISIS threat as well as the much-criticized comment he made last week that his administration has “no strategy yet” to deal with ISIS.

I don’t buy such an explanation.  Consider that National Security Adviser Rice, Vice President Biden, Secretary of State Kerry and Secretary of Defense Hagel also are PDB recipients.  I’m sure most if not all of them receive daily PDB briefings and read the PDB.  If this is the case, why didn’t any of them tell the president about the growing ISIS threat that U.S. intelligence agencies reportedly were warning about?

The answer is that the president did know about these warnings and was told about them by his senior officials but chose to ignore this information because he is still in denial about the threat from radical Islam.  This was obvious by the way Obama officials misled the American people about the 2012 terrorist attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.   It is now clear Mr Obama did not learn from this mistake.

The most worrisome conclusion I draw from Herridge’s report is not that President Obama ignored or played down information about the ISIS threat and radical Islam.  I’m more concerned that Mr Obama’s reported refusal to do PDB briefings or send feedback on the PDB suggests he may be ignoring intelligence across the board just like President Clinton did.  This raises the question whether there are other urgent threat warnings by American intelligence agencies that Mr Obama is aware of but has chosen to ignore.

HANNA: The Ethics Of Fighting With Terrorists

militantTruth Revolt, by Rachael Hanna, Aug. 9, 2014:

The United States is supporting, funding, and arming “terrorists.” Not through back channels, middlemen, Swiss bank accounts or CIA covert operations, but openly and publicly. The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) was designated as a foreign terrorist organization on October 8, 1997 by the U.S. Department of State after thirteen years of insurgency, including bombing attacks and kidnappings, against Turkish military personnel and citizens. Aside from its use of terrorist tactics, the PKK found itself on the wrong side of the strategically crucial alliance between the United States and Turkey. Now, however, the United States is actively supporting the PKK rebels in their fight against the Islamic State (IS). Additionally, the United States is arming the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) to combat IS; these two political parties were classified as “Tier III” terrorist organizations for their role in the armed uprising against Saddam Hussein in the 1990s, although Senator John McCain introduced a Senate amendment last November to have these groups removed from the terror list.

For months now, news headlines have updated the world on the Islamic State’s terrifyingly swift march through Iraq, as militants captured the major cities of Tikrit and Mosul and approached Baghdad and Erbil, where the United States retains military bases. Thousands, most notably the Christians of Mosul and the Yazidis trapped on the Sinjar Mountains, have been slaughtered or forced to flee their homes by IS militants. The Iraqi army failed to stop the onslaught of the Islamic State, even after the Kurdish Peshmerga fighters joined forces with them. But now, IS’s conquests have temporarily stalled in Iraq, due largely to the guerrilla fighters of the PKK, who have allied with the Peshmerga, their long-time rivals, to take back the Mosul dam with the aid of U.S. air strikes. This is good news for the embattled Iraqis and for the United States, which has suffered a loss of international respect for failing to intervene in the civil war and protect persecuted religious minorities sooner. However, these new Kurdish allies may create a legal problem for the United States concerning its terrorism laws.

A Troubled History

The U.S. government has a history of arming controversial rebel groups, beginning with its global mission to prevent the spread of communist ideology in the aftermath of World War II and continuing in the late 20th and early 21st centuries with groups fighting against Islamic extremists and dictators. Major operations include those in Honduras, Chile, Nicaragua, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, and now Iraq.

Some of the most infamous rebel groups to receive U.S. support were the Contras, groups of guerrilla fighters working to overthrow the communist Sandinista regime in Nicaragua. In 1981, the Reagan Administration began financing and arming the rebels. This policy became controversial, not only because of the entanglement in the Iran-Contra Affair, but also because the Contras allegedly engaged in serious and frequent human rights abuses, including attacking and murdering non-combatant civilians, according to Human Rights Watch. Unsurprisingly, the Contras were never listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, but under current U.S. law, the group likely warranted the designation; 18 U.S. Code § 2331 defines “international terrorism” as:

violent acts or acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State, or that would be a criminal violation if committed within the jurisdiction of the United States or of any State; appear to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population, to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion, or to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping, and occur primarily outside the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.

Around the same time, on the other side of the world, the United States was arming another group of rebel fighters—the mujahideen of Afghanistan. Beginning in 1979 and continuing through the 1980s until the collapse of the Soviet Union, mujahideen fighters received weapons and training from the CIA to push back Soviet forces and topple the communist government in Kabul. Unlike the U.S.-backed Contras, the mujahideen successfully drove out the Soviets, and liberated Afghanistan from communism. The ideology that succeeded this regime was even worse.

Dealing with the Consequences

From the U.S.-trained and -armed mujahideen sprung Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, responsible for the 9/11 attacks and deaths of more than 2,200 American soldiers and an estimated 20,000 Afghan civilians in the ground war in Afghanistan. A similarly dangerous and potentially more deadly situation is now unfolding with the Islamic State. Stalling in Iraq, IS has turned its attention to a renewed offensive in northern Syria, using U.S. Humvees captured from the faltering Iraqi army to transport militants and weapons across the border. Armed with American weapons, IS has increased its fighting capabilities and emboldened its fighters, which has added the brutal and tragic beheading of American journalist James Foley to its death toll.

While airstrikes in Iraq have been instrumental in the pushback against IS, President Obama has yet to authorize additional strikes in Syria; for now, America’s solution to the carnage wrought by IS is largely to fight terrorists with other terrorists. It goes without saying that IS must be stopped as quickly and effectively as possible. With an estimated 20,000 fighters in Iraq and Syria, the PKK are by far the most experienced and well-trained group to lead a counter-ground attack against IS in northern Iraq and Syria, especially with American air support. After three decades of insurgency with Turkey, PKK rebels are battle-tested and well organized, whereas the Peshmerga and other Kurdish fighters have far less experience and have proven unable to take IS head on. The PKK’s support of besieged minorities and civilians against IS has spurred a lobbying effort in the United States to have the group taken off the State Department’s terrorist organization list. Since a cease-fire agreement with Turkey in March of 2013, the PKK has largely aborted the use of terrorist tactics; however, the group has launched several attacks against Turkish security forces in recent weeks, which could undermine peace negotiations and the recent attempt to declassify it as a terrorist organization.

Fighting in the Grey

It is difficult to determine whether the Contras should have been designated as a terrorist group or whether the United States should have been more cautious about arming the Afghan mujahideen; even hindsight isn’t 20/20. Supporting the PKK may well turn out to be a brilliant strategic move if it leads to the destruction of IS. Nonetheless, in this moment, the PKK is a terrorist organization, and that may put the United States government in a legally grey area. 18 U.S. Code § 2339B states, “Whoever knowingly provides material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization, or attempts or conspires to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 15 years, or both, and, if the death of any person results, shall be imprisoned for any term of years or for life.”

This section of the law would seemingly prohibit the United States from supporting the PKK, but a later section of the same law states, “No person may be prosecuted under this section in connection with the term ‘personnel’, ‘training’, or ‘expert advice or assistance’ if the provision of that material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization was approved by the Secretary of State with the concurrence of the Attorney General. The Secretary of State may not approve the provision of any material support that may be used to carry out terrorist activity.” This is the exception. As long as the “material support” provided by the United States is not used in a terrorist act, the U.S. government, with approval from both the Secretary of State and the Attorney General, can support foreign terrorist groups. Currently, the PKK is working to defeat IS; killing armed combatants is a legitimate act of war, not terrorism, so it seems that the United States is not acting illegally. However, there is a possibility that arms provided indirectly to the PKK through the Iraqi army and other Kurdish groups could eventually be turned against Turkish security forces and civilians, the latter of which would be an act of terror against a U.S. ally.

A Country Without a Moral Conscious?

What do these situations and potential scenarios mean for U.S. terrorism laws? The point is not whether the United States might entangle itself in grey areas of the laws concerning terrorism; it likely already has. The real question is, do these laws hold any weight? Do they have anything meaningful to contribute to the country’s foreign policy principles and decisions? The United States has chosen not to label groups as terrorist organizations if it is politically inconvenient or would get in the way of a greater policy objective; it provides funding and arms to rebel groups it cannot control, and who have often turned against the United States at a later date; most recently, it is using terrorists to fight other terrorists. If not illegal, this part of American history at least presents a moral predicament, one that we are actively dealing with in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, and Iraq. Laws are fundamentally impositions of morality on society, but if the laws we write do not create a guiding moral framework, and instead allow us to do what is most convenient, expedient, or politically popular in the moment without serious regard to a higher set of common ethical principles, then where does a secular society based on the rule of law derive its morality from?

Last year, President Obama, now infamously, said that the use of chemical weapons in Syria constituted a moral red line that, once crossed, would result in severe consequences for the Assad regime. This ended up being an empty threat when proposed airstrikes against Syrian military targets failed to gain support on either side of the aisle in Congress. The decisions that need to be made regarding policy in Middle East are complicated, and they are rarely black or white. But that is the entire point of having a strong set of moral principles—you stick to them even when the choices are difficult or unpopular, or when cutting corners might be easier. The question is, what set of moral principles does the United States have, and do its leaders have the backbone to uphold them?

Rachael Hanna ’16 is an Associate World Editor for the Harvard Political Review. Follow her @rhanna213.

Also see:

 

Sherman’s 300,000 and the Caliphate’s Three Million

Middle East Forum:

by David P. Goldman
Asia Times
August 12, 2014

553When General William Tecumseh Sherman burned the city of Atlanta in 1864, he warned, “I fear the world will jump to the wrong conclusion that because I am in Atlanta the work is done. Far from it. We must kill three hundred thousand I have told you of so often, and the further they run the harder for us to get them.” Add a zero to calibrate the problem in the Levant today. War in the Middle East is less a strategic than a demographic phenomenon, the resolution of which will come with the exhaustion of the pool of potential fighters.

The Middle East has plunged into a new Thirty Years War, allows Richard Haass, the president of the Council of Foreign Relations:

It is a region wracked by religious struggle between competing traditions of the faith. But the conflict is also between militants and moderates, fueled by neighboring rulers seeking to defend their interests and increase their influence. Conflicts take place within and between states; civil wars and proxy wars become impossible to distinguish. Governments often forfeit control to smaller groups – militias and the like – operating within and across borders. The loss of life is devastating, and millions are rendered homeless.

Well and good: I predicted in 2006 that the George W. Bush administration’s blunder would provoke another Thirty Years War in the region, and repeated the diagnosis many times since. But I doubt that Mr. Haass (or Walter Russell Mead, who cited the Haass article) has given sufficient thought to the implications.

How does one handle wars of this sort? In 2008, I argued for a “Richelovian” foreign policy, that is, emulation of the evil genius who guided France to victory at the conclusion of the Thirty Years War in 1648. Wars of this sort end when two generations of fighters are killed. They last for decades (as did the Peloponnesian War, the Napoleonic Wars and the two World Wars of the 20th century) because one kills off the fathers in the first half of the war, and the sons in the second.

This new Thirty Years War has its origins in a demographic peak and an economic trough. There are nearly 30 million young men aged 15 to 24 in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Iran, a bulge generation produced by pre-modern fertility rates that prevailed a generation ago. But the region’s economies cannot support them. Syria does not have enough water to support an agricultural population, and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of farmers into tent cities preceded its civil war. The West mistook the death spasms of a civilization for an “Arab Spring,” and its blunders channeled the youth bulge into a regional war.

The way to win such a war is by attrition, that is, by feeding into the meat-grinder a quarter to a third of the enemy’s available manpower. Once a sufficient number of those who wish to fight to the death have had the opportunity to do so, the war stops because there are insufficient recruits to fill the ranks. That is how Generals Grant and Sherman fought the American Civil War, and that is the indicated strategy in the Middle East today.

It is a horrible business. It was not inevitable. It came about because of the ideological rigidity of the Bush Administration, compounded by the strategic withdrawal of the Obama administration. It could have been avoided by the cheap and simple expedient bombing of Iran’s nuclear program and Revolutionary Guards bases, followed by an intensive subversion effort aimed at regime change in Teheran. Former Vice President Dick Cheney advocated this course of action, but then Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice persuaded Bush that the Muslim world would never forgive America for an attack on another Muslim state.

The Pentagon, meanwhile, warned Bush that America’s occupation army in Iraq had become hostage to Iranian retaliation: if America bombed Iran, Iran could exact vengeance in American blood in the cities of Iraq. Then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Mike Mullen told Charlie Rose on March 16, 2009:

What I worry about in terms of an attack on Iran is, in addition to the immediate effect, the effect of the attack, it’s the unintended consequences. It’s the further destabilization in the region. It’s how they would respond. We have lots of Americans who live in that region who are under the threat envelope right now [because of the] capability that Iran has across the Gulf. So, I worry about their responses and I worry about it escalating in ways that we couldn’t predict.

The Bush administration was too timid to take on Iran; the Obama administration views Iran as a prospective ally. Even Neville Chamberlain did not regard Hitler as prospective partner in European security. But that is what Barack Obama said in March to journalist Jeffrey Goldberg:

What I’ll say is that if you look at Iranian behavior, they are strategic, and they’re not impulsive. They have a worldview, and they see their interests, and they respond to costs and benefits. And that isn’t to say that they aren’t a theocracy that embraces all kinds of ideas that I find abhorrent, but they’re not North Korea. They are a large, powerful country that sees itself as an important player on the world stage, and I do not think has a suicide wish, and can respond to incentives.

Bush may have been feckless, but Obama is mad.

With Iran neutralized, Syrian President Basher Assad would have had no choice but to come to terms with Syria’s Sunni majority; as it happens, he had the firepower to expel millions of them. Without the protection of Tehran, Iraq’s Shia would have had to compromise with Sunnis and Kurds. Iraqi Sunnis would not have allied with ISIS against the Iranian-backed regime in Baghdad. A million or more Iraqis would not have been displaced by the metastasizing Caliphate.

The occupation of Iraq in the pursuit of nation building was colossally stupid. It wasted thousands of lives and disrupted millions, cost the better part of a trillion dollars, and demoralized the American public like no failure since Vietnam – most of all America’s young people. Not only did it fail to accomplish its objective, but it kept America stuck in a tar-baby trap, unable to take action against the region’s main malefactor. Worst of all: the methods America employed in order to give the Iraq war the temporary appearance of success set in motion the disaster we have today. I warned of this in a May 4, 2010 essay entitled, General Petraeus’ Thirty Years War (Asia Times Online, May 4, 2010).

The great field marshal of the Thirty Years War of 1618-1648, Albrecht von Wallenstein, taught armies to live off the land, and succeeded so well that nearly half the people of Central Europe starved to death during the conflict. General David Petraeus, who heads America’s Central Command (CENTCOM), taught the land to live off him. Petraeus’ putative success in the Iraq “surge” of 2007-2008 is one of the weirder cases of Karl Marx’s quip of history repeating itself first as tragedy second as farce. The consequences will be similar, that is, hideous.

Wallenstein put 100,000 men into the field, an army of terrifying size for the times, by turning the imperial army into a parasite that consumed the livelihood of the empire’s home provinces. The Austrian Empire fired him in 1629 after five years of depredation, but pressed him back into service in 1631. Those who were left alive joined the army, in a self-feeding spiral of destruction on a scale not seen in Europe since the 8th century. Wallenstein’s power grew with the implosion of civil society, and the Austrian emperor had him murdered in 1634.

Petraeus accomplished the same thing with (literally) bags of money. Starting with Iraq, the American military has militarized large parts of the Middle East and Central Asia in the name of pacification. And now America is engaged in a grand strategic withdrawal from responsibility in the region, leaving behind men with weapons and excellent reason to use them.

There is no way to rewind the tape after the fragile ties of traditional society have been ripped to shreds by war. All of this was foreseeable; most of it might have been averted. But the sordid players in this tragicomedy had too much reputation at stake to reverse course when it still was possible. Now they will spend the declining years of their careers blaming each other.

Three million men will have to die before the butchery comes to an end. That is roughly the number of men who have nothing to go back to, and will fight to the death rather than surrender.

ISIS by itself is overrated. It is a horde enhanced by captured heavy weapons, but cannot fly warplanes in a region where close air support is the decisive factor in battle. The fighters of the Caliphate cannot hide under the jungle canopy like the North Vietnamese. They occupy terrain where aerial reconnaissance can identify every stray cat. The Saudi and Jordanian air forces are quite capable of defending their borders. Saudi Arabia has over 300 F-15′s and 72 Typhoons, and more than 80 Apache attack helicopters. Jordan has 60 F16′s as well as 25 Cobra attack helicopters. The putative Caliphate can be contained; it cannot break out into Saudi Arabia and Jordan, and it cannot advance far into the core Shia territory of Iraq. It can operate freely in Syria, in a war of attrition with the Iranian backed government army. The grim task of regional security policy is to channel the butchery into areas that do not threaten oil production or transport.

Ultimately, ISIS is a distraction. The problem is Iran. Without Iran, Hamas would have no capacity to strike Israel beyond a few dozen kilometers past the Gaza border. Iran now has GPS-guided missiles which are much harder to shoot down than ordinary ballistic missiles (an unguided missile has a trajectory that is easy to calculate after launch; guided missiles squirrel about seeking their targets). If Hamas acquires such rockets – and it will eventually if left to its own devices – Israel will have to strike further, harder and deeper to eliminate the threat. That confrontation will not come within a year, and possibly not within five years, but it looms over the present hostilities. The region’s security will hinge on the ultimate reckoning with Iran.

David P Goldman is Senior Fellow at the London Center for Policy Research and the Was Family Fellow at the Middle East Forum. His book How Civilizations Die (and why Islam is Dying, Too) was published by Regnery Press in September 2011. A volume of his essays on culture, religion and economics, It’s Not the End of the World – It’s Just the End of You, also appeared that fall, from Van Praag Press.

Exclusive Interview: What Would Reagan Do? “Destroy the Islamists”

 US-jet-carrier-takeoff-apby JORDAN SCHACHTEL:

Breitbart News spoke with Colonel Bing West, former US Marine and Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs under president Ronald Reagan, about the threats we face as a nation today. West is the author of multiple books, includingThe Village, which has been on the Marine Corps Required Reading List for decades. His latest book is titled: One Million Steps: A Marine Platoon At War

Breitbart News: Is the current US strategy implemented by the Obama administration sufficient in containing the Islamic State?

West: No. We have no strategy toward the Islamists. Not in regard to the air, and not regarding anything else. We are drifting.

Breitbart News: Is the Islamic State the chief threat to US national security interests today?

West: We have four threats. The foremost threat is the fecklessness of our commander-in chief, who has allowed the other threats to fester and become worse. The second threat is Russia, with its arrogance upsetting the balance in eastern Europe. The Middle East is now driven by the Islamist Sunni barbarian threat in the Islamic State. This is coupled with the Shiite Iranian intention of becoming a threshold nuclear state. Lastly, China wants to push us out of at least half of the Pacific. We have an array of threats, as all presidents do. It is up to president Obama to manage these threats, and he is not managing any of them well.

Breitbart News: Does the Islamic State pose a greater threat than Al Qaeda in its prime?

West: Yes. We drove Al Qaeda into the wilds of Pakistan where it gradually lost influence. Not completely, but to a large extent. We are doing nothing about containing this new Al Qaeda-type threat, which is strongest in the heart of the Middle East. The Islamic State is a major problem only because we are tolerating it.

Breitbart News: How can US forces, including clandestine services, affect change against the Islamic State?

West: The geo-military strategy is obvious: use our air to prevent the Islamists from moving across a desert in strength. Any vehicle is a target for us and we can easily discriminate between the Islamists and civilians. Allow Baghdad and southern Iraq, the Shiite area, to consolidate as a state. Recognize that the Baghdad government and its tattered forces will not retake the northern part of Iraq, heavily populated by Sunnis. To push out the Islamists; our CIA and special forces must work quietly and undercover with the Sunni tribes in the north, and help them to push out the Islamists. In 2006, we did exactly that, but it was thrown away when the Obama administration left Iraq. We can do it again, but it will likely take another five years.

Breitbart News: Can the US make enough progress in containing the advances of the Islamic State with just air strikes?

West: Utilizing a systematic air campaign, meaning 50 or so armed sorties and 20 strikes a day, absolutely, American air can contain the Islamists.

Breitbart News: Should the appointment of new Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi be seen as a welcoming sign to US interests, as President Obama has suggested?

West: Any Prime Minister has to be better than Maliki, but it’s going to require very hard bargaining with the new PM to agree to reasonable terms.

Breitbart News: What would your former boss (President Reagan) do differently in dealing with the threats we face today?

West: President Reagan, God bless him, would smile genially, turn to our military and say: “Destroy the Islamists”’.

He would say to Mr. Putin: “We are going to export our energy and your nation is going to suffer enormously over the next ten years because of your aggression.”

He would tell the Chinese: “Our Navy goes wherever it pleases on the high-seas in order to ensure that the rules of the road for international behavior are met by all nations, including China. We will wave at you as we sail by.”

He would say to Iran: “You theocrats have oppressed your people too long. I am going to continue to apply sanctions until you satisfy the international community that you cannot acquire a nuclear weapon.”

Breitbart News: How do we stop Iran’s continuing success with their influence operations in the Middle East and the rest of the world?

West: We cannot stop Iran, we must contain Iran. The critical issue is whether President Obama, for reasons of perceptions of his legacy, will reach an unsatisfactory agreement. If Iran is allowed to retain 15 to 20 thousand centrifuges, then stability in the Middle East will definitely be threatened over the next decade.

Read more at Breitbart