Dr. Sebastian Gorka to Astroturf Protesters: You Are ‘Victims of Fake News’

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Breitbart, by Adelle Nazarian and Edwin Mora, april 25, 2017:

GEORGETOWN, DC – An astroturf protest campaign targeted Donald Trump’s national security adviser Dr. Sebastian Gorka Monday, who appeared on a panel on cyber security at Georgetown University. Gorka branded the protesters “victims of fake news.”

Approximately 20 protesters gathered inside the hall where the event was held with signs falsely accusing Gorka of being a Nazi, a war criminal, and a fascist.

At the prestigious foreign policy event, Gorka discussed a variety of topics relevant to foreign policy and national security scholars. His remarks focused primarily on personal experiences in dealing with fake news and the manipulation of facts by the mainstream media:

“Eight out of ten times, I can read something written in the daily paper about an event that occurred the night before, and it is literally 180 degrees incorrect,” said Gorka in his remarks to the crowded room. “It is totally contrary to what happened inside the building 80 percent of the time. That’s something that has opened my eyes to the lack of true investigative journalism.”

He labeled “the idea that a 22-year-old with access to Google is a journalist” as “problematic” and noted his view that the days of classic investigative journalism, which required in-depth research, “are behind us.”

Gorka discussed his parents’ experiences fleeing both Nazis and Communists in his native Hungary and how biased journalists have manipulated the facts of his early life to create the impression that Gorka himself is a member of the Nazi and Communist organizations he fled.

Gorka is not a member of a Nazi organization and has never pledged loyalty to any such organization.

The media accusations claim a pin Gorka wears to remind him of his parents’ struggle against communists and fascists ties him to these illicit groups. When he was eight years old, Gorka’s father was awarded a medal that is associated with a military order, the ‘Hungarian Order of Heroes, Vitezi Rend,’ created after the First World War. An anti-Communist organization gave it to him, recognizing him for his resistance to fascists and Communist dictatorship.

On Monday, he explained once again the story behind the pin he wears:

My parents died 14 years ago, and in their memory, for what they suffered under the Nazis and the Communists — my father tortured in the basement of Andrássy út 60 (the secret police headquarters of the fascists first and then the Communists)–I wear that medal to remember their suffering and their resistance. And today, because I work for somebody named Donald J. Trump, that fact is used as part of a fake news propaganda campaign that brought those people in the back of the room, sadly, to a point where they are the victims of fake news.

Gorka also confronted the leftist protesters about their signs calling him an antisemite and fascist. Two of the female students wore hijabs, and one man wore garments traditionally worn by observant Jews. He tied the Jewish prayer shawl (known as Talis) over his shoulders like it was a fashionable scarf:

Every single person holding a placard to protest my parents and myself, I challenge you now: Go away and look at everything I have said an written the last 46 years of my life and find one sentence that is antisemitic or that is anti-Israeli. Because you won’t find it. You’ll find the opposite. My book Defeating Jihad, everything I’ve said on the conference circuit–in Tel Aviv, in Jerusalem–tells you why I’m in this administration. Because this is one of the most pro-Israeli administrations in U.S. history. I’m sorry for you. You are the victims of fake news. But I’ll leave with this: I do what I do because I’ve learned that there is a connective tissue between Nazis, Communists, and Jihadists; they are all the same because they are all totalitarians. And if you perpetuate fake news, you are helping the bad guys.

Gorka cited a case study from the end of the Cold War by National Defense University’s Active Members Working Group as a model on how to identify and combat fake news during the Soviet era:

He explained how this group had “as its mandate, from the highest levels in the Reagan administration, the mission to identify Soviet propaganda, illuminate its sources, and destroy it from the inside to show just how much the message was a lie.” He suggested this group’s case study could be used to similarly combat fake news propagated over social media through mediums like Telegram and Twitter.

In conclusion, Gorka said:

What we are witnessing today–whether it’s RT, whether its ISIS tweets, Telegram–none of it is new. The platforms may be new, but the concepts of propaganda, dezinformatsiyaMaskirovka, none of these are true. They are just being packaged in new and far more effective ways. And this administration, with our allies and partners, including Israel, intends to take it very, very seriously. Thank you.

None of the few demonstrators congregated would talk to Breitbart News when Edwin Mora asked them to share their position on camera. Mora worked with Gorka during the latter’s tenure as Breitbart News’s National Security editor. Instead, the protesters shared a document accusing Breitbart News of perpetrating fake news.

No protesters responded to Gorka’s request to verbally defend their protest before the panel.

Follow Adelle and Edwin on Twitter @AdelleNaz and @EdwinMora83

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Senior Lawmakers Urge U.S. Engagement in Libya

Libyans take part in a celebration with fireworks marking the sixth anniversary of the Libyan revolution / Getty Images

Washington Free Beacon, Natalie Johnson, April 25, 2017:

Senior lawmakers on Tuesday rejected President Donald Trump’s declaration that the United States has “no role” in Libya, citing the threat of regional instability to U.S. national security interests.

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker (R., Tenn.) and ranking Democrat Ben Cardin (D., Md.) said Libya’s ongoing battle over power and access to natural resources has created a permissive environment for extremist groups such as the Islamic State and al Qaeda.

Cardin, during opening remarks for a hearing assessing U.S. policy options in the war-torn nation, said it is vital to U.S. security interests that the Trump administration work with the international community and local forces to craft a political solution that creates a representative government.

“The United States must be engaged,” Cardin said. “When we don’t have representative governments … it creates a void and that void is filled by ISIS, as we’ve seen in northern Africa, and it’s filled by Russia, which we’re seeing Russia’s engagement now in Libya.”

“I think this hearing is an important indication by Congress that we do expect a role to be played,” he added.

Trump raised concerns Thursday when he rejected calls from Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni to maintain America’s “very critical” role in Libya. The United States currently is working to build political consensus around the fragile United Nations-backed government in Tripoli. Trump said during the joint press conference with Gentiloni that the U.S. priority in Libya is counterterrorism efforts to degrade ISIS.

Moscow in recent months has ramped up support for Libyan military commander Gen. Khalifa Haftar, who controls large swaths of eastern Libya, including Benghazi. Haftar’s forces do not recognize the UN-backed Government of National Accord, posing a significant challenge to international efforts to unify the country.

Frederic Wehrey, a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, told lawmakers Tuesday that U.S. disengagement from the embattled nation would widen the opening for Russian involvement and create conditions likely to perpetuate the spread of ISIS.

U.S. Africa Command released its 2017 posture statement in March, declaring instability in Libya and North Africa the “most significant near-term threat” to the United States and its allies in the region. The command warned that Libya’s precarious security situation has created spillover effects in Tunisia, Egypt, and most of western North Africa, enabling the flow of foreign fighters and migrants to Europe.

“The notion of the problems of Libya spilling over is really profound—we’re talking about a number of U.S. interests in the region. [It’s] really this epicenter that effects the surrounding region.” Wehrey testified.

Trump Has a Foreign Policy Strategy

Donald Trump at the Department of Homeland Security. Wikimedia Commons/Public domain

Yes, there is a method to Trump’s foreign-policy “madness.”

The National Interest, by James Carafano, April 21, 2017:

For two weeks, the White House has unleashed a foreign-policy blitzkrieg, and Washington’s chattering classes are shocked and, if not awed, at least perplexed.

CNN calls Trump’s actions a “u-turn.” Bloomberg opts for the more mathematical “180 degree turn,” while the Washington Post goes with “flipflop.” Meanwhile, pundits switched from decrying the president as an isolationist to lambasting him as a tool of the neocons. Amid all the relabeling, explanations of an “emerging Trump Doctrine” have proliferated faster than North Korea’s nuclear arsenal.

Here’s my take on what’s going on:

• Yes, there is a method to Trump’s “madness.”

• No, there has been no big change in Trump’s strategy.

The actions that flustered those who thought they had pigeon-holed Donald Trump simply reflect the impulses that have driven the direction of this presidency since before the convention in Cleveland.

At the Center of the Storm

Where is the head and heart of the president’s national-security team? Ask that question a year ago, and the answer would have been simple: General Mike Flynn, Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Senator Jeff Sessions.

Today, Flynn is gone. Giuliani never went in. Sessions is still a crucial voice in the administration, but his duties as Attorney General deal only partially with foreign policy and national-security matters.

The new team centers round Jim Mattis at the Defense Department, Rex Tillerson at the State Department, John Kelly at the Department of Homeland Security and H. R. McMaster in the West Wing—ably assisted by Nikki Haley at the United Nations. Trump barely knew these people before the election.

There is little question that the new team’s character and competence affected the White House response to the recent string of high profile events and activities—from presidential meetings with Egypt and China and Tillerson’s tête-à-tête with Putin, to the ominous developments in Syria and North Korea. Though on the job for only about dozen weeks, the new administration handled a lot of action on multiple fronts quite deftly. Much of that can be credited to the maturity and experience of Trump’s senior national-security team.

But how the administration responded was purely Trumpian—reflecting an impulse that transcends the makeup of his foreign team or other White House advisors.

Decoding Trumpian Strategy

Since the early days of the campaign, one thing has been clear: trying stitch together an understanding of Trump’s foreign and defense policy based on Trump’s tweets and other off-hand comments is a fool’s errand. That has not changed since the Donald took over the Oval Office.

That is not to say that none of Trump’s rhetoric matters. He has given some serious speeches and commentary. But pundits err when they give every presidential utterance equal merit. A joint address to Congress ought to carry a lot more weight than a 3 a.m. tweet about the Terminator.

But especially with this presidency, one needs to focus on White House actions rather than words to gain a clearer understanding of where security and foreign policy is headed. Do that, and one sees emerging a foreign and defense policy more conventional and more consistent than what we got from Bush or Obama. Still, a deeper dive is necessary to get at the root of Trump’s take on the world and how it fits with recent actions like the tomahawk strikes in Syria and the armada steaming toward North Korea.

I briefed Candidate Trump and his policy advisors during the campaign. I organized workshops for the ambassadorial corps during the Cleveland Convention and worked with the presidential team through the inauguration. Those experiences let me observe how the policies from the future fledgling administration were unfolding. Here are some observations that might be helpful in understanding the Trumpian way.

At the core of Trump’s view of the world are his views on the global liberal order. Trump is no isolationist. He recognizes that America is a global power with global interests and that it can’t promote and protect those interests by sitting at home on its hands. Freedom of the commons, engaging and cooperating with like-minded nations, working to blunt problems “over there” before they get over here—these are things every modern president has pursued. Trump is no different.

What distinguishes Trump—and what marks a particularly sharp departure from Obama—is his perception of what enabled post–World War America and the rest of the free world to rise above the chaos of a half century of global depression and open war.

Obama and his ilk chalked it all up to international infrastructure—the UN, IMF, World Bank, EU, et al. For Trump, it was the sovereign states rather than the global bureaucracies that made things better. The international superstructure has to stand on a firm foundation—and the foundation is the sovereign state. Without strong, vibrant, free and wealthy states, the whole thing collapses like a Ponzi scheme.

Trump is an arch nationalist in the positive sense of the term. America will never be safe in the world if the world doesn’t have an America that is free, safe and prosperous.

That belief is at the heart of Trump’s policies designed to spark an economic revival, rollback the administrative state and rebuild the military. It lies at the core of his mantra: make America great again.

Even the strongest America, however, can’t be a global power without the willingness to act globally. And that’s where Trump’s declaration of “America First” comes in.

What it means for foreign policy is that the president will put the vital interests of the United States above the maintenance of global institutions. That is not an abandonment of universal values. Every American president deals with the challenge of protecting interests and promoting values. Trump will focus on American interests and American values, and that poses no threat to friends and allies. In many cases, we share the same values. In many cases, what’s in America’s vital interest is also in their interest—and best achieved through joint partnership.

Here is how those animating ideas are currently manifesting themselves in Trump’s strategy:

A strategy includes ends (what you are trying to accomplish), means (the capabilities you will use to do that) and ways (how you are going to do it). The ends of Trump’s strategy are pretty clear. In both talk and action in the Trump world, it boils down to three parts of the world: Europe, Asia and the Middle East. That makes sense. Peace and stability in these regions are vital to U.S. interests and are under assault. The United States wants all three parts of the world to settle. It is unrealistic to think all the problems can be made to disappear, but it is not unrealistic to significantly reduce the potential for region-wide conflict.

The means are more than just a strong military. Trump believes in using all the instruments of power, hard and soft. He has unleashed Nikki Haley on the United Nations. He has ordered Rex Tillerson to revamp the State Department so that it is focused on the core tasks of statecraft and the effective and appropriate use of foreign assistance. He wants an intelligence community that delivers intelligence and doesn’t just cater to what the White House wants to hear. And he has ordered Homeland Security to shift from being politically correct to operationally effective. Further, it’s clear that Tillerson, Kelly, Mattis and Sessions are all trying to pull in the same direction.

The ways of the Trump strategy are not the engagement and enlargement of Clinton, the rearranging of the world by Bush, or the disengagement of Obama. The world is filled with intractable problems. Trump is less interested in trying to solve all of them in a New-York minute and more concerned about reducing those problems so that they give the United States and its friends and allies less and less trouble.

Trump is traveling a path between running away and invading. It might be called persistent presence. The United States plans to engage and use its influence in key parts of the world consistently over time to protect our interests. Done consistently, it will not only protect our interests; it will also expand the global safe space by causing bad influences to fade.

Recent activities in the Middle East are a good example. The bomb strike on Syria was not a prelude to regime change or nation-building in Syria. It was a warning shot to Assad to cut it out and stop interfering in U.S. efforts to finish off ISIS, stabilize refugee populations and keep Iraq from falling apart. Engagement with Egypt was to signal America is back working with partners to stabilize the region and counter the twin threats of Islamist extremism and Iran. Neither is a kick-ass-and-withdraw operation. These are signs of long, serious engagement, shrinking the space in which bad actors can operate.

The U.S. regional strategies for Europe and Asia are the same, and it seems clear that Chinese and Russian leaders have gotten the message. In the wake of recent meetings, both countries have reacted by treating Trump with the seriousness he has demanded. Others get it too. I’ve talked to many foreign officials who have come through Washington, DC this year and they have all told me that they got the same impression: this administration is about resolve and persistence. Still, no strategy is without risks and pitfalls. This one is no different. Here is how Trump might screw up or be upended by a smarter or luckier enemy:

Pop goes political will. A strategy of persistent presence can work only if the United States persists. It took past presidents over a decade to screw things up. It is going to take at least eight years of reassuring friends and wearing down adversaries to fix it. Trump will have to get reelected.

Strength for the fight. Trump has to deliver guns and butter: a rebounding economy at home and a strong face abroad. That means a combination of growth and fiscally responsible federal spending—a challenge that eluded the last two presidents.

Mission creep. Presence can lapse into ambition, which can become overreach, or certainly taking on more than make sense to handle. There might always be temptation to deal with a North Korea, Syria or Iran once for all.

Blindsided. There are other parts of the world. An administration can’t be indifferent to effective engagement in Latin America and Africa.

Distractions. Persistence is boring. There is always the temptation to follow the bright foreign-policy object.

Enemy gets a vote. The United States has to be strong in three theaters at the same time, so there will always be a temptation for its competitors to coordinate efforts or seize opportunities to give the United States multiple problems to solve, straining its capability to persist in each theater.

Black Swans. Competitors might get tired of the long war and risk throwing in a game changer. For example, rolling the dice on an Electromagnetic Pulse attack. Effective persistence requires a measure of paranoia. Competitors are never inanimate entities to be pushed around. They have agency, and they are always looking for a way to make a bad day for the other guy.

It remains to be seen if Trump can become a strategic leader capable of steering America past all these obstacles, but certainly he sees the path forward much more clearly than his domestic opponents are willing to recognize or acknowledge.

A Heritage Foundation vice president, James Jay Carafano directs the think tank’s research program for national security and foreign relations.

***

Team Trump and Iran: Obama and the ‘swamp’ have just scored a huge win

Center for Security Policy, by Fred Fleitz, April 29, 2017:

Despite Donald Trump’s insistence during the presidential campaign that the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran – the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – was the “worst deal ever” and Iran’s failure to fully comply with this agreement, the Trump administration Tuesday certified to Congress that Iran is in compliance with the agreement and will continue to receive sanction relief.  The administration added, however that the agreement is under review.

Make no mistake: this is a huge win for the Obama administration and the permanent foreign policy bureaucracy – the so-called swamp – who desperately want to protect this flawed and dangerous agreement at all costs.

The certification probably indicates the outcome of the Trump administration’s review of the JCPOA is a forgone conclusion just like a similar review in 2001 by the Bush administration of a deeply-flawed nuclear agreement with North Korea.

The publicly known reasons that Iran is not in compliance with the JCPOA include:

  • Iran is not allowing International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors access to military sites.  If Iran is engaged in covert nuclear weapons work, this is where it is taking place.  As long as Iran refuses to allow the IAEA unfettered access to all military sites, it is not in compliance with the JCPOA and the international community cannot be confident that Iran’s nuclear weapons program has been halted.
  • According to a March 3, 2017 report by the Institute for Science and International Security, Iran has produced and stockpiled more heavy-water than it is allowed under the JCPOA and is storing some heavy-water outside of Iran. Heavy-water is a proliferation concern because it can be used in a nuclear reactor design that produces large amounts of plutonium, a nuclear weapons fuel.
  • The Institute report also said that although a February 2017 IAEA report claimed Iran was in compliance with a commitment to limit its stockpile of reactor-grade uranium to 300 kg, it only met this cap because the JCPOA’s Joint Commission granted Iran exemptions to exclude several quantities of enriched uranium from the cap. Concerning the IAEA’s reporting on this issue, the Institute report said the IAEA was being forced to use “convoluted and potentially deceptive language.”

In his press conference Wednesday, Sean Spicer seemed to contradict an earlier statement by the State Department that it determined Iran is in compliance with the agreement. Both Spicer and State are ignoring violations like those listed above that should have caused the Trump administration to declare Iran in noncompliance with the JCPOA months ago.

Although the above violations are serious, it is worth stressing that Iran can continue making progress in its nuclear weapons program without violating the JCPOA since the deal allows it to enrich uranium with over 5,000 centrifuges, develop and test advanced centrifuges and construct a plutonium-producing heavy-water reactor.

As Israeli Ambassador to the United States put it in an April 14, 2017 Wall Street Journal oped, the JCPOA “is so inherently flawed that Tehran doesn’t even have to break it. Honoring it will be enough to endanger millions of lives.”

As I explained in my book “Obamabomb: A Dangerous and Growing National Security Fraud,” the Obama administration was fully aware of these concerns but agreed to the JCPOA anyway because it desperately wanted a legacy Iran nuclear deal for President Obama and probably did not view Iran’s nuclear weapons program as a serious threat.

Foreign policy careerists – the swamp — share the Obama administration’s views on the Iran deal and are working hard to protect it. They are claiming the only alternative to this agreement is war with Iran and that withdrawing from the deal would isolate the United States. In a November 2016 article I explained why these arguments are false and why it is urgent that the Trump administration kill or substantially renegotiate the fraudulent Iran deal.

Unfortunately, it appears that some Trump officials have been convinced to stick with the deal.

A major reason for this is because almost all foreign policy posts responsible for the Iran deal are staffed by Obama administration holdovers due to the failure of the Trump administration to fill jobs at the State and Defense Departments.

When Secretary of State Tillerson certified Iran was in compliance with the JCPOA on Tuesday, he added that U.S. Iran policy “is under review.”

Wednesday, Tillerson tried to respond to conservative criticism of his compliance finding by stating that Iran remains a state sponsor of terror and the JCPOA is an incredibly flawed agreement.

I don’t take any comfort from these statements because they remind me of the 2001 review by the Bush administration of the disastrous nuclear deal with North Korea – the Agreed Framework – which allowed North Korea to keep its nuclear weapons and was violated by Pyongyang while the ink was drying on the agreement.

The 1994 Agreed Framework was also strongly opposed by congressional Republicans and was supported by the foreign policy establishment which claimed there was no alternative to this deeply flawed pact.

The Bush administration repeatedly said North Korea was in compliance with this deal even though it wasn’t and completed a policy review in June 2001 that kept the deal but promised tougher enforcement.

The Agreed Framework collapsed when the U.S. presented North Korea with evidence that it had a covert uranium enrichment program that violated this agreement.

North Korea used the time and huge concessions it gained from the Agreed Framework to accelerate its nuclear weapons and missile programs. It conducted its first of five nuclear tests in 2006.

I fear history is about to repeat itself.

Tuesday’s certification that Iran is in compliance with the JCPOA and statements by some Trump officials may indicate the Swamp will once again convince a Republican administration to keep a deeply flawed nuclear agreement with a rogue state negotiated by a prior Democratic administration.

Meanwhile, I believe Iran’s nuclear weapons program continues, probably in close coordination with North Korea.

Fortunately, there is still time for President Trump to get this right and fulfill his campaign promises to tear up, or substantially renegotiate, the fraudulent nuclear deal with Iran.

The first thing he should do is to tell Secretary Tillerson to immediately start filling State Department jobs that deal with the Iran deal with appointees who support the president’s position on this issue. — Tillerson also must be told to stop declaring that Iran in compliance with this agreement.

Most importantly, President Trump must publicly restate his strong opposition to the JCPOA to make it clear to his appointees and the Swamp that he will not tolerate a nuclear agreement with Iran unless it actually halts Tehran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and also addresses Iran’s missile program, support of terrorism and its efforts to destabilize the Middle East.

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On Turkey, Trump Catches Spring Fever

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan waves after he visited the graves of three conservative late Turkish prime ministers, in Istanbul, Monday, April 17, 2017. (Yasin Bulbul/Presidential Press Service via AP)

PJ MEDIA, BY ANDREW C. MCCARTHY, APRIL 19, 2017:

Amid reports of significant ballot-box stuffing, roughing up dissenters, and other electoral fraud, Turkey’s sharia-supremacist strongman, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, hammered the final nail in the coffin of his country’s democracy. Last weekend, he narrowly prevailed in a referendum that formally concentrates in the presidency the autocratic powers he had previously usurped.

Afterwards, Donald Trump called to congratulate him.

You read that right. The president of the United States called to congratulate a terror-supporting Islamist ruler on completing his country’s turn away from Western liberalism.

Five years ago, I wrote a book called Spring Fever: The Illusion of Islamic Democracy. It was largely about Erdogan and Turkey. That story needed telling in order to explain why, far from a democratic revolution, the so-called Arab Spring would result in the ascendancy of political Islam in all its classic totalitarianism. The point was that we knew how the story would end in the Middle East and North Africa because the same story had already played out in Ankara.

And so it did.

Erdogan had seized the reins thanks to a constitutional quirk ironically designed to keep Islamists out of power. Gradually — in many ways, brilliantly — he strengthened his hand until, finally, he succeeded in his goal of eviscerating the secular, Westward-leaning society forged by Mustafa Kemal — Atatürk — out of the Ottoman Empire’s post-World War I collapse.

Spring Fever presaged what happened last weekend. Though he was still prime minister at the time (mid-2012, the height of Arab Spring exuberance), I contended that Erdogan’s goal was “the adoption of a new constitution with a powerful presidency that Erdogan would occupy.” Thus, my rueful conclusion that “‘Islamic Democracy’ begins to sound a lot like Russian ‘democracy.’”

It was always sadly amusing that Western devotees of “Islamic democracy” pointed to “the Turkish model” as proof positive that their oxymoronic fantasy could become Middle Eastern reality.

Even in their rose-tinted telling, the Arab Spring was supposed to be a mass transformation from dictatorships to democracy. Turkey, to the contrary, was already a democracy when Erdogan took over in 2003. He represented a shift from a secular, pro-Western orientation to sharia supremacism. There never was an Arab Spring, but Erdogan is the Turkish Winter, transforming democracy into dictatorship.

Steadily, he accumulated power though starting from a position of weakness. He was shrewd, but the tea leaves were never hard to read. “Democracy,” he proclaimed, “is just the train we board to reach our destination.” Erdogan never saw democracy as a goal, never aspired to adopt a culture of liberty and the protection of minority rights. For him democracy was nothing but the procedural means — mainly, popular elections in a Muslim majority country — to the desired end of imposing sharia, Islam’s societal framework and legal system. “I am a servant of sharia,” Erdogan was wont to say when he was Istanbul’s mayor — though he preferred to refer to himself as the city’s “imam.”

As prime minister, his masterstroke was to exploit the con-job known as European integration. Erdogan knew that, for all their flowery rhetoric, Germany, France, and the rest had no intention of welcoming a Muslim country of 80 million into the EU. Moreover, as an Islamist in the Muslim Brotherhood mold, Erdogan despises the West and had no intention of conforming in order to join. To this day, he exhorts Muslims to integrate into the West but resist assimilation. Indeed, he has described Western pressure on Muslims to assimilate as a “crime against humanity.” When it comes to Europe, Erdogan’s long range plan is to extort its accommodation of Islamic norms, not to become a partner.

Thus, we find the brilliance of Erdogan’s strategy. His main opponents when he took power were the Turkish military, which had staged coups throughout modern Turkey’s history to prevent an Islamist takeover, and the rest of the “deep state” guardians of the secular Kemalist order. So Erdogan undertook to leverage the endless European integration process in a manner that undermined his rivals. There was the Western insistence on civilian control of the military, which paralyzed Kemalists who might otherwise plot to remove Erdogan; the prime minister thus gradually installed his own loyalists. And while EU bureaucrats care little about Western religious traditions, they are indignant on the matter of religious liberty where Islam is concerned. As applied to Turkey, this EU integration metric gave Erdogan the cover he needed to ease Kemalist restrictions on the teaching and practice of Islam.

Meanwhile, Erdogan focused on restoring sharia norms in the culture and sharia tenets in the classroom. When it became clear that the armed forces would not dare overthrow him, he purged Kemalist officers, including in mass, trumped-up prosecutions. Ditto journalists: Erdogan’s Turkey imprisons more reporters than China, and is brutal generally toward dissenters.

Concurrently, he rolled out the red carpet for the Muslim Brotherhood, which turned Turkey into a center of movement gravity. He cultivated friendship with Iran, the world’s leading sponsor of jihadist terror, working to help the mullahs defeat American sanctions. He is one of the world’s foremost promoters of Hamas, maintaining that the Palestinian jihadist faction is a political party fighting against occupation — just like Hezbollah, Iran’s Shiite jihadist faction. And Erdogan’s determination to arm and train Sunni jihadists has contributed to the rise of the Islamic State, even if it has strained his relations with Tehran.

To summarize, Erdogan is an anti-Western, anti-Semitic, sharia-supremacist, jihadist-empowering anti-Democrat. As a ruler, he is a Putin wannabe who persecutes those who dare defy him, running his country like a mafia don. His referendum victory is the death knell for democracy in Turkey.

Last summer, candidate Donald Donald Trump lavished praise on Erdogan after the latter put down an attempted coup. The nominee did not realize, or perhaps did not care, that the revolt had been a last-ditch attempt to thwart the regime’s sharia authoritarianism and restore the secular, pro-Western constitutional order. This was bad enough — an early reflection of Trump’s indifference to the internal affairs of countries he perceives as potentially helpful (however well- or ill-informed such perceptions may be).

But it is simply mind-boggling that, as president, Trump would congratulate Erdogan for a stolen election victory that crushes democracy and accelerates Turkey’s Islamist turn.

After he won in November, I wondered aloud whether Trump grasped the reality of sharia supremacism. Sure, he deserved praise for his willingness to name America’s enemy — “radical Islamic terrorism,” he called it. Yet it remained to be seen whether he understood the enemy, particularly the ideology that drives the enemy.

Suffice it to say: I continue to have my doubts.

In his speech accepting the Republican nomination, Trump railed about the “radical Muslim Brotherhood” and put a positive spin on the Egyptian military’s decision to wrest control from the Brotherhood regime. All fine … except this came at the very same time he was lauding Erdogan, the Brotherhood’s key ally and ideological twin, for crushing a similarly motivated coup. Since then, Trump has opined that Turkey could be of great help against the Islamic State, notwithstanding that Erdogan’s empowerment of Sunni militants helped create the Islamic State.

Perhaps someone could explain to the president that although Erdogan, like the Brotherhood and other Islamists, has his disagreements with the Islamic State and al-Qaeda, he shares the jihadists’ commitment to sharia rule. That is, his worldview is more like that of totalitarian jihadists than of, say, NATO countries. Of course, when Turkey was permitted to join NATO in 1952, it was Kemalist. Now, though the alliance of democracies has added counterterrorism to its renewed mission of containing the Kremlin’s ambitions, Turkey is Islamist, anti-democratic, supports terrorists, and has cozied up to Putin.

There are two things to notice about Erdogan. First, he sees Islam as the foundation of life, with no division among the political, civic, social, and spiritual realms. Second, he emphatically rejects the concept of “moderate” Islam – recall his famous outburst: “It is an insult to our religion. There is no moderate or immoderate Islam. Islam is Islam and that’s it.” That is why Erdogan so naturally champions the jihadists of Hamas and Hezbollah, and why he was so willing to provide logistical support, training space, weapons, and funding for Sunni jihadists headed to Syria.

Eventually, of course, jihadists began biting the hand that fed them, bombing targets in Turkey and kidnapping Turkish officials. It’s an old game, one Erdogan could learn about from the Saudis, Pakistanis, Egyptians, and other Islamist regimes that have similarly supported Muslim militants in the vain hope of controlling them and using them geopolitically. Only after ISIS struck Turkey did Erdogan begin posing as a committed ISIS enemy. But the new American president is kidding himself if he thinks he can bank on that, or that an Islamist dictator can be a reliable ally against Islamic terrorism while promoting sharia supremacism and continuing to support his preferred Islamic terrorists, such as Hamas.

Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, the Muslim Brotherhood’s renowned jurist (and Hamas’s inspiration), has explained that Western democracy is incompatible with Islamic society because sharia is a comprehensive societal system that regards secularism as apostasy — a capital offense in Islamic law.

Al-Qaeda and its breakaway branch, the Islamic State, seek a global caliphate governed by totalitarian sharia, and thus attack governments that aspire to real democracy.

Now, Recep Tayyip Erdogan has snuffed out democracy in his quest to turn Turkey into an authoritarian sharia state.

And the president of the United States has called to congratulate him.

Confirmed: John Brennan Colluded With Foreign Spies to Defeat Trump

The American Spectator, by George Neumayr, April 19, 2017:

In article in the Guardian last week provides more confirmation that John Brennan was the American progenitor of political espionage aimed at defeating Donald Trump. One side did collude with foreign powers to tip the election — Hillary’s.

Seeking to retain his position as CIA director under Hillary, Brennan teamed up with British spies and Estonian spies to cripple Trump’s candidacy. He used their phony intelligence as a pretext for a multi-agency investigation into Trump, which led the FBI to probe a computer server connected to Trump Tower and gave cover to Susan Rice, among other Hillary supporters, to spy on Trump and his people.

John Brennan’s CIA operated like a branch office of the Hillary campaign, leaking out mentions of this bogus investigation to the press in the hopes of inflicting maximum political damage on Trump. An official in the intelligence community tells TAS that Brennan’s retinue of political radicals didn’t even bother to hide their activism, decorating offices with “Hillary for president cups” and other campaign paraphernalia.

A supporter of the American Communist Party at the height of the Cold War, Brennan brought into the CIA a raft of subversives and gave them plum positions from which to gather and leak political espionage on Trump. He bastardized standards so that these left-wing activists could burrow in and take career positions. Under the patina of that phony professionalism, they could then present their politicized judgments as “non-partisan.”

The Guardian story is written in a style designed to flatter its sources (they are cast as high-minded whistleblowers), but the upshot of it is devastating for them, nonetheless, and explains why all the criminal leaks against Trump first originated in the British press. According to the story, Brennan got his anti-Trump tips primarily from British spies but also Estonian spies and others. The story confirms that the seed of the espionage into Trump was planted by Estonia. The BBC’s Paul Wood reported last year that the intelligence agency of an unnamed Baltic State had tipped Brennan off in April 2016 to a conversation purporting to show that the Kremlin was funneling cash into the Trump campaign.

Any other CIA director would have disregarded such a flaky tip, recognizing that Estonia was eager to see Trump lose (its officials had bought into Hillary’s propaganda that Trump was going to pull out of NATO and leave Baltic countries exposed to Putin). But Brennan opportunistically seized on it, as he later that summer seized on the half-baked intelligence of British spy agencies (also full of officials who wanted to see Trump lose).

The Guardian says that British spy head Robert Hannigan “passed material in summer 2016 to the CIA chief, John Brennan.” To ensure that these flaky tips leaked out, Brennan disseminated them on Capitol Hill. In August and September of 2016, he gave briefings to the “Gang of Eight” about them, which then turned up on the front page of the New York Times.

All of this took place at the very moment Brennan was auditioning for Hillary. He desperately wanted to keep his job and despised Trump for his alleged “Muslim ban,” a matter near and dear to Brennan’s heart. Not only was he an apologist for the Muslim Brotherhood, but Brennan’s Islamophilia dated to his days in college, when he spent a year in Cairo learning Arabic and taking courses in Middle Eastern studies. He later got a graduate degree with an emphasis in Middle Eastern studies. In 1996, his ties to the Islamic world tightened after he became the CIA’s station chief in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He once recalled that “during a 25-year career in government, I was privileged to serve in positions across the Middle East — as a political officer with the State Department and as a CIA station chief in Saudi Arabia. In Saudi Arabia, I saw how our Saudi partners fulfilled their duty as custodians of the two holy mosques of Mecca and Medina. I marveled at the majesty of the Hajj and the devotion of those who fulfilled their duty as Muslims by making that privilege — that pilgrimage.”

Out of this Islamophilia came a special dislike of Michael Flynn, who had planned to rip up the Obama-era “reset” with Muslim countries. Furious with Flynn for his apostasy from political correctness, Brennan and other Obama aides couldn’t resist the temptation to take him out after rifling through transcripts of his calls with the Russian ambassador. They caught him in a lie to Mike Pence and made sure the press knew about it.

Were the media not so completely in the tank for Obama and Hillary, all of this political mischief would make for a compelling 2016 version of All the President’s Men. Instead, the public gets a steady stream of Orwellian propaganda about the sudden propriety of political espionage. The headline writers at Pravda couldn’t improve on this week’s official lie, tweeted out by the Maggie Habermans: “Susan Rice Did Nothing Wrong, Say Both Dem and Republican House Aides.”

Liberals pompously quote the saying — “the bigger the lie, the more it will be believed” — even as their media enshrine it. Historians will look back on 2016 and marvel at the audacity of its big lie: whispers of an imaginary Trump-Russia collusion that wafted up from the fever swamps of a real collusion between John Brennan and foreign powers seeking Trump’s defeat.

GABRIEL: The Muslim Brotherhood: Know Thy Enemy

AFP

Breitbart, by Brigitte Gabriel, April 17, 2017:

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s recent visit to the White House was of paramount importance to combatting radical Islamic terrorism.

As evidenced by the recent Palm Sunday church bombings by radical Islamists, Egypt finds itself on the front lines in the battle against Islamic radicalism, and more specifically, the Muslim Brotherhood.

It was Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood that started an Islamic revolution in 2011, which created a domino effect, extending into Syria and across the globe.

The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, empowered by the revolution in Egypt, rose to establish an Islamic order in Syria, attempting to eliminate Assad, as their counterpart did to Mubarak in Egypt.

Assad’s loyal ally Russia came to his defense, while our shameful government under President Barack Obama threw Mubarak under the bus.

After President Obama disgracefully endorsed Mohamed Morsi, the MB leader during the Egyptian uprising of 2011, he went even further to destroying an ally in the fight against Islamic extremism when he blocked billions in aid to Egypt after El-Sisi rightfully deposed Morsi in 2014.

Time and time again, our former President stood shoulder to shoulder with Islamic radicals and threw our allies who stood with us in our fight against terrorism under the bus.

Today, President Donald Trump must make it clear to foreign leaders that there is a new sheriff in town, and we will not tolerate those who engage in, or support, Islamic terrorism.

El-Sisi understands the nature of the Muslim Brotherhood, and the threat it poses to both Egypt and the United States.

It was the Muslim Brotherhood that assassinated Anwar Sadat, the former Egyptian president who signed a peace treaty with Israel.

They killed him in cold blood because he was a peacemaker.

Osama Bin Laden, 9/11 ringleader Muhammad Atta, the head of Al-Qaeda Ayman al- Zawahiri, and Islamic State head Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi were all members of the Brotherhood.

The two most powerful countries in the Middle East – Egypt and Saudi Arabia – have designated the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization.

Egypt is the largest Islamic country in the Middle East, with 80 million Muslim, and the most powerful Arabic army.

Saudi Arabia is the most revered Islamic country in the world, not only because of its religious significance, being the home of Islamic Prophet Mohammed, but also because it is a global oil player.

They both understand the existential threat the Brotherhood pose. Yet disgracefully, our government still has not designated this organization as the terrorist entity that it is. A refusal to designate the MB as a terrorist organization leaves us fighting the war on terror with not only an arm tied behind our backs, but blindfolded.

This would be like trying to combat fascism in the 1930’s without naming the Nazis as a target.

How frustrating it must be for allies in the middle east like El-Sisi, whose country has been plagued by the Brotherhood for almost a century, to see such reluctance on the part of the United States to properly identify our enemies.

It is critical for both restoring relations with those willing to fight this enemy with us, that we stop wasting time, and call a spade a spade.

There is simply too much at stake with the Brotherhood running wild.

What makes the Brotherhood particularly dangerous is that, in addition to being the most influential Islamic terrorist organization, it is also the most educated.

Bin Laden was an engineer, and al-Zawahiri a Surgeon, Al-Baghdadi is a Doctor of Philosophy. So we are not dealing with your average rent a jihadist when it comes to the Brotherhood.

In 1982, the Brotherhood wrote a 100-year plan for radical Islam to infiltrate and dominate the West, and establish an Islamic government on the earth. In counter-terrorism circles, it became known as “The Project.” This outlines in crystal clarity, Brotherhood intentions to destroy America from within. They endeavor to do this by infiltrating the media, government, and educational system.

The Brotherhood have already established successful front groups within the U.S, posing as moderate Islamic advocacy groups, such as CAIR and ISNA. This has allowed them access to our elected officials such as President Obama and his cabinet. Consequently, they have influenced public policies that left us vulnerable.

Now is the time to reverse the damage done under Obama’s administration.

The enemy is no longer at our doorstep, but in our house.

We must heed the guidance of President El- Sisi and other middle eastern allies, and designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization once and for all. Every day that passes without such a designation, the tentacles of Islamic terror wrap tighter around us. President Trump, the time is now. For the sake of our country, and protection of Western civilization, please designate this organization as the mothership of jihad that it is.

Brigitte Gabriel is a terrorism analyst and a two times New York Times best-selling author of “Because They Hate” and “They Must Be Stopped”. She is the Founder and Chairman of ACT for America, the nation’s largest grassroots organization devoted to promoting national security and defeating terrorism.