Charlottesville, Race, and Republican Virtue-Signaling

Why Trump’s condemnation of “all sides” was scorned.

Front Page Magazine, by Bruce Thornton, Aug. 18, 2017:

The blood on the ground in Charlottesville hadn’t dried before the race industry was fulminating full blast, and anxious Republicans were furiously virtue-signaling. Once more we see the toxic wages of our incoherent and politicized racial discourse.

Trump’s general condemnations of the white supremacists and their rally at which a woman was run-over and killed by a loser with a Hitler fetish was insufficient for both sides. Republicans and progressives alike demanded that he call out by name the various fringe-groups that organized the rally. All were outbidding one another to display their righteous indignation and complete freedom from the slightest taint of racism. Ted Cruz’s statement is typical: “The Nazis, the KKK, and white supremacists are repulsive and evil, and all of us have a moral obligation to speak out against the lies, bigotry, anti-Semitism, and hatred that they propagate.” It doesn’t take much bravery to make a statement so obviously true and widely approved outside a tiny fringe movement.

Then followed demands to call the murder “domestic terrorism”; the opening of a DOJ investigation; three days of NeverTrump dudgeon over Trump’s gaffe; and endless progressive analyses of the alt-right and racist moles that have burrowed into Trump’s administration. Long before Charlottesville, the anti-Trump “resistance” had decided he was a crypto-racist issuing “dog whistles” to his knuckle-dragging, gap-toothed base which in Bill Clinton’s day Dems called “angry white men.”

Thus the narrative was set, and any questioning of it considered bad form or even a sign that the critic is a minion of the Imperial Wizard or Grand Cyclops. The endless Two-Minute Hate Whitey was on, and it doesn’t do to interrupt it ritual.

But conclusions should be drawn. First, the eagerness and zeal of many Republicans to put themselves on the side of the angels demonstrate once again how thoroughly they have endorsed the race-hacks’ preposterous and self-serving rules for racial discourse, no matter how incoherent or distorting they are of today’s reality.

For example, both sides agree that “white supremacism” targeted specifically at blacks is a unique evil transcending all others, including anti-Semitism, the on-going jihadist genocide against Christians in the Middle East, or the jihadist terror that slaughtered people in Boston, Orlando, and San Bernardino. Assent to this demand that racism against blacks is the supreme evil––as are all, by the way, reductions of humans to any materialist determinism––is not enough. White racism is America’s original sin from which all other sins derive. But unlike Christianity’s doctrine of the Fall, there is no possibility for redemption. The taint is forever.

No matter that the concrete manifestations of this sin have been mostly reduced to subjective “microagressions” that only the victim can perceive, or statistical “disparities” the numerous causes of which are reduced to one––racism––despite the absence of any evidence that people have consciously or even unconsciously constructed “institutional racism.”  The nasty, brutal, widespread racism that once engendered night-riders, lynching, legal segregation, and casual daily violence and humiliation may be gone, but like Jimmy Carter’s adultery, every day all whites sin against blacks “in their hearts,” and enjoy the social order that perpetuates their racism and protects their “white privilege.” Questioning this assumption reveals a stiff-necked indulgence of sin, and a need for public confession and verbal self-flagellation. Hence the heated condemnations of Trump issued by the Republicans, which signaled their acceptance of the narrative and their personal righteousness.

But conservatives who accept that preposterous narrative will never be redeemed. No amount of groveling or rhetorical hair-shirts or preemptive cringing will save them from their endemic racism. They are always and forever racists, because they are ideological opponents of the political aims that the purveyors of the narrative are pursuing––more power to the left, more redistribution of wealth to its clients, more and bigger government to create more socialist cronyism of the sort on which the progressives feed.

The narrative, in other words, is an instrument of political leverage and power, not a description of reality. Identity politics based on grievance and victimization requires that there always be grievances and victims. Progress cannot be admitted, no more than any of us can be born free from Original Sin. The permanence of racial sin, and the need for whites to act in ways that advantage the “victims,” forbid such reconciliation.

Thus the reflexive and hyperbolic condemnations of white racism are instruments of power. If a faction can make people do what it wants them to do to benefit itself, that is power. Campus protestors coercing from the president or administration scholarship money, programs, research centers, and more black-studies faculty hires, is power. Making public officials passionately and anxiously demonstrate their absence of racism is power. Getting the president to issue the specific condemnation that the faction demands is power.

Moreover, success in achieving one demand breeds more demands. So even though Trump specifically called out the alt-right, the KKK, and the neo-Nazis, Nancy Pelosi is now demanding that the president fire advisor Steve Bannon, and thus tacitly confess the important role the racist alt-right played in his election. This is the essence of political correctness: requiring public obeisance to interpretations of political and social disagreements that benefit the left. Political correctness is power.

The wide-spread acceptance of this ideologically skewed racial logic makes justified complaints about a double standard useless. The fringe groups that assembled in Charlottesville are nationally negligible. They are universally despised and shunned. Their national profile is the result of the progressives and the media weaponizing them against Trump. They have no chance whatsoever of amassing enough of a following to win any national public office. As a threat to blacks they are nothing compared to the thousands of black men murdered by other black men every year. But again, the practical consequences of their despised ideology don’t matter. It’s the political use to which their lunatic beliefs can be put.

That is why Trump’s condemnation of “all sides” was scorned. We all know that Black Lives Matter has played a role in the war on cops that contributed to assassinations of police in Texas, Baton Rouge and elsewhere. Some of the assailants said they were “influenced” by BLM rallies, at which chants like “Pigs in a blanket, fry ’em like bacon” or “Dead cops now” are heard. We know that the Antifa bunch are notorious for using violence to shut down talks or protests they don’t like. As the videos show, they came to Charlottesville armed and ready to rumble, as did the supremacists.

But when have we heard Republicans with similar intensity demand that Obama, Loretta Lynch, the NAACP, the Black Congressional Caucus, or any Democrat leaders call out by name these “domestic terrorists”? Indeed, a BLM official was welcomed to Obama’s White House and fulsomely praised. Obama and his AG Eric Holder serially reinforced the despicable lie that the police target innocent black men for murder, the pretext for BLM’s protests. A few Republicans commented on this abuse of public office, but we heard nothing like last week’s vehemence.

And how do the media get away with calling the Antifa protestors vague “counterprotestors,” when video footage shows them fighting with gusto and wielding weapons like staffs or even ignited aerosol spray-cans? How are the supremacists, who had legal permits to hold a rally and exercise of their First Amendment rights, the sole “cause” of the mayhem? Would that woman have died if the Antifa thugs, masters of the old anarchist “propaganda of the deed,” hadn’t infiltrated the protest and fueled the violence, as they have done numerous times across the country?

This isn’t “whataboutism,” the latest rationalization of NeverTrump apologists hiding their double standards. This is about using a consistent standard based on consistent principle, such as violence or murder should never be used to violate any group’s First Amendment rights, a principle that should be applied consistently without exception or rationalization or making some people’s rights or deaths more equal than others’.

Trump and his advisors need to understand how pervasive the left’s racial narrative is, and anticipate it when commenting on events like the Charlottesville killing. Once he has thrown a bone to the identity politics tribunes and fearful Republicans, then he should call out the leftist thugs and demand that their Democrat enablers condemn them by name. And don’t buy into the narrative that historical crimes give the victims’ descendants, no matter how free and privileged, a perpetual weapon to use against their political enemies. That claim is not about justice or morality.  It is simply an instrument of political power.

***

Dinesh D’Souza, author of the new book, The Big Lie: Exposing the Nazi Roots of the American Left, discusses The Big Lie About Charlottesville, unveiling where white nationalism really comes from:

Also see:

Has Trump Kept His Word on Radical Islam?

King Salman welcomes the Trumps to Saudi Arabia (Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Clarion Project, by Meira Svirsky, Aug. 15, 2017:

In a foundational speech made on the campaign trail in Youngstown, Ohio, then businessman Donald Trump outlined his policy on Islamic extremism among other pledges relating to foreign policy.

Has Trump kept his promises? Do these first seven months indicate what we can expect to see in the coming years?

Clarion Project gives our readers an overview of now President Trump and his policymakers in the first seven months of this administration in light of those promises.   

Convene an international conference to halt the spread of radical Islam and “take on the ideology of Radical Islam” including “speak[ing] out against the oppression of women, gays and people of different faith”

The president got off to an impressive start in a ground-breaking keynote speech he made four months after his inauguration at the Arab Islamic American Summit held in Saudi Arabia in May 2017.

The summit was true to his promise of convening an international conference to halt the spread of radical Islam.

Trump delivered a bold speech in which he clearly laid out to the heads of Muslim states that they had arrived at a pivotal moment:

It is a choice between two futures – and it is a choice America CANNOT make for you.
A better future is only possible if your nations drive out the terrorists and extremists. Drive. Them. Out.
 DRIVE THEM OUT of your places of worship.
DRIVE THEM OUT of your communities.
DRIVE THEM OUT of your holy land, and
DRIVE THEM OUT OF THIS EARTH.

In concept and execution, the Trump Administration used the summit to mark a clear U-turn away from the Obama doctrine of embracing Iran at the expense of America’s Sunni Arab allies.

During the trip, Trump inaugurated the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology in Riyadh, more than ironic considering the historical role of Saudi Arabia’s extremist form of Islam, Wahhabism, in fomenting terror and radicalism around the world.

Work “side by side with our friends in the Middle East…”

The trip to Saudi Arabia was followed by a positive visit to Israel where Trump affirmed his friendship with the Jewish state and used his time with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to excoriate Abbas for lying him during Abbas’ earlier trip to Washington about the role of the P.A. in inciting the Palestinians to violence against Israelis.

A good start. What has happened since Trump’s opening volley to the Muslim world?

On the very positive side, an alliance of Gulf and other Muslim states led by Saudi Arabia and including Egypt, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen and others severed all relations with Qatar because of Qatar’s funding of terrorism (Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Taiban and Al Qaeda) and Qatar’s ties with Iran and Turkey.

For a documentation of Qatar’s terror-funding history, click here

Yet, while Trump himself expressed support for the Arab World’s unprecedented pressure on Qatar and described Qatar as a major terror-financier, Trump’s Secretary of State Rex Tillerson publicly criticizedSaudi Arabia, called Qatar “very reasonable” in its reaction to the pressure, said the U.S. is “mystified” by their complaints and made moves towards Turkey (who was aiding Qatar in the crisis).

Tillerson then signed a counter-terrorism agreement with Qatar, spitting in the faces of the Arab countries fed up with Qatar’s support of terrorism.

(Perhaps Tillerson’s favoring of Qatar has something to do with the close relationship he had with the Qatari government as a businessman with ExxonMobil, which has a decades-long association with Qatar’s rulers.)

Immediately after signing the deal, Qatar reiterated its commitment to Hamas, a foreign terrorist organization as designated by the U.S.

The Trump administration agreed to sell 36 fighter jets to Qatar right after the Arabs launched their campaign.

Tillerson also signaled his opposition to designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization in mid-June.

Under Tillerson, State Department lawyers are reportedly removing the word “genocide” in speeches and documents describing the persecution of Christians, Yazidis and other minorities in Iraq and Syria. The move was described as “ideologicial” not bureaucratic by sources.

“Our great ally Israel”

In his Youngstown speech, Trump vowed to work side by side “our great ally Israel.” The State Department, again under the leadership of Tillerson, recently issued its annual country by country terrorism report. Shockingly, it put the majority of blame for Palestinian terror on Israel.

The report makes the blatantly false claim that the Palestinian Authority’s calls for terrorism are “rare.” The report flies in the face of facts, particularly the incessant incitement against Israel, Israelis and Jews by President Abbas and on his state-run media.

From paying salaries to terrorists and their families to naming schools, sports facilities and the like after the most brutal Palestinian terrorists to running TV shows for young children that glorify killing Jews, the P.A. has been responsible for mass incitement of its population for over a decade. Such incitement has been highly documented.

The report also flies in the face of the positions of Trump who forcefully called out Abbas over this incitement in a face-to-face meeting during the American president’s recent trip to Israel.

While the State Department plans a 28% cut in foreign aid to places around the world, the department is planning to increase aid to the Palestinian Authority. The Palestinian Authority reportedly uses the equivalent of half of the foreign aid it receives to sponsor terrorism. It is increasing its compensation for terrorists in Israeli prisons by 13% and its financial aid to families of killed terrorists by 4%.

“We will partner with King Abdullah of Jordan…”

King Abdullah was singled out by Trump as one of America’s partners who realize the “ideology of death must be extinguished.” Yet, in a speech Abdullah gave to the U.N. General Assembly in which he addressed “extremist terrorists” and their desire to “erase human civilization, and drag us back to the dark ages,” he chided Western officials, media leaders and policy makers for not understanding the “true nature of Islam,” which he said “teaches that all humanity is equal in dignity. There is no distinction among different nations or regions or races. The Qur’an forbids coercion in religion. Every citizen is guaranteed the state’s protection for their lives, families, properties, honor, privacy, and freedom of religion and thought.”

Clearly, part of Trump’s challenge with such “American partners,” is their failure to acknowledge the extremist parts of Islam that contribute to Islamist terror – namely the lack of religious freedom in Islamic societies including Jordan (as well as a host of others who are called “American partners.”)

Islamic blasphemy is on the books in Jordan. Also, in Jordan, Jews are not even allowed to pray in privateor wear hidden articles of Jewish significance.

During the recent crisis on the Temple Mount in Israel – in which Israel installed metal detectors at the entrances to the mount after weapons were smuggled inside and used to kill Israeli police officers guarding the site for all worshipers — King Abdullah sided with the Waqf, the Islamic authority that administers the site and which demanded the metal detectors be removed. After the crisis was resolved (through Israel removing the detectors), Abdullah promptly pledged $1.4 million to the Waqf, which refuses to allow any prayer at the site except Islamic prayer.

“We will seek to starve funding for Iran-backed Hamas and Hezbollah”

Unfortunately, Trump’s recent agreement with Russia regarding a ceasefire in Syria empowers Iran, and hence Hezbollah, which expands its reach through the Syrian war.

In terms of Hamas, Trump’s National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster chose as his top adviser on Israel Kris Bauman, who is known for blaming Israel and the West for failing to see “Hamas’ signals of willingness to moderate.” Bauman advocates a policy that includes “Hamas in a solution,” dismissing Hamas’ oft-stated pledge to destroy Israel and kill Jews until the end of time.

“Establish a Commission on Radical Islam”

In Youngstown, Trump vowed that “one of my first acts as president will be to establish a commission on radical Islam – which will include reformist voices in the Muslim community … This commission will be used to develop new protocols for local police officers, federal investigators and immigration screeners.”

Unfortunately, such a commission has not been established and those voices have largely not been heard in the White House.

Instead, an Islamist coalition of Muslim Brotherhood front groups was recently invited to the State Department and boasted they were asked to provide their perspective on the Temple Mount crisis.

At the same time, anti-Islamist activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who was scheduled to present a paper on radical Islamic terror at the National Security Council, was banned by McMaster and his senior director of counter-terrorism, Mustafa Javed Ali.

Hirsi Ali was also reportedly banned from visiting the White House.

A source reported, “Mustafa Javed Ali said she was Islamophobic, and that the only way she could present her paper would be to have someone from CAIR come in to refute her work.”

McMaster himself is against even using the term “radical Islamic terrorism,” which he says is counterproductive, however his boss (Trump) still uses the term.

“Aggressively pursue joint and coalition military operations to crush and destroy ISIS”

With the improved help of the American coalition under Trump, the president is well on his way to success in keeping this promise — at least in Iraq and Syria.  Particularly commendable is the decision by America to arm the Syrian Kurds, a worthy slap in the face to Turkey’s Islamist President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has used every opportunity to fight ISIS as an excuse to attack the Kurds.

The Kurds have arguably been the most successful fighting force against ISIS to date. It remains to be seen whether or not the Trump administration will back them in any future bid for independence.

Worldwide, however, ISIS will not be crushed until those in power address the ideology that drives the terror group and come up with a workable plan to stop the ideological radicalization of Muslim youth. Ideology. Merely concentrating on countering violent extremism is too little, too late.

Clearly, the apparent power play within the Trump administration between those who recognize this reality and those who don’t will be pivotal to whether or not the president will be able to keep his Youngstown promises.

***

Also see:

Read the Politically Incorrect Memo that Triggered McMaster

Medium Corporation, by Mike Cernovich, Aug. 10, 2017:

H.R. McMaser fired brilliant military strategist Rich Higgins for criticizing radial Islam. Finally you can read the full memo and decide for yourself whether Trump should keep McMaster as National Security Adviser.

POTUS & POLITICAL WARFARE by Rich Higgins

BACKGROUND. The Trump administration is suffering under withering information campaigns designed to first undermine, then delegitimize and ultimately remove the President. Possibly confusing these attacks with an elevated interplay of otherwise normal D.C. partisan infighting and adversarial media relations, the White House response to these campaigns reflects a political advocacy mindset that it is intensely reactive, severely under-inclusive and dangerously inadequate to the threat. If action is not taken to re-scope and respond to these hostile campaigns very soon, the administration risks implosion and subsequent early departure from the White House.

This is not politics as usual but rather political warfare at an unprecedented level that is openly engaged in the direct targeting of a seated president through manipulation of the news cycle. It must be recognized on its own terms so that immediate action can be taken. At its core, these campaigns run on multiple lines of effort, serve as the non-violent line of effort of a wider movement, and execute political warfare agendas that reflect cultural Marxist outcomes. The campaigns operate through narratives.

Because the hard left is aligned with Islamist organizations at local (ANTIFA working with Muslim Brotherhood doing business as MSA and CAIR), national (ACLU and BLM working with CAIR and MPAC) and international levels (OIC working with OSCE and the UN), recognition must given to the fact that they seamlessly interoperate at the narrative level as well. In candidate Trump, the opposition saw a threat to the “politically correct” enforcement narratives they’ve meticulously laid in over the past few decades. In President Trump, they see a latent threat to continue that effort to ruinous effect and their retaliatory response reflects this fear.

INTRODUCTION. Responding to relentless personal assaults on his character, candidate Trump identified the players and the strategy:

  • “The establishment and their media enablers will control over this nation through means that are very well known. Anyone who challenges their control is deemed a sexist, a racist, a xenophobe, and morally deformed.” — President Trump, Oct 2016

Culturally conditioned to limit responses to such attacks as yet another round in the on-going drone from diversity and multicultural malcontents, these broadsides are discounted as political correctness run amuck. However, political correctness is a weapon against reason and critical thinking. This weapon functions as the enforcement mechanism of diversity narratives that seek to implement cultural Marxism. Candidate Trump’s rhetoric in the campaign not only cut through the Marxist narrative, he did so in ways that were viscerally comprehensible to a voting bloc that then made candidate Trump the president; making that bloc self-aware in the process. President Trump is either the candidate he ran as, or he is nothing.

Recognizing in candidate Trump an existential threat to cultural Marxist memes that dominate the prevailing cultural narrative, those that benefit recognize the threat he poses and seek his destruction. For this cabal, Trump must be destroyed. Far from politics as usual, this is a political warfare effort that seeks the destruction of a sitting president. Since Trump took office, the situation has intensified to crisis level proportions. For those engaged in the effort, especially those from within the “deep state” or permanent government apparatus, this raises clear Title 18 (legal) concerns.

DISCUSSION.

The Opposition. While opposition to President Trump manifests itself through political warfare memes centered on cultural Marxist narratives, this hardly means that opposition is limited to Marxists as conventionally understood. Having become the dominant cultural meme, some benefit from it while others are captured by it; including “deep state” actors, globalists, bankers, Islamists, and establishment Republicans. Through the campaign, candidate Trump tapped into a deep vein of concern among many citizens that America is at risk and is slipping away. Globalists and Islamists recognize that for their visions to succeed, America, both as an ideal and as a national and political identity, must be destroyed. Atomization of society must also occur at the individual level; with attacks directed against all levels of group and personal identity. Hence the sexism, racism and xenophobia memes. As a Judeo-Christian culture, forced inclusion of post-modern notions of tolerance is designed to induce nihilistic contradictions that reduce all thought, all faith, all loyalties to meaninglessness. Group rights based on sex or ethnicity are a direct assault on the very idea of individual human rights and natural law around which the Constitution was framed. “Transgender acceptance” memes attack at the most basic level by denying a person the right to declare the biological fact of one’s sex. When a population has 2 + 2 = 5 imposed on it, there are many that benefit:

  • Mainstream Media — The principle mechanism for implementing narratives.
  • The Academy — Academia has served as a principle counter-state node for some time and remains a key conduit for creating future adherents to cultural Marxist narratives and their derivative worldview.
  • The Deep State — The successful outcome of cultural Marxism is a bureaucratic state beholden to no one, certainly not the American people. With no rule of law considerations outside those that further deep state power, the deep state truly becomes, as Hegel advocated, god bestriding the earth.
  • Global Corporatists & Bankers — Exploitation of populations, unfettered by national protections and notions of personal morality and piety.
  • Democratic Leadership — The democratic leadership has been a counter-state enabler that executes, sustains, and protects cultural Marxist programs of action and facilitates the relentless expansion of the deep state.
  • Republican Leadership — More afraid of being accused of being called a racist, sexist, homophobe or Islamophobe than of failing to enforce their oaths to “support and defend the Constitution,” the Republican Establishment accepts and enforces cultural Marxist memes within its own sphere of operations. In doing so, knowingly or not, it becomes an agent of that. These “conservatives” become increasingly indistinguishable from their democratic counter-parts save that they misrepresent themselves to their constituents. Lacking the discernment to recognize their situation, they will work with globalists, corporatists, and the international financial interests and will likewise service the deep state. These establishment Republicans are the hard left’s designated defeat mechanism in the destruction of the old regime as well as the American ideal. Because candidate Trump publicly exposed them for their duplicitous activities, they are at risk as long as Trump can turn on them and are, therefore, bitter foes. Candidate Trump’s success remains an ongoing existential threat to establishment Republicans.
  • Islamists — Islamists ally with cultural Marxist because, as far back as the 1980s, they properly assessed that the hard left has a strong chance of reducing Western civilization to its benefit. Having co-opted post-modern narratives as critical points, Islamists deploy these narrative to strategically blind and then control US decision makers. This is by design and purposeful. “By their own hands!” has been the declared strategy of the Muslim Brotherhood since 1991. This strategy seeks to divide American society against itself with the forced imposition of Islamist objectives on one half of American society by the other half. Once a society has been effectively atomized, the population will have lost its faith in the old order, detest those who reduced it, and divide along the lines of narrative adherence. This is the intended outcome of hostile information cum political warfare campaigns and today we see their effects on American society.

Complicating the current situation, many close to the president have pushed him off his message when he was candidate Trump thus alienating him from his base thereby isolating him in the process. When President Trump is not candidate Trump, he becomes dangerously exposed. While the base that elected candidate Trump identified with his vision, they are only Trump’s insofar as he holds to the vision that made him president.

Political Warfare Attacks — A Primer. As used here, “political warfare” does not concern activities associated with the American political process but rather exclusively refers to political warfare as understood by the Maoist Insurgency model. Political warfare is one of the five components of a Maoist insurgency. Maoist methodologies employ synchronized violent and non-violent actions that focus on mobilization of individuals and groups to action. This approach envisions the direct use of non-violent operational arts and tactics as elements of combat power. In Maoist insurgencies, the formation of a counter-state is essential to seizing state power. Functioning as a hostile competing state acting within an existing state, it has an alternate infrastructure. Political warfare operates as one of the activities of the “counter-state” and is primarily focused on the resourcing and mobilization of the counter state or the exhaustion and demobilization of the targeted political movement. Political warfare methods can be implemented at strategic, operational, or tactical levels of operation.

Political warfare is warfare. Strategic information campaigns designed to delegitimize through disinformation arise out of non-violent lines of effort in political warfare regimes. They principally operate through narratives. Because the left is aligned with Islamist organizations at local, national and international levels, recognition should be given to the fact that they seamlessly interoperate through coordinated synchronized interactive narratives.

Cultural Marxism — A Primer. While the attacks on President Trump arise out of political warfare considerations based on non-kinetic lines of effort (as discussed below), they operate in a battle-space prepared, informed and conditioned by cultural Marxist drivers. In practical terms, the political warfare assault on President Trump cannot be separated from the cultural Marxist narratives that drive them. From an operational preparation of the environment perspective, President Trump is operating in a battle-space that reflects the left’s vision.

As used in this discussion, cultural Marxism relates to programs and activities that arise out of Gramsci Marxism, Fabian Socialism and most directly from the Frankfurt School. The Frankfurt strategy deconstructs societies through attacks on culture by imposing a dialectic that forces unresolvable contradictions under the rubric of critical theory. The result is induced nihilism, a belief in everything that is actually the belief in nothing.

That post-modern (diversity/multiculturalism) narratives seeks to implement cultural Marxist objectives can be demonstrated by reference to founding Frankfurt School theorist Herbert Marcuse’s repurposing of the term tolerance. In a 1965 paper, Marcuse defined tolerance as intolerance; said it can be implemented through undemocratic means to stop chauvinism (xenophobia), racism, discrimination; and should be extended to the left while denied to the right:

  • “The realization of the objective of tolerance would call for intolerance toward prevailing policies, attitudes, opinions, and the extension of tolerance to policies, attitudes, and opinions which are outlawed or suppressed.”
  • “Surely, no government can be expected to foster its own subversion, but in a democracy such a right is vested in the people (i.e. in the majority of the people). This means that the ways should not be blocked on which a subversive majority could develop, and if they are blocked by organized repression and indoctrination, their reopening may require apparently undemocratic means. They would include the withdrawal of toleration of speech and assembly from groups and movements which promote aggressive policies, armament, chauvinism, discrimination on the grounds of race and religion, or which oppose the extension of public services, social security, medical care, etc.” (8–9)
  • “Liberating tolerance, then, would mean intolerance against movements from the Right and toleration of movements from the Left. As to the scope of this tolerance and intolerance: … it would extend to the stage of action as well as of discussion and propaganda, of deed as well as of word.” (12)

It is through such post-modern constructs that interoperable narratives are established among various left-wing groups as well as between them and Islamist groups at all levels. For example, from the 2001 Conference of Foreign Ministers at Bamako, Mali, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) declared its commitment to fight racism and xenophobia and then declared Islamophobia a “contemporary form of racism”:

  • In this context, the World Conference urges all states . . . take all necessary measures to combat hatred, discrimination, intolerance and acts of violence, intimidation and coercion motivated by racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance particularly against Islam
  • Racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance which display an increasing trend, in their most subtle and contemporary forms, constitute a violation of human rights. 3. Contemporary forms of racism are based on discrimination and disparagement on a cultural, rather than biological basis. In this content, the increasing trend of Islamophobia, as a distinct form of xenophobia in non-Muslim societies is very alarming.

That the OIC made these claims as part of its planned inputs to the United Nation’s “Third World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance” further demonstrates the coordinated and interoperable nature of these narratives at international levels in international forums.

As cultural Marxist narratives intensify, they are to be further operationalized in the form of hate speech narratives. Hate speech narratives are non-random, coordinated, and fully interoperable escalations of cultural Marxist memes. Key international players include the European Union, the UN, and the OSCE, the OIC and the International Muslim Brotherhood. Hate speech memes are structured, coordinated, and implemented through these same international forums. They involve close coordination with media and social media and include the Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) narratives. David Shipler’s book Freedom of Speechprovides a road map for how hate speech narratives are to be structured, deployed and enforced.

Battlespace. These attack narratives are pervasive, full spectrum and institutionalized at all levels. They operate in social media, television, the 24-hour news cycle in all media, and are entrenched at the upper levels of the bureaucracies and within the foreign policy establishment. They inform the entertainment industry from late night monologues, to situation comedies, to television series memes, to movie themes. The effort required to direct this capacity at President Trump is little more than a programming decision to do so. The cultural Marxist narrative is fully deployed, pervasive, full spectrum and ongoing. Regarding the president, attacks have become a relentless 24/7 effort.

While there is certainly a Marxist agenda and even Islamist motivations that must be seriously addressed in their own right, these motivations alone seem inadequate to explain the scope and magnitude of the effort directed against the president. The economic drivers behind the Marxist and Islamist ideologues are enormously influential and seek to leverage these ideological movements for their own self interests. While beyond the actual scope of this document, the benefactors of these political movements include; Urban Real Estate who depend greatly on immigrant tenants, International Banking who seeks to maintain US debtor status so as to control the application of American power, and elements of the business sector that depend upon immigrant labor or government infrastructure. The overall objective of these economic forces is the forced urbanization of the populace, thereby necessitating a larger, more powerful government. In summary, this is a form of population control by certain business cartels in league with cultural Marxists/corporatists/Islamists who will leverage Islamic terrorism threats to justify the creation of a police state.

Adversary Campaign Plan. Political Warfare has been described as “propaganda in battledress.” The effort directed at President Trump is executed along one overt, as well as two covert, lines of effort:

  • The overt line of effort is PUBLICITY. Publicity is the straightforward projection of a case that builds a picture in the audience’s mind designed to garner support. It is facts without context and information the adversary wants the audience to possess that creates an impression and sets conditions. It seeks to establish good will and receptiveness to additional inputs.
  • There are two covert lines of effort: PROPOGANDA and INFILTRATION/SUBVERSION.
  • Propaganda is the deliberate direction, even manipulation, of information to secure a definite outcome. It is an attempt to direct the thinking of the recipient, without his conscious collaboration, into predetermined channels that are established in the Publicity line of effort. It is the unwitting conditioning of the recipient by devious methods with an ulterior motive that seeks to move them incrementally over time into greater belief and acceptance of message transmitted in the Publicity line of effort.
  • Infiltration and subversion operate internal to the targeted organization in order to inform, target, coordinate, and amplify the effects of the publicity and propaganda. Both operate to gather intelligence, obstruct legitimate courses of action, provide inside information, and leak sensitive information that undermines the leadership and suppresses the morale of friendly elements.
  • Infiltration of political and social groups within a target state is done for the purpose of extending counter-state influence and control. The endgame is concealed and may involve illicit activities.
  • Subversion undermines or detaches the loyalties of significant political and social groups within the target state and transfers political and/or ideological loyalties to the counter-state. As the counter-state forms, a counter-elite of influential individual and key leaders within the target state will later facilitate the legitimacy and permanency of the new regime.

Political warfare employs both publicity and propaganda. It recognizes no intrinsic virtue in the news but rather envisions it as a mechanism to exploit and build up support. From a political warfare perspective, control of the news cycle is the most potent means of attracting and building up a favorable audience. As it relates to the news cycle, publicity and propaganda can be merged to form a “pseudo-publicity” that is presented as news in furtherance of sustaining pseudo-realities maintained by cultural Marxist memes. Pseudo-publicity treatment of President Trump dominates the news cycle. The current campaign against President Trump operates in the following manner:

The Meta Narrative. Meta narratives seeks to delegitimize President Trump, his administration, and the vision of America he projected as a candidate. With cultural Marxist memes serving as the backdrop, President Trump is to be relentlessly characterized as unfit through the use of supporting narratives acting to move unwitting populations to belief in the meta narrative. Hence:

  • “President Trump is illegitimate”
  • “President Trump is corrupt”
  • “President Trump is dishonest”

Note that the twitter accounts and mainstream media personalities pushing this narrative have seen their audience numbers rise greatly in the past 6 months. This is a direct result of the supporting and backdrop narratives channeling individuals to this meta-narrative.

Supporting Narratives. Meta-narratives are supported by an ongoing series supporting-narratives that can be swapped out as circumstances warrant. It is important to recognize that these stories do not have to be true, valid or accurate to serve their purpose. Over time, deserved or not, the cumulative effect of these supporting narratives will result in a Trump fatigue. From a political warfare perspective, President Trump’s inability to meet this challenge will cast him as a weak failed leader. The current list of supporting narratives include:

  • “Russia hacked the election” — illegitimate
  • “Obstruction of Justice” — corrupt
  • “Hiding Collusion” — dishonest
  • “Putin Puppet” — treasonous

Backdrop Narratives. The backdrop to the meta and supporting narratives are cultural Marxist memes designed to sustain a general sense of loathing of President Trump and the America that elected him. Hence:

  • “[meta] President Trump is illegitimate, [supporting] he was elected because of Russian hacking, [backdrop] and besides, he a racist, sexist xenophobe.”

Adversaries utilize these interlocking narratives as a defensive political and information warfare screen that silences critics and smears supporters of President Trump. When people in the media question the behavior, actions and decisions of the Trump Administration’s opponents, they are immediately said to be “working for the Russians” or “supporting Russian propaganda.” Individual Americans who support the President are deemed “deplorable” and “racist.”

End StateAttacks on President Trump are not just about destroying him, but also about destroying the vision of America that lead to his electionThose individuals and groups seeking the destruction of President Trump actually seek to suffocate the vision of America that made him president. Hence, the end state is not just a delegitimized, destabilized, immobilized and possibly destroyed presidency; but also demoralized movement composed of a large enough bloc to elect a president that subsequently become self-aware of its own disenfranchisement.

CONCLUSION.

The recent turn of events give rise to the observation that the defense of President Trump is the defense of America. In the same way President Lincoln was surrounded by political opposition both inside and outside of his wire, in both overt and covert forms, so too is President Trump. Had Lincoln failed, so too would have the Republic. The administration has been maneuvered into a constant back-pedal by relentless political warfare attacks structured to force him to assume a reactive posture that assures inadequate responses. The president can either drive or be driven by events; it’s time for him to drive them.

Mike Cernovich is a journalist, author, and filmmaker.

Also see:

The Battle for Trump’s Foreign Policy

Gatestone Institute, by Soeren Kern, August 9, 2017

  • National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster said that an ongoing review of Iran policy will be completed by late summer. In the meantime, however, he has fired opponents of the Iran deal, including Derek Harvey, who reportedly drafted a comprehensive plan on how to withdraw from the agreement. A White House insider described Trump’s Iran policy as “completely gutted” in the aftermath of McMaster’s purge.
  • “Everything the president wants to do, McMaster opposes. Trump wants to get us out of Afghanistan — McMaster wants to go in. Trump wants to get us out of Syria — McMaster wants to go in. Trump wants to deal with the China issue — McMaster doesn’t. Trump wants to deal with the Islam issue — McMaster doesn’t. You know, across the board, we want to get rid of the Iran deal — McMaster doesn’t. It is incredible to watch it happening right in front of your face. Absolutely stunning.” — Former NSC official, Daily Caller.
  • “The President’s ultimate success will in large part depend on the degree of commitment to his agenda among the people he appoints to ensure its success…. The most important rule of presidential personnel management is to appoint people who are fully committed to the presidential agenda.” — “Personnel Is Policy,” The Heritage Foundation.

The ongoing purge of people loyal to U.S. President Donald J. Trump at the National Security Council, the main organization used by the president to develop national security policy, is part of a power struggle over the future direction of American foreign policy.

Trump campaigned on a promise radically to shift American foreign policy away from the “globalism” pursued by his predecessors to one of a “nationalism” which puts “America first.” He also vowed to: “defeat” Islamic extremism; “tear up” the nuclear deal with Iran; “reset” bilateral relations with Israel by moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem “on Day One” of his administration; and “direct the Secretary of the Treasury to label China a currency manipulator.”

Trump’s election has set in motion a bitter power struggle between two main factions: those led by White House strategist Steve Bannon — who are devoted to implementing the president’s foreign policy agenda, and those led by National Security Advisor Herbert Raymond “H.R.” McMaster — who appear committed to perpetuating policies established by the Obama administration.

Since becoming national security advisor in February, McMaster has clashed with Trump and Bannon on policy relating to Afghanistan, China, Cuba, Islam, Israel, Iran, Mexico, NATO, North Korea, Russia and Syria, among others.

McMaster has also been accused of trying to undermine the president’s foreign policy agenda by removing from the National Security Council key Trump loyalists — K.T. McFarland, Adam Lovinger, David Cattler, Tera Dahl, Rich Higgins, Derek Harvey, and Ezra Cohen-Watnick— and replacing them with individuals committed to maintaining the status quo.

An analysis of the foreign policy views of McMaster and some of his senior staff at the National Security Council shows them to be overwhelmingly at odds with what Trump promised during the campaign.

National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster has been accused of trying to undermine President Donald Trump’s foreign policy agenda by removing from the National Security Council key Trump loyalists. Pictured: President Trump and McMaster at the announcement of McMaster’s appointment as National Security Advisor, on February 20, 2017. (Image source: White House video screenshot)

National Security Advisor

President Trump selected Army Lieutenant General McMaster to replace retired Air Force Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, who resigned as national security advisor on February 13 after leaked intelligence reports alleged that he misrepresented his conversations with a Russian diplomat. McMaster’s views on foreign policy are — by and large — the mirror opposite of those held by Flynn.

Flynn, for example, argued that the West is in a civilizational clash with Islam and that the war on jihadism cannot be won unless the ideology that drives it is defeated. McMaster, by contrast, categorically rejects the notion of a clash of civilizations; his public statements on Islam are virtually indistinguishable from those of the Obama administration.

On February 23, during his first staff meeting, McMaster reportedly urged National Security Council employees to avoid using the term “radical Islamic terrorism” because, according to McMaster, groups such as the Islamic State represent a “perversion of Islam” and are therefore “un-Islamic.” McMaster added that he is “not on board” with using the term because it targets “an entire religion” and may alienate Muslim allies in the Middle East.

McMaster pleaded with Trump to remove references to “radical Islamic terrorism” from the president’s speech to Congress on February 28. At the time, Trump held his ground: he stressed a commitment to protect America from “radical Islamic terrorism.”

More recently, however, McMaster appears to have prevailed. Trump’s May 21 speech in Saudi Arabia — the world’s greatest purveyor of radical Islam — was conspicuous for its moderation: “We are not here to lecture — we are not here to tell other people how to live, what to do, who to be, or how to worship. Instead, we are here to offer partnership — based on shared interests and values.”

In a June 4 speech to the “Global Forum” of the American Jewish Committee, McMaster praised Trump’s Saudi address, calling it an “extraordinary speech” in which the president “outlined a path of unity and peace to people of all faiths.” McMaster also claimed that leaders throughout the Muslim world had condemned “those who are hijacking Islam to justify violence against innocents.”

McMaster’s public position on the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran remains ambiguous. In July, he spoke at length about why the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is a bad deal and how it has not changed Iran’s behavior. On the other hand, he pressed Trump into certifying to Congress — twice in six months — that Iran is complying with the agreement, despite many indications that it is not.

McMaster said that an ongoing review of Iran policy will be completed by late summer. In the meantime, however, he has fired opponents of the Iran deal, including Derek Harvey, who reportedly drafted a comprehensive plan on how to withdraw from the agreement. A White House insider described Trump’s Iran policy as “completely gutted” in the aftermath of McMaster’s purge.

McMaster has also refused to publish the secret side deals the Obama administration signed with Iran which allow Tehran to maintain critical aspects of its nuclear program. Not surprisingly, many observers are convinced that McMaster will try to prevent Trump from honoring his campaign pledge to rescind or renegotiate the nuclear deal.

During the campaign, Trump repeatedly described the JCPOA as a “disaster” and “the worst deal ever negotiated.” On February 1, after Iran launched a ballistic missile, the White House signaled a tougher line on Tehran. “As of today, we are officially putting Iran on notice,” Flynn had said.

Flynn’s ouster less than two weeks later was rumored to have been orchestrated by Obama loyalists in order to preserve the Iran deal:

“The effort, said to include former Obama administration adviser Ben Rhodes — the architect of a separate White House effort to create what he described as a pro-Iran echo chamber — included a small task force of Obama loyalists who deluged media outlets with stories aimed at eroding Flynn’s credibility, multiple sources revealed.

“The operation primarily focused on discrediting Flynn, an opponent of the Iran nuclear deal, in order to handicap the Trump administration’s efforts to disclose secret details of the nuclear deal with Iran that had been long hidden by the Obama administration.”

Meanwhile, McMaster has been described as being “deeply hostile” to Israel, which he reportedly considers an “occupying power.” American-born Israeli journalist Caroline Glick, citing White House sources, elaborated:

“According to senior officials aware of his behavior, he constantly refers to Israel as the occupying power and insists falsely and constantly that a country named Palestine existed where Israel is located until 1948 when it was destroyed by the Jews….

“McMaster disagrees and actively undermines Trump’s agenda on just about every salient issue on his agenda. He fires all of Trump’s loyalists and replaces them with Trump’s opponents, like Kris Bauman, an Israel hater and Hamas supporter who McMaster hired to work on the Israel-Palestinian desk. He allows anti-Israel, pro-Muslim Brotherhood, pro-Iran Obama people like Robert Malley to walk around the NSC and tell people what to do and think. He has left Ben (reporters know nothing about foreign policy and I lied to sell them the Iran deal) Rhodes’ and Valerie Jarrett’s people in place.”

On May 16, just days before Trump’s visit to the Middle East, McMaster refused to comment on whether the Western Wall is within sovereign Israeli territory and dismissed the matter as a “policy decision.” McMaster also downplayed the Jewish connection to the Temple Mount: “He [Trump] is going to the Western Wall to connect with three of the world’s great religions,” McMaster said.

According to Glick, it was McMaster, not the U.S. consul in Jerusalem as initially reported, who pressed Trump into rejecting a request from Israel that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu join the president during a visit to the Western Wall in Jerusalem. “No Israeli leaders will join President Trump at the Western Wall,” McMaster confirmed.

McMaster has also attempted to thwart Trump’s outreach to Russia. On July 20, the Associated Press reported that McMaster objected to an extended dinner conversation between Trump and Putin on the sidelines of the recent G20 summit in Germany. McMaster then insulted Trump behind his back by expressing his disapproval of the president to several foreign officials:

“McMaster specifically said that he disagreed with Trump’s decision to hold an Oval Office meeting in May with top Russian diplomats and with the president’s general reluctance to speak out against Russian aggression in Europe.”

McMaster also advised the president against holding an official bilateral meeting with Putin. In the end, Trump held his ground: McMaster was not allowed to attend the meeting. Only Trump, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and a translator made up the U.S. side.

In April, Trump said that he wanted South Korea to pay for the $1 billion THAAD missile defense system being deployed in the country to protect against missiles from North Korea. South Korean officials responded that, under a bilateral agreement reached with the Obama administration, the United States is responsible for bearing the cost. McMaster then “corrected” Trump by reassuring South Korean officials that the United States will indeed pay for the system. “The last thing I would ever do is contradict the president of the United States,” McMaster told Fox News.

A former NSC official told the Daily Caller that McMaster is “subverting” Trump’s foreign policy at every turn:

“Everything the president wants to do, McMaster opposes. Trump wants to get us out of Afghanistan — McMaster wants to go in. Trump wants to get us out of Syria — McMaster wants to go in. Trump wants to deal with the China issue — McMaster doesn’t. Trump wants to deal with the Islam issue — McMaster doesn’t. You know, across the board, we want to get rid of the Iran deal — McMaster doesn’t. It is incredible to watch it happening right in front of your face. Absolutely stunning.”

Another former official confirmed that sentiment:

“I just fear there is a real creeping of status quo thinking that is taking over the place. I was upset while I was there in seeing how empowered Obama holdovers under McMaster were to essentially perpetuate Obama-era policies.”

Jed Babbin, a former Pentagon official who served during the first Bush administration, reported that McMaster has retained “several dozen” Obama loyalists, many in positions of significant responsibility. In an essay for the American Spectator, he wrote:

“There are four people in positions of responsibility in the NSC who have been identified by a source as people who had been “direct reports” to Rhodes — i.e., who worked under his direct supervision — who McMaster has protected and retained. They are: Abigail Grace (Special Assistant), Fernando Cutz (NSC Director for South America), Andrea Hall (NSC Senior Director for WMD, Terrorism & Threat Reduction), and Merry Lin (‎Director for Global and Asia Economics).

“Why would any national security advisor working for Trump not rid the NSC of these people immediately and the dozens of others as soon as he could? One source told me there are over fifty such holdovers on the NSC staff.

“None of the four — and the other holdovers — should remain employed at the NSC. Every one of them should be viewed as a political operative dedicated to thwarting whatever Trump wants to do.

“McMaster recently told an NSC staff meeting, “There’s no such thing as a holdover.” That is simply bizarre.

“The problem is that McMaster is the ultimate holdover. He comprises a significant threat to national security.”

White House insiders told the Washington Free Beacon that McMaster is purging Trump loyalists who dare to clash with career government staffers and holdovers from the Obama administration “on issues as diverse as military strategies for Syria and Afghanistan, whether to tear up Obama’s landmark Iran deal, the controversial détente with Cuba, the U.S. role in confronting Islamic radicalism, and the Paris Climate Accord.”

More purges are said to be on the way: “McMaster basically has this list…. They’re taking out people who were chosen to best implement the president’s policy that he articulated during the campaign.”

Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategy

McMaster’s first personnel decision was to name Dina Habib Powell, an establishment Republican and a veteran of the George W. Bush administration, to serve as Deputy National Security Advisor — a post already filled by K.T. McFarland.

Powell, an Egyptian-American, was originally brought into the White House as an informal advisor to Ivanka Trump. Powell, a former executive at Goldman Sachs, is said to have a “centrist” approach to politics; critics fear she will push for a softer line on national security, climate change policy and trade.

McFarland, a former official in the Reagan administration, has advocated for a hardline foreign policy. She has been a vocal critic of the Obama administration’s timidity in the face of radical Islam, which she has described as “the most virulent, lethal, apocalyptic death cult in history.” McFarland has warned that “global Islamist jihad is at war with all of Western civilization” and that “we are losing this war.” McFarland added:

“If we are to defeat radical Islam, it will be only with a multifaceted, comprehensive strategy that calls on all the aspects of the national power of ourselves and our allies — like we summoned to defeat the Nazis in World War II or the Communists in the Cold War.”

McFarland has also been a vocal supporter of Trump’s “America First” foreign policy: “Too many times in the last eight years, or even more, we’ve always thought, ‘What’s better for the global community?’ The question should be: ‘What’s better for America?'”

Powell, by contrast, was hired by the Bush administration to “defuse some of the misperceptions” about the United States in the Arab world. At a World Economic Forum event in Jordan, for example, Powell apologized for America’s alleged insensitivity to Arab culture. “So enthusiastic is our desire to help that we sometimes forget to stop and listen to others,” she said.

McFarland has criticized the 2015 Iran nuclear deal: “We gave them everything up front — the money, the sanctions, the path to nuclear weapons — and we demanded nothing in return.” She has also advocated stirring up popular discontent in Iran in order to bring about regime change.

Powell, however, is said to have a strong personal relationship with Iranian-born Valerie Jarrett, the brainchild of the nuclear deal with Iran and one of Barack Obama’s closest advisors. Jarret reportedly has moved into Obama’s home in Washington, D.C. to lead a resistance movement against Trump’s efforts to reverse his predecessor’s foreign policies.

In an interview with The Hill, a Republican operative said of Powell:

“This is not who we voted for. The base voted for Trump and his policies. Not Gary Cohn’s, not Dina Powell’s. Not the left wing of the Democratic Party. This is a Republican White House. No one is questioning their competence, but there are a lot of questions about whether they are trying to pull away from Trump’s agenda.”

McFarland has been offered the post of U.S. ambassador to Singapore.

White House Coordinator for the Middle East

On July 27, McMaster fired retired Army Colonel Derek Harvey, Trump’s top Middle East advisor. Harvey, who is fluent in Arabic and holds a Ph.D., served for more than two decades in the military and later joined the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). He has been described as an “out-of-the-box thinker who has shown a keen knack for identifying threats before they’ve matured.”

The Weekly Standard reported that Harvey was “driving a more aggressive approach to Iran than that of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis. Sources tell TWS that Mattis, in particular, had disagreements with Harvey and that he raised the issue with National Security Adviser HR McMaster. McMaster met with Harvey this morning to deliver the news.”

In May, Bloomberg reported that Harvey had compiled a list of Obama holdovers at the National Security Council who were suspected of leaking to the press. When Trump and Bannon pressed McMaster to fire those on the list, he refused, asserting his prerogative over personnel decisions.

In January, a month before McMaster was hired, Harvey was instrumental in pressing the U.S. State Department to reverse the Obama administration’s last-minute $221 million payment to the Palestinian Authority.

Retired Army Gen. Jack Keane called Harvey “one of the finest intel analysts that I’ve ever encountered.” Keane told NBC News he was “befuddled as to why he is being removed.”

Harvey has been replaced by Michael Bell, another retired colonel with a Ph.D. He reportedly sees eye-to-eye with McMaster.

Bell, who served in the first Iraq war, was the lead writer for the 2006 National Military Strategic Plan for the War on Terrorism, the U.S.’s global military strategy in response to the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States. The 40-page document does not once include the word jihad; it refers to the enemy only as “violent extremism” and “violent extremists.” The document, in fact, repeatedly denies any link between terrorism and Islam. It states:

“The Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) is not a religious or cultural clash between Islam and the West, although our extremist enemies find it useful to characterize the war that way. These violent extremists see the U.S. and the West as primary obstacles to achieving their political ends.”

A section called “Nature of the Enemy” states: “The primary enemy is a transnational movement of extremist organizations, networks and individuals — and their state and non-state supporters — which have in common that they exploit Islam and use terrorism for ideological ends.”

Elsewhere the report states: “The belief that violent extremist efforts are harmful to the Islamic community, and contrary to the teachings of Islam, must come from within Islam itself.”

In a February 20 Washington Post hit piece on Sebastian Gorka, one of President Trump’s top counter-terrorism advisors, Bell accused Gorka of being an “uneven scholar” because of his belief that jihadism is rooted in Islam and the violent passages of the Koran. Bell, a former chancellor of the College of International Security Affairs (CISA), part of the Pentagon’s National Defense University, said that Gorka’s former supervisors had pushed him to incorporate other perspectives on Islam and to publish in peer-reviewed journals where his ideas would be challenged and perhaps tempered. Gorka insisted that he wasn’t interested in that kind of scholarship, Bell said.

Senior Director for Israel and Palestinian Issues

On May 4, McMaster hired Kris Bauman to be the Trump administration’s new senior advisor on Israel. Bauman’s views on Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas are indistinguishable from those of the Obama administration.

Bauman’s first official function was to attend a reception honoring Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas — whose term of office expired eight years ago. Those in attendance included Martin Indyk, the Obama administration’s special envoy for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, who has blamed Israel for the failure of peace talks. Indyk’s chief of staff during the negotiations, Ilan Goldenberg, was also in attendance.

In September 2016, Bauman and Goldenberg published a document outlining “a security system for the two-state solution” based on “1967 borders with reciprocal swaps.” The report was presumably prepared with the expectation that Hillary Clinton would win the presidential election and eventually implement the plan.

Trump, by contrast, has said that Israel must be allowed to maintain defensible borders; Israeli leaders have long insisted that the 1967 borders are militarily indefensible. It is safe to assume that Bauman will use his new position on the NSC to advocate for pressing Israel into making substantial territorial concessions to the Palestinians.

Investigative journalist Daniel Greenfield has reviewed Bauman’s 320-page doctoral thesis on the Middle East peace process:

“In the hundreds of pages, Bauman makes occasional efforts to pretend that he’s delving into the narratives of both sides, but his conclusion makes it painfully clear whose side he’s on. Kris Bauman is eager to whitewash the Muslim Brotherhood terrorists of Hamas…. Bauman accuses, ‘Israel and the Quartet refused to engage with Hamas and instead turned Gaza into an open-air prison.’ This isn’t even an anti-Israel position. It’s Hamas propaganda….

“In Kris Bauman’s twisted mind, the obstacle to peace isn’t PLO and Hamas terrorism, but supporters of Israel in America. He favorably quotes Walt and Mearsheimer’s anti-Semitic tract, The Israel Lobby. Bauman urges overcoming the ‘Israel Lobby’ which he claims ‘is a force that must be reckoned with, but it is a force that can be reckoned with.

“Progress in the peace process requires that the United States apply diplomatic and economic pressure on Israel. And indeed, Bauman’s recommendations mirrored the policy of Obama, Hillary and Kerry.”

Greenfield also notes that Bauman’s dissertation extensively quotes Robert Malley, an anti-Israel apologistfor Hamas who was a key Middle East advisor to President Obama. In May, Conservative Review reportedthat Malley has continued to attend National Security Council meetings at the Trump White House, even while criticizing Trump’s policies:

“So who is bringing Malley into these National Security Council meetings? Sources close to the situation say that much of the NSC professional staff still consists of holdovers from the Obama administration and that some of these holdovers served directly under Malley when he was a senior director at the NSC for the Middle East region.”

On May 17, the Zionist Organization of America, one of the oldest and strongest pro-Israel groups in the United States, issued the following statement:

“The ZOA has asked General McMaster, Director of the National Security Council, to reconsider his appointment of new National Security Council advisor on Israel-Palestinian matters, pro-Hamas Kris Bauman. This Administration should be ‘cleaning out the swamp’ from proponents, architects, and protégés of the Obama administration’s dangerous Middle East policies. Mr. Bauman’s ideas are particularly dangerous.”

Bauman replaces Yael Lempert, a controversial NSC staffer from the Obama White House who remained in her position during the first four months of the Trump administration. During that time, she reportedly“poisoned” Trump’s mind by persuading him that Jewish settlements in the West Bank are to blame for the stalled peace negotiations.

In a February 10 interview with Israel Hayom, Trump surprised many when he adopted a harder line on settlements. “I am not somebody that believes that going forward with these settlements is a good thing for peace,” he said.

Analyst Lee Smith reported that, according to a former official in the Clinton administration, Lempert “is considered one of the harshest critics of Israel on the foreign policy far left.” The source added:

“From her position on the Obama NSC, she helped manufacture crisis after crisis in a relentless effort to portray Israel negatively and diminish the breadth and depth of our alliance. Most Democrats in town know better than to let her manage Middle East affairs. It looks like the Trump administration has no idea who she is or how hostile she is to the U.S.-Israel relationship.”

In June, Lempert, a career foreign service officer, was promoted to acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Egypt and the Maghreb at the U.S. State Department.

Senior Director for Intelligence Programs

On August 2, McMaster fired Ezra Cohen-Watnick, the NSC’s senior director for intelligence programs, the main White House liaison to the intelligence agencies. McMaster had tried to fire Cohen-Watnick in March, but at the time he was overruled by Trump after an intervention by Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner. It remains unclear why McMaster was not overruled again.

Cohen-Watnick, who was originally hired by Flynn, is a 31-year-old intelligence operative with the Defense Intelligence Agency. Conservative Review reported that he “sought to reform the intelligence community to rein in the ‘deep state’ of unaccountable bureaucrats with rogue agendas.” Politico reported that Cohen-Watnick and Flynn “saw eye to eye about the failings of the CIA human intelligence operations,” according to an operative who added: “The CIA saw him as a threat, so they tried to unseat him and replace him with an agency loyalist.”

Cohen-Watnick, described as an “Iran hawk,” advocated for the expansion of American efforts against Iran-backed militias in Syria. In June, the New York Times, citing multiple defense and intelligence officials, reported that Cohen-Watnick “wants to use American spies to help oust the Iranian government.” According to the Guardian, he was accused of trying to “take responsibilities for certain covert programs away from the CIA.”

In March, Cohen-Watnick gave Devin Nunes, a Republican congressman who was leading the House of Representative’s Trump-Russia probe, intelligence reports showing the president and associates were surveilled by U.S. intelligence.

A profile by the Atlantic described Cohen-Watnick as a “true professional and most importantly he is incredibly loyal to the president and this administration.”

McMaster reportedly wants to replace Cohen-Watnick with Linda Weissgold, a longtime CIA official. During the Obama administration, Weissgold, who served as director of the CIA’s Office of Terrorism Analysis, was involved in creating a counter narrative about the jihadist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Journalist Michael Warren wrote:

“In her position at OTA, she was also involved directly in drafting the now infamous Benghazi talking points, which government officials revised heavily to include factually incorrect assessments that stated the attackers were prompted by protests. According to the House Select Committee on Benghazi’s report, Weissgold testified she had changed one such talking point to say that extremists in Benghazi with ties to al-Qaeda had been involved in ‘protests’ in the Libyan city, despite the fact that no such protests occurred there on the day of the attack.”

Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Planning

On July 21, McMaster fired Rich Higgins, a former Pentagon official who served in the NSC’s strategic-planning office, after he argued in a memo that President Trump is under sustained attack from people both within and outside the government who are trying to defeat the president’s nationalist agenda.

The Atlanticpublished excerpts of the memo:

“Through the campaign, candidate Trump tapped into a deep vein of concern among many citizens that America is at risk and slipping away. Globalists and Islamists recognize that for their visions to succeed, America, both as an ideal and as a national and political identity, must be destroyed. … Islamists ally with cultural Marxists because, as far back as the 1980s, they properly assessed that the left has a strong chance of reducing Western civilization to its benefit. Having co-opted post-modern narratives as critical points, Islamists will co-opt the movement in its entirety at some future point.”

According to the Atlantic:

“Higgins had also “pushed for declassification of documents having to do with radical Islam and Iran,” according to a source close to the White House. A source close to Higgins said that specifically, Higgins had been pushing for the declassification of Presidential Study Directive 11, a classified report produced in 2010 by the Obama administration which presaged the Arab Spring, outlining unrest throughout the Middle East.”

PSD-11 reportedly remains classified because it reveals the Obama administration’s “embarrassingly naïve and uninformed view of trends in the Middle East and North Africa region.” In June 2014, Gulf News reported that as part of a Freedom of Information lawsuit, the U.S. State Department had released documents about the Obama administration’s dealings with the Muslim Brotherhood:

“The President personally issued Presidential Study Directive 11 (PSD-11) in 2010, ordering an assessment of the Muslim Brotherhood and other ‘political Islamist’ movements, including the ruling AKP in Turkey, ultimately concluding that the United States should shift from its longstanding policy of supporting ‘stability’ in the Middle East and North Africa (that is, support for ‘stable regimes’ even if they were authoritarian), to a policy of backing ‘moderate’ Islamic political movements.”

Before joining the NSC, Higgins had warned:

“National Security officials are prohibited from developing a factual understanding of Islamic threat doctrines, preferring instead to depend upon 5th column Muslim Brotherhood cultural advisors….

“The ‘Islam has nothing to do with terrorism’ narratives have effectively shut down the intelligence process for the war on terror in any meaningful sense. Sure, we CT officers could look at organizations and people and places, some of which had Islamic names, but we could never dig into the political and ideological reasons the enemy was attacking us — which is supposed to be the first order of business in any strategic threat assessment.”

CJR: If you have not watched this interview with Higgins yet, here it is:

Senior Director for Strategic Assessments

On May 1, McMaster fired Adam Lovinger, a seasoned national security official, after his top-secret security clearance was abruptly suspended. Lovinger had been dispatched to the NSC from the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment (ONA) at Flynn’s request.

Lovinger, an expert on South Asia, the Persian Gulf and sub-Saharan Africa, said he was fired for his hardline views on Iran, including his opposition to Obama’s nuclear deal with Tehran.

His clearance was reportedly revoked “as part of a larger, behind-the-scenes effort by anti-Trump officials in the national security bureaucracy to neutralize key Trump aides.”

Lovinger’s attorney, Sean Bigley, said in a statement:

“Mr. Lovinger’s security clearance has now been suspended for a month. Despite repeated requests, to-date (the Department of Defense) has failed to provide us with any factual basis for the absurd accusations made against Mr. Lovinger by known anti-Trump partisans. Mr. Lovinger is entitled to a prompt opportunity to prove these allegations for what they are: overt political retaliation.”

Angelo Codevilla, a former senior official on the Senate Intelligence Committee, noted:

“The Trump administration is letting itself be played by the bureaucracy, which is managing to exercise a veto on who will represent Trump in government.”

Senior Director for Africa: Cyril Sartor

On August 1, McMaster hired Cyril Sartor, a career CIA analyst, to fill the highest Africa position on the NSC. The decision was viewed as a victory for the CIA in its protracted battle with the White House over candidates.

In February, Robin Townley, the first nominee for the post, was denied the high level security clearance required for the job; the denial reportedly was an expression of the CIA’s opposition to him. Townley, a former Marine intelligence officer close to Flynn, was a critic of the current intelligence structure and advocated for reform.

“The CIA did not want to deal with him,” Angelo Codevilla, the intelligence expert, wrote in a column for the Washington Times. “Hence, it used the power to grant security clearances to tell the president to choose someone acceptable to the agency, though not so much to him.” He added:

“If Mr. Trump does not fire forthwith the persons who thus took for themselves the prerogative that the American people had entrusted to him at the ballot box, chances are 100 percent that they will use that prerogative ever more frequently with regard to anyone else whom they regard as standing in the way of their preferred policies, as a threat to their reputation, or simply as partisan opponents.”

In April, McMaster offered the position to Rudolph Atallah, a retired lieutenant colonel who served more than 20 years in the U.S. Air Force. In June, however, Atallah’s job offer was rescinded, ostensibly due to delays in approving his security clearance. McMaster apparently believed that Atallah, a scholar on radical Islam in Africa, was overly-concerned with counterterrorism rather than other issues affecting the continent, including development assistance and human rights.

Sartor, one of the few senior-level African Americans in the intelligence community, has said little in public that offers a fuller picture of his analytical bent. In July 2016, however, he participated in a panel on terrorism at the Aspen Forum, where he claimed that jihadism in Africa is being fueled by socio-economic factors rather than the founding documents of Islam:

“Violent Islamic ideology is a foreign import to sub-Saharan Africa and as such it only thrives where it can co-opt local grievances. I sincerely believe the international community can defeat terrorism in sub-Saharan Africa with a robust mix of long-term development and security assistance.”

Senior Director for Russia and Europe

On March 2, McMaster hired Fiona Hill as the senior director for Russia and Europe, a newly combined directorate that brings both regions under one chain of command. Hill, a Russia scholar at the Brookings Institution, has been a vocal critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

During the campaign, Trump made better relations with Russia one of the central pillars of his foreign policy agenda. In a November 2016 interview with the Atlantic, however, Hill predicted that the U.S.-Russia relationship would remain tense: “Trump isn’t exactly the most diplomatic of people, so I imagine he’ll fall out with his new friend Vladimir pretty quickly.”

Personnel is Policy

In January 2001, the Heritage Foundation published a report titled “Personnel Is Policy: Why the New President Must Take Control of the Executive Branch.” The report, addressed to President-Elect George W. Bush, is even relevant for President Trump, a political neophyte:

“To be successful, the new President…must protect his right to select appointees based not only on their managerial prowess but also on their commitment to his policy agenda and their ability to advance, articulate, and defend it….

“It is often said, correctly, that personnel is policy. The nexus between personnel management and policy management is therefore crucial. Good policies cannot be advanced without good, capable, and committed personnel to formulate, implement, aggressively promote, and steadfastly defend them. Presidents John F. Kennedy and Ronald W. Reagan were noteworthy in this respect for making strong and effective Cabinet appointments and solid White House staffing decisions. Reagan, in particular, demonstrated the value of having trusted ‘lieutenants’ in the policy and supporting roles of his Administration….

“The President’s ultimate success will in large part depend on the degree of commitment to his agenda among the people he appoints to ensure its success…. The most important rule of presidential personnel management is to appoint people who are fully committed to the presidential agenda.”

Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute. Follow him on Facebook and onTwitter.

H. R. McMaster Adjusts His Arguments to Keep the U.S. in Iran Nuclear Deal

National Review, by Fred Fleitz, Aug. 8, 2017:

Three weeks ago, on July 17, I posted in The Corner concerning a startling statement by National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster during a phone conference on the Trump administration’s decision to certify to Congress, for the second time this year, that Iran is complying with the 2015 nuclear deal (the JCPOA) and that this agreement is in the interests of the United States. Click here and here to read why this certification decision was a serious mistake.

McMaster conceded the JCPOA is a bad agreement that has not improved Iranian behavior but argued that the Trump administration planned to certify Iran’s compliance because it had not violated the accord. I wrote last month that McMaster said in response to a question during the July 17 phone conference that Iran was in default of the spirit of the agreement and “we need to take a closer look at whether it is violating the letter of the deal.” McMaster also said Iran has been “walking up to violating the letter” of the JCPOA.

This statement was baffling not only because many experts and four leading Republican senators believe there is clear evidence that Iran has violated the deal, but also because of the absurdity of claiming six months into the Trump administration that the president’s team has not yet determined whether Iran violated the agreement.

During an August 5 MSNBC interview with Hugh Hewitt, McMaster adjusted his arguments on Iranian compliance with the JCPOA when he told Hewitt that Iran has violated the spirit of the JCPOA and, when it occasionally violated the letter of the agreement, the U.S. went to the IAEA to get it to take remedial measures.

This contradicts what McMaster said during the July 17 phone conference. This argument also is false since it ignores Iran’s refusal to allow the IAEA to inspect military sites and German intelligence reports of Iranian cheating. Moreover, as I explained in a September 2, 2016, NRO article, the IAEA has been faulted for being less than a straight shooter when it comes to monitoring Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA.

McMaster probably adjusted his arguments because he is trying to find a way to keep the United States in the JCPOA despite strong evidence of Iranian cheating and a growing belief by Americans that this agreement is not in their country’s national security interests. I also believe the general thinks the president is unlikely to agree to a third certification of the JCPOA to Congress in October and is looking for ways to prevent this by papering over Iran’s violations and the dangers of this pact.

It is my sincere hope that President Trump will dismiss the many misleading arguments being made in defense of the JCPOA by its supporters and repudiate this disastrous agreement as soon as possible.

The Ben Rhodes Ally and Muslim Brotherhood Promoter Defending McMaster

It certainly is interesting that a Ben Rhodes ally would invest this much effort in protecting the man who is protecting Ben Rhodes’ allies at the NSC. While purging anyone who would threaten them.

Front Page Magazine, by Daniel Greenfield, Aug.  8, 2017:

One of the central criticisms of McMaster is that his coup is purging Trump allies while keeping Obama holdovers. The man at the center of the holdover controversy is Ben Rhodes.

Rhodes has been compared to Obama’s Goebbels. A malicious smear artist with a talent for gaming the media. And backing Iran’s genocidal push for nuclear capabilities.

There have been multiple accusations made that under McMaster, Ben Rhodes has NSC accessand that those holdovers who report to him, have been protected by McMaster.

From Caroline Glick

He allows anti-Israel, pro-Muslim Brotherhood, pro-Iran Obama people like Robert Malley to walk around the NSC and tell people what to do and think. He has left Ben (reporters know nothing about foreign policy and I lied to sell them the Iran deal) Rhodes’ and Valerie Jarrett’s people in place.

From Babbin at the Spectator…

There are four people in positions of responsibility in the NSC who have been identified by a source as people who had been “direct reports” to Rhodes — i.e., who worked under his direct supervision — who McMaster has protected and retained. They are: Abigail Grace (Special Assistant), Fernando Cutz (NSC Director for South America), Andrea Hall (NSC Senior Director for WMD, Terrorism & Threat Reduction), and Merry Lin (‎Director for Global and Asia Economics).

Ben Rhodes has claimed that the attacks on McMaster are Russian propaganda. But the truly furious effort has come from one of his former allies, Michael McFaul.

McFaul worked with Rhodes at the NSC. He was the author of Advancing Democracy Abroad, a book which, among other things, proposed the inclusion of the Muslim Brotherhood in “democracy” and argued that their organizations were quite different than Islamic terrorist groups. This was one of the great obsessions of Obama Inc. And PSD-11, the Obama directive which remains secret and whose investigation was supposedly one of the factors that led to the purge of Higgins at the NSC, is closely linked to it.

According to Michael McFaul, who worked with Rhodes in the National Security Council and was later named the American ambassador to Russia, Rhodes “became, first in the speechwriting process, and later, in the heat of the Arab Spring, a central figure” in the Obama administration. “Because of his close personal relationship with the president,” added McFaul, “Ben can always make policy through the speeches and statements made by President Obama.”

He was also involved in planning out the post-Gaddafi Libya after Obama’s illegal invasion in support of Islamist terrorists. A plot that led directly to the Benghazi massacre.

Here was the scene after Egypt fell.

But Rhodes’ camp carried the day. Obama told Mubarak he had to go, and on February 11 the Egyptian stepped down. Afterward, a group of White House aides—including Rhodes and Denis McDonough, then deputy national security adviser and now Obama’s chief of staff—gathered for an impromptu party in the office of Michael McFaul, Obama’s top Russia aide. They celebrated the historic moment with beer and vodka. “It was a euphoric night for us, no doubt,” says McFaul. But his academic background in democracy issues gave him an understanding of the many ways things might go wrong. Amid the celebration, he recalls, “I was nervous as hell.”

Now here’s McFaul furiously defending McMaster on Twitter. Because of his background, McFaul had been enlisted to push the Obama coup’s Russia conspiracy meme.

And then the McMaster stuff began popping up.

Read more

Stymied in Afghanistan

Illustration on the need to defeat Islamist ideology in Afghanistan by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Washington Times, by Jed Babbin, Aug. 3, 2017:

About two weeks ago, President Trump’s national security team finally presented their long-awaited strategy for Afghanistan. Defense Secretary James Mattis, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster and the rest of the National Security Council’s “principals committee” briefed the president on their new strategy.

Mr. Trump reportedly criticized them harshly and rejected their entire plan because it was a rehash of the way we’ve fought the Afghanistan war, unsuccessfully, for almost 16 years. It reportedly included, for example, a proposal by Gen. McMaster for a troop increase with a four-year timeline that the president could promote at an upcoming NATO summit.

Months ago, Mr. Mattis told Congress that we aren’t winning in Afghanistan. In fact, we are stuck in a nation-building quagmire imposed by President Bush whose mistake was compounded by President Obama.

Mr. Trump had given Mr. Mattis the authority to decide troop levels in Afghanistan. Plans were being made to send several thousand to join the more than 8,000 already there. That authority apparently has been revoked. The president was considering a complete withdrawal from Afghanistan, sending the Pentagon and the Afghan government into panic, and has since withdrawn from withdrawal.

Afghanistan seemed easy at first. We went to war in October 2001, and in only a month drove the Taliban out of the capital city of Kabul. But the Taliban have never been defeated. Their attacks continue almost everywhere in Afghanistan and they now reportedly control about half the country.

For 16 years we have been training the Afghan government how to function and its army how to fight. About eight years ago we even sent thousands of pomegranate trees along with Missouri farmers — national guardsmen — to give Afghanis the incentive to grow something other than opium poppies. Nothing has worked.

In 16 years, we have suffered about 2,400 combat deaths in Afghanistan and spent over $1 trillion. Continuing the nation-building charade will achieve nothing more than to spend more lives and treasure.

Mr. Trump’s idea of simply withdrawing from Afghanistan reflected an understandable frustration with failure but it is mostly wrong.

If we withdraw our forces, Afghanistan would revert quickly to what it was before 9-11. Neither the Taliban nor al Qaeda has been destroyed. ISIS has established large training camps in Afghanistan. (The April use of the “mother of all bombs” in Afghanistan destroyed a large one.) They and other terrorist networks will turn Afghanistan into a safe haven for every terrorist network that wants to commit attacks in the West.

Mr. Trump’s generals rose to high rank in the nation-building era. With the exception of Gen. McMaster, who insists that there is no connection between Islam and terrorism, Mr. Trump’s teams are not ideologically Mr. Obama’s generals. Nevertheless, their thinking is hobbled by long immersion in nation-building and by Mr. Trump’s failure to set a policy goal from which the generals can devise a strategy.

Mr. Trump should decide that goal, quickly and clearly, to include both Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan, which has been covertly supporting a variety of terrorist networks including the Taliban. When he does so, he should make it clear to his team that ideas that have been rejected before are still open to adaptation.

Principal among them is the ideological war that the Islamists have waged against us since bin Laden’s 1996 fatwa published in a London newspaper. Messrs. Bush and Obama refused to fight the ideological war. Mr. Trump will have to face the fact that no matter what else we do, we cannot win in Afghanistan or defeat Islamist terrorism anywhere else, unless we defeat the Islamist ideology.

In late 2009 vice president Joe Biden advocated a “terror overwatch” strategy. His plan would have rejected the troop surge Mr. Obama authorized in favor of increased training of Afghan troops and greater use of drones and special forces to strike terrorist targets. Mr. Trump is reportedly considering a version of the Biden idea.

Mr. Biden’s approach had two fatal flaws. First, any use of drones and special forces has to rely on specific, actionable intelligence that is — or was at the time — in short supply. Second, it relied on training of Afghan forces, which had already proven a failure.

If our intelligence is by now so greatly improved and can be sustained by spy satellites and spies on the ground, pieces of Mr. Biden’s approach could be adapted to a new strategy. It would have to be accompanied by more American air power than drones can provide, and the commitment to that strategy would have to be open-ended. Striking targets identified in both Afghanistan and Pakistan would have to be done routinely without restrictive rules of engagement.

That would be the beginning of a strategy which could be completed by a commitment to fighting the ideological war. The commitment would be enormous, proportional to the size of those nations.

It’s questionable whether our air and intelligence forces have the ability to sustain it for long. But it is the sort of risk we will have to take to prevent Afghanistan from being the source of another attack as devastating as 9-11. It’s the best we can do until we defeat the enemy’s ideology. If we don’t, the war will never end.

• Jed Babbin served as a deputy undersecretary of defense in the George H.W. Bush administration. He is a senior fellow of the London Center for Policy Research and the author of five books including “In the Words of Our Enemies.”