Homeland Security Advisory Council: Covering for the Enemy Threat Doctrine

Terror Trends Bulletin, by Christopher W. Holton

America is at war and we continue to be prevented from identifying and understanding our enemies as a result of influence operations targeting our bureaucratized counterterrorism apparatus.

The latest evidence of this long-standing and, unfortunately, very effective influence campaign comes from the revelation that the “Countering Violent Extremism Subcommittee” of the Homeland Security Advisory Council to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has issued a recommendation that urges rejecting use of Islamic terms such as “jihad” and “shariah” in communications about the threats that we face….

http://freebeacon.com/national-security/homeland-security-report-calls-rejecting-terms-jihad-sharia/

This is nothing new. We have heard CIA director John Brennan reject the term “jihadist” and the State Department under Condoleezza Rice rejected the use of the term as well.

We have covered the damaging efforts by our enemies to prevent the actual correct use of the term “jihad” extensively here on Terror Trends Bulletin in the past…

https://terrortrendsbulletin.com/2013/01/13/cairs-new-disinformation-campaign-on-jihad/

But the effort to suppress even mere mention of the word “shariah” is actually much more damaging than the suppression of the word “jihad.” That’s because shariah is THE enemy threat doctrine.

To understand our enemies, their motivations, their intentions and their strategy, one must study shariah. Shariah is everything to the jihadists. It is the code that they follow and its full implementation is their goal.

Forbidding the use of the term shariah, much less suppressing study of shariah in the present conflict is the equivalent of forbidding intelligence agencies from studying Mein Kampf in World War II or the works and words of Marx, Lenin, Stalin and Mao during the Cold War.

Anyone who would recommend that we avoid studying and talking about shariah simply must have a nefarious purpose.

By way of review, shariah is Islamic law. The terms shariah and Islamic law are completely interchangeable; they refer to exactly the same thing. Shariah is an immutable theo-political-legal-military code derived from the Islamic doctrinal trilogy, made up of the Quran, the Sirah (the biography of the prophet Mohammed) and the Hadith (traditions, sayings and stories compiled about the life of Mohammed).

Every single Jihadist terrorist group in the world–without exception–has as its stated goal the imposition of shariah: the Islamic State, Al Qaeda, HAMAS, Hezbollah, the Muslim Brotherhood, Lashkar e Taiba, Abu Sayyef, Jemaah Islamiyah, Boko Haram, the Taliban, Al Shabaab–all of them.

So, while the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will be carefully avoiding the use of the term shariah, our enemies have been using it quite commonly, frequently and prominently, as if to illustrate the absurdity of the DHS recommendation.

What follows is a compilation of quotes from jihadi leaders and Al Qaeda and Islamic State documents that reveal the central importance of shariah to their movement. This is why Americans must familiarize themselves with shariah.

SHARIAH ACCORDING TO THE JIHADISTS THEMSELVES

• The sharia has forbidden us from taking infidels as confidants, inducting them into our secrets.
• The sharia forbids us from appointing infidels to important posts.
• The sharia forbids us from adopting or praising the beliefs and views of the infidels.
• The sharia forbids us from assisting infidels against Muslims; even the one who is coerced has o excuse to fight under the banner of infidels.
• The sharia commands us to battle infidels—both original infidels and apostates, as well as hypocrites. As for waging jihad against the infidels who have usurped the lands of Islam, this is a duty considered second only to faith, by ulemaic consensus.
• The sharia does not accept the excuses made by hypocrites—that they befriend the infidels because they fear the vicissitudes of time.
• We are duty-bound by the sharia to help Muslims overcome the infidels.

Ayman al-Zawahiri
Al Qaeda leader

Osama bin Laden sits with his adviser and purported successor Ayman al-Zawahiri during an interview in Afghanistan, Barack Obama

Democracy is based on the principle of the power of creatures over other creatures, and rejects the principle of God’s absolute power over all creatures; it is also based on the idea the men’s desires, whatever they may be, replace God absolutely, and on the refusal to obey God’s law. In Islam, when there is a disagreement or a difference of opinion, one refers to God, his Prophet, and the commands of sharia.

Ayman al-Zawahiri
Al Qaeda leader

Read more

Europe: Suicide by Jihad

Gatestone Institute, by Guy Millière, April 16, 2016

  • In the last two decades, Belgium has become the hub of jihad in Europe. The district of Molenbeek in Brussels is now a foreign Islamist territory in the heart of Belgium. It is not, however, a lawless zone: sharia law has effectively replaced Belgian law.
  • One of the organizers of the Paris bombings, Salah Abdeslam, was able to live peacefully in Molenbeek for four months until police decided to arrest him. Belgian police knew exactly where he was, but did nothing until French authorities asked them to. After his arrest, he was treated as a petty criminal. Police did not ask him anything about the jihadist networks with which he worked. Officers who interrogated him were ordered to be gentle. The people who hid him were not indicted.
  • Europe’s leaders disseminated the idea that the West was guilty of oppressing Muslims. They therefore sowed the seeds of anti-Western resentment among Muslims in Europe.
  • Hoping to please followers of radical Islam and show them Europe could understand their “grievances,” they placed pressure on Israel. When Europeans were attacked, they did not understand why. They had done their best to please the Muslims. They had not even harassed the jihadists.

The March 22 jihadist attacks in Brussels were predictable. What is surprising is that they did not take place sooner. What is also surprising is that more people were not killed. It seems that the authors of the attacks had larger projects in mind; they wanted to attack a nuclear power plant. Others may succeed in doing just that.

In the last two decades, Belgium has become the hub of jihad in Europe. The district of Molenbeek in Brussels is now a foreign Islamist territory in the heart of Belgium. It is not, however, a lawless zone: sharia law has effectively replaced Belgian law. Almost all the women wear veils or burqas; those who do not take risks. Drug trafficking and radical mosques are everyplace. The police stay outside and intervene only in cases of extreme emergency, using military-like commando operations. Other areas of Belgium, such as Shaerbeek and Anderlecht have the same status as Molenbeek.

The Belgian authorities have allowed the situation to deteriorate. The situation in the country now is virtually equivalent to a surrender.

They seemed to hope that willful blindness and accepting the unacceptable would permit the country to be spared. It did not.

The attack on Belgium’s Jewish Museum on May 24, 2014 should have served as a warning. It did not. That “only” Jews were the target led the Belgian government to underestimate the threat. The jihadi who wanted to kill passengers on train from Amsterdam to Paris, on August 21, 2015,prepared his attack in Brussels. That three American heroes neutralized him before he could start shooting again led the Belgian government to think the danger was not large.

The jihadis who struck Paris on November 13, 2015 had also organized their attacks from Molenbeek, but the blood was not spilled in Belgium. Belgian authorities perhaps assumed that Belgium would be spared. They spoke of “imminent danger” for a day or so, but never increased security.

One of the organizers of the Paris bombings, Salah Abdeslam, Europe’s most wanted terrorist criminal, was able to live peacefully in Molenbeek for four months until police decided to arrest him. Belgian police knew exactly where he was, but did nothing until French authorities asked them to. After his arrest, he was treated as a petty criminal, not a jihadi terrorist. Police did not ask him anything concerning the jihadist networks with which he worked. Because he was hurt during police operations, officers who interrogated him were ordered to be gentle. The people who agreed to hide him for so long were not considered suspects and were not indicted.

The Brussels jihadist attacks took place two days later.

Despite the worst attacks on Belgium soil since World War II, Belgian authorities do not seem ready to change their behavior.

Abdelhamid Abaaoud (left), one of the planners of the November 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris, was — like many terrorists in Europe — from Molenbeek, Belgium. Philippe Moureaux (right) was mayor of Molenbeek for 20 years, thanks to his alliance with radical Islamists.

After the attacks, Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel denounced “violent and cowardly acts” and stressed his “determination,” without saying what he intended to do. He did not speak of the necessity of changing the Belgian laws to make them more effective. He did not mention any enemy. He never used words such as “jihad” or “radical Islam.”

He behaved and talked as most of his European counterparts did. French Prime Minister Manuel Valls used more courageous words and said many times he is fighting “radical jihad” and “Islamism.” The French parliament passed laws allowing what is still impossible in Belgium:police searches at night. But France stands alone, and effectively the situation in France is no better than in Belgium. Islamist enclaves exists in many suburbs. Whole cities are controlled by thugs and radical imams: cities such as Roubaix, Trappes, Aubervilliers and Sevran in the northeast of Paris.

Islamist enclaves also exist in other European countries: Spain, the Netherlands, Germany, theUnited Kingdom and Sweden.

European leaders have been making choices. After World War II, they decided Europe would be a region of the world where war would be banished and all problems solved through diplomacy and appeasement. They gradually abandoned financing defense and security activities. Instead, they built welfare states. They thought that taking care of people from cradle to grave would suppress anger and conflicts. They denied the existence of totalitarian dangers and the necessity of showing strength. To this day, their statements indicate that European leaders think both the Berlin Wall and the Soviet empire fell thanks to the benevolence of Mikhail Gorbachev, not thanks to the determination of Ronald Reagan. To this day, they seem to think that Islam is essentially areligion of peace and that the jihadis belong to a tiny, marginal sect.

Decades ago, Europe’s leaders adopted a general policy of “openness” to the Islamic world in general, and the Arab world in particular. They decided to welcome migrants from the Muslim world by hundreds of thousands but without asking them to integrate. They made cultural relativism and multiculturalism their guiding principles. They acted as if Islam could mingle in the Western world harmoniously and without difficulty. Europe’s leaders disseminated the idea that the West was guilty of oppressing Muslims and had to pay for its sins. They therefore sowed the seeds of anti-Western resentment among Muslims in Europe.

When in the Muslim world jihadis started to kill, Europe’s leaders wanted to believe that the attacks would take place in the Muslim world only. They thought that by not interfering with what European jihadis were planning, they would not risk jihadi attacks on European soil.

When Jews were attacked, Europe’s leaders decided that the problem was not jihad, but Israel. They stressed the need not to “export Middle East conflict in Europe.” Hoping to please followers of radical Islam and show them Europe could understand their “grievances,” they placed increasing pressure on Israel. They also increased their financial and political support for the “Palestinian cause.”

When Europeans were attacked, they did not understand why. They had done their best to please the Muslims. They had not even harassed the jihadists. They still do not know how to react.

Many of them now say privately what they will never say in public: it is probably too late.

There are six to eight million Muslims in France, and more than thirty million in Western Europe. Hundreds of jihadis are trained and ready to act — anytime, anyplace. European intelligence services know that they want to make “dirty bombs.” Surveys show that tens of thousands of Muslims living in Europe approve of jihadi attacks in Europe. Millions of Muslims living in Europe keep silent, behave as if they see nothing and hear nothing, and protest only when they think they have to defend Islam.

European political leaders know that every decision they make may provoke reactions among the Muslims living in Europe. Muslim votes matter. Riots occur easily. In France, Belgium, other European countries, Islamists are present in the army and police forces. In the meantime, Islamist organizations recruit and Islamic lobbies gain ground.

European governments are now hostages. The European media are also hostages.

In most European countries, “Islamophobia” is considered a crime — and any criticism of Islam may be considered “Islamophobic.” People trying to warn Europe, such as the Dutch MP Geert Wilders, despite an apparently biased judge and forged documents against him, are now on trial.

Books on radical Islam are still published but surrounded by silence. Books praising the glory of Islam are in every bookstore. When Bat Ye’or’s Eurabia was published in Europe, she was denounced and received hundreds of death threats. Bruce Bawer’s While Europe Slept, published in the U.S., was not even available in Europe. Ten years later, the situation is worse.

Political movements expressing anger and concerns are rising. All are demonized by political power holders and the media. They have almost no chance of gaining more influence.

Populations are gnawed by fear, frustration and impotence. They are looking for answers, but cannot find them. A few hours after the attacks on Brussels, a man on Belgian television said that Europe is on the verge of suicide.

Europe looks like a dying civilization. European governments created a situation that can only lead to more attacks, more massacres, and maybe unspeakable disasters. Europe’s leaders continue to react with speeches and a few police operations.

If some European governments decided to restore their abolished borders, it could take years, and most European leaders would probably disagree with such a policy. Meanwhile, millions more “migrants” will enter Europe, and among them many more jihadis. In spite of the mayhem created in Germany by “migrants” who arrived in 2015, Angela Merkel said she would not change her decisions. No Western European government dared to disagree with her, except Viktor Orbán in Hungary, a lone voice of dissent.

In Brussels, as in Paris earlier, people gathered where the attacks took place. They brought candles and flowers to mourn the victims. They sang sentimental songs. They cried. There were no shouts of revolt against jihad. Members of the Belgian government called on the Belgian people to avoid reactions of violence, and declared that Muslims are the main victims of terrorism.

In Europe’s near future, more people will bring candles, flowers and songs to mourn victims. Another two or three jihadists will be arrested. But nothing will be done.

Dr. Guy Millière, a professor at the University of Paris, is the author of 27 books on France and Europe.

Two Years Ago Today: Boko Haram Seizes 276 Christian Schoolgirls

Terror Trends Bulletin, by Christopher W. Holton, April 14, 2016:

Two years ago today the savage barbarians of Boko Haram, an Islamic jihadist organization, kidnapped 276 Christian schoolgirls in Nigeria.

At the time, this was but the latest example of Boko Haram’s reign of terror. Up to that point, Boko Haram had made it a point to target and slaughter Christians–especially Christian worshippers on Christian Holy Days, such as Christmas, Palm Sunday and Easter.

In fact, Boko Haram is said to be directly responsible for more deaths than the Islamic State (ISIS).

But it wasn’t until they kidnapped these hundreds of schoolgirls that the world was finally awoken to the danger that Boko Haram posed. And, in fact, since then, Boko Haram has officially joined the Islamic State, meaning that the caliphate now controls territory in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Nigeria and has branches and affiliates among some 35 jihadist organizations in as many as 19 nations stretching from the Philippines to west Africa, in addition to supporters and sympathizers across western Europe and in North America.

Despite the fact that the world was awoken to the danger from Boko Haram two years ago today, the world’s response has been feeble, mainly because the so-called leader of the Free World, Barack Obama. doesn’t view Jihad as a global threat, but rather a collection of local, unrelated conflicts in which he doesn’t want to get involved.

imrs

Nothing better symbolizes the Obama administration’s cavalier recalcitrance to the threat from Jihad than Michelle Obama’s hashtag Twitter response to the kidnapping of the 276 Christian schoolgirls in Nigeria.

The fact is, it’s so easy to ignore something like this happening in Africa, because no one really cares about Africa all that much. That isn’t just a shame, it’s criminally negligent because the facts point to Boko Haram being part of the global Jihadist movement, not just a local gang of thugs.

today-nigeria-140512-video2

Can there be any doubt that were these 276 American, French, British, or even Saudi, schoolgirls, someone would be raining hot lead and hell down on Boko Haram by now?

But we all know that isn’t going to happen because our leaders refuse to recognize that we are in a global war and that the Jihadists have one goal in mind: a worldwide caliphate ruling by Shariah.

hillary-clinton-boko-haram

The U.S. has been especially slow to recognize the threat posed by Boko Haram in particular. We can thank Hillary Clinton for that. Despite dishonest attempts at revisionist history by Soros-funded Socialist front groups like Think Progress to spin the details, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton blocked efforts to have Boko Haram designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization for more than two years.

She did so because someone had convinced her that doing so might anger the group to the point that they might target Americans. If that reminds you of appeasement in Europe in the 1930s, that’s because it IS just like appeasement in Europe in the 1930s.

In Hillary Clinton’s world, if the Jihadists want to slaughter thousands of Christians in churches in Africa every Christmas and Easter, that’s okay, as long as they don’t attack us.

I guess Black Lives Really Don’t Matter to Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

***

Nigerians protest against abductions by Boko Haram, demanding that the government act. (Photo: © Reuters)

Nigerians protest against abductions by Boko Haram, demanding that the government act. (Photo: © Reuters)

Girls Choose Suicide Bombing Over Life Under Boko Haram (clarionproject.org)

A “proof of life” video showing 15 of the Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram in August 2014 has been shown to the parents of the girls.

It is believed to be the first footage they have seen proving their children are still alive.

The video is in the hands of negotiators and the Nigerian government.

The video was probably made in December 2015, CNN reported.

Some of those forced into being so called “jihadi brides” are clamoring to become suicide bombers. A 16-year-old teenager, identified only as Fati, told Britain’s The Express that if girls become suicide bombers they can escape a life of continual rape and potentially be rescued.

“They [the Boko Haram fighters] would ask: ‘Who wants to be a suicide bomber?’” Fati recounted. “The girls would shout: ‘Me, me, me.’ They were fighting to do the suicide bombings.”

“If they give them a suicide bomb” she said, “then maybe they would meet soldiers, tell them: ‘I have a bomb on me’ and they could remove the bomb. They can run away.”

Three quarters of the children used as suicide bombers by Boko Haram since 2012 have been girls, according to UNICEF.

Boko Haram is officially known as the Islamic State in West Africa since pledging allegiance to the self-styled Caliph of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in March 2015.

For more information about Boko Haram see Clarion Project’s Special Report: Boko Haram Nigeria’s Islamist Group

A Time To Confront Our Enemies At Home

obama (1)Frontpage, by David Horowitz, Daniel Greenfield, July 20, 2015:

The killing of five unarmed military servicemen at two military recruiting centers is an omen and a warning: The “war on terror” has come home.

Thanks to Obama’s retreat from Iraq and the Middle East, the jihad waged by Islamic terrorists is now being fought on American soil, instead of on a battlefront in Fallujah and Anbar. Thanks to the borders Obama has destroyed and the tens of thousands of legal immigrants the White House has decided to import from terrorist regions, the enemy is among us. Thanks to Obama’s denial that we are at war at all, the Islamic jihad is now being waged in Chattanooga and Fort Hood, the fly over country that liberals and progressives have always despised.

This is not the first time that a military recruiting office in the South was attacked by a Muslim terrorist. In 2009 – Obama’s first year in office – Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad opened fire on a military recruiting office in Little Rock, Arkansas, under orders from Al Qaeda in Yemen, and killed Private William Long.

It was the shot that should have been heard around the country but wasn’t, because America’s Commander-in-Chief told us that Muhammad was a lone crazed assassin, not a vanguard Islamic soldier. According to Obama, there was no war with Islamic fanatics. The fanatic himself rejected the lie.  “This is not the first attack, and won’t be the last,” Muhammad warned. “I’m just one Muhammad. There are millions of Muhammads out there. And I hope and pray the next one will be more deadlier than Muhammad Atta!”

The next one—the attack this time– was certainly deadlier than his. Mohammad Youssduf Adulazeer’s attack in Chattanooga copied Muhammad’s tactic of opening fire from a car on a recruiting center before driving on to the next target. In 2009 Abdulhakim Muhammad was not charged with terrorism. The Commander-in-Chief called him “a lone gunman” and a pliant media dutifully dismissed his military mission as a product of personal depression and mental instability rather than an act of service to Allah’s war.

Barack Obama’s first year in office was also the year of the Fort Hood massacre, when a self-declared Islamist warrior, shouting “Allahu Ahkbar,” gunned down 13 American soldiers – also unarmed by order of their government. The Obama administration officially labeled his act of war “workplace violence” and refused to identify the enemy or take steps to defend his targets.

Four unarmed Marines and an unarmed sailor died this week because of the refusal of our Commander-in-Chief to learn from the 2009 attacks or prepare for the next. Instead he covered it up with psychobabble, and continued to deny our servicemen the weapons that could have saved their lives. Obama’s strategy in this war to destroy us, target by target, is to lull Americans into believing that there is no war, that Islamic terrorists are “not Islamic,” and that “the future must not belong to those who slander the Prophet of Islam.” The result of Obama’s denial is that the war has come home and we are fighting blind in our own country with our hands tied behind our backs.

Every Muslim attack in the last decades has been made possible because the apologists for terrorism among us have done everything they could to deny the plain and obvious, to tie the hands of our first responders, and to make the tasks of our would be destroyers that much easier. While the Muhammads and Mohammads kill Americans in a holy war for Allah, the liberal apologists for Islamic fanatics wage a holy war against their critics. They have been doing this since 9/11, beginning with President Bush. For eight years the Bush administration kept our Islamic enemies on the run in Afghanistan and Iraq but thanks to the appeasement of Obama and the Democrats, they have finally succeeded in shifting the terror front from Tikrit to Tennessee.

Our military cannot defend our shores against the Islamic holy war when their commander-in-chief will not allow it. By withdrawing from Iraq and tying the military’s hands, Obama has allowed the homeland to become a target. By abandoning the Iraqis to the mercies of the mullahs, he has created chaos and a vacuum in the region that stretches from Afghanistan to the Levant. The results are horrific: hundreds of thousands of Christians and Muslims slaughtered by ISIS with barely a mention from the Obama White House, let alone a response; two million Christian and Muslim refugees driven from their homes by fear of crucifixion and beheading, murder and rape; ISIS savagery instantiated in an “Islamic State.” Obama’s response? “The Islamic State is not Islamic.”

Obama is the leader of America’s fifth column – the domestic abettors of America’s destroyers. The column itself is the danger we face. Even as the ashes of 9/11 smoldered, Saudis and Kuwaitis were rushing to buy up American law firms and PR outfits to defend the killers and transform them into victims; longstanding anti-American parties like the ACLU got to work persuading hundreds of American cities to make pledges of non-cooperation with Homeland Security the Patriot Act; Democrat run “sanctuary” cities sprang up to provide safe havens for criminal aliens seeking a base in the American homeland; a coalition of civil rights groups set out to sabotage America’s defenses, claiming that a totalitarian state was around the corner if Americans dared to confront terrorism with beefed up security.  With the imprimatur of the White House, the Muslim Brotherhood and its fronts manufactured a crisis of Islamic “persecution” and worked to expunge the words “Islamist” and “jihad” from the manuals and pronouncements of the federal government. Their goal? To handcuff law enforcement’s first responders as they dealt with the terrorist threat.  With the connivance of the White House they reached the goal.

So where do we stand? The holy war against Americans – against atheists and believers, against Christians and Jews – grows more dangerous by the hour while the president and his followers find every excuse to promote a nation’s denial and make it more and more difficult to defend itself. Defense of America is condemned as “Islamophobia” – and this by liberals at the Center for American Progress and the New America Foundation as well as by agents of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is actually responsible for inventing the term.

The battle flag of our internal attackers is green and red. The green side of the unholy alliance is the political arm of the Islamic jihad, the Brotherhood and its offshoots. The red side is the political left encompassing the spectrum from liberal to progressive (but excluding patriots like senators Lieberman and Menendez). The apex of this unholy collaboration is in Washington D.C. where the president finds ever more innovative ways of promoting Islam as the victim and denying the obvious threat. He withdraws our military ground forces from frontline battlefields safely distant from America’s shores. He wags his finger at Christians, drawing diagrams of moral equivalence between Islamic fanatics and their infidel victims. He turns his back on allies in Israel and Egypt, while offering his political support to the Brotherhood in Cairo and the Islamists in Teheran. The Democrats have become a party of collaborators and their leader the Petain of a Vichy America that provides a stealth cover to the enemy’s attempts to destroy us.

It is time to stop pretending that Obama and his minions really care when Christians are slaughtered without mercy or Jews are threatened with extinction. What is being done to stop these genocides?

When the Commander-in-Chief occasionally drones a terrorist leader this is not an act of war or reprisal but a feint to draw attention away from the fact that he is disarming America, degrading our military even as the threat to our citizenry grows and grows.

It is time to recognize that Obama does not love America enough to confront our enemies and defend our shores.

It is time for the patriots among us to wake up and step forward. It is time to call the actors by their right names. Islamist are Islamists and terrorists are terrorists. But that is only a beginning.

It is time to hold accountable all those who are helping to bring the war home. This is essential in order to defend ourselves against the next round of terrorist attacks. Let us begin by calling them by their right names:

A denier is a denier.

An appeaser is an appeaser.

An enabler is an enabler.

A betrayer is a betrayer.

And President Obama is all of these.

And so are those who follow his lead.

US Envoy: To defeat the Islamic State, we must “tell the story of how we celebrate Islam”

Allen-and-Kuwaiti-emir-300x213Jihad Watch, by Robert Spencer:

General Allen was the commander in Afghanistan who issued an abject and embarrassing video apology to “the noble people of Afghanistan” for the alleged desecration of a Qur’an at a U.S. air base. Here he is assuming what all Western leaders assume: that the Islamic State is perverting the true teachings of Islam, and that these Muslim leaders will be eager to show that to be the case. But it is increasingly clear to everyone that this is just whistling in the dark: even the Guardian sees through it. “US Envoy: To Defeat ISIS, We Must Highlight ‘Our Profound Respect’ for Islam,” by Patrick Goodenough, CNS News, October 29, 2014 (thanks to Lookmann):

(CNSNews.com) – A global effort to counter claims by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS/ISIL) that it is acting in the name of Islam must include a counter-narrative that highlights “our profound respect” for the religion, the administration’s point man in the anti-ISIS coalition said this week.Retired Marine Corps Gen. John Allen was speaking in Kuwait, where representatives of more than a dozen Islamic and Western met to discuss using public communications to combat ISIS (also known as Da’esh – an acronym for the Arabic rendering of the group’s name, ad-Dawlah al-Islamiyah fil-Iraq wa ash-Sham).

“As we seek to expose Da’esh’s true nature,” Allen told the gathering on Monday, “we must also tell a positive story, one that highlights our respect – our profound respect for Islam’s proud traditions, its rich history, and celebration of scholarship and family and community.”

“We must work with clerics and scholars and teachers and parents to tell the story of how we celebrate Islam, even as we show that Da’esh perverts it.”

The conference in Kuwait City brought together officials from leading Arab states, Turkey, France, Britain and the U.S. to discuss ways their governments are working to counter ISIS’ message.

The jihadist group, which controls large parts of Syria and Iraq and has declared a “caliphate” in those areas, runs a dynamic propaganda and recruitment operation, including a full-color online magazine, video clips, and an active social media presence.

The Qur’an and other Islamic texts, along with viewpoints of historical and modern-day Muslim scholars, are central to its messaging, and the U.S.-led coalition is prioritizing attempts to counter the purported religious justifications for its actions.

Allen said that ISIS propaganda serves both to attract recruits and “perverts the innocent.”

“It is only when we contest Da’esh’s presence online and deny the legitimacy of its message – the message that it sends to vulnerable young people – and as we expose Da’esh for the un-Islamic, criminal cult of violence that it really is, it is only then that Da’esh will be truly defeated.”

He said every member of the coalition had a role to play in combating the image ISIS portrays of itself.

“Da’esh’s online messengers present themselves as the true and victorious representatives of Islam. They seek to portray themselves as winners, true leaders worthy of financial support that attracts and radicalizes foreign fighters,” he said.

“I believe every coalition partner, every one, has a unique and a vital role to play in striking down this image – this image within the context of our respective cultural, religious, and national norms.”

Allen noted that leading religious figures in the region have spoken out against ISIS on religious grounds.

Last August, the grand mufti of Saudi Arabia declared that ISIS’ ideas and violent conduct made it “enemy number one of Islam.” The same month, Egypt’s grand mufti launched an Internet-based campaign to discredit ISIS, and urged media to stop using any name for the group that incorporates the word “Islamic.”

More than 120 Islamic figures last month signed a letter to ISIS leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi – who calls himself “Caliph Ibrahim” and has called on jihadists everywhere to swear loyalty to him – challenging him on religious grounds….

And that challenge was as hypocritical as it was revealing.

America’s Provocative Weakness

3844747002Center for Security Policy, By Frank Gaffney:

Among former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s many illuminating “rules” is his trenchant observation that “weakness is provocative.”  Indeed, the accelerating instability we see worldwide is, in no small measure, a product of the weakness being communicated at every turn by Barack Obama’s administration.  Worse yet, the steps the President is taking to weaken America further will make it vastly more difficult to contend with the aggression he has invited.

In a characteristically brilliant op.ed. article in last Saturday’s Wall Street Journal, Harvard professor Niall Ferguson warned that the United States was engaged in the defense and foreign policy equivalent of the Fed’s bid to begin weaning the economy off of its massive purchases of U.S. T-bills that is known as the “taper” and has roiled world markets and currencies. As Prof. Ferguson puts it: “We are witnessing [a fundamental shift] in the national security strategy of the U.S. – and, like the Fed’s tapering, this one also means big repercussions for the world.”

Consider but a few of examples of such repercussions:

  • China has declared much of the East and South China Seas to be its territorial waters.  The PRC’s growing military seems determined to press its claims to the Senkaku Islands to – and perhaps past – the brink of war with Japan. And the People’s Liberation Army is putting into place the means by which it can effectively checkmate what is left of the United States’ ability to project power in support of American treaty obligations to the Japanese and perhaps others in the region.
  • The Iranian mullahs now know that the U.S. and the rest of the so-called “international community” will not be prevent the realization of their decades-old nuclear ambitions. Consequently, the Iranians are brazenly: doubling down on their bet on Bashir Assad in Syria; angling for hegemony in the Persian Gulf; penetrating our hemisphere with intelligence operations, money-laundering schemes and the insertion of Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and proxy forces – including the designated terrorist group, Hezbollah; and, most recently, sending warships and other vessels into the Atlantic and Caribbean.
  • Of particular concern is the emboldening of Iran arising from President Obama’s surrendering of Iraq to its tender mercies – and those of its sometime partner, sometime enemy, al Qaeda.  We will shortly find fresh evidence of how provocative is our weakness when Mr. Obama does the same with respect to the Taliban in Afghanistan – especially if, in the interim, he replenishes their leadership by releasing five of the organization’s top, battle-hardened jihadist commanders from Guantanamo Bay.
  •  Speaking of ships in our waters, a North Korean tramp steamer, the Chong Chon Gang, was intercepted in Panama last summer and discovered to have concealed in its hold surface-to-air missiles and other weaponry from Cuba.  The movement of the nuclear-capable SA-2 SAMs through Caribbean waters demonstrates Pyongyang’s inherent capability to use such ship-borne weapons as launch vehicles for a potentially devastating electromagnetic pulse (EMP)  attack on our electric grid.

President Obama’s response to this and other North Korean provocations – including highly publicized propaganda about nuclear strikes on the United States? Crickets.

Even what might be promising developments in Ukraine and Venezuela in the form of popular revolts against violent repression by their respective, anti-Western regimes may be squandered due to America’s perceived impotence and trajectory of disengagement.  This pattern will almost certainly encourage aggression by Russia in the former and by Cuba, China, Iran and narco-traffickers in the latter.

These are hardly the sorts of circumstances in which the United States should be signaling still further weakness by accelerating Team Obama’s  dismantling of our military.  Yet, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced Monday that the Army would be reduced to its smallest size since before World War II.  The Air Force would eliminate its ground-support A-10 “Warthog” jets and the Navy would tie up prematurely 11 cruisers.  And a host of cuts will reduce pay and benefits to active duty personnel and retirees.

The cumulative effect of these and previous cuts will be to risk breaking the All-Volunteer Force and the only military we have.  The absolutely predictable effect will be to make the world a more dangerous place for all of us.

This is a perfect opportunity for conservatives and the Republican Party to provide once again a Loyal Opposition to such hollowing out of our military and the Obama Doctrine it enables: Emboldening our enemies, undermining our allies and diminishing our country.

To provide this needed alternative to President Obama’s provocative weakness, however, the Right is going to have to return to its Reaganesque roots:  It must once again embrace and promote the philosophy the Gipper practiced as “peace through strength.”  The American people and our country are entitled to at least one party that stands for and will provide a responsible national security policy.

The place to start is by rebuilding our armed forces and their capacities, rather than going along with the further evisceration of the strength that dissuades, instead of inviting, aggression — and by holding accountable, at last, those responsible for the weakness that has, to date, done too much of the opposite.

Obama’s Foreign Policy: Enemy Action

US-POLITICS-ECONOMY

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It’s often hard to determine whether a series of bad policies results from stupidity or malicious intent. Occam’s razor suggests that the former is the more likely explanation, as conspiracies assume a high degree of intelligence, complex organization, and secrecy among a large number of people, qualities that usually are much less frequent than the simple stupidity, disorganization, and inability to keep a secret more typical of our species. Yet surveying the nearly 6 years of Obama’s disastrous foreign policy blunders, I’m starting to lean towards Goldfinger’s Chicago mob-wisdom: “Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times, it’s enemy action.”

Obama’s ineptitude started with his general foreign policy philosophy. George Bush, so the narrative went, was a trigger-happy, unilateralist, blundering, “dead or alive” cowboy who rushed into an unnecessary war in Iraq after alienating our allies and insulting the Muslim world. Obama pledged to be different. As a Los Angeles Times editorial advised him in January 2009, “The Bush years, defined by ultimatums and unilateral actions around the world, must be brought to a swift close with a renewed emphasis on diplomacy, consultation and the forging of broad international coalitions.” Obama eagerly took this advice, reaching out not just to our allies, but also to sworn enemies like Syria, Venezuela, and Iran, and serially bowing to various potentates around the globe. He went on the apology tour, in which he confessed America’s “arrogant, dismissive, derisive” behavior and the “darker periods in our history.” And he followed up by initiating America’s retreat from international affairs, “leading from behind,” appeasing our enemies, and using rhetorical bluster as a substitute for coherent, forceful action. Here follow 3 of the many mistakes that suggest something other than inexperience and a lack of knowledge is driving Obama’s policies.

Russia

Remember the “reset” button Obama offered to Russia? In September 2009 he made a down payment on this policy by reversing George Bush’s plan to station a radar facility in the Czech Republic and 10 ground-based missile interceptors in Poland. Russia had complained about these defensive installations, even though they didn’t threaten Russian territory. So to appease the Russians, Obama abandoned Poland and the Czech Republic, who still live in the dark shadow of their more powerful former oppressors, while Russia’s Iranian clients were emboldened by their patron’s ability to make the superpower Americans back down. As George Marshall Fund fellow David J. Kramer prophesized at the time, Obama’s caving “to Russian pressure . . . will encourage leaders in Moscow to engage in more loud complaining and bully tactics (such as threatening Iskander missiles against the Poles and Czechs) because such behavior gets desired results.”

Obama followed up this blunder with the New START arms reduction treaty with Russia signed in 2010. This agreement didn’t include tactical nuclear weapons, leaving the Russians with a 10-1 advantage. Multiple warheads deployed on a missile were counted as one for purposes of the treaty, which meant that the Russians could exceed the 1550 limit. Numerous other problems plague this treaty, but the worst is the dependence on Russian honesty to comply with its terms. Yet as Keith B. Payne and Mark B. Schneider have written recently, for years Russia has serially violated the terms of every arms-control treaty it has signed, for obvious reasons: “These Russian actions demonstrate the importance the Kremlin attaches to its new nuclear-strike capabilities. They also show how little importance the Putin regime attaches to complying with agreements that interfere with those capabilities. Russia not only seems intent on creating new nuclear- and conventional-strike capabilities against U.S. allies and friends. It has made explicit threats against some of them in recent years.” Busy pushing the reset button, Obama has ignored all this cheating. Nor did Obama’s 2012 appeasing pledge to outgoing Russian President Dmitri Medvedev–– that after the election he would “have more flexibility” about the proposed European-based anti-missile defense system angering Russia––could convince Vladimir Putin to play ball with the U.S. on Iran and Syria. Obama’s groveling “reset” outreach has merely emboldened Russia to expand its influence and that of its satellites like Iran and Syria, at the expense of the interests and security of America and its allies.

Syria

Syria is another American enemy Obama thought his charm offensive could win over. To do so he had to ignore Syria’s long history of supporting terrorists outfits like Hezbollah, murdering its sectarian and political rivals, assassinating Lebanon’s anti-Syrian Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri in 2005, and facilitating the transit of jihadists–– during one period over 90% of foreign fighters–– into Iraq to kill Americans. Yet Obama sent diplomatic officials on 6 trips to Syria in an attempt to make strongman Bashar al Assad play nice. In return, in 2010 Assad hosted a cozy conference with Hezbollah terrorist leader Hassan Nasrallah and the genocidal Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, where they discussed “a Middle East without Zionists and without colonialists.” Despite such rhetoric, even as the uprising against Assad was unfolding in March 2011, Secretary of State Clinton said, “There’s a different leader in Syria now. Many of the members of Congress of both parties who have gone to Syria in recent months have said they believe he’s a reformer.”

In response to the growing resistance against the “reformer” Assad, Obama once again relied on blustering rhetoric rather than timely action to bring down an enemy of the U.S. Sanctions and Executive Orders flew thick and fast, but no military aid was provided to Assad’s opponents, the moderates soon to be marginalized by foreign terrorists armed by Iran. As time passed, more Syrians died and more terrorists filtered into Syria, while Obama responded with toothless tough rhetoric, proclaiming, “For the sake of the Syrian people, the time has come for President Assad to step aside.” Equally ineffective was Obama’s talk in 2012 of a “red line” and “game-changer” if Assad used chemical weapons. Assad, obviously undeterred by threats from the world’s greatest military power, proceeded to use chemical weapons. Obama threatened military action, only to back down on the excuse that he needed the permission of Congress. Instead, partnering with the Russian wolf his own weakness had empowered, he brokered a deal that in effect gave Assad a free hand to bomb cities and kill civilians at the price of promising to surrender his chemical stockpiles. The butcher Assad magically changed from a pariah who had to go, into a legitimate partner of the United States, one whose cooperation we depend on for implementing the agreement. Given such cover, he has continued to slaughter his enemies and provide invaluable battlefield experience to tens of thousands of terrorist fighters.

Of course, without the threat of military punishment for violating the terms of the agreement­­––punishment vetoed by new regional player Russia––the treaty is worthless. Sure enough, this month we learned that Assad is dragging his feet, missing a deadline for turning over his weapons, while surrendering so far just 5% of his stockpiles. And those are just the weapons he has acknowledged possessing. In response, Secretary of State John Kerry has blustered, “Bashar al-Assad is not, in our judgment, fully in compliance because of the timing and the delays that have taken place contrary to the [Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons]’s judgment that this could move faster. So the options are all the options that originally existed. No option has been taken off the table.” You can hear Assad, Rouhani, Nasrallah, and Putin rolling on the ground laughing their you-know-what’s off over that empty threat.

Iran

Now we come to the biggest piece of evidence for divining Obama’s motives, Iran. The Islamic Republic has been an inveterate enemy of this country since the revolution in 1979, with 35 years of American blood on its hands to prove it. Even today Iranian agents are facilitating with training and materiel the killing of Americans in Afghanistan. The regime is the biggest and most lethal state sponsor of terrorism, and proclaims proudly a genocidal, anti-Semitic ideology against Israel, our most loyal ally in the region. And it regularly reminds us that we are its enemy against whom it has repeatedly declared war, most recently in February when demonstrations celebrated the anniversary of the revolution with signs reading, “Hey, America!! Be angry with us and die due to your anger! Down with U.S.A.” At the same time, two Iranian warships crowded our maritime borders in the Atlantic, and state television broadcast a documentary simulating attacks on U.S. aircraft carriers.

Despite that long record of murder and hatred, when he first came into office, Obama made Iran a particular object of his diplomatic “outreach.” He “bent over backwards,” as he put it, “extending his hand” to the mullahs “without preconditions,” going so far as to keep silent in June 2009 as they brutally suppressed protests against the stolen presidential election. But the mullahs contemptuously dismissed all these overtures. In response, Obama issued a series of “deadlines” for Iran to come clean on its weapons programs, more bluster the regime ignored, while Obama assured them that “We remain committed to serious, meaningful engagement with Iran.” Just as with Russia and Syria, still more big talk about “all options are on the table” for preventing the mullahs from acquiring nuclear weapons has been scorned by the regime.

Doubling down on this failed policy, Obama along with the Europeans gambled that sanctions would bring Iran to its knees before it reached breakout capability for producing a weapon. Odds of success were questionable, but just as the sanctions appeared to be pushing the Iranian economy, and perhaps the regime, to collapse, in November of last year Obama entered into negotiations that resulted in a disastrous agreement that trades sanction relief for empty promises. This deal ensures that Iran will become a nuclear power, since the agreement allows Iran to continue to enrich uranium in violation of numerous U.N. Security Council Resolutions. Finally, in an act of criminal incoherence, Obama threatened to veto any Congressional legislation imposing meaningful economic punishment for future Iranian cheating and intransigence.

Given this “abject surrender,” as former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton called it, it’s no surprise that the Iranians are trumpeting the agreement as a victory: “In this agreement, the right of Iranian nation to enrich uranium was accepted by world powers,” the “moderate reformer” Iranian president Hassan Rouhani bragged. “With this agreement … the architecture of sanctions will begin to break down.” Iranian foreign minister Mohammed Javad Zarif, agreed: “None of the enrichment centers will be closed and Fordow and Natanz will continue their work and the Arak heavy water program will continue in its present form and no material (enriched uranium stockpiles) will be taken out of the country and all the enriched materials will remain inside the country. The current sanctions will move towards decrease, no sanctions will be imposed and Iran’s financial resources will return.” Memo to Mr. Obama: when the adversary loudly brags that the agreement benefits him, you’d better reexamine the terms of the deal.

As it stands today, the sanction regime is unraveling even as we speak, while the Iranians are within months of nuclear breakout capacity. Meanwhile the economic pain that was starting to change Iranian behavior is receding. According to the International Monetary Fund, Iran’s economy is projected to grow 2% in fiscal year 2014-15, compared to a 2% contraction this year. Inflation has dropped over 10 points since last year. Global businesses are flocking to Tehran to cut deals, while Obama blusters that “we will come down on [sanctions violators] like a ton of bricks.” Add that dull cliché to “red line,” “game-changer,” and the other empty threats that comprise the whole of Obama’s foreign policy.

These foreign policy blunders and numerous others––especially the loss of critical ally Egypt–– reflect ideological delusions that go beyond Obama. The notion that aggressors can be tamed and managed with diplomatic engagement has long been a convenient cover for a political unwillingness to take military action with all its dangers and risks. Crypto-pacifist Democrats are particularly fond of the magical thinking that international organizations, summits, “shuttle diplomacy,” conferences, and other photogenic confabs can substitute for force.

But progressive talk of “multilateralism” and “diplomatic engagement” hides something else: the Oliver Stone/Howard Zinn/Noam Chomsky/Richard Falk self-loathing narrative that the United States is a force of evil in the world, a neo-colonialist, neo-imperialist, predatory capitalist oppressor responsible for the misery and tyranny afflicting the globe. Given that America’s power is corrupt, we need a foreign policy of withdrawal, retreat, and apologetic humility, with our national sovereignty subjected to transnational institutions like the U.N., the International Court of Justice, and the European Court of Human Rights ––exactly the program that Obama has been working on for the last 5 years. Given the damage such policies are serially inflicting on our security and interests, it starts to make sense that inexperience or stupidity is not as cogent an explanation as enemy action.