The Fight Against Islamism Is The New Cold War

Photo Orlok / Shutterstock.com

Photo Orlok / Shutterstock.com

The Federalist, by James Poulos, May 31, 2016:

Even today, with the West and Russia edging closer to outright conflict, there’s a simple nostalgia for the Cold War era, when conflict was easier to visualize and manage than it is now. Instead of today’s hellbroth of terror groups, failed states, and warring militias, we faced a single, unified foe, an iron curtain drawn across the middle of the world to cleanly demarcate where we ended and they began.

2016 is the year—as the truth comes out about how last year’s Paris attacks could have happened—that this strangely comforting Cold War myth should die. As the latest revelations about those attacks confirm, today’s world bears much more of a resemblance to the world of the Cold War than we might wish to think—and, somehow, the West must respond accordingly.

History confirms the comparison. Think back. The geopolitically bipolar structure of the Cold War world was just one feature of the threat matrix the West faced. As conventional armies and nuclear arsenals squared off against one another, seeds of the unconventional warfare that bedevils us today had already begun to sprout. Beyond the third-world proxy conflicts and arms shipments that defined the age, the Cold War saw the beginnings of state-sponsored terrorism and infiltration as we know them today.

This Time, It’s Not Different

Many may want to cling to the “clean” Cold War myth for its own sake. But the myth also shores up the entrancing idea that the matrix of conflict jihadist Islam and its allies pose today does not rise to threat level when militant communism straddled the globe.

Circumstantial evidence has suggested to our impressionable minds that it’s different this time. After all, “nobody” really thinks absolutist Islam is a genuine intellectual and emotional competitor to Western life. To be sure, some of the West’s losers and rejects have found themselves in the arms of the Islamic State, or loosely associated with foes who appreciate, if not aid and abet, jihadist gains against the United States and Europe.

But at the height of the Cold War, a host of respectable Westerners believed communism might actually be right and capitalism wrong—whether at the level of ideology or sheer practicality. Because absolutist Islam is so alien and particular, relative to the grand yet familiar abstractions Marx ushered in, we’re apt to think the jihadists and their allies may be able to attack our people and our systems, but they cannot really defeat our civilization.

It’s easy to think this way because we’re so resistant to the prospect of another existential threat to our civilization. It doesn’t just strike people as reasonable that terror attacks won’t rise to the level of catastrophe promised by a strategic nuclear exchange. It strikes them as emotionally correct or necessary—not just because it’s easier to live in a world where a few major cities might be destroyed and not all human life on earth, but because so few people really believe we could actually win a world war against the jihadists and their allies.

If the Soviet Union seemed prohibitively difficult to defeat, at least there was a plan and enough willingness in the West to execute it. Today, it’s psychologically unacceptable for many people to imagine that we’re at acute risk of civilizational defeat yet lack a viable, acceptable blueprint to avoid that fate.

Subterfuge May Be More Effective Than Instant Destruction

Well, it’s time for a wake-up call—even though the head check we need raises the risk that fear and recklessness will increase as a result. As the emerging truth about the Paris attacks shows, the parallels are clear between the “dirty” truth about the Cold War and the dark reality of the state of play in our conflict with international jihadists and their allies. The nexus of state-sponsored terror, subversion, and infiltration established during the Cold War has been reactivated, threatening not just Western people or Western systems but Western civilization itself. We can argue over whether this threat is “existential” or not. Most significant is that it really is a civilization being targeted, on top of people and systems.

Let’s be clear about what this means. In theory, terror, subversion, and infiltration could destroy Western civilization by carrying off a kind of coup on the communist model: you wake up one day and a revolutionary vanguard has seized state power and the means of production. However nightmarish, that’s not the kind of attack on Western civilization we should focus on.

More plausible, more efficient, and more effective is an attack with more limited and devious aims. Much as a Russian spy might opt against killing a victim outright, choosing instead to administer a debilitating but nonlethal dose of poison, jihadists and their allies are now well-positioned to cripple Western civilization, inflicting harm without provoking a true world war the West would eventually win.

This is the lesson we are only now able to learn from Paris. France, in a jihadist proof of concept, is now on the verge of becoming a garrison state. Officials have been reduced to monitoring airport and public transit workers for signs of jihadist activity—or mere sympathy. The French head of intelligence, Patrick Calvar, admitted to Parliament that he expected “a new form of attack” from the Islamic State, “characterized by placing explosive devices in places where there are large crowds and repeating this type of action to create a climate of maximum panic.”

What is new here is not terrorism’s fear factor. Rather, it is the active and passive paralysis that comes from a judgment that one’s society is so badly compromised from the inside that one’s civilization—one’s rights, freedoms, pleasures, celebrations, and moral values—is now inoperable.

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Video: The Legacy of FDR’s Normalization of Relations with the USSR

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With (left to right) Stanton Evans, Frank Gaffney, Diana West, Chris Farrell and (not pitcured) Stephen Coughlin

Eightieth Anniversary of Deal That Facilitated Penetration of U.S. Government, Society

Washington, DC — Eighty years ago this Saturday, President Franklin D. Roosevelt agreed for the first time to recognize the Communist regime of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. He did so on the basis of formal undertakings by then-Soviet Foreign Minister Maxim Litvinov that the Kremlin would not engage in subversive actions in America.
The rest, as they say, is history. And a sordid and still unfolding history it is.

“The 16th of November 1933 is a day that truly should live in infamy. This symposium will explore its significance both in terms of much of the most sordid history of the 20th Century — and as the predicate for similar forces at work in the 21st.”

The Center for Security Policy is pleased to convene a symposium to review that history — both that of the immediate post-normalization period, of World War II, of the Cold War and of today — from noon-2:00 p.m. at the headquarters of Judicial Watch in Washington, D.C.

  • Diana West, author of American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation’s Character;
  • M. Stanton Evans, author of Stalin’s Secret Agents: The Subversion of Roosevelt’s Government Relations;
  • Christopher Farrell, Chief Investigator, Judicial Watch; and
  • Stephen Coughlin, author of the forthcoming book, Catastrophic Failure.
  • Frank Gaffney, President, Center for Security Policy, moderator.

Diana West at 7:09, Stanton Evans at 24:15, Chris Farrell at 47:09, Stephen Coughlin at 57:57 followed by Q&A (which you do not want to miss)

Video: Walid Phares on jihadi propaganda war against the West

In an interview with Fox News, Dr Walid Phares author of ‘The Coming Revolution: Struggle for Freedom in the Middle East,’ and of the newly released French book ‘Du Printemps Arabe a l’Automne Islamiste,’ said “Saudi Arabia, but also Jordan, Kuwait, the UAE and other Gulf, as well as Egypt, are frustrated with the Obama Administration on the issues of Syria, Iran and declining partnership with the US.”

Phares said “the Arab moderates were mobilized by Washington to pressure Syria’s, before the Administration suddenly pull out from the confrontation with the help of a Russian diplomatic maneuver. Also Washington engaged in a unilateral rapprochement with Iran’s regime without a consultation with its Arab and Middle East allies.”

Phares said “it would be as if the US, in the middle of the Cold War, would run to Moscow for dialogue, before it positions itself in between the USSR and Great Britain. Would that make sense? If you have allies in the region, you consult them and as one bloc you deal with Syria and Iran.

The Arab frustration is not about security matters, it is about the ailing partnership between the Obama Administration and America’s allies in the region.”

 

Winning the War of Ideas for Islamic Hearts and Minds

2012-09-11T191657Z_01_GHA03_RTRIDSP_3_EGYPT-USA-PROTESTBy Andrew E. Harrod:

The “war of ideas is the primary arena of conflict,” stated Jamestown Foundation Senior Fellow Stephen Ulph at the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center on September 6, 2013.  Ulph spoke as part of an all-star expert lineup discussing the international struggle against militant Islam during a daylong briefing by the Westminster Institute (WI) entitled “al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood:  A New American Strategy.”  Presenting many insightful panels with experts such as Ulph already featured in WI’s 2012 book Fighting the Ideological War:  Winning Strategies from Communism to Islamism, copies of which were freely available at the briefing, the event was mandatory for anyone who wishes to engage effectively in this conflict.

Fellow event participant and book contributor Patrick Sookhdeo opened the proceedings with an address in which he argued that “in no way” are the United States and her allies “involved in any way in a war against Islam” as a faith per se.  Yet within this faith “we must address ideas” of aggressive and authoritarian agendas; otherwise, a “serious handicap” will result.  “The strength of al-Qaeda is not in its leaders, but in its ideology,” Sookhdeo observed.   WI Executive Director and Fighting the Ideological War editor Katharine Gorka concurred that al-Qaeda’s Islamic beliefs, not any given location with a street address, were the terrorists’ “center of gravity.”  This is the “one thing that the enemy must have to continue operations.”

One-time Egyptian Muslim extremist and Potomac Institute for Policy Studies Senior Fellow Tawfik Hamid accordingly criticized what he perceived as a “military confrontation with an ideology” in the years since September 11, 2001.  Hamid argued in “Brainistan” that the confrontation with militant Islam must take place at the “mental level.”  Political warfare scholar J. Michael Waller, meanwhile, found it curious that American policymakers had failed to understand the “mobilization power of ideology,” even though this was necessary for winning American elections.

Katharine’s husband and fellow book contributor Sebastian Gorka agreed, quoting current al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri that over half of his group’s struggle is in the “battlefield of the media.”  For the self-described “baby of the Cold War” Sebastian, whose parents fled Communist Hungary, the past struggle against Communism informed his current strategy against Islamism.  A “fundamentally ideological victory” marked the end of a “fundamentally ideological war” without one shot fired during the Berlin Wall’s fall on November 9, 1989, despite preceding years of arms races.

Yet Sebastian elaborated that Islamism’s ideological threat came not so much from highly visible terrorist groups like al-Qaeda, but rather from broad social movements like the Egyptian-based Muslim Brotherhood (MB).  All Islamists, though, had the “same strategic goal,” Sebastian observed, with arguments between them being merely “about timing and tactics.”  Thus, Sebastian rejected the view of some that the MB’s “political” Islamists could somehow counter “violent” Islamists like al-Qaeda.

Sebastian analogized al-Qaeda and MB to the isolated Focoist attacks of Communist revolutionary Che Guevara and Mao Zedong‘s “people’s war” in China, respectively.  Despite Che’s radical chic youth hero popularity today on t-shirts, his guerilla war theories were “rubbish,” and Bolivian security forces killed this “loser” at the age of 39 in 1967.  Mao, by contrast, died as China’s ruler in bed at age 79 after his societally comprehensive “counterstate” took power.  MB groups around the world had an “indirect … soft approach” reflecting Mao’s vision of long-term infiltration of society as a whole, something al-Qaeda and similar groups “are starting to understand.”

Cold War public diplomacy veteran Robert Reilly, another Fighting the Ideological War contributor, drew as well from the past in order to confront Islamism.  Reilly advised, “Don’t get into a war of ideas unless you understand those ideas” and “unless you have an idea.”  Echoing Katharine’s “center of gravity” comments, Reilly in particular noted that a failure to debate Islamic religious ideas gave al-Qaeda, in the words of one commentator, a “theological safe haven.”

Read more at American Thinker

Obama Doctrine Faces Troubles in Cairo, Syria

ods1By Chris Stirewalt:

“…America is not — and never will be — at war with Islam. We will, however, relentlessly confront violent extremists who pose a grave threat to our security — because we reject the same thing that people of all faiths reject:  the killing of innocent men, women, and children.”

— President Obama, addressing “the Muslim World” from Cairo University, June 4, 2009.

President Obama’s vision for the Middle East is one in which Islamism serves as a transitional stage between authoritarian rule and liberal democracy.

The Islamist vision for the Middle East would say that he is half right.

Obama helped install the Muslim Brotherhood in power in Egypt, as he and NATO allies did with Islamists in Libya. While Muslim theocrats sound like unhappy partners for an American electorate accustomed to unhappy outcomes with such folks (the mullahs of Iran and the Afghan Taliban, to wit).

Obama’s Middle East doctrine, though, holds that under the oppressive yoke of authoritarian, secular governments propped up by the Cold War superpowers, legitimate political dissent was stifled. That means that the only place Obama could find an opposition to replace those tottering Cold War-era despots in Libya, Egypt and elsewhere was among those looking to establish Muslim governments.

But, these would be tolerant Islamists, we were told. Their promise of tolerance was secured in advance of providing the military, diplomatic and economic support that put them in power.

Read more at Fox News

 

 

How Obama Betrayed America

betrayed_lgBelow is David Horowitz’s new pamphlet, How Obama Betrayed America…And No One is Holding Him Accountable. To order it, click here.

“If we have to use force, it is because we are America.  We are the indispensable nation. We stand tall.  We see farther into the future.” – Madeleine Albright, Secretary of State under Bill Clinton

It is a judgment on Barack Obama’s timorous, apologetic, irresponsible and ultimately anti-American conduct of foreign affairs that Madeleine Albright’s words, spoken little more than 15 years ago, now sound as antique as a pronouncement by Harry Truman at the onset of the Cold War, the great challenge America confronted bravely and without equivocation a generation ago.  While Obama has quoted this statement repeatedly to hide his real disdain for his country, he has set in motion policies meant to make America far from indispensable — a diminished nation that “leads from behind” if at all; a nation with a downsized military that is chronically uncertain about its meaning and its mission as it skulks in the wings of the world stage.

Albright’s statement was made about Iraq when Democrats were still supporting their country’s confrontation with its sadistic dictator Saddam Hussein, and before they defected from the war shortly after its battles were under way.  As a senator, in step with his Democratic colleagues, Obama opposed America’s war with Iraq while American troops were still in harms’ way, and then opposed the military surge that finally won the victory; as president he presided over the withdrawal of all American forces from Iraq,  against the wishes of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who wanted a continuing military presence, paid for with the blood of thousands of American men and women in arms. Obama thus turned that benighted nation over to the malign influences of America’s chief enemy in the Middle East, Iran, while betraying every American who gave his or her life for its freedom.

Far from shouldering his responsibility as the commander-in-chief of America’s global War on Terror and embracing it as this generation’s equivalent of the Cold War, Obama showed his distaste for the entire enterprise by dropping the term “War on Terror” and replacing it with an Orwellian phrase — “overseas contingency operations.” Minimizing the Islamist threat to the United States is not an oversight of the Obama administration; it is its policy.

It should not have been difficult for Obama to make the nation’s defense a priority when he became America’s commander-in-chief in January 2009.  The American homeland had already experienced a devastating attack, which terrorists have been constantly trying to repeat. The number of foreign states openly supporting terror has steadily increased (and grown even more during Obama’s tenure); and the most dangerous Islamist regime – Iran – is being allowed to acquire nuclear weapons, while Washington dithers over pointless negotiations. With secular governments giving way to Islamist regimes in Turkey, Egypt and Iraq, with the Taliban on the rise in Afghanistan and an American withdrawal imminent, the global situation today has eerie parallels to the early Cold War, with implications equally dire.  Yet instead of policies that put U.S. national security first and are pursued without hesitation or apology, Obama’s time in office has been marked by retreat and accommodation and even support of Islamist foes – most ominously of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, which swept aside an American ally, with Obama’s personal intervention, and is busily creating a totalitarian state.

  Obama’s Foreign Policy Disasters

In the four years since Obama’s first inauguration, almost three times as many Americans have been killed in Afghanistan as in the eight years of the Bush administration. Withdrawal, not victory, has been Obama’s goal from the outset, and now it is the only outcome possible.  During the Obama years, there have been more than 8,000 Islamic terrorist attacks on “infidels” across the globe, a twenty-five percent rise over the years in which the fighting in Iraq was at its height. Yet, in the face of this bloody and intensifying Islamist offensive, Obama has tried to convince the American people that the war against al-Qaeda has been essentially “won” — by him — and the terrorist threat is subsiding.[1]  Denial of the war Islamists have declared on us and denial of the threat it represents is the heart of the Obama doctrine that has guided this nation’s policies for more than four years.

Obama’s desire for rapprochement with Iran’s Islamist regime has prompted the administration to drag its feet on the sanctions designed to halt Iran’s nuclear program. For the same reason, the president and his administration were silent when hundreds of thousands of Iranians poured into the streets of Teheran to call for an end to the dictatorship and were met by an orgy of violence from the mullahs’ thugs.  Because of the White House’s moral and political timidity, borne out of its denial of the Islamist threat and the guilty conviction that America (presumably an even greater predator) has no right to condemn another nation, this tipping point in Iran tipped the wrong way.

The administration’s denial was also egregiously manifest in its response to the massacre of 13 unarmed soldiers at Fort Hood by an Islamic fanatic, who three and a half years later still has not been brought to trial. The Fort Hood terrorist successfully infiltrated the American military and despite open expressions of hatred against the West was promoted to U.S. Army Major. The Obama administration’s Kafkaesque response to an obvious case of Islamist violence against the U.S. was to classify the terrorist attack as an incident of “workplace violence,” and thus to hide the fact that Hasan was a Muslim soldier in a war against the infidels of the West.

This inability to name our enemies was on display again on the eleventh anniversary of 9/11 when  jihadists staged demonstrations and launched attacks against the American embassies in Egypt and other Islamic countries. In Libya, al-Qaeda terrorists overran an American consular compound and murdered the American ambassador and three brave staffers. The attack took place in a country that had recently been destabilized by Obama’s own intervention to oust its dictator. As senator, Obama had denounced a military intervention in Iraq, which, unlike his Libyan adventure, had been authorized by both houses of Congress and a unanimous U.N. Security Council resolution. As president, he had invoked the principle of non-intervention to justify his passivity in the face of governmental atrocities in Syria and Iran. But in Libya he conducted an unauthorized invasion of a country that posed no threat to the United States and was not, as Syria is, in alliance with the mullahs of Iran and the terrorists of Hizbollah. The chaos that followed Obama’s Libyan intervention led directly to the rise of the local al-Qaeda, which planted its flag atop the same American outpost in Benghazi it later destroyed, and the U.S. ambassador along with it.

The events in Benghazi were a stark revelation of the consequences of a foreign policy without a moral compass.  The battle over the embassy lasted seven hours. Although the President learned about the attack shortly after it began and although the embattled Americans inside the compound begged the White House for help, and although U.S. fighter jets were stationed in Italy only an hour away, the president, in one of the most shameful acts in the history of that office, denied help by leaving his post, so that only silence answered their desperate calls. The president and his administration then went into cover-up mode lying to Congress and the American people, pretending for weeks afterwards that the attack was the result of a spontaneous demonstration over an anti-Mohammed internet video, whose director they then threw in jail.

Before his overthrow, the dictator, Moammar Gaddafi, warned that his demise would unleash the forces of the Islamic jihad not only in his own country but throughout North Africa. This was a prophecy quickly realized. In the aftermath of Obama’s intervention, al-Qaeda was able to take control in Mali of an area twice the size of Germany. In Tunisia and Egypt, jihadists emerged as the ruling parties, with the acquiescence and even assistance of the Obama administration. In Syria, a savage civil war metastasized unimpeded, killing tens of thousands and eventually pitting a fascist regime allied to Iran against rebel forces largely aligned with al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood.

As these disasters unfolded, the White House not only did not oppose the Islamists but armed and enabled them. Obama had previously intervened in Egypt, the largest and most important country in the Middle East, to force the removal of its pro-American leader, Hosni Mubarak. He then promoted the Brotherhood’s ascension to power by portraying it as a “moderate” actor in the democratic process. As the Middle East situation deteriorated, the Muslim Brotherhood became the chief beneficiary of America’s financial, diplomatic and military support. This same Brotherhood was the driving force behind the Islamist surge, the mentor of Osama bin Laden and the leaders of al-Qaeda, and the creator of Hamas. Rather than being quarantined, the Brotherhood-dominated government in Cairo now received hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid and F-16 bomber jets from the Obama administration that had facilitated its rise to power.

Appeasement of Islamist Enemies

To allay concerns about the emergence of the Brotherhood, Obama’s Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued the following justification for its acceptance by the White House: “We believe that it is in the interests of the United States to engage with all parties that are peaceful, and committed to non-violence, that intend to compete for the parliament and the presidency.”[2] In these words, Clinton was referring to an organization whose spiritual leader, Yusef al-Qaradawi, had recently called for a second Holocaust of the Jews, “Allah willing, at the hands of the believers,” and a party that was calling for the establishment of a Muslim caliphate in Jerusalem and the destruction of the Jewish state.[3] Soon after Clinton’s endorsement, the Muslim Brotherhood’s presidential candidate, Mohamed Morsi, was elected Egypt’s new leader and was referring to Jews as apes and pigs. Secure in the American administration’s support, he wasted no time in abolishing the constitution and instituting a dictatorship with no serious protest from the United States. Only months before this destruction of Egypt’s civic space by his Islamist party, the new dictator was visited by then Senator John Kerry, shortly to be Hillary Clinton’s successor as Secretary of State. Kerry assured the world that the new Muslim Brotherhood regime was “committed to protecting fundamental freedoms.”[4]

Read the rest at Front Page

What the Left Does Not Understand About Islam

Picture-16By :

The left has never adapted to the transition from nationalistic wars to ideological wars. It took the left a while to grasp that the Nazis were a fundamentally different foe than the Kaiser and that pretending that World War 2 was another war for the benefit of colonialists and arms dealers was the behavior of deluded lunatics. And yet much of the left insisted on approaching the war in just that fashion, and had Hitler not attacked Stalin, it might have remained stuck there.

The Cold War was even worse. The left never came to terms with Communism. From the Moscow Trials to the fall of the Berlin Wall, the moderate left slowly disavowed the USSR but refused to see it as anything more than a clumsy dictatorship. The only way that the left could reject the USSR was by overlooking its ideology and treating it as another backward Russian tyranny being needlessly provoked and pushed around by Western Europe and the United States.

Having failed the test twice, it is no wonder that the left has been unable to come to terms with Islam, or that it has resorted to insisting that, like Germany and Russia, the Muslim world is just another victim of imperialism and western warmongering in need of support and encouragement from the progressive camp.

The anti-war worldview is generations out of date. It is mired in an outdated analysis of imperial conflicts that ceased being relevant with the downfall of the nation-state and its replacement by international organizations and causes based around ideologies. Nazism could still loosely fit into the jackboots of the nation state. Communism was another creature entirely, a red virus floating around the world, embedding its ideas into organizations and using those organizations to take over nations.

Islam is even more untethered than Communism, loosely originating from powerful oil nations, but able to spring up anywhere in the world. Its proponents have even less use for the nation state than the Communists. What they want is a Caliphate ruled under Islamic law; a single unit of human organization extending across nations, regions and eventually the world.

Read more at Front Page