A leftist State Department official is publicly attacking President Trump on social media

Kambiz Hosseini | Wikimedia Commons

Conservative Review, by Jordan Schachtel, March 20, 2017:

Alan Eyre, a high-ranking State Department official known for his pro-Tehran, anti-Israel biases — and a key component of the Iran nuclear deal’s negotiating team— has been using his verified Twitter account to repost articles attacking President Trump, the man who he ultimately answers to.

The postings, shared below, are only a small snapshot of what Eyre has tweeted out over the past month and shared with his 100,000-plus followers. Some mock the president and question his intelligence and integrity (again, Eyre’s boss). Another post calls President Trump’s decisions “senseless” and “heartless.”

Eyre now works at the State Department’s Bureau of Energy Resources, within its Middle East/Asia department, according to his bio.

Under the Obama administration, Alan Eyre served as the State Department’s Persian language spokesperson. According to reports, he played a critical role in advancing the Iran nuclear deal, which resulted in a cash windfall for the terrorist regime in Tehran.

This is not the first time Eyre has been noticed engaging in controversial social media activities. In 2015, the Washington Free Beacon exposed that he had been promoting anti-Israel conspiracy theories.

From his personal Facebook page, Eyre published stories by anti-Semitic authors and fringe websites that “demonize American Jewish groups and Israel,” the report said. But that was at least from his personal page. His current stream of anti-Trump postings are being distributed from his verified public Twitter account.

As an Obama official, Eyre twice keynoted the annual conference of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), a group that many Iranian dissidents and freedom fighters consider to be a front for the regime in Tehran. NIAC is led by Trita Parsi, an Iranian-Swedish national who reportedly acts as a the point of contact for top officials in Iran.

NIAC became very cozy with the Obama administration (Parsi visited the White House 33 times), and coordinated with it to sell Iran deal lies to the American people. In its hell-bent quest to push the deal, NIAC painted opponents of the agreement as “warmongers” and challenged the loyalties of American Jews to the country and president.

Eyre is not the only State Department official who has pushed for policies that directly contradict President Trump’s platform.

Chris Backemeyer currently serves as deputy assistant secretary for Iranian affairs under Secretary Rex Tillerson. He was intimately involved in pushing for the Iran deal and misled the American people about where billions of dollars for the Tehran regime had gone.

Sahar Nowrouzzadeh, an essential advocate for Obama’s Iran deal, is currently in charge of Iran and the Persian Gulf on Secretary Tillerson’s policy planning staff.

And Michael Ratney, who oversaw a group that campaigned to oust Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was one of John Kerry’s closest confidants. He’s now in charge of the Israeli-Palestinian portfolio at the Department of State.

Jordan Schachtel is the national security correspondent for CR. Follow him on Twitter @JordanSchachtel. 

Smearing Trump’s national-security braintrust

Donald Trump and Sebastian Gorka. Reuters; Getty Images

New York Post, by Paul Sperry, March 21, 2017:

No, Sebastian Gorka is not a goose-stepping Nazi.

This was a revelation to the writers and editors of The Forward, who all but accused him of being one last week, and to the publications that picked up and spread this juicy story before it was debunked by Liel Liebovitz at Tablet magazine. (At issue was whether Gorka is a secret member of a Hungarian group that collaborated with Nazis during World War II. He categorically denies it.)

The personal attacks aimed at Gorka and Michael Anton, both key national-security aides to President Trump, aren’t the only false stories in the left’s smear campaign against these two.

They have been painted in outlets like The New York Times, The Washington Post, Foreign Policy, Politico and The Atlantic as Islamophobic hardliners hellbent on dragging us into more Mideast wars. But that bears little resemblance to their writing, which the Trump haters haven’t bothered to explore in any depth.

A closer reading of their voluminous writings reveals a cold-eyed realism about global affairs vs. the wild-eyed “extremism” portrayed by the media.

Gorka has cautioned against using “inflammatory” religious terms to describe even terrorism done in the name of Islam, arguing in his largely overlooked Ph.D. dissertation that it offends “law-abiding Muslims everywhere.” Also in his 240-page dissertation, Gorka calls a policy of exporting democracy “totally wrong-headed,” especially in the Middle East. “Any notion that concepts of democracy are universal must be discarded.”

“There is much evidence beyond the core tenets of the Quran and the Muslim world that suggests that our culture has been consciously rejected by other parts of the globe,” he explained, adding that promoting our brand of democracy in those regions often leads to “instability.”

Gorka, whose father was tortured by the Communists as a Hungarian freedom fighter, calls the harsh US interrogation techniques used against Iraqi prisoners a “scandal.” Abu Ghraib, he wrote in 2007, “has provided grist to the mills of the propaganda machine of Salafists.”

Anton, meanwhile, has argued for a middle path between “paleo-isolationism and neocon overreach.”

“Among the many reasons to be hopeful about President Trump’s foreign policy is that he seems to understand that correcting the errors of the neo-interventionists does not require adopting those of the paleo-isolationists,” Anton argues in the current issue of American Affairs Journal.

Both he and Gorka part ways with isolationists like Pat Buchanan when it comes to dealing with Iran. They agree it’s in America’s interest to intervene to deny Tehran nukes. But toppling dictators simply for the sake of promoting democracy is a fool’s errand, the two realists argue.

“In some regions, democracy also correlates highly with instability, which breeds war and chaos that are antithetical to American interests,” Anton writes, adding that opening elections often installs tyrannies worse than what preceded the “democracy” (as with Hamas in the West Bank and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt).

When it comes to battling global terrorism, Gorka knows that “we cannot realistically hope for a perfect victory” against jihadists. At the same time, he asserts that we have to do more than the “whack-a-mole” strategy of the past eight years. The ISIS “caliphate” proves the folly of such a reactionary approach.

Victory demands a more comprehensive strategy, starting with recognizing the connection between Islam and terrorism. While “we are not at war with Islam,” says Gorka, who studied theology at the University of London, our jihadist enemy is using Islamic doctrine to justify its actions. Key to defeating it is understanding that threat doctrine.

A cohesive strategy also means preventing ISIS and other terrorist groups from using our immigration policy as a Trojan Horse to sneak jihadists inside our borders.

Anton, who holds two masters degrees and worked previously (2001-05) at the National Security Council, calls “terrorism and mass illegal immigration” the “two biggest threats of our time.” He’s right, and adjusting foreign policy to respond to them is hardly “xenophobic.” As he notes, “The first priority of every state is to protect its own safety and the safety of its citizens.”

For nearly a decade, Islamofascists have been on the ascendancy around the world. Acts of jihadist terror, aided by liberal immigration policies, have multiplied in Europe. It’s not surprising, therefore, that the most vocal critics of the Trump Doctrine and its architects are the architects or cheerleaders of the failed doctrine it seeks to replace.

Paul Sperry, a former Hoover Institution fellow, is author of several books on national security.

Gaffney defiant in the face of mainstream media attacks

Center for Security Policy, by Frank Gaffney, March 21, 2017:

Extract from Secure Freedom Radio, 20 March 2017:

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I want to take a few minutes for what is known in government as a “point of personal privilege.” It’s what you do when someone attacks you and you need to set the record straight.

In my case, reporters for prominent national publications have gone after me as a way of attacking Donald Trump and his senior subordinates. Matthew Rosenberg of the New York Times, Eli Lake of Bloomberg, Greg Jaffe of the Washington Post and most recently Peter Beinart of the Atlantic have largely ignored the substance of lengthy interviews I have given them, in order to vilify me and the work we do at the Center for Security Policy.

In each case, it’s clear these journalists don’t approve of our research and the fact that first Candidate Trump and President Trump have arrived at similar conclusions.

As I told each of these reporters, that research has demonstrated several realities:

  • The authorities of Islam contend that the practice of their faith requires abject adherence to a political, legal and military doctrine they call Sharia.
  • It has a veneer of religiosity to it – by some estimates ten percent is concerned with pietistic practices like how often Muslims are supposed to pray, what they can eat, and the like.
  • But at the end of the day, Sharia is about power, not faith.
  • Sharia has been defined for some 1300 years by a rendering of it known as The Reliance of the Traveler.
  • This massive book makes clear that the faithful Muslim is entitled, for example, to brutalize women and otherwise treat them as property, murder homosexuals and kill Jews, apostates, females accused of adultery and anyone who “defames” Islam.
  • I impressed upon each of these journalists – as I do with audiences I address across the country – thankfully, all Muslims do not practice their faith according to Sharia.
  • That is particularly true in the United States to which many of them came from Sharia-compliant countries to escape its horrors.
  • They neither want to live under Sharia nor impose it on others.
  • That said, there is no getting around the fact that Sharia is a supremacist ideology that commands its adherents, not only to practice it unquestioningly themselves, but to compel everyone else – Muslim and non-Muslim, alike – to submit to it worldwide.
  • Sharia dictates that the faithful must engage in jihad in one form or another – violent jihad, demographic jihad, financial jihad or the subversive, stealthy kind the Muslim Brotherhood calls “civilization jihad.”
  • To the extent that Muslims conform to Sharia as the authorities of Islam and Reliance of the Traveler demand, they must reject such American principles and values as democratic self-governance, man-made laws, the freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution, respect for human rights, etc.
  • Instead, it is their duty to supplant those principles and values with Sharia.
  • For example, according to the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam adopted by 56 Muslim nations in 1990, Muslims can enjoy freedoms only to the extent allowed by Sharia.

These are statements of fact.

  • Recounting them is not “Islamophobia,” hate-mongering, racism or bigotry.
  • Rather, it is essential to an accurate understanding of the threat Sharia poses to this country and to Western civilization more generally.
  • And such an understanding is essential if we are to defend our constitutional republic from those who believe it’s Allah’s will for them to destroy it through whatever means is practicable.
  • Yet, Messrs. Rosenberg, Lake, Jaffe and Beinart promote in their respective publications and to varying degrees the false meme that pointing out such facts is evidence of hostility to all It’s said to reflect a desire to deny those in this country their constitutionally protected freedoms and keep those outside our borders from coming in.
  • They are not alone in promoting this phony narrative, of course.
  • According to documents from George Soros’ foundation released last fall by Wikileaks, “marginalizing” me and others who speak such truths has been a project for his philanthropy.
  • And Muslim Brotherhood fronts like the Council on American Islamic Relations, which was founded by Hamas in 1993, the leftist Center for American Progress and the discredited Southern Poverty Law Center have been among those determined to silence national security professionals and others who are effective in challenging Sharia-supremacism in this country and elsewhere.

Let’s be clear, by falsely accusing me and my colleagues of such views, these journalists are not just discounting the salience of our warnings. They are helping Soros and his minions suppress our freedom of expression and reinforcing what amounts to hate-mongering against us.

More importantly, to the extent that such reporters are promoting the fraudulent meme that Donald Trump and his subordinates are being unduly influenced by me or others – and are, therefore, also Islamophobes, racists, etc. – they are seeking to suppress them, too.

Indeed, that’s the transparent object of the exercise. Reporters and media outlets are making common cause with what’s been called the “Red-Green axis” for the purpose of neutralizing – if not actually removing from office – the President and his most principled and capable subordinates, such as Steve Bannon, Jeff Sessions, Kellyanne Conway, Sebastian Gorka and Steven Miller.

Time won’t permit at this juncture a point-by-point rebuttal of the various, spurious charges made against me and others by the aforementioned reporters and their ilk.

Let me take a moment, though, to address a new one leveled by Peter Beinart in his hit piece in The Atlantic concerning the so-called “denationalization” of Muslims in this country.

I had never heard this term before and certainly have never used it myself. Neither have I ever advocated what it evidently describes – seeking to strip all American Muslims of either their nationality or their rights and shutting down all mosques in this country.

Here’s what I do believe: The Sharia-supremacist infrastructure built here over the past fifty years by the Muslim Brotherhood and its fronts –in the form of mosques, Islamic societies, cultural centers and organizations targeting our government, media, churches and synagogues, schools, businesses, etc. – is an incubator for jihad. We continue to ignore it and the stated purposes of those Brotherhood operatives and their Shiite counterparts at our extreme peril.

The first order of business must be to be clear about the threat posed to our Constitution and freedoms by Sharia-supremacism. In his August 15th speech in Youngstown, Ohio, Candidate Donald Trump made clear that he gets that.

Second, we must stop importing more Sharia-supremacists. That is a purpose President Trump’s immigration pause could helpfully advance.

Third, the Trump administration must officially designate the Muslim Brotherhood as the terrorist organization it is. That would create a basis for countering those mosques and front groups it owns and/or operates in this country.

Finally, if the foregoing steps are taken, we have an opportunity to encourage the Muslim-American community to eschew the Sharia-supremacists and their efforts to promote the real denationalization agenda – namely, the Brotherhood’s practice of demanding non-assimilation in and hostility toward the United States, its culture and laws.

These are the sorts of recommendations warranted by the facts, appropriate to the challenges of our time and necessary to protect Western civilization. I am proud to espouse them and refuse to be intimidated or silenced by the relentless vilification to which I am subjected.

I am gratified that people who have arrived at a similar understanding of the facts are now in a position to ensure that those facts receive the necessary policy analysis and debate – instead of being officially suppressed in the name of “political correctness,” “multiculturalism” and “diversity sensitivity.” Whatever we call such behavior, our Sharia-adherent enemies regard it as evidence of our submission, which only emboldens them to secure that condition irreversibly through ever-more-aggressive acts of jihad.

The time has come for action in countering the jihad. Despite all the vilification, intimidation and coercive pressure aimed at silencing those of us at the Center for Security Policy, we will continue to speak the truth about Sharia-supremacism and help those in power act decisively to defeat it.

Also see:

Major warning signs for conservatives about Trump’s Mideast policy

num_skyman | Shutterstock

Conservative Review, by Daniel Horowitz, March 15, 2017:

As conservatives fight the efforts of their own party and president to promote Obamacare 2.0 here at home, there are some major problems with the direction in foreign policy of this Trump administration. We can dismiss all reports of liberal policies and leftist personnel emanating from this administration as “fake news” — or we can demand a course correction before this becomes the third term of Obama’s State Department. The choice is ours.

The final dramatic act of the Obama administration was to instigate a public feud between former Secretary of State John Kerry and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over where Jews can live in their own homeland. As conservatives, we swore to ourselves that once Trump assumed power we’d be done with the illogical and immoral Oslo Accords, along with its maniacal idea of creating a new Arab terror state.

Trump himself also promised a new direction:

The reason this issue is important is not just because of our relationship with Israel ; it’s that the obsession with a Palestinian state and the recognition of the Palestinian Liberation Organization terrorists has served as the fulcrum of our entire Middle East policy for 24 years, preventing us from acting in our own self-interests.

The failure to understand the danger of the PLO is not just bad for Israel. It’s also dangerous for America because it demonstrates that our political elites don’t understand the Islamic threat and will continue the past mistakes of both the Clinton/Obama leftists and the establishment neo-conservatives who support the nation building agenda in the Arab world.

Well, that nightmare is now upon us.

During Trump’s second week in office, I took a lot of flak for criticizing the White House’s statement on Israel’s construction in the so-called settlements. Some conservatives felt that Trump’s statement was a breath of fresh air because, while he did rebuke the construction, he implied that building within the “settlement blocks” is OK.

Obviously, as I noted at the time, this statement is nonsense. Why are we getting involved in any of this Kerry-style dictating of terms? Weren’t we supposed to break from the entire Oslo Accords? Why should we legitimize any notion of a Palestinian state and how does that put America’s interests first? Weren’t we done with nation building in terror states among existing nations, much less trying to create a new one? I warned that absent a course correction, this policy would grow legs and irrevocably suck the president into the globalist swamp of the PLO cause.

It has. Consider the following troubling observations:

  • This week, Trump dispatched Jason Greenblatt, his top lawyer and envoy to the Middle East, to pressure Netanyahu into halting construction, even for a city designed to house displaced Israelis who were uprooted by a very painful evacuation. As the Times of Israel is reporting, Greenblatt is now obsessing over every last neighborhood with the maniacal precision of John Kerry to prevent Israel from building even within existing “settlements.” The pressure is reportedly so strong that Netanyahu has now held off on his plans to fully annex Ma’ale Adumim, the largest suburb of Jerusalem, which has always been a “consensus” area (even to those who buy into the premise of a Palestinian state). Greenblatt later met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (whose term of office expired eight years ago!) and treated him like a peace partner.
  • The inimitable Caroline Glick gives a riveting account of the sharp turn of the White House on Israel — embracing the PLO, inviting Abbas to the White House, and taking an active (almost obsessive) role in promoting a Palestinian state. It’s almost as if Trump has made it his life’s mission (or, son-in-law Jared Kushner’s mission) to ram through the “peace process” even more than Obama.
  • My colleague, Jordan Schachtel has already reported that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson appointed a Kerry acolyte as the Israel-Palestinian policy official in the State Department. Michael Ratney was Obama’s consul to Jerusalem who “oversaw grants to OneVoice, a leftist non-profit that President Obama allegedly used to try to unseat Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel’s 2015 election.” Ratney oversaw a program the Times of Israel said was “in effect setting up an armed Palestinian militia in the consulate.” Martin Indyk — Obama’s anti-Israel apologist — praised the appointment, tweeting that Ratney was a “valued member of Kerry’s peace team.”
  • Trump decided to keep Obama’s National Security Council Adviser, Yael Lempert, for Israel policy. She accompanied Greenblatt on his trip to Israel, where he graciously met with Abbas and pressured Netanyahu on settlements. Lempert was literally Obama’s point person in the White House orchestrating his war against Israel. This decision is Orwellian.
  • Talk about the fox guarding the hen house? Sahar Nowrouzzadeh, the Iran director for Obama’s National Security Council, has been given the portfolio over the Persian Gulf region on the policy planning staff at the State Department. This individual was an essential figure in pushing through the Iran deal and has ties to Tehran.
  • Defense Secretary James Mattis wanted to appoint Anne Patterson to the No. 3 position in the Pentagon. Patterson was Obama’s ambassador to Egypt, who had ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and embodied John Kerry’s foreign policy. Although conservatives successfully prevented that from happening, Mattis’ motivations, along with a number of troubling statements on policy, reveal that he fundamentally doesn’t share a conservative worldview.

Folks, this is not “deep state” sabotage of Pres. Trump’s agenda. This is Trump sabotaging himself by allowing Jared in the White House and top officials in State to promote the very worst elements of the Clinton/Bush/Obama foreign policy. And it’s not just about Israel. Anyone who believes in creating a new terror state and partnering with PLO terrorists clearly does not understand the broader Islamic threat. This could lead us into nation-building in Syria and other insufferable Arab countries, a notion Trump explicitly rejected with his popular denunciation of the Iraq war.

There is nothing to “negotiate” and nobody with which we can “cut deals.” This is not a matter of convincing Carrier to keep its plant in Indiana. Some things don’t work with negotiations; Islamo-fascists elements are one good example.

What is so disappointing is that foreign policy is the one area where the president has wide latitude to change course without the cumbersome legislative process. Almost 60 days into the new administration, there is no major accomplishment that has gotten past Congress, including the much-promised FULL repeal of Obamacare. Again, foreign policy is the one area where Donald Trump can unilaterally make his mark.

However, absent a dramatic change of course, the pink unicorn of the PLO “peace process” will ensnare President Trump into untenable diplomatic quicksand. As Caroline Glick warns, “The PLO is the Siren that drowns U.S. administrations.” Trump must understand that if he is “serious about embracing the PLO and intends to have his top advisers devote themselves to Abbas and his henchmen,” he is setting himself up “to fail and be humiliated.”

Make no mistake: The “two-state solution” is the Obamacare of foreign policy. Failure to repeal it will be as catastrophic for foreign policy as Obamacare is for domestic policy. Except this time, we won’t be able to blame a parliamentarian.

Interview with Angelo M. Codevilla on ‘Romancing the Sunni: A US Policy Tragedy’

Published on Jan 1, 2016 by Asia Times

Angelo M. Codevilla, professor emeritus of international relations at Boston University, and a member of the Hoover Institution’s working group on military history, answers Asia Times questions on how the US government’s foreign policy mess has created a monster like the ISIS. Today, the Daesh/ISIS — a sub-sect of Sunni Islam — murders and encourages murdering Americans.

READ THE THREE-PART SERIES HERE:

PART 1: http://atimes.com/2015/12/romancing-t…

PART 2: http://atimes.com/2015/12/romancing-t…

PART 3: http://atimes.com/2015/12/romancing-t…

Angelo M. Codevilla is professor emeritus of international relations at Boston University, and a member of the Hoover Institution’s working group on military history. He is the author of fourteen books, including  Informing Statecraft, War, ends And Means, The Character of Nations, Advice to War Presidents, and To Make and Keep Peace.  He served on President Ronald Reagan’s transition teams for the Department of State and the Intelligence agencies. He was a US naval officer and a US foreign service officer. As a staff member of the US Senate Intelligence committee, he supervised the intelligence agencies’ budgets with emphasis on collection systems and counterintelligence. He was instrumental in developing technologies for modern anti-missile defense. Codevilla has taught ancient and modern political thought and international affairs at major universities.

Congress Considers Bill to “Stop Arming Terrorists”

The New American, by Alex Newman, March 14, 2017:

A bipartisan bill to prohibit U.S. taxpayer funding and arming of terrorist groups and their associates is making progress in Congress, most recently having a companion bill introduced in the Senate by popular liberty-minded U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.). The legislation, originally sponsored in the House by Democrat Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, takes aim at lawless U.S. government “regime change” schemes overseas that often involve providing money, weapons, training, and other support to savage terror organizations. High-profile voices on both sides of the aisle have joined forces to get the bill passed into law. Of course, aiding designated terror groups is already a serious crime, but for whatever reasons, the laws have not been enforced against federal officials.

In particular, the new legislation, known as H.R. 608 in the House, bans the provision of any assistance by the federal government to al-Qaeda, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, and the Islamic State, sometimes known as ISIS, ISIL, or Daesh. The “Stop Arming Terrorists Act,” as it is being dubbed, would also prohibit official U.S. aid to any individual or group affiliated with, associated with, or cooperating with any of the proscribed terror organizations. Finally, the legislation bans any funds to state sponsors of those groups, which would ensnare a number of ostensible U.S. government “allies.” The director of national intelligence would be in charge of making the determinations, in consultation with the appropriate congressional committees. Providing anything from cash and weapons to training and intelligence would be prohibited under the bill.

Senator Paul, a leading constitutionalist and non-interventionist in Congress, introduced the “Stop Arming Terrorists Act” last week in the Senate as S. 532. “One of the unintended consequences of nation-building and open-ended intervention is American funds and weapons benefiting those who hate us,” Senator Paul said in a statement announcing that the companion legislation to the House measure had been filed. “This legislation will strengthen our foreign policy, enhance our national security, and safeguard our resources.” Like his father, retired Congressman and GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul, Senator Paul has been a longtime critic of the U.S. government’s illegal policies arming terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda.

At this point the evidence of U.S. government support for terrorists is overwhelming, with President Trump going so far as to call Obama and Hillary Clinton co-founders of ISIS. As The New American has documented extensively, official U.S. intelligence documents show that multiple Western and Islamic governments allied with Washington, D.C., have also supported ISIS, al-Qaeda, and other terror groups in Syria. In fact, the Obama administration was exposed in Pentagon documents supporting jihadist terrorists in Syria from the beginning. A 2012 Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) report revealed that the Obama administration knew al-Qaeda was leading the rebellion in Syria, supported it anyway, and that one of the goals of supporting the terrorist-led “revolution” was to create a “salafist principality,” today known as the Islamic State, in Eastern Syria.

“The West, Gulf countries [the Islamic regimes ruling Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, etc.], and Turkey support the Syrian opposition,” explains the Pentagon report, adding that “al-Qaeda” and other terrorists are the “major forces driving the insurgency” against Syrian despot Bashar al-Assad. “There is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist [fundamentalist Islam] principality in Eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime.” Of course, that is exactly what happened when ISIS declared the establishment of its “caliphate” in Eastern Syria and parts of Iraq.

Top U.S. intelligence officials later confirmed publicly that, despite being advised not to by military officials, Obama deliberately aided terrorists under the guise of helping “moderate” jihadists overthrow Assad. Former DIA chief Michael Flynn, who led the military-intelligence agency at the time, told Al Jazeera that Obama and other top officials knew exactly what they were doing. “I don’t know that they turned a blind eye, I think it was a decision,” said Flynn, who went on to serve for a short period as Trump’s national security advisor. “I think it was a willful decision.” The interviewer, Mehdi Hasan, sounded shocked at the frankness and the enormity of the revelation that Obama was willfully aiding terrorists. But Flynn stood firm.

The Republican and Democrat lawmakers behind the bill stop arming terrorists seem to recognize those facts, too. “For years, the U.S. government has been supporting armed militant groups working directly with and often under the command of terrorist groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda in their fight to overthrow the Syrian government,” Representative Gabbard, the chief sponsor of the bill, said in a statement. “Rather than spending trillions of dollars on regime change wars in the Middle East, we should be focused on defeating terrorist groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda, and using our resources to invest in rebuilding our communities here at home.”

Gabbard, who traveled to Syria on a fact-finding mission this year and met with government, religious, and opposition leaders, has been very outspoken about the the U.S. government’s lawless and disastrous intervention in that conflict on behalf of terror groups. “Their message to the American people was powerful and consistent: There is no difference between ‘moderate’ rebels and al-Qaeda (al-Nusra) or ISIS  —  they are all the same,” Gabbard said, adding that the conflict in Syria is basically “a war between terrorists under the command of groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda and the Syrian government.”

Ironically, then-Vice President Joe Biden and other top U.S. officials admitted the same thing, even while their boss was sending weapons and money to designated terror groups. When asked in Senate testimony whether any “major” U.S. allies supported ISIS, for example, then-U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey noted that it is even worse than that. “I know major Arab allies who fund them,” he said. Under the proposed legislation, any of those “Arab allies,” mostly Sunni Islamic dictatorships, would be cut off from U.S. taxpayer assistance, and especially military assistance.

Speaking at Harvard, meanwhile, Biden admitted that “there was no moderate middle” among the Syrian “rebels,” flatly contradicting Obama. Biden also explained that the “anti-ISIS” coalition armed and created ISIS. “What my constant cry was that our biggest problem was our allies…. What were they doing? They were so determined to take down Assad and have a proxy Sunni-Shia war, what did they do? They poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens, thousands, of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight,” Biden said. “Except that the people who were being supplied were al-Nusra and al-Qaeda and extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world.” Those terrorists went on to become ISIS, Biden said.

For Representative Gabbard and the group of bipartisan lawmakers joining her effort to end U.S. taxpayer support for terror groups, it is time to ensure that no more American wealth goes to support the savagery of terrorists wreaking havoc across the Middle East. “The fact that American taxpayer dollars are being used to strengthen the very terrorist groups we should be focused on defeating should alarm every Member of Congress and every American,” she said. “We call on our colleagues and the Administration to join us in passing this legislation.” So far, a solid group of lawmakers including constitutionalists such as Representative Thomas Massie of Kentucky and Ted Yoho of Florida, along with a number of progressives, have joined forces with Gabbard to support the legislation.

The aunt of dead Syrian boy who washed up on a beach and whose picture was circulated worldwide has also announced her support for the legislation. Speaking at a press conference alongside Gabbard, she said arming terrorists was only making matters worse. “[Representative] Tulsi understands that arming the so-called rebels in Syria has only led to more bloodshed, more suffering, and created more refugees,” Tima Kurdi, the aunt, said in a widely quoted statement. “A military solution in Syria is not the answer. I hope that President Trump will stop arming terrorists and commit to a political solution in Syria — it is the only way to restore peace.”

While the legislation is admirable, it should be common sense that American tax money should not be flowing to savage terrorist groups, dictatorships, or terror affiliates. In fact, providing material support to designated terror organizations is already a serious crime under federal law, and there are no exceptions provided in the relevant statutes for government officials. That means a significant number of senior officials across multiple U.S. administrations could be subject to prosecution, if existing law were to be enforced. The American people must demand that Congress and the entire U.S. government obey the Constitution and follow the noninterventionist advice of America’s Founders.

Alex Newman, a foreign correspondent for The New American, is normally based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter@ALEXNEWMAN_JOU. He can be reached at anewman@thenewamerican.com.

Iran deal architect is now running Tehran policy at the State Department

Conservative Review, by Jordan Schachtel, March 14, 2017:

A trusted Obama aide who once worked for an alleged Iranian regime lobbying group is one of the individuals in charge of Iran policy planning at the State Department under Secretary Rex Tillerson.

Sahar Nowrouzzadeh, the Iran director for former President Obama’s National Security Council (NSC), has burrowed into the government under President Trump. She’s now in charge of Iran and the Persian Gulf region on the policy planning staff at the State Department.

To make matters worse, Nowrouzzadeh is a former employee of the National Iranian-American Council (NIAC), a non-profit that is accused of being a lobbying group for the Iranian regime. NIAC’s current president, Trita Parsi, has long held close relationships with top officials in the Tehran dictatorship. In February, a group of over 100 prominent Iranian dissidents called for Congress to investigate NIAC’s ties to the Iranian regime.

One of Nowrouzzadeh’s primary duties under President Obama was to promote initiatives that pushed the Iran deal. As President Obama’s NSC director for Iran, Nowrouzzadeh sat in on high-level briefings along with President Obama, former VP Joe Biden, and former Secretary of State John Kerry, as top White House staff crafted false narratives on the Iran deal to sell to the American public.

According to the head of a state-run Iranian newspaper, Nowrouzzadeh was an essential element to pushing through the Iran deal. Editor-in-Chief Emad Abshenass said that she opened up a direct line of communication with the Iranian president’s brother. “She helped clear a number of contradictions and allowed the entire endeavor to succeed,” Abshenass said of her efforts.

Nowrouzzadeh’s advocacy for President Obama’s directives resulted in an agreement that has done enormous damage to the security interests of the United States and its allies. Iran, the world’s top sponsor of international terrorism, was gifted $150 billion dollars for agreeing to the deal. The deal will not restrict Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. In fact, the regime in Tehran may now have the operational capacity to deploy nuclear warheads within the next decade, according to expert estimates.

Towards the end of President Obama’s tenure, Nowrouzzadeh was embedded into the State Department and for a brief time served as its Persian language spokesperson.

In addition to Nowrouzzadeh, several other prominent Obama officials currently serve under Sec Tillerson at the State Department. A former John Kerry apprentice, Michael Ratney, occupies the Israeli-Palestinian portfolio there. Another trusted Obama aide, Yael Lempert, also serves under Tillerson on the same platform.

Why Secretary Tillerson has decided to keep on a chief Obama policy official remains unclear. The State Department did not return multiple requests for comment seeking additional information on Nowrouzzadeh’s role at the government agency.

Mattis withdraws Pentagon pick seen as Muslim Brotherhood supporter

A defaced picture of ex-U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson is seen in this poster held by a supporter of Egypt’s former president Hosni Mubarak in 2013. (REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Fox News, by Samuel Chamberlain,  March 14, 2017:

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has withdrawn his nominee for the Pentagon’s top civilian job after opposition from lawmakers concerned about her close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

A senior official confirmed to Fox News that Mattis pulled the nomination of former Ambassador Anne Patterson to be undersecretary of defense for policy. The move was first reported by the Washington Post.

Patterson was U.S. ambassador to Egypt between 2011 and 2013, when that country’s president, Mohamed Morsi, was overthrown by the military. Critics opposed her selection by Mattis on the grounds that she was too accommodating to Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood during her tenure in Cairo.

The Muslim Brotherhood was formed in Egypt in the 1920s with the stated goal of establishing a worldwide Islamic caliphate, or empire, ruled under Sharia law. Egypt declared it a terror group in 2013 after the government blamed it for a bombing of a police headquarters that killed 16, even though the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood denied involvement and condemned the attack.

The Post reported that Sens. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and Ted Cruz, R-Texas, were particularly opposed to Patterson’s nomination. Both men serve on the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Cruz has recently reintroduced legislation calling on the State Department to designate the Brotherhood as a terrorist organization.

A congressional source told Fox News that Cotton’s opposition was largely due to Patterson’s lack of experience at the Defense Department. The source said Cotton was given no assurance that Patterson knew how to strategic defense plans that commanders would have to implement.

Patterson previously served as U.S. ambassador to Pakistan, Colombia, El Salvador and the United Nations. She recently retired after serving as the State Department’s assistant secretary for near eastern affairs.

Nearly two months into the Trump administration, Mattis is the only political appointee at the Pentagon. The Post reported that the White House would announce a list of nominees for senior Defense Department positions sometime this week.

More Evidence That McMaster Shares Obama’s Views on Islam and Terror

President Donald Trump, right, shakes hands with Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, left, at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla., Monday, Feb. 20, 2017, where he announced that McMaster will be the new national security adviser. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

PJ Media, by Raymond Ibrahim, March 14, 2017:

Donald Trump’s new national security advisor, Lt. General H.R. McMaster, has made troubling remarks — such as “the Islamic State is not Islamic” — that one expects from the D.C. establishment. However a hearty endorsement that he gave to a 2010 book points to the totality of McMaster’s views on security issues as being worse than simply his parroting politically correct memes on Islam.

The book in question is Militant Islamist IdeologyUnderstanding the Global Threat. Written by CDR Youssef Aboul-Enein, it was published by the Naval Institute Press in 2010. I read and reviewed it back in 2012 and found its claims — many of which the Obama administration followed to disastrous results — to be incorrect and problematic.

For starters, Aboul-Enein asserts that only “militant Islamists” — ISIS types who behead, crucify, massacre, and burn people alive — are the enemy. “Non-militant Islamists,” however, are not:

It is the Militant Islamists who are our adversary. They represent an immediate threat to the national security of the United States. They must not be confused with Islamists.

This theme, which the author expresses in convoluted language — at one point he urges the reader to appreciate the “the divisions between Militant Islamists and between Militant Islamists and Islamists” (p.176) — permeates the book. In reality, all Islamists share the same ultimate goal of global Islamic hegemony. They differ in methodology — but not in their view of us as the enemy to be crushed.

“Non-militant Islamists,” chief among them the Muslim Brotherhood, see incremental infiltration and subtle subversion of infidel Western states as more effective than outright terrorism, as one notorious Brotherhood memo clearly states.[1]

We’ve already seen the outcome of cooperating with “Non-militant Islamists” during the Arab Spring. The Obama administration cast aside decades of U.S. policy and support for secular Arab autocrats and made cozy with the Muslim Brotherhood. What followed is well-known: the Arab Spring quickly turned into the “Islamic Winter.” This culminated with the rise of the Islamic State, in large part due to Obama’s policies, both active (aiding Islamic terrorists by portraying them as “freedom fighters,” in Libya and Syria) and inactive (pulling all U.S. forces out of Iraq despite the warnings, and disposing of a 30-year ally of the U.S., the secularist Mubarak, for the Brotherhood in Egypt).

Aboul-Enein further recommends American forces adopt a Sharia-compliant respect for Islam and Muslims.

For example, he suggests that if an American soldier ever desecrates a Koran, U.S. leadership must not merely relieve him of duty, but offer “unconditional apologies,” and emulate the words of Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Hammond, which Aboul-Enein quotes as exemplary: “I come before you [Muslims] seeking your forgiveness, in the most humble manner I look in your eyes today, and say please forgive me and my soldiers,” followed by kissing a new Koran and “ceremoniously” presenting it to Muslims.

Not only is such a double-standard un-American — would a serviceman be punished for the “desecration” of any other religious book? — but the very idea that supremacist Muslims can be won over through servile and fawning appeasement is antithetical to reality, if not human nature. Abject behavior breeds contempt and encourages more Muslim aggression and demands.

Here are a few more examples of Aboul-Enein’s false claims, distortions, and general oddities, though one could go on and on:

  • He writes (p.142) that “when Muslims are a persecuted minority Jihad becomes a fard kifaya (an optional obligation), in which the imam authorizes annual expeditions into Dar el Harb (the Abode of War), lands considered not under Muslim dominance.” This is wrong on several levels.
    • fard kifaya is not an “optional obligation” — an oxymoron if ever there was one — but rather a “communal obligation.” Moreover, he is clearly describing Offensive Jihad, which is designed to subjugate non-Muslims and is obligatory to wage whenever Muslims are capable, not “when Muslims are a persecuted minority,” which in Islamic jurisprudence is a Defensive Jihad and fard ‘ain (i.e., individual obligation).
  • He says (p.75) that the Arabic word for “terrorist” (irhabi) is nowhere to be found in the Koran or Hadith. He does not mention that the verb form of that word (tirhibun), “terrorize,” abounds in Islamic scriptures (e.g., Allah himself calls on Muslims to “terrorize”  Islam’s opponents in Koran 8:60).
  • He asserts (p.65) that “militant Islamists dismiss ijmaa [consensus] and qiyas [analogical reasoning].” This is simply false. Groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS regularly invoke ijmaa (for instance, the consensus that jihad becomes a personal duty — fard ‘ain — when infidels invade the Islamic world) and justify suicide attacks precisely through qiyas (see The Al Qaeda Reader, p.138).
  • After rightfully admonishing readers not to rely on skewed or biased accounts of Islam, he repeatedly recommends (e.g., pgs. 20, 213, 216) the writings of Muslim apologist extraordinaire Karen Armstrong, whose whitewashing of all things Islamic is notorious.

Such are the claims, distortions, and recommendations of a book that McMaster wholeheartedly endorsed in 2010 as “excellent” and “deserv[ing] a wide readership,” a book that claims “[t]errorist organizations use a narrow and irreligious ideology to recruit undereducated and disenfranchised people to their cause.” This is yet another tired apologia that has been repeatedly debunked. [2]

Over a year ago I closed an article for Hoover Institution’s Strategika with the following sentence:

Time will tell whether the next [American presidential] administration will remain willfully ignorant of the nature of its jihadi enemy — which is fatal in war according to Sun Tzu’s ancient dictum, ‘know your enemy’ — or whether reality will trump political correctness.

The pun remains truer than ever: If the recommendations of Militant Islamist Ideology reflect McMaster’s views on U.S. security and Islam — especially this notion of cooperating with “Nonmilitant Islamists” — then it seems we are going right back to being “willfully ignorant” of reality.

———————————

[1] Excerpt followsUnderstanding the role of the Muslim Brother in North America

“The process of settlement is a “Civilization-Jihadist Process” with all the word means. The Ikhwan [meaning Muslim Brotherhood] must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”

“Without this level of understanding, we are not up to this challenge and have not prepared ourselves for Jihad yet. It is a Muslim’s destiny to perform Jihad and work wherever he is and wherever he lands until the final hour comes, and there is no escape from that destiny except for those who chose to slack.”

[2] Here is McMaster’s entire endorsement, as it appears on the back of the book’s jacket cover:

“Terrorist organizations use a narrow and irreligious ideology to recruit undereducated and disenfranchised people to their cause. Understanding terrorist ideology is the first and may also be the most important step in ensuring national and international security against the threat that these organizations pose.

Youssef Aboul-Enein’s book is an excellent starting point in that connection. Militant Islamist Ideology deserves a wide readership among all those concerned with the problem of transnational terrorism, their ideology, and our efforts to combat those organizations that pose a serious threat to current and future generations of Muslims and non-Muslims alike.”

Opposition Builds Against Mattis Pick Who Met With Muslim Brotherhood

Anne Patterson / Getty Images

Washington Free Beacon, by Adam Kredo, March 13, 2017:

Opposition is mounting on Capitol Hill and in conservative foreign policy circles over Defense Secretary James Mattis’s efforts to hire a former Obama administration official who lobbied in favor of engagement with the Muslim Brotherhood and spearheaded efforts to criticize Israeli counter-terrorism efforts, according to multiple sources close to the Trump administration.

Mattis is lobbying to hire former diplomat Anne Patterson as undersecretary of defense for policy, according to multiple reports, a position that would make her the third most powerful voice at the Defense Department.

Multiple sources on Capitol Hill and those close to the Trump foreign policy teams are voicing concerns about the pick, warning that Patterson would seek to continue some of the former Obama administration’s most controversial foreign policies, such as conducting outreach to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Patterson, who served as U.S. ambassador to Egypt when the Muslim Brotherhood rose to power, advocated in favor of negotiating with the terror group. Her efforts drew outrage in the Egyptian reformist community, which still views Patterson as working to legitimize the Muslim Brotherhood.

As assistant secretary of state for near east affairs in the Obama administration, Patterson also led efforts to criticize Israeli authorities after they killed a Palestinian-American terrorist who was attempting to stab civilians.

Patterson’s record under the Obama administration has raised concerns on Capitol Hill, where she would require Senate confirmation in order to assume the Defense Department post.

Multiple sources who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon about the matter expressed opposition to the pick and outlined larger concerns about efforts by Mattis to hire former Obama administration officials who conservatives view as responsible for multiple failures in U.S. foreign policy.

These sources also expressed concern about the Trump administration’s failure to remove former Obama officials from the administration, citing the efforts by some to kneecap President Donald Trump’s foreign policy team and preserve Obama-era policies.

“This would be a disastrous choice,” one senior congressional aide tracking the matter told the Free Beacon. “Patterson has a well-documented track record of sticking up for extremist groups at every turn. Her selection would mean elevating someone whose views not only run counter to the president’s, but U.S. national security as well. The administration should seriously reconsider.”

A second senior Republican Senate aide expressed similar concerns. Patterson’s views run counter to the foreign policy outlook expressed by Trump on the campaign trail, the source noted.

There is mounting concern over the promotion of Patterson to such a senior role, according to the source, who said this would “would send the wrong message given her background in Egypt, in particular her sympathies to the Muslim Brotherhood.”

Insiders close to Trump’s national security team described mounting concern over Mattis’s efforts to hire Patterson.

“People concerned about the U.S.-Egypt relationship don’t know what to make of Mattis’s support for Anne Patterson,” said one source, who explained that Patterson’s record on Egypt is vastly different that Mattis’ own comments about recalibrating relations with the country.

“Egyptians I have spoken to, both in and outside government, are extremely worried right now,” the source added. “First, they can’t believe they might have to contend with Patterson’s pro-Brotherhood polices; and second, it’s causing them to re-evaluate who they thought Secretary Mattis is.”

As the Trump administration looks to reset years of strained relations with Cairo, the selection of Patterson could draw outrage from secular leaders who are still angered by her engagement with the Muslim Brotherhood, sources explained.

One Egyptian opposition leader who spoke to the Free Beacon during the 2013 revolution in Egypt described Patterson as “the first enemy of the revolution,” claiming “she is hated even more than [former Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed] Morsi.”

Patterson met in 2012 with Brotherhood leader Mohammed Badie, who has been extremely critical of the United States.

Patterson still has strained relations with current Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. Reports in Middle Eastern publications indicated that Patterson pressured al-Sisi to release imprisoned Muslim Brotherhood members and later threatened him when he refused to do so.

Sources also raised questions about Patterson’s commitment to Trump’s foreign policy, which seeks to isolate fanatical religious organizations such as the Brotherhood and Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, or IRGC.

Patterson cast doubt during a 2015 Senate hearing on efforts to designate the IRGC as a terrorist group, efforts that are likely to be revisited by Trump’s team.

One senior Republican foreign policy adviser who has close ties to the White House told the Free Beacon that Patterson would represent a continuation of the Obama administration’s failed engagement in the Middle East.

“Anne Patterson is the embodiment of the Obama administration’s failed approach to the Middle East, which focused on crowding out our traditional Arab allies with radical Islamists from Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood,” said the source, who requested anonymity to speak freely about the administration.

“As the post-Kerry State Department becomes less and less relevant, and the White House and Defense Department take over foreign policy strategy, it’s beyond irresponsible to put her in charge of the Pentagon’s policy apparatus,” the source said.

***

There is a lot of conflicting information floating around that just doesn’t add up. Mattis is not a fan of the Muslim Brotherhood. Listen to his own words:

Why Is General Mattis Nominating the ‘Muslim Brotherhood’s Stooge’?

Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Anne Patterson testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015, before the House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Syria. Patterson defended President Barack Obama?s policy to defeat Islamic State militants in Syria. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

PJ MEDIA, BY RAYMOND IBRAHIM, MARCH 9, 2017:

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis’ pick for undersecretary of defense for policy, Anne Patterson, is problematic.

Politico briefly explains why:

If nominated and confirmed, Patterson would hold the fourth most powerful position at the Pentagon — and would effectively be the top civilian in the Defense Department, since both Mattis and his deputy, Robert Work, were military officers.

As ambassador to Egypt between 2011 and 2013, Patterson worked closely with former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and his Islamist government. She came under fire for cultivating too close a relationship with the regime and for discouraging protests against it — and White House officials are voicing concerns about those decisions now.

This is putting it mildly. Back during the months leading to the June 30, 2013 revolution, Patterson — the “Brotherhood’s Stooge” as she was called by all, from news analysts to the Egyptian street — was arguably one of the most hated individuals by the millions of Egyptians who took to the streets against Morsi and the Brotherhood.

Not only did her face regularly appear next to Obama’s in placards; it sometimes appeared alone, indicating just how closely she was seen as supporting the Brotherhood. It should be noted that these were not isolated sightings, as shown by the number of different placards and signs:

Below are just a few anecdotes that I have translated from Arabic language media before, during, and after the June 30, 2013 revolution that highlight Patterson’s unsavory ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

In the days leading to the revolution, Patterson called on Egyptians not to protest. She even met with the Coptic pope and asked him specifically to urge the nation’s Christian minority not to oppose the Brotherhood — even though Christians were naturally going to suffer the most under Morsi, especially in the context of accusations of “blasphemy.”

Soon after the revolution, she repeatedly tried to reinstate the Brotherhood to power.

Even Muhammad Heikal — “the Arab world’s most respected political commentator,” and for over 50 years an Egyptian political insider — said during a live interview that Patterson had assured the Muslim Brotherhood’s Hisham Qandil, who under Morsi was Egypt’s prime minister, that “there are many forms of pressure, and America holds the keys to the Gulf.”

Later, Patterson demanded that Egypt’s recently appointed supreme commander of the Egyptian Armed Forces, General Abdul Fatah al-Sisi, release all Muslim Brotherhood members currently being held for questioning:

And when Sisi rejected this order, the American ambassador began threatening him that Egypt will turn into another Syria and live through a civil war.

Another report said Patterson was “trying to communicate with General Sisi, demanding dialogue with the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, and concessions to them,” to which Sisi reportedly retorted:

Stop meddling in our affairs … the Egyptian people are capable of looking after their own welfare.

In a live interview on Tahrir TV, political insider and former Egyptian Member of Parliament Mustafa Bakari exposed the relationship between Patterson and Khairat al-Shater, the deputy leader of the Muslim Brotherhood.

He said she was regularly seen going to and from the Brotherhood leader’s private residence, as opposed to meeting at the party’s headquarters. He said she told al-Shater “we [the U.S.] will stand with you [regarding the June 30 protests],” and that she treated the Brotherhood leader as the “true ruler of the nation.” Bakari concluded by saying:

[I]n fact, in my opinion, she is a member of the sleeper cells of the Brotherhood, likely recruited by Essam al-Erian or Muhammad al-Baltagi.

Because of all this, several of Egypt’s revolutionary forces, including Tamarod, which played a pivotal role in the June 30 Revolution, staged protests in front of the U.S. embassy in Cairo “calling for the ejection of ambassador Anne Patterson.”

In connection, Egyptian journalist Abdullah al-Sanawi said this on live TV:

Anne Patterson’s presence in Egypt has become a great burden for America, and Patterson should be admitted into a mental hospital for her deeds are full of bloodshed and the Obama administration is in a very awkward position in front of the whole world, the [U.S.] Congress and the Pentagon.

Soon thereafter, Youm 7, a popular newspaper in Egypt (then the sixth-most visited website in the nation according to Alexa.com), conducted a survey asking its readers:

Do you support the call to kick U.S. Ambassador Anne Patterson out because she interfered in Egyptian affairs?

A whopping 87.93% said yes, 10.54% said no, and 1.53% were indifferent. Youm 7’s audience is almost exclusively secular-leaning or Christian. It was the non-Islamists of Egypt that disliked the U.S. ambassador — not the Muslim Brotherhood, which benefited from her.

In 2013, even Foreign Policy, a publication notorious for always siding with establishment D.C., noted that Patterson was widely seen among Republicans “as the key implementer for a policy that at least offers tacit support to the Muslim Brotherhood.”

Such is the person that General Mattis wants to place in a top Pentagon position.

Syrian ‘Moderate’ Rebels Flocking to Al-Qaeda After CIA Halts Weapons Pipeline

jihadists-cheer-pentagon-counter-narrative-failure-1-sized-770x415xtPJ MEDIA, BY PATRICK POOLE, FEBRUARY 23, 2017:

A few of us have been predicting for several years now that the so-called “moderate” rebels in Syria backed by the CIA would inevitably collapse into the surging camp of Sunni extremists.

And now that is exactly what has happened, thus signaling the beginning of the end of any pretension of a “moderate opposition” to back in Syria.

In September 2013, the belief that the “moderates” vastly outnumbered the extremists of the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra was taken as gospel by the Obama administration, both Democrats and Republicans in Congress, and the D.C. foreign policy establishment. Those of us challenging that conventional wisdom were a pretty small circle.

Now, the so-called “vetted moderates” are flocking to the banner of the rebranded al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria, as the CIA halts their weapons pipeline while the smaller “moderate” groups fall willingly or unwillingly into the extremist camp.

So much for all that “vetting” by the CIA.

Reuters reported earlier this week:

CIA-coordinated military aid for rebels in northwest Syria has been frozen since they came under major Islamist attack last month, rebel sources said, raising doubts about foreign support key to their war against President Bashar al-Assad.

Rebel officials said that no official explanation had been given for the move this month following the jihadist assault, though several said they believed the main objective was to prevent arms and cash falling into Islamist militant hands. But they said they expected the aid freeze to be temporary.

The halt in assistance, which has included salaries, training, ammunition and in some cases guided anti-tank missiles, is a response to jihadist attacks and has nothing to do with U.S. President Donald Trump replacing Barack Obama in January, two U.S. officials familiar with the CIA-led program said.

As I have reported extensively here at PJ Media for several years, the “vetted moderates” have always played a double-game with jihadists groups. And now the Washington Post reports today that it has finally caught up with them.

The biggest surviving rebel stronghold in northern Syria is falling under the control of al-Qaeda-linked extremists amid a surge of rebel infighting that threatens to vanquish what is left of the moderate rebellion.

The ascent of the extremists in the northwestern province of Idlib coincides with a suspension of aid to moderate rebel groups by their international allies.

The commanders of five of the groups say they were told earlier this month by representatives of the United States, Saudi Arabia and Turkey that they would receive no further arms or ammunition until they unite to form a coherent front against the jihadists, a goal that has eluded the fractious rebels throughout the six years of fighting.

The freeze on supplies is unrelated to the change of power in Washington, where the Trump administration is engaged in a review of U.S. policy on Syria, U.S. officials say. It also does not signal a complete rupture of support for the rebels, who are continuing to receive salaries, say diplomats and rebel commanders.

Rather, the goal is to ensure supplies do not fall into extremist hands, by putting pressure on the rebels to form a more efficient force, the rebel commanders say they have been told.

Instead it is the extremists who have closed ranks and turned against the U.S.-backed rebels, putting the al-Qaeda-linked groups with whom the moderates once uneasily coexisted effectively in charge of key swaths of territory in Idlib, the most important stronghold from which the rebels could have hoped to sustain a challenge to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Concerns about U.S.-supplied weapons falling into the hands of jihadist groups are grounded in a long history of defections of U.S.-backed “moderates,” longstanding cooperation between “moderates” and extremists, and losses to extremist groups on the battlefield.

Read more

NatSec advisor Michael Anton outlines a way forward with an alternative to the “New World Order”

Michael Anton, center, at a White House news briefing Feb. 1. At left are Michael Flynn and K.T. McFarland. (Photo: Carolyn Kaster/AP)

Michael Anton, center, at a White House news briefing Feb. 1. At left are Michael Flynn and K.T. McFarland. (Photo: Carolyn Kaster/AP)

Note: Michael Anton is Deputy Assistant to the President for Strategic Communications, National Security Council. This article was prepared before the author accepted his current position. The views here reflect only those of the author. They do not represent the views of the Trump administration, the National Security Advisor, or the U.S. government.

American Affairs Journal

Trump’s campaign was driven by the basic awareness of ordinary citizens that American peace, prestige, and prosperity were not being served by our foreign policy. Among the many reasons to be hopeful about President Trump’s foreign policy is that he seems to understand that correcting the errors of the neo-interventionists does not require adopting those of the paleo-isolationists.

Excerpt:

Reforming the Liberal International Order

How best to remain safe, rich, and respected? Let us consider the ways in which the LIO might be reformed.

First, our trade policy is in obvious need of reform. The LIO elevates “free trade”—really, phonebook-thick agreements that regulate every aspect of trade, mostly to America’s disadvantage—to holy writ. It does so for political reasons as well as ideological ones, such as the often-inappropriate invocation of David Ricardo. The office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has been composed entirely of true believers in the free trade doctrine for several decades. But the world economy has changed significantly since 1945, to state the obvious. In certain cases, at least, the conditions underlying that period’s commercial policy orientation (and the theoretical impulses behind it) no longer apply. The Trump administration is right to be skeptical of free trade ideology and to revisit trade policy based on core interests and commercial realities.

We could also be more sensible about our alliance structure. NATO is far from irrelevant today, but it could surely be made more relevant. Certainly, decades of joint exercise, interoperability rules, interchangeable weapons systems, and the like should not be tossed aside lightly, especially among countries with long histories of deep bonds and common interests. But it is reasonable to ask: What is the alliance for once its original purpose has evaporated? If it can be reformed to better address the threats of our time—terrorism, mass illegal migration—all to the good.

We must also ask: Why is it in our strategic interest to push that alliance’s borders ever outward? What do we gain by pledging American blood to defend places where it would take us a 48-hour airlift to mount a forlorn defense with one regiment? In what way does committing to impossible things enhance prestige?

The case for continued expansion of the LIO seems feeble indeed and has recently been taken to absurd extremes. One school of thought—let us call them the “neocons”—holds that since democracy is “our team,” and that team’s overall health improves when its prospects are expanding, then surely it is in our interest to democratize the world. No?

No. That is to say: America would likely be better off if the world were more democratic than it is, given that democracy correlates highly with friendliness or at least non-opposition to American interests, whereas “authoritarianism” (or, to be more precise, “tyranny”) correlates highly with opposition and even hostility to American interests. But in some regions, democracy also correlates highly with instability, which breeds war and chaos that are antithetical to American interests. In others, the rhetoric and mechanism of democracy are used—one man, one vote, once—to squelch robust democracy and impose a tyranny worse than what preceded the “democracy.”

Sticking with the LIO’s original context between 1945 and 1989, its first purpose was to preserve democracy where it already existed and was under threat, either by foreign conquest or foreign-directed internal subversion. Second, it was to restore democracy to “captive nations” whose liberty had been seized by a foreign power. Third, it was to develop democracy (gradually) in countries with substantial economies, deep reserves of human capital, and civil intuitions capable of serving as soil in which democracy could grow. Never did it mean imposition of democracy—much less suggest this imposition was a vital American interest.

Democracy is a precarious flower. It will not grow just anywhere. There are a great many patches of land we could easily seize that are nonetheless fit for growing only cacti or weeds. If we see the democratic flower struggling to bloom in a place where and at a time when we have the capacity to water it, and it is in our interest to do so, by all means we should consider it. But the fact that America has a “team interest” in the success or non-failure of democracy does not mean that we have an interest in trying to impose democracy in places where it is almost certain to fail. In fact, the opposite is true, because glaring failures undermine our prestige.

I would ask careful readers to please note that, for all the criticism of the foreign policy establishment, nothing here has specifically criticized the LIO per se. It served our interests well in the times and places for which it was built. It remains superior to most alternatives, including paleo-isolationism and neocon overreach. Confusion may arise from the implicit conflation of the LIO with the latter. It is not an outrageous error to make, precisely because the neocons have expended a lot of effort since the end of the Cold War to meld the two in the public mind, beginning with the so-called Wolfowitz Doctrine strategy paper drafted in the Pentagon in 1992 and continuing in 2014 with Robert Kagan’s New Republicthink piece “Superpowers Don’t Get to Retire.”

The very phrase “liberal international order” hints at the problem. It is at least a better term than President George H. W. Bush’s “new world order,” for the simple reason that the LIO has never prevailed over the entire world and never had a chance to. The failure to see this limit was, it seems, the core mistake of America’s post–Cold War foreign policy. The establishment thought it could take a system built (more or less) for the OECD or the Rich Nations Club and make it work everywhere. That was never possible and still isn’t. The “liberal international order” is thus better termed the “liberal rich-country order” or—if you prefer foreign policy jargon—the “liberal functioning-core order.”

Even if one were to assert that America’s national interest is to build and maintain a liberal order in every corner of the globe (which it isn’t), we would still face the thorny problem that America lacks the means to do so. We have to choose. What do we choose and on what basis?

In sum, the reach of “liberal international order”—while mostly beneficial to American interests—is in practice a lot smaller than the whole world. Even when created in 1945–1950, it was never intended to encompass the globe. It was built to protect the interests of America and its non-Communist friends in Europe and Asia and (in an update to the Monroe Doctrine) keep Communism out of the Western Hemisphere. The Middle East was added later, in stages, as Anglo-French hegemony collapsed after Suez, as the original Western-friendly Arab kings fell, and as the West (and the United States especially) became net oil importers. The attempt, beginning in 1991–92, to extend that order over the whole world was a case of American eyes being much bigger than our stomachs (or teeth), a confusion of ideology and interests. In fact, however, such expansion was never necessary to core American interests—peace, prosperity, prestige.

The uncertainty of the present moment does not derive primarily from President Trump’s supposed disregard for the fundamentals of the liberal international order. On the contrary, the uncertainty arises from a growing awareness of the disconnect between the instrumental policies of that order and its overriding purpose. In restoring a sense of the core objectives behind the LIO’s institutions, Trump actually shows a greater regard for it. These institutions will survive only if prudently amended to serve their essential purposes and meet their members’ needs.

Trump’s campaign was driven by the basic awareness of ordinary citizens that American peace, prestige, and prosperity were not being served by our foreign policy. Among the many reasons to be hopeful about President Trump’s foreign policy is that he seems to understand that correcting the errors of the neo-interventionists does not require adopting those of the paleo-isolationists.

While orienting foreign policy around American peace, prestige, and prosperity still leaves room for disagreements in policy formation, focusing on the ends rather than the means marks a dramatic change in the way our diplomats see things. The quicker we make that change, the quicker we will find clarity in strengthening the institutions that make the American people safe, respected, and wealthy—and the quicker we can reform those that do not.

This article originally appeared in American Affairs Volume I, Number 1 (Spring 2017): 113–25.

Also see:

5 Points About New National Security Adviser Gen. McMaster

U.S. President Trump with NCA-appointee General H.R. McMaster (left) and US Ambassador to Israel-appointee David Friedman (R) (Photo: © NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

U.S. President Trump with NCA-appointee General H.R. McMaster (left) and US Ambassador to Israel-appointee David Friedman (R) (Photo: © NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

Clarion Project, by Ryan Mauro, Feb. 21, 2017:

President Trump has chosen General H.R. McMaster as the national security adviser and there’s plenty to be happy about. Below are five points to consider with his choice.

1. General McMaster is known for winning the most difficult of battles. As explained in this lengthy New Yorker article from 2006, he performed an amazing turnaround in the city of Tal Afar in Iraq. I remember when he arrived in 2005 and shocked observers by needing only about six months to change the situation by building strong relationships with Iraqis on the ground to kick the jihadists out and to quickly build up the local police force.

His warrior side will come in handy as the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan bluntly refers to the situation as a “stalemate” requiring several thousand more troops for progress to happen.

2.He will never forget how Iran killed our servicemen and women in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.  McMaster blasted the media for repeatedly referring to “alleged” Iranian support for militias and targets, saying it was “damn obvious to anybody who wants to look into it” that Iran’s proxy warfare against our troops was confirmed. He will never forget or forgive the Iranian regime for harming his brothers and sisters in the U.S. military.

3. He criticizes the ““almost narcissistic” U.S. expectations in Iraq and Afghanistan that don’t take into account the limitations of our abilities to shape those situations. Authorities on counter-insurgency like McMaster, Mattis and Petraeus are often criticized of pursing idealistic nation-building, but McMaster’s words reflect a realism about what can and cannot be achieved.

4. He wrote an acclaimed book about the Vietnam War, Deriliction of Duty: Johnson, McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Lies That Led to Vietnam. The title alone shows he is cynical towards the senior political class. If you are skeptical about President Trump, you can rest assured that McMaster will not be a puppet.

5. Jihad Watch just broke the story that McMaster said the “Islamic State is not Islamic” in a 2014 lecture. Comments like that by the Obama Administration were rightly criticized and so must his.

However, we should be fair to McMaster. Did he say it because he doesn’t believe we should focus on the radical Islamic ideology or, more optimistically, he does understand the ideology and was using the line to try to undermine ISIS’ legitimacy?

The record of McMaster points towards the former, as does the records of those he will be serving with. Defense Secretary General Mattis, for example, explicitly identifies political Islam as the enemy ideology that a strategy must be crafted around.

***

Jim Hanson defends H. R. McMaster’s counter-insurgency strategy (COIN) which is based on taking into account the political sensitivities on the ground in order to recruit Muslim allies:

 

Nikki Haley Puts UN Anti-Israelism In Crosshairs

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New ambassador makes clear change has arrived.

Front Page Magazine, by Joseph Klein, February 21, 2017:

The Trump administration’s U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, has hit the ground running.  She spoke truth to power by strongly calling out the United Nations for its anti-Israel bias and double standards. Her predecessor, Samantha Power, never came close.

After attending her first regular meeting of the UN Security Council devoted to the Middle East, including the Palestinian-Israeli situation, Ambassador Haley remarked to reporters, “The first thing I want to do is talk about what we just saw in there.” Calling the meeting “a bit strange,” Ambassador Haley noted how the focus of blame for everything that has gone wrong in the Middle East seemed to be placed almost entirely on Israel.

“The discussion was not about Hezbollah’s illegal build-up of rockets in Lebanon,” Ambassador Haley said. “It was not about the money and weapons Iran provides to terrorists. It was not about how we defeat ISIS. It was not about how we hold Bashar al-Assad accountable for the slaughter of hundreds and thousands of civilians. No, instead, the meeting focused on criticizing Israel, the one true democracy in the Middle East. I am new around here, but I understand that’s how the Council has operated, month after month, for decades. I am here to underscore the ironclad support of the United States for Israel. I’m here to emphasize the United States is determined to stand up to the UN’s anti-Israel bias.”

Ambassador Haley was speaking against the backdrop of the anti-Israel Security Council Resolution 2334 passed last December, which the Obama administration refused to veto. “We will never repeat the terrible mistake of Resolution 2334 and allow one-sided Security Council resolutions to condemn Israel,” Ambassador Haley declared. “The outrageously biased resolutions from the Security Council and the General Assembly only make peace harder to attain by discouraging one of the parties from going to the negotiating table.”

How refreshing it is to hear such sincere words of support for Israel after eight years of Israel-bashing by the Obama administration. Former Ambassador Power had hypocritically mouthed some formulaic acknowledgements of bias against Israel in the Security Council and other UN forums, but while contributing strongly to that bias herself.

Resolution 2334 reeks of such bias. Yet Power strongly defended the Obama administration’s decision to abstain rather than veto it. The resolution outrageously declared that “the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace.” When it came to the resolution’s call to prevent “acts of terror” and “to refrain from provocative actions, incitement and inflammatory rhetoric,” the resolution referred elliptically to “both parties.” Power could not defend why the resolution failed to call out the Palestinian Authority or Hamas by name for committing acts of terror, incitement to violence and glorification of terrorists. Her lame explanation to reporters at her farewell UN press conference was that Resolution 2334 “was not our resolution, so I think you can probably pose those questions to the people who were negotiating the text.” Of course, she could have insisted on including such specific references to Palestinian terror and incitement to violence in violation of international law in the resolution itself as a condition for a U.S. abstention. She didn’t. Instead, add a display of moral cowardice to Power’s list of “accomplishments” during her tenure as UN ambassador.

Things will be different from now on. And it is not just a change in words and tone. Expect concrete actions demonstrating the Trump administration’s moral clarity in holding the UN organization to account.

For example, Ambassador Haley objected to the proposed appointment of the Palestinian Authority’s former Prime Minister Salam Fayyad to become the next UN envoy to Libya. Palestine is not a full member of the United Nations. It is just an observer state. Israel, on the other hand, is a full member state. Yet the new UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, sought to elevate a Palestinian official to a high UN Secretariat post, while Israel has been denied the opportunity to fill such a position. Inner City Press has reported that, according to its sources, “the nomination was really by Jeffrey Feltman, the Obama administration’s appointee to head the UN Department of Political Affairs.” Feltman served previously as U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs in the Obama administration. Through Feltman, the former Obama administration would still have someone inside the UN bureaucracy to further enhance the Palestinians’ favorable position at the UN at the expense of Israel. But this appointment was not to be.

Shortly after Salam Fayyad’s proposed appointment was announced, Ambassador Haley issued a statement, which read in part: “The United States does not currently recognize a Palestinian state or support the signal this appointment would send within the United Nations, however, we encourage the two sides to come together directly on a solution. Going forward the United States will act, not just talk, in support of our allies.”

Evidently, that was enough to block the appointment. The Palestine Liberation Organization protested, of course. It’s not used to rejection at the United Nations.

Other actions appear to be underway or are soon to come. Late last year, during the waning days of the Obama administration, the UN General Assembly approved funding for compiling a blacklist of private Israeli companies doing business in the “occupied” territories. Samantha Power claimed the Obama administration objected to the blacklist project, but did nothing to stop it from proceeding. Less than a month after President Trump took office and Nikki Haley became the U.S.’s new UN ambassador, it was reported that the anti-Israel United Nations Human Rights Council decided to delay the publication of a report in connection with establishing the database of Israeli companies with business links to settlements in the West Bank until some unspecified time later this year. There is now a good chance the database will not see the light of day.

Blank checks for the UN’s multiple pro-Palestinian programs may finally become a thing of the past. Ambassador Haley singled out the UN Department of Political Affairs – still headed by the former Obama administration Assistant Secretary of State, Jeffrey Feltman – for having “an entire division devoted to Palestinian affairs.” She added, “There is no division devoted to illegal missile launches from North Korea. There is no division devoted to the world’s number one state-sponsor of terror, Iran. The prejudiced approach to Israeli-Palestinian issues does the peace process no favors. And it bears no relationship to the reality of the world around us.”

As governor of South Carolina, Nikki Haley had a reputation for being a strong fiscal conservative. The United Nations is on notice that as UN ambassador of the country paying a disproportionate amount of the total UN budget, Ambassador Haley will continue to be a fiscal conservative with American taxpayers’ money. She will aim to sharply reduce the rampant waste in the UN budget, perhaps starting with the often overlapping, over-the-top pro-Palestinian agencies and programs the UN has established over the years.