Archive for April 6, 2017

North Korea is Crazy

April 6, 2017

North Korea is Crazy, Bill Whittle Channel via YouTube, April 6, 2017

 

The half-baked lies of Susan Rice

April 6, 2017

The half-baked lies of Susan Rice, Washington TimesDavid Keene, April 5, 2017

(Caution: Racist woman hater spreading vast right-wing conspiracy theories. Or so the Lamebrain media would have one believe. — DM)

Illustration on Susan Rice by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Most reasonable observers believed or at least hoped that the nation would finally be spared having to listen to the Clinton and Obama administrations’ go-to liar after last November’s election. In the normal course of events, National Security Advisor Susan Rice would have simply packed her bags and vanished into well-paid obscurity at a “progressive” university or think tank. But it was not to be.

The woman who has been blamed with some accuracy for more fiascos than most can count is still with us. She first publicly demonstrated her bad judgment as far back as 1996 when as the Clinton National Security Council’s senior director for African affairs, she successfully urged the Clinton White House to refuse a Sudanese offer to turn al Qaeda’s Osama bin Laden over to the United States. Bin Laden had helped engineer the first World Trade Center bombing and, but for Ms. Rice, would have been taken down before he and his buddies finally brought the towers down eight years later.

No doubt gaining prestige for this sage advice, Ms. Rice steadily rose to become what passes for a foreign policy superstar in the Clinton and Obama world, finally ending up as President Obama’s national security adviser, where she worked internally to weaken this country’s support of Israel and was constantly available to heap praise on her boss and his accomplishments. She was selected by the White House communications team after the terrorist attack in Benghazi to falsely blame a hapless filmmaker for the debacle lest Mr. Obama’s re-election narrative that he had the terrorists on the run be jeopardized. It was then that Ms. Rice came into her own as a liar.

Utilizing talking points put together and given her by Obama aide Ben Rhodes, she took to the Sunday talk show circuit, appearing before every camera she could find to declare the filmmaker the villain while insisting that the White House and Mrs. Clinton were blameless. It wasn’t until Judicial Watch went to court to get copies of the Rhodes emails ordering her to lie to protect her bosses that the public began to appreciate her talent for telling whoppers.

Ultimately, her tour de force on Benghazi and later public claim that Army deserter Bowe Bergdahl was a hero captured by the enemy on the battlefield rather than the deserter everyone in the administration knew him to be cost her the job at the top of the foreign policy ladder. Chosen as Mrs. Clinton’s successor as secretary of State, Ms. Rice was forced to withdraw rather than face confirmation hearings in the Senate.

Now with the revelations earlier this week that it was she who “unmasked” the names of Trump associates overheard in conversations with foreign nationals picked up by U0.S. intelligence during the Trump campaign and transition, the lady is at it again. At first she claimed she had done nothing unusual, not realizing her actions were coming under scrutiny. Then she admitted that, yes, she had increased her requests to the intelligence agencies as the campaign heated up and through the transition, and that she was aided in her efforts by none other than her old friend and co-conspirator, Ben Rhodes. Once it was revealed that she was collecting data on the future president, she admitted the “unmasking,” but assured everyone that, as she told reporters, she had “leaked nothing to nobody.”

The only people who took her at her word were Clinton and Obama apologists who would, if called upon, praise the bright sunlight at midnight. Don Lemon and others at CNN immediately dismissed the facts revealed as “fake news” designed to malign Ms. Rice and the Democrats in an effort to divert attention from the Trump administration’s many sins and failings. The public isn’t buying it, knowing that being fooled once by a serial liar might be blamed on the liar, but anyone who could be fooled twice, three times or more by the likes of Ms. Rice can blame only themselves.

Those familiar with the way she went about collecting information on her boss’ political enemies know that she and Mr. Rhodes were running an unprecedented effort to politically weaponize the powerful tools put into the hands of the government to fight terrorism and turn them on those with whom they disagree. Michael Doran, a former National Security Council (NSC) senior director, was shocked at the enormity of what they had purportedly done, telling a reporter they had accessed “a stream of information that was supposed to be hermetically sealed from politics and the Obama administration found a way to blow a hole in the wall.”

Mr. Doran’s shock was echoed in the words of retired Col. James Waurishuk, former NSC aide and deputy director of U.S. Central Command, who told the Daily Caller, “This is really, really serious stuff.”

Indeed it is, and though Ms. Rice has dodged questions about whether she’ll willingly testify before congressional investigators on what she did, she should be required to do so if she has to be dragged up there kicking and screaming while being reminded that lying under oath is different from lying in front of a television camera.

Pentagon drawing up options for military response to Syria chemical attack

April 6, 2017

Pentagon drawing up options for military response to Syria chemical attack, Washington ExaminerJamie McIntyre, April 6, 2017

The U.S. could use its existing deconfliction channel with the Russians to avoid targets that would cause Russian casualties.

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The Pentagon is drawing up options for a possible military response to Tuesday’s chemical weapons attack in Syria that killed more than 70 people, and hospitalized hundreds more.

“There are very senior level meetings underway,” said one Pentagon official, “but I have not seen a concrete plan.”

The meetings involve Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford at President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, and involve consultations with other senior commanders, including Gen. Joseph Votel, head of U.S. Central Command. The meetings are taking place amid new reports of another chemical attack in Syria.

“Options yes. We are in the business of providing options,” a senior military official said. “I would watch this one closely.”

The first official could not say if Trump had specifically ordered the options, or if the meeting constituted “prudent planning,” considering Trump’s Rose Garden statements Wednesday.

“I have that flexibility,” Trump said, “and I will tell you, it’s already happened that my attitude toward Syria and Assad has changed very much. … What happened yesterday is unacceptable to me.”

The U.S. now has a high degree of confidence that the air force of Syrian President Bashar Assad dropped a chemical weapon from an aircraft on the unsuspecting citizens of Khan Sheikhoun, in Syria’s northwest Idlib province, Pentagon officials said.

The symptoms suffered by the victims, including foaming at the mouth and asphyxiation, are consistent with exposure to sarin, a deadly nerve agent.

Pentagon planners have to take into account the presence of Russian forces and Iranian militia if they contemplate airstrikes to punish the Assad regime.

The U.S. could use its existing deconfliction channel with the Russians to avoid targets that would cause Russian casualties.

The New Pecking Order: Muslims Over Gays

April 6, 2017

The New Pecking Order: Muslims Over Gays, PJ MediaBruce Bawer, April 5, 2017

(Much the same article could be written substituting the “feminist” movement and females for gays. — DM)

Image via Shutterstock, a man holds up a sign reading “Islam is not terrorism.”

They’ve bought into the idea that they and Muslims are fellow members of the oppression brigade. Either they’re unaware that sharia law prescribes execution for gays and that a large majority of Western Muslims are totally okay with that, or they’ve allowed themselves to be convinced that Muslims today don’t care any more about Islamic law than most Christians or Jews do about Leviticus. Or, even more worrisome, they’ve worked out some Orwellian way of knowing the truth while at the same time not knowing it. So it is that we end up seeing grotesquely absurd pictures of gay people waving banners that decry Islamophobia or that declare gay solidarity with Palestine.

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Last month, when Marine Le Pen refused to put on a headscarf for a meeting with Lebanon’s “Grand Mufti,” a friend of mine, whom I’ll call Dave, commended her for it on Facebook. Dave, as it happens, is a Manhattan liberal who voted for Hillary Clinton, despises Donald Trump, and thinks Le Pen is a fascist. But he’s also a gay man who’s very clear-eyed about the danger of Islam, especially to gay people, and who is angry at the left, both in the U.S. and Europe, for appeasing the Religion of Peace. And so he gave Le Pen a thumbs-up for her gutsy action.

Since Dave’s own friends list consists almost exclusively of other big-city liberal types, he was immediately savaged for his post on Le Pen. One of them wrote that just because Muslim women decide to cover their hair or body doesn’t mean they’re oppressed, and added that Le Pen, by refusing to wear a headscarf, wasn’t standing up for women but simply “trying to spread hate” towards Islam. Another of Dave’s friends agreed: Le Pen “didn’t behave properly.” So did another: “This woman is not a feminist, she is a fa[s]cist.” Several more comments were along the same lines. Many of Dave’s friends were livid at him for even daring to compliment Le Pen and criticize Islam.

In response to his friends’ complaints, Dave tried to play the gay-rights card, explaining to them that if they accepted the Muslim rule that women need to don a veil to meet a mufti or enter a mosque, they also had to accept the Muslim requirement that gay people – people such as himself – be stoned to death. Plainly, Dave expected that this argument would win the day with his oh-so-liberal, oh-so-gay-friendly friends. But it didn’t. On the contrary, their responses made it clear that they’d fully accepted the current progressive pecking order among officially recognized oppressed groups: gays (especially affluent gay American males such as Dave) are at the bottom of the ladder; Muslims are at the very top. Which means that when gays criticize Islam, a decent progressive is supposed to scream “Islamophobe”; but when Muslims drop gays to their deaths off the roofs of buildings, one is expected to look away and change the topic.

Of course, plenty of gays don’t share Dave’s critical attitude toward Islam. They’ve bought into the idea that they and Muslims are fellow members of the oppression brigade. Either they’re unaware that sharia law prescribes execution for gays and that a large majority of Western Muslims are totally okay with that, or they’ve allowed themselves to be convinced that Muslims today don’t care any more about Islamic law than most Christians or Jews do about Leviticus. Or, even more worrisome, they’ve worked out some Orwellian way of knowing the truth while at the same time not knowing it. So it is that we end up seeing grotesquely absurd pictures of gay people waving banners that decry Islamophobia or that declare gay solidarity with Palestine.

Meanwhile news stories mount up that challenge this widespread, fatuous self-delusion. Recently, during a course in “Middle Eastern Humanities” at Florida’s Rollins College, a Muslim student stated a truth about Islam out loud: according to sharia, he explained, gays and adulterers should be punished by beheading, and as a good Muslim he apparently had no problem with that. After the class was over, another student in the class, a Christian named Marshall Polston, expressed his concerns to the course professor, Areej Zufair, about the Muslim student’s statement. The result? Polston was summoned to the office of the dean of safety and informed that he’d been suspended. Perhaps because his case drew nationwide attention, his suspension was later revoked – but of course it should never have happened in the first place.

The other day, Michael Hurd, a Delaware psychologist and author, reported on yet another incident in which ISIS threw “a young man to his death from a rooftop and pelted him with rocks after discovering he was gay.” This happened in Mosul, in front of an enthusiastic crowd that eagerly took part in the stoning. Hurd expressed his continuing astonishment at the failure of such events to move those in America who claim to support gay rights (the same people who, I might add, are capable of getting apoplectic over the failure of Christian bakers to supply a cake for a same-sex wedding). Hurd wrote:

Crimes committed by Muslims against gays are largely (if not totally) ignored by the political left and the gay rights movement. Neither Madonna nor Meryl Streep will stand before mass audiences and sob over the brutal execution of gays by Muslims in Mosul, because this assaults their ideological narrative of political correctness. And that ideological narrative is what matters most to them, not the gays or others they claim to love. In fact, you’re labeled a hater and extremist if you even call attention to these events…

Indeed. The point, wrote Hurd, is clear: according to contemporary progressive ideology, Muslims are higher on the victim scale than gays. Period. Actual events don’t enter into this calculus. Gay rights only matter when the offenders against those rights are people even lower on the totem pole than gays – for example, the aforementioned Christian bakers. When gays are butchered by Muslims, the only proper progressive response is silence.

Consider this: in March, pop singer Katy Perry accepted an award from the Human Rights Campaign, a self-identified gay-rights group that is probably better described as an arm of the Democratic Party establishment. In her acceptance speech, Perry recounted her struggle to shake off her childhood indoctrination in Christian hostility toward gays. “When I was growing up,” she said, “homosexuality was synonymous with the word abomination.” Now, Perry affirmed, she was long past that primitive mentality, and was a strong opponent of discrimination, “whether it be [against] the LGBTQ community, or [our] Latino brothers and sisters, or the millions of Muslims in this country.” Should one laugh or cry?

Europe’s Out-of-Control Censorship

April 6, 2017

Europe’s Out-of-Control Censorship, Gatestone InstituteJudith Bergman, April 6, 2017

Who would have thought that more than a quarter of a century after the fall of the Berlin Wall (1989), Western Europe would be reinventing itself in the image of the Soviet Union?

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If Facebook insists on the rules of censorship, it should at the very least administer those rules in a fair way. Facebook, however, does not even pretend that it administers its censorship in any way that approximates fairness.

Posts critical of Chancellor Merkel’s migrant policies, for example, can be categorized as “Islamophobia”, and are often found to violate “Community Standards”, while incitement to actual violence and the murder of Jews and Israelis by Palestinian Arabs is generally considered as conforming to Facebook’s “Community Standards”.

Notwithstanding the lawsuits, Facebook’s bias is so strong that it recently restored Palestinian Arab terrorist group Fatah’s Facebook page, which incites hatred and violence against Jews — despite having shut it down only three days earlier. In 2016 alone, this page had a minimum of 130 posts glorifying terror and murder of Jews.

Germany has formally announced its draconian push towards censorship of social media. On March 14, Germany’s Justice Minister Heiko Maas announced the plan to formalize into law the “code of conduct”, which Germany pressed upon Facebook, Twitter and YouTube in late 2015, and which included a pledge to delete “hate speech” from their websites within 24 hours.

“This [draft law] sets out binding standards for the way operators of social networks deal with complaints and obliges them to delete criminal content,” Justice Minister Heiko Maas said in a statement announcing the planned legislation.

“Criminal” content? Statements that are deemed illegal under German law are now being conflated with statements that are merely deemed, subjectively and on the basis of entirely random complaints from social media users — who are free to abuse the code of conduct to their heart’s content — to be “hate speech”. “Hate speech” has included critiques of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s migration policies. To be in disagreement with the government’s policies is now potentially “criminal”. Social media companies, such as Facebook, are supposed to be the German government’s informers and enforcers — qualified by whom and in what way? — working at the speed of light to comply with the 24-hour rule. Rule of law, clearly, as in North Korea, Iran, Russia or any banana-republic, has no place in this system.

Maas is not pleased with the efforts of the social media companies. They do not, supposedly, delete enough reported content, nor do they delete it fast enough, according to a survey by the Justice Ministry’s youth protection agency. It found that YouTube was able to remove around 90% of “illegal” postings within a week, while Facebook deleted or blocked 39% of content and Twitter only 1%. The German minister, it seems, wants more efficiency.

“We need to increase the pressure on social networks… There is just as little room for criminal propaganda and slander [on social media] as on the streets,” said Maas. “For this we need legal regulations.” He has now presented these legal regulations in the form of a draft bill, which provides for complaints, reporting and fines.

There also appears to be no differentiation made between primary-source hate speech, as in many religious tenets, and secondary-source hate speech, reporting on the former.

According to the draft, social media platforms with more than two million users would be obliged to delete or block any criminal offenses, such as libel, slander, defamation or incitement, within 24 hours of receipt of a user complaint. The networks receive seven days for more complicated cases. Germany could fine a social media company up to 50 million euros for failing to comply with the law; it could fine a company’s chief representative in Germany up to 5 million euros.

It does not stop there. Germany does not want these measures to be limited to its own jurisdiction. It wants to share them with the rest of Europe: “In the end, we also need European solutions for European-wide companies,” said Maas. The European Union already has a similar code of conduct in place, so that should not be very hard to accomplish.

Facebook, for its part, has announced that by the end of 2017, the number of employees in complaints-management in Berlin will be increased to more than 700. A spokeswoman said that Facebook had clear rules against hate speech and works “hard” on removing “criminal content”.

If Facebook insists on operating under rules of censorship, it should at the very least aim to administer those rules in a fair manner. Facebook, however, does not even pretend that it administers its censorship in any way that approximates fairness. Instead, Facebook’s practice of its so-called “Community Standards” — the standards to which Facebook refers when deleting or allowing content on its platform in response to user complaints — shows evidence of entrenched bias. Posts critical of Merkel’s migrant policies, for example, can get categorized as “Islamophobia”, and are often found to violate “Community Standards”, while incitement to actual violence and the murder of Jews and Israelis by Palestinian Arabs is generally considered as conforming to Facebook’s “Community Standards”.

Facebook’s bias, in fact, became so pronounced that in October 2015, Shurat Hadin Israel Law Center filed an unprecedented lawsuit against Facebook on behalf of some 20,000 Israelis, to stop allowing Palestinian Arab terrorists to use the social network to incite violent attacks against Jews. The complaint sought an injunction against Facebook that required it to monitor incitement and to respond immediately to complaints about content that incites people to violence. Shurat Hadin wrote at the time:

“…Facebook is much more than a neutral internet platform or a mere ‘publisher’ of speech because its algorithms connect the terrorists to the inciters. Facebook actively assists the inciters to find people who are interested in acting on their hateful messages by offering friend, group and event suggestions … Additionally, Facebook often refuses to take down the inciting pages, claiming that they do not violate its ‘community standards’. Calling on people to commit crimes is not constitutionally protected speech and endangers the lives of Jews and Israelis”.

In 2016, Shurat Hadin filed a separate $1 billion lawsuit on behalf of five victims of Hamas terrorism and their families. They are seeking damages against Facebook under the U.S. Antiterrorism Act, for Facebook’s having provided material support and resources to Hamas in the form of Facebook services, which Hamas then used to carry out their terrorist activities. The US has officially designated Hamas a “Foreign Terrorist Organization” which means that it is a criminal offense to provide material support to such an organization.

Notwithstanding the lawsuits, Facebook’s bias is so strong that it recently restored Palestinian Arab terrorist group Fatah’s Facebook page, which incites hatred and violence against Jews — despite having shut it down only three days earlier. In 2016 alone, this page had a minimum of 130 posts glorifying terror and the murder of Jews.

It is only a small step from imposing censorship on social media companies to asking the same of email providers, or ordering postal authorities to screen letters, magazines and brochures in the event that citizens spread supposed “xenophobia” and “fake news”. There is ample precedent for such a course of action on the continent: During the Cold War, people living behind the Iron Curtain had their private letters opened by the communist authorities; those passages deemed to be out of line with the communist orthodoxy, were simply blacked out.

Who would have thought that more than a quarter of a century after the fall of the Berlin Wall (1989), Western Europe would be reinventing itself in the image of the Soviet Union?

Sisi, Trump, and the Politics of Designating the Muslim Brotherhood

April 6, 2017

Sisi, Trump, and the Politics of Designating the Muslim Brotherhood, National Review, Clifford Smith, April 6, 2017

President Trump welcomes Egyptian President El-Sisi to the White House, April 3, 2017. (Reuters photo: Carlos Barria)

Hopes that the Trump administration will designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization have hit rough waters, with anonymous officials citing concerns about diplomatic blowback and frayed relationships with Muslims at home and abroad. The leaks come on the eve of a historic visit to Washington by Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, a key Arab ally and devoted Muslim who is locked in a life-or-death struggle with the Brotherhood.

The irony is hard to miss, particularly given that Egypt and several other Arab countries have already designated the Brotherhood a terrorist organization.

Whatever the truth behind the leaks, they underscore that the inside-the-Beltway conventional wisdom — that the Brotherhood is “moderate” and so popular that designation would be seen as “a declaration of war against . . . Islam itself” — will not die as easily as many hoped.

This thinking is rooted in a failure to understand the difference between Islamists — a sizable but distinct minority of Muslims who adhere to a totalitarian religious ideology — and the moderate majority of Muslims, who are our friends and allies. President el-Sisi, who has publicly called out extremism to clerics in Egypt, understands this. After all, Egypt is not the only state in which the Brotherhood engaged in attempts to kill its way to power. It did the same in Syria in the early 1980s.

Despite the Brotherhood’s long history of bloodshed, claims that it is “moderate,” or opposes violence, are still prominent. While above-ground Brotherhood organizations use peaceful means when effective, they are “prepared to countenance violence . . . where gradualism is ineffective,” as a 2015 report by the British government noted with significant understatement.

Claims that designation will complicate U.S. relationships with certain Arab allies are overblown. While it is true that some allies, such as Jordan, have Muslim Brotherhood–affiliated parties represented in their parliaments, this is easy enough to finesse. Members of Hezbollah, a U.S.-designated terrorist organization, have long served in Lebanon’s parliament, but American diplomats manage to avoid contact with them and still do business with the Lebanese.

Moreover, failure to designate the Brotherhood complicates some alliances. The Egyptian public has grown deeply suspicious of the U.S. government precisely because under Obama the U.S. came to be seen as overly sympathetic to the Brotherhood. When Senator Ted Cruz introduced the Muslim Brotherhood Terror Designation Act, many Egyptians saw it as a sign the U.S. may be waking from its long slumber. A tweet introducing the bill was the subject of a segment by popular Egyptian talk-show host Amr Adib and was retweeted 17,000+ times.

Domestically, in the wake of Trump’s admittedly troubling comments suggesting a “Muslim ban” during his presidential campaign last year, some fear that designation will fuel anti-Muslim bigotry and pave the way for “a legal assault on the institutions of American Muslim life.” After all, several organizations claiming to represent U.S. Muslims, particularly the Council on American–Islamic Relations (CAIR), have deep Muslim Brotherhood ties.

But groups such as CAIR are hardly “institutions of American Muslim life” — they’re just pretending to be. A 2011 Gallup poll found support for CAIR among U.S. Muslims to be just under 12 percent. Britain’s inquiry into the Brotherhood found that its activists in the U.K. “appear to be unable to generate any grassroots support.”

Frankly, however, if public support for CAIR were higher, that would be all the more reason to be concerned. Notwithstanding its carefully crafted public image, CAIR was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the 2007–09 Holy Land Foundation terror-finance case, and was blacklisted by the FBI as a result. Unfortunately, the Obama administration failed to aggressively continue an FBI investigation into CAIR after it conspired to fund terrorist-designated organization Hamas, the Palestinian wing of the Muslim Brotherhood. Indeed, the United Arab Emirates has declared CAIR itself a terrorist organization.

Trump’s rhetorical excesses cannot be understood without recalling the Obama administration’s refusal to name the problem. Using euphemisms such as “violent extremism” and feigning puzzlement as to the motives of obvious jihadists made the administration’s rhetoric concerning terrorism a national joke. In both the U.S. and Europe, when elites insist that voters must believe them, rather than their own “lying eyes,” the voters turn sharply in the opposite direction. The cure for Trump’s rhetorical excesses is increased security, not denial.

Trump laid out a number of smart proposals on radical Islam during his campaign. His administration should now use President el-Sisi’s visit to move forward with these ideas. In particular, it should follow up designation of the Brotherhood with the formation of a congressionally authorized commission on radical Islam tasked with developing a strategy for winning the war against Islamic extremists and explaining the threat of Islamism to the American people. Both are badly needed. Wrongheaded conventional wisdom won’t keep Americans, or our Muslim allies, safe.

Bannon kicked off National Security Council by squish on jihadis

April 6, 2017

Bannon kicked off National Security Council by squish on jihadis

April 6, 2017

Source: Blog: Bannon kicked off National Security Council by squish on jihadis

The news of the week is that Trump’s second pick as national security adviser, Army lieutenant general McMaster, has kicked Steve Bannon off the National Security Council.  The W.H. is spinning it to the effect that Bannon’s job there is over, since he doesn’t need to keep an eye on Flynn.  Or because Susan Rice has been outed.  Or something.  There’s a lot more to this story, with McMaster emerging with more power.  This is not good news.

The Deep State operatives in the Obama administration knew what they were doing when they targeted retired lieutenant general Mike Flynn, President Trump’s first pick as national security adviser.  Flynn was one of the strongest, most honest voices in Washington on the threat of Islam’s jihadi ambitions.  Although President Trump declared what happened to Flynn “very unfair,” he fired him anyway and appointed Lt. Gen. McMaster, a Bush-Obama squish on Islam.

McMaster’s first act on heading the Trump national security team was to order staff not to use the term “radical Islamic terror.”  He claims that ISIS is “un-Islamic.”  And he even urged President Trump not to say the words “radical Islamic terrorism” in his speech before Congress.  Trump ignored the advice.

McMaster and Bannon clashed big in mid-March, with Bannon and Jared Kushner winning that round.

Perhaps part of the answer is here – the Deep State at the CIA  is working to push out Trump’s anti-jihad appointees and replace them with Obama holdovers.  McMaster is cooperating.

From the Weekly Standard, as reported on Frontpagemag.com, about that clash three weeks ago:

Over the weekend, a personnel dispute within the National Security Council between the national security advisor, H.R. McMaster, and senior White House aides Jared Kushner and Steve Bannon was eventually brought to President Trump himself. As Politico reported Tuesday evening, Trump overruled McMaster, who had sought to move the NSC’s senior director of intelligence programs to another position, reportedly after “weeks of pressure from career officials at the CIA.” Some of those CIA officials, THE WEEKLY STANDARD has learned, were pushing for one of their own to take the job in Trump’s White House.

The CIA career officials had targeted a Mike Flynn appointee and wanted to replace him with an appalling Obama holdover.  The question is, why was McMaster pushing for the Deep State Obama choice?

The current NSC official is Ezra Cohen-Watnick, a 30-year-old former intelligence operations officer with the Defense Intelligence Agency who was brought into the Trump White House by the former DIA director, Mike Flynn. … McMaster had interviewed a potential replacement for Cohen-Watnick: longtime CIA official Linda Weissgold.

Who is this Linda Weissgold whom Trump’s new national security adviser McMaster was trying to bring in, over the objections of Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner?  None other than the CIA Office of Terrorism Obama flack who drafted the false Benghazi talking points, that the 9/11 al-Qaeda attack was merely a spontaneous protest over a video.

Trump overruled McMaster on Weissgold. He overruled Mattis on Patterson. But it’s a ridiculous situation. Top appointees shouldn’t be bringing these people through the door. Period. Lee Smith at the Tablet has a list of some of the cretins that have gone through the door. Smith is no fan of Trump, but the list of people who are still on there, but shouldn’t be, is hard to argue with.

Bannon won the clash, as reported on March 19.  April 5, Bannon is out, and McMaster is stronger than ever.

Who picked McMaster to replace Flynn?  McMaster is not a worthy successor to Flynn.  He is the opposite of everything Trump is supposed to believe in and promised the public regarding the jihadi threat.

Soeren Kern at the Gatestone Institute:

Flynn … has long argued that the West is in a civilizational clash with Islam, and that the war on terror must be expanded and intensified to reflect this reality.

By contrast, McMaster emphatically rejects the notion of a clash of civilizations. His statements on Islam are … not materially different from those of former presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush.

Flynn had this to say about radical Islam:

We are facing another “ism,” just like we faced Nazism, and fascism, and imperialism and communism. This is Islamism, it is a vicious cancer inside the body of 1.7 billion people on this planet and it has to be excised.

Flynn warned:

Ask the people in San Bernardino or South Florida, or the relatives of the thousands killed on 9/11. We’re either going to win or lose. There is no other “solution.”  I believe we can and must win[.] …

We have the wherewithal, but lack the will. That has to change. It’s hard to imagine it happening with our current leaders, but the next president will have to do it.

McMaster believes the exact opposite of Flynn, and the exact opposite of President Trump.  He is an enthusiastic follower of Obama’s policies on the Islamic threat.  He thinks the terrorist ideology is “irreligious” (nothing to do with Islam, folks, move along) and preys on the “undereducated,” and that we should work with the Muslim Brotherhood.

McMaster publicly endorsed a book that called on U.S. military commanders to kiss the Koran and ceremoniously present it to Muslims with a humble apology.

In 2010, McMaster enthusiastically endorsed a book entitled, “Militant Islamist Ideology: Understanding the Global Threat[.]” … Aboul-Enein’s central objective is to urge American policymakers to distinguish between militant Islamists such as members of the Islamic State and non-militant Islamists such as members of the Muslim Brotherhood. …

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

McMaster’s endorsement of the book, which appears on the jacket cover, reads:

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

With his own words, McMaster damns himself as a threat to our national security.  McMaster is correct that “understanding terrorist ideology is the first and may also be the most important step in ensuring national and international security.”  What he misses is that there is no such thing as “terrorist ideology” – we are facing jihadi ideology, deeply embedded in traditional Islam.  Our enemies are not the undereducated and irreligious; they are radicalized Muslims.

We need Steve Bannon to be fighting for us, because McMaster is not alone in promoting Obama operatives in positions of power and authority in defiance of Trump’s objectives.  At Defense, we had General Mattis wanting to bring in as his top adviser at the Pentagon, Anne Patterson, Obama’s ambassador to Egypt, an infamous promoter of the Muslim Brotherhood and the “least popular American in all of  Egypt.”

At the State Department, Tillerson has promoted the beautiful Sahar Nowrouzzadeh to be in charge of our Iran and Persian Gulf region, a woman who worked for a mullah front group, then helped Obama craft our sell-out to Iran:

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

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

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

Nowrouzzadeh has old familiar Obama faces around her.

The Trump team has selected Brett McGurk[.] … McGurk was the point man on (Obama’s) pro-Iran policy, famously arranging for Iran to get $400 million in cash delivered on wooden pallets to the IRGC in exchange for American hostages[.] … Remember when the Trump administration promised to make public the secret agreements that Obama made with Iran? McGurk signed some of the secret documents[.] … Notably, none of those documents has actually been made public.

Who short-listed the soft-on-jihad McMaster for Trump to pick as Flynn’s replacement as top national security adviser?

Why has Sec. of State Tillerson kept on and promoted Obama’s pro-mullah Iran specialist to lead our Iran policy?

Why did Sec. of Defense Mattis push hard to hire Anne Patterson, “the Muslim Brotherhood’s greatest ally in Egypt,” who carried out Obama’s project to push out our ally, Mubarak, and put the jihadi Brotherhood in power?

Lee Smith at The Tablet calls the Trump team “Obama’s Foreign Policy Wizards”:

What’s really bizarre is that the Trump team keeps blaming damaging leaks to the press on Obama holdovers – when the Trump team is hiring Obama holdovers. They may have caught Anne Patterson before she got past the velvet rope, but Obama people staff key positions elsewhere, on Israel, Iran, ISIS, and Syria issues. Which makes sense, since the policies they are tasked with carrying out are so far exactly the same as they were under Obama.

Whoever queued up these disasters does not deserve Trump’s trust.

That McMaster as Trump’s head of the NSC won’t say the words “radical Islamic terrorism” is disqualifying.  This betrays every campaign speech President Trump ever made.

Trump says he’ll drain the swamp.  His own appointees and Cabinet members are filling it up with Obama loyalists.

Hat tip: powerlineblog.com, frontpagemag.com