Archive for the ‘Donald Trump and Islamist terror’ category

Trump’s Iran Decision Is Already Paying Off

May 15, 2018

By Brandon J. Weichert| May 14th, 2018 American Greatness

Source Link: Trump’s Iran Decision Is Already Paying Off

{Iran is no match for DJT’s four dimensional chess strategy. – LS}

The Iran deal has been killed. With it, Iran’s grand designs for regional hegemony are badly wounded.

President Trump’s decision last week to withdraw from the deal comes at a time when the Iranian economy is suffering the effects of a decades’ long decline. After the Obama Administration secured its ill-advised executive agreement with Iran over the mullahs’ nuclear weapons program, the United States gifted Tehran with with pallets of American cash and cleared the way for European multinationals to gobble up all sorts of lucrative business deals with Iranian state-owned enterprises. That breathed new life into the sclerotic theocracy.

U.S. policy until now has favored Iran, whether intentionally or not. The Iraq War of 2003 removed Iran’s chief rival in the region, allowing Tehran to expand its influence across the Middle East into the Levant and practically on to Israel’s doorstep, sowing all sorts of chaos along the way. With Obama’s legacy-seeking 2015 agreement, the pariah state suddenly had legitimacy in the international community, as well as a legal path toward acquiring nuclear weapons within the decade.

Ending the Iran deal proves that the president is committed to strengthening traditional alliances, as it shows how dangerous the Obama Administration’s feckless gambit was to begin with.

The Iran deal didn’t effect a fundamental transformation in Iran or make sane democrats out of mad mullahs. All it did was paper over the real differences between the West and Iran while giving the regime the time it needed to gather its strength, while the United States lowered its guard.

In the week since Trump made his announcement, Iran’s parliament chanted “death to America!” while incinerating an American flag, and Iran’s proxies launched 20 missiles into Israel from Syria. What’s more, the mullahs are vowing to restart their illicit nuclear program at “industrial strength”—as if they actually ever discontinued it. And they’ve reiterated their commitment promote Islamic terror groups around the world.

None of this is President Trump’s fault. The Iranians have been doing these things for decades. Now, they’ve been called out and they’re having an epic geopolitical temper tantrum.

Nevertheless, Trump’s detractors contend that his decision to withdraw from the deal undermines the United States diplomatically. They take for granted that Iran’s participation in the deal represented a legitimate pathway to peaceful integration in the global economy. Thanks to President Trump’s decision, some “experts” claim, we have now ensured that Iran will charge headlong into its destabilization strategy for the Middle East—and they will do it sooner rather than later.

Never mind that Iran never stopped backing Hezbollah in Lebanon. Never mind that Iran has been funding and arming the Islamist insurgents who regularly lob missiles from Yemen into Saudi Arabia. And never mind that Iranian armed forces—including the elite Quds Force—have operated more or less unchecked in Syria, Iraq, and western Afghanistan. Boosters of the Iran deal would ignore all of that for a worthless agreement and an illusion of “peace.”

Sometimes diplomacy works well. But diplomacy without the implicit backing of force—or, worse, mealy-mouthed diplomacy—negates any benefit a negotiated settlement may have.

This is especially true with rogue states, such as Iran and North Korea. Just days after Trump withdrew from the deal, Israel hit the bulk of known Iranian military bases in Syria. How did Iran’s ally Russia respond? By announcing its forces in the region would not interfere with Israeli military operations directed against Iranian targets in Syria.

More strangely, the religious blood feud between the Persian Shiites of Iran and the Arab Sunnis of Saudi Arabia has made the Saudis (and the other Sunni Arab states) look at Israel as a regional ally. Obama inexplicably opened the door for Iran to invade the Middle East. Trump has closed it. And, rather than the United States standing as the only force in the way of Iranian revanchism, an unlikely (and powerful) coalition of Sunni Arab states, Israel, and Russia have effectively joined with America in stuffing Iran back into its proverbial box.

None of this would have happened had the United States remained a party to Obama’s awful deal.

It is likely that tensions, as well as hostile actions involving Iran and its neighbors, will continue—and possibly intensify—over the next year. Even so, the termination of the deal will likely ensure that the Iranian threat dissipates quickly, as they are deprived of economic opportunity. Trump didn’t just kill the Iran deal. He very likely prevented the possibility of a long-term, costly nuclear confrontation between the Sunni Arabs, the United States, and Israel on one side, and Iran and Russia on the other.

A new balance of power is being rekindled that will isolate Iran, secure America’s allies, ensure America’s strategic dominance in the region, and respect Russia’s interests as well—all of which lends itself far more to regional stability and world peace than any ill-conceived giveaway to Iran could.

Peters: Obama Can ‘Never Admit He’s Wrong About Anything’

November 30, 2016

Peters: Obama Can ‘Never Admit He’s Wrong About Anything’, Washington Free Beacon, Charlie Hoffmann, November 30, 2016

(Please see also, Dr. Jasser joins Your World discussing ideological vetting that must occur in wake of OSU attacks. — DM)

Retired Lt. Col. Ralph Peters chastised President Obama on Wednesday for his handling of Islamic terrorism while discussing the recent terrorist attack at Ohio State University during a Fox News appearance.

Host Martha MacCallum referenced President-elect Donald Trump’s tweet in response to the attack and compared it to the responses President Obama has given to past terrorist acts.

 

ISIS is taking credit for the terrible stabbing attack at Ohio State University by a Somali refugee who should not have been in our country.

 “President Obama can never admit he’s wrong about anything ever, and he’s obviously wrong about ISIS and Islamist terrorism in general,” Peters said. “One thing I have high hopes for with the incoming administration is we will put a lot of this political correctness behind us.”

Peters then said certain communities of immigrants should have more surveillance because of their inability and unwillingness to integrate into American society.

“They concentrate, they refuse to integrate, and this political correctness has resulted in of all states, Minnesota becoming the per capita greatest exporter of recruits for ISIS in the United States,” Peters said in reference to the large Somali immigrant population in Minnesota.

Citing the practice of some Somalis practicing female genital mutilation, Peters told MacCallum that he does not view this as a religious or racial issue but instead as a cultural one.

“One point I want to stress, because I don’t want it to get lost in all this” Not all Muslims are terrorists,” Peters said. “So we have to focus on the troublesome groups. We don’t want to pay the same amount of attention to Iranian Americans who serve in our military.”

Peters then expressed hope that the new Trump administration would get America’s immigration system in order to prevent further lone wolf terrorists attacks from occurring.

Rhode Island: Providence mayor issues exec order to create sharia advisory board

November 25, 2016

Rhode Island: Providence mayor issues exec order to create sharia advisory board, Creeping Sharia, November 25, 2016

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Source: Providence mayor creates panel to protect Muslim Americans | WPRI 12 Eyewitness News

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza has signed an executive order that he says is aimed at better protecting Muslim-American residents from discrimination.

The order, signed by the mayor Tuesday, establishes a new Muslim-American Advisory Board. The five-member volunteer panel will advise Elorza on policies that affect Muslim Americans in an effort to reinforce the city’s founding principles of religious freedom, Elorza said.

Elorza said the decision to establish the board came in response to Donald Trump’s election as president. During his campaign, the president-elect made mention of a ban on Muslim immigration and implementing a Muslim registry.


For the real story, read: The Muslim Registry That Never Was


Trump and his aides have since walked back some of those comments, now saying he is focused on stronger vetting for immigrants from terror-prone nations. He recently appointed a National Security Adviser, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn from Rhode Island, who has made controversial remarks against Islam. Elorza said he wants to ensure that Muslim Americans in Providence will be protected, regardless of what happens on the federal level.

“We’ve heard a lot, not only from the president-elect, but also from the folks that surround him, that really worry us and frankly, really frighten us,” the mayor said. “So that’s why it’s more important than ever that we come together at the local level.”

Monsurat Ottun, a Muslim-American Pawtucket resident, said Trump’s comments have caused concern in the local community. “Everyone is afraid,” Ottun said, adding that women who wear a hijab, or head covering, are particularly concerned because they are easily identifiable as Muslim by their attire. “It’s unfortunate that I’ve lived in this country my entire life, and I’ve never felt afraid like I do now.”

“I constantly have to watch my back everywhere I go,” she said.

Imam Mufti Ikram from the Masjid Al-Islam mosque in North Smithfield said he feels reassured by the mayor’s executive order, and hopes it sets an example for other cities.

“The cities across the nation are going to see a light, a hope for a community that is being bullied, that is being harassed by a lot of people,” Ikram said.

Another Imam, Muyideen Ibiyemi of the Muslim Community Center of Rhode Island, said his daughter was afraid to wear her hijab to school after the election. But he said there has also been a glimmer of hope; someone dropped off an anonymous card at MCCRI that read, “we are with you.”

Elorza’s order states that the panel was also created due to the “rash of hate crimes targeting minorities,” citing a statistic from the FBI that hate crimes against Muslims have increased nationwide by 67 percent since 2014.

Providence Police Maj. Oscar Perez vowed to enforce the law if hate crimes are perpetrated against Muslims in Providence.

“I want them to know that we support them,” Perez said. “If anybody decides to discriminate against anybody in the city…the city will prosecute to the extent of the law.”  A spokesperson for Providence Police said she hadn’t heard of any specific reports of local crimes against Muslims since the election.

The board will meet no less than twice a year and members will serve two-year terms. Elorza’s office said anyone interested in serving “should send a cover letter expressing interest and experience as well as a copy of their resume to mayor@providenceri.gov for review.”

This is the second announcement Elorza has made in anticipation of President-elect Trump’s administration. Last week, Elorza vowed to continue the city’s current policy of not referring undocumented immigrants who are not facing criminal charges to federal immigration officials. Elorza said he’ll make one announcement or hold one gathering each week to reinforce support for various groups in Providence before Inauguration Day.


Another Islamo-pandering, sanctuary city mayor who should be in jail for failing to uphold his oath of office.

Hugh Fitzgerald: Arsalan Iftikhar and Trump’s Reign of Terror

November 17, 2016

Hugh Fitzgerald: Arsalan Iftikhar and Trump’s Reign of Terror, Jihad Watch, November 17, 2016

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The Muslim hysteria is upon us. I don’t mean hysteria about Muslims, for none is discernible; rather, it is the hysteria of Muslims, or many of them, their expressions of supposed terror – in the newspapers, the airwaves, and the Internet — over what a President Trump will do. These reports of “terrified” Muslims are appearing all over the place, short on facts but long on fear. For what exactly has Trump said or done to strike such putative terror? He’s suggested that the vetting of Muslim migrants leaves a lot to be desired. Given how many Muslims have been admitted to the United States in how short a time, and given that our government has been a positive hindrance to those of its agents who would like to find out more about the ideology of Islam, and given, too, how hard it has been to read the minds of Muslim migrants, at least some of whom we have good reason to believe (see New York, Washington, Fort Hood, Boston, Chattanooga, Orlando, San Bernardino, or outside this country, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, London, Madrid, Moscow) may be intent on sowing murder and mayhem among the Infidels, doesn’t Trump; have a point? On December 7, 2015 (for Muslims, a date which will apparently live in Trump-infamy), Donald Trump called “for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what the hell is going on.” This was apparently beyond the pale, as “ far-right” or as “white nationalist” (the newly-fashionable term of opprobrium for anyone who voted for Trump) as all get-out.

Was it really? What exactly had Trump called for? It had not escaped Trump’s notice that since 9/11/2001 there have been nearly 30,000 terrorist attacks by Muslims around the world, and that quite a few of those terrorists have the habit of quoting from the Qur’an and Hadith to justify those attacks, while others remain quiet about their plans; officially, we in the Western world (see Tony Blair, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Pope Francis, Angela Merkel) are all encouraged to believe that these attacks “have nothing to do with Islam.” But res ipsa loquitur, as the lawyers like to say, the thing speaks for itself. Confusion is piled upon confusion when it comes to Islam. And since many people seem still to be unfamiliar with what is in the Qur’an and Hadith, and many in the American government, as elsewhere in the West, are fearful of offending Muslims by suggesting there might be something in those texts to worry about (which is why Robert Spencer found himself a pedagogue non grata as far as those now running the Homeland Security industry were concerned, when he insisted on reading the texts rightly), so it was perfectly sensible for Trump to say that in these matters the government has a duty to “figure out what the hell is going on” before even more Muslims are admitted, given the life-and-death stakes. There is nothing outrageous about that. Just because so many others have been derelict in their duty is no reason for Trump to score easy points by following suit.

One example, among so many, of hysterical fear-mongering is provided by Arsalan Iftikhar, a Muslim “international human rights lawyer,” who the day after the election was quick off the mark with a piece in the Washington Post that appeared under the scare headlineBeing a Muslim in Trump’s America is frightening.”

Now I haven’t – have you? — noticed any round-up of Muslims en masse, heard about any raids on mosques and madrasas, or gestapo-knocks in the night at the homes of Muslim families. That’s right – more than a full week has gone by since the election, and yet nowhere in this country has a single Muslim been subject to a single raid. In France on July 16, two hundred mosques were raided. A few days ago, there were nearly 200 raids on mosques, offices, and homes of Muslims, in Germany. But in the United States since the terrifying Trump was elected? Nothing at all, and not the slightest suggestion of similar raids to come once Trump is actually sworn in. The only “terrifying” thing since Trump’s election has been this unending series of articles telling us that we have a positive duty to rally around Muslims, give them moral and other kinds of support, lest they feel any anxiety about their position in American society, for that would never do. And if non-Muslims for some reason feel anxiety? Well, they have it coming to them.

The “terrified” Arsalan Iftikhar, having been hounded into appearing in The Washington Post (try getting into The Washington Post if you are the least detectable bit unsympathetic to Islam and its adherents) offers a piece that is instructive, though not in the way that he imagines.

Here’s his first sentence:

In the seismic aftermath of the 2016 presidential election, there is only silver lining [sic] for millions of women, African Americans, Hispanics, people with disabilities and 7 million American Muslims like me. Now, every minority demographic group in the United States must now feel a sense of collective urgency to mobilize together for the future of our multicultural society based on what we witnessed during this presidential election.

The first thing to notice is that he starts his piece with a Big Lie casually tossed off. He inflates – more than doubles – the number of Muslims in the United States, from the 3.3 million in the latest Pew Report to “7 million American Muslims like me.” Iftikhar doesn’t justify this number, doesn’t explain why it should be accepted instead of the numbers in the Pew Report. Where did he get this figure of 7 million Muslims? He plucked it from the air, he made it up. He wants you to believe that there are more than twice as many Muslims in this country than any reputable compiler of statistics has suggested; by next year, you may see Iftikhar suggest, with the same casual authority, a figure of 7.5 or even 8 million Muslims. Muslim numbers must be inflated; the more numerous they are, the more politically powerful they will be. Of course, at the same time, Muslims are being depicted as a persecuted and powerless minority. Iftikhar, like so many Defenders of the Faith, wants it both ways.

In the same first paragraph, Iftikhar attempts to convince us that there is a commonality of interest between Muslims and every other group whom he thinks Trump has insulted. So he wants “millions of women, African Americans, Hispanics, people with disabilities” to make common cause with “Muslims like me.”

But a moment’s thought would make any fair-minded person realize that it is bizarre to think that men who adhere to the relentlessly misogynistic faith of Islam and “millions of women” can “make common cause.” Why do I call it “relentlessly misogynistic”? According to the Sharia, Muslim women can inherit half as much as men (Qur’an 4:11); their testimony is worth half that of a man (2:282); polygamy is licit (Muhammad, the Perfect Man, allowed himself twelve or fourteen wives, depending on whether or not one sex slave is counted as a wife) and so are female slaves, “those whom your right hand possesses”; a Muslim man is allowed to beat his disobedient wife, though “lightly”; a Muslim man need only pronounce the triple-talaq to divorce his wife; and women are described in the Qur’an as inferior to men, for “the men are a degree above them” (2:228); and in the Sahih Bukhari (6:301) “[Muhammad] said, ‘Is not the evidence of two women equal to the witness of one man? They replied in the affirmative. He said, ‘This [is because of] the deficiency in her intelligence.

And why should those lumped together as “Latinos” – almost all of them Christians – decide to make “common cause” with Muslims, who regard themselves as the “best of peoples” and Christians and Jews as the “vilest of creatures”? Hasn’t the unending spectacle of Christians being attacked and murdered in Pakistan and Afghanistan, in Egypt and Nigeria, in Iraq and Syria, in Libya and Algeria, in Lebanon and Saudi Arabia, in Bangladesh and Kosovo, and Ethiopia and the Sudan, done enough to dissuade Latinos from being manipulated into supporting Muslims on the basis of a factitious commonality of interests? Any “Latino” — a word one uses with many reservations — need spend only a few minutes scrolling through the record of Muslim attacks on Christians in recent years, in several dozen countries all over the world, to see what’s so sinister about Iftikhar’s proposed alliance. And what contempt he must have for those whom he thinks will forever remain unaware of that record.

As for African-Americans, what common cause should they make with Muslims when black African Christians are being kidnapped and killed by Boko Haram in Nigeria, as they had previously been killed before the days of Boko Haram, since the late 1960s, with more than a million massacred in the “jihad” (the word used by Colonel Ojukwu in the Ahiara Declaration to describe the Muslim war on Christians), that is, the Biafra War of 1967-69? What common cause should African-Americans make with those Muslim Arabs who raped, looted, and murdered their way through the villages of black African Christians in the southern Sudan, for more than 20 years, until international pressure finally led to the creation of a separate Republic of Southern Sudan? Will African-Americans forget that Nasser sent Egyptian Migs to bomb Nigerian Christian villages? And will they overlook Darfur, where Muslim Arab raiders, the Janjaweed, seized property from black Africans, and killed them by the tens of thousands, even if they were fellow Muslims, because they were black Africans and not Arabs? Arsalan Iftikhar chooses not to recognize that not only are Muslims “the best of peoples” and Unbelievers the “vilest of creatures” but that within Islam, Arabs are seen as superior to non-Arabs; this “universalist” faith actually is a vehicle for Arab supremacism. Hence the attacks of Muslim Arabs on Muslim blacks in Darfur. The attempt of Muslims, including Arsalan Iftikhar, to presume that others should be their natural allies overlooks the ideology of Islam, where Muslims are the “best of peoples” and Arab Muslims the best kind of Muslim.

Iftikhar again:

In addition to his blatant misogyny and anti-immigrant xenophobia during his presidential campaign, we have also seen Donald Trump’s political campaign successfully normalize Islamophobia as part of the current national Republican Party platform as it exists today.

As to “blatant misogyny,” please see above the discussion of how women are regarded and treated in Islam, and compare that institutionalized misogyny, which is fixed forever in the Qur’an and Hadith, with an unseemly handful of sentences expressing individual bad taste and locker-room bragging.

Has Trump exhibited “anti-immigrant xenophobia”? Has he expressed hatred of foreigners? He has not. Or opposition to legal immigrants? He has not. Again and again he has distinguished illegal immigrants from legal ones, has merely maintained that he thinks the laws concerning immigration deserve to be obeyed, that every country has a right to decide whom it wants to allow in (immigration is not, pace Pope Francis, a right but a privilege) and to bar or expel those who refuse to observe the laws put in place to regulate immigration.

As for Arsalan Iftikhar’s predictable charge of “Islamophobia,” the correct response to this remains always the same: the word “Islamophobia” properly describes the irrational fear (and hatred) of Islam. There is plenty of evidence – in the Qur’an and Hadith, in the history of Muslim conquest over the past 1400 years of many non-Muslim lands and the subsequent subjugation of many non-Muslim peoples, and in the observable behavior of Muslims toward non-Muslims all over the world today — that fear (and hatred) of Islam is not irrational for well-informed Unbelievers to feel. All this evidence is being downplayed or ignored in the Western world by the political and media elites who keep insisting that there is nothing about Islam to worry about, and in the countries of the West, political and media elites have convinced themselves that whatever problem may arise is merely a justified Muslim response to, and resentment of, how they are treated in the West, and the more understanding and welcoming we Unbelievers are, the more all manner of things shall be well. It’s up to us, not to Muslims, to solve whatever problems arise. And no one asks the simple question: Why? Why should the Western world have to accommodate Muslim demands, change its laws and customs in order, it is forlornly hoped, to better “integrate” Muslims?

The possibility that there are problems with a large-scale Muslim presence not just in “Trump’s America” but in Hollande’s France, and Merkel’s Germany, and May’s United Kingdom, and that those problems are not susceptible of solution, given that they have their origin in the Qur’an, which is regarded by Muslims as immutable, and which clearly teaches permanent hostility toward all non-Muslims, is too disturbing for many non-Muslims to allow themselves to acknowledge. So they don’t, and instead allow the arsalan-iftikhars to peddle their taqiyya wares of victimization without fear of refutation.

Here’s what Iftikhar reports as an example of what he considers a nasty little response by Trump:

In a rare display of journalistic pushback, after Trump once confirmed to reporters that he would set up a database for Muslim Americans, an NBC News reporter asked him point-blank in response:

“Is there a difference between requiring Muslims to register and Jews in Nazi Germany?”

“You tell me,” Trump replied while walking away.

Iftikhar thinks the meaning of this exchange is obvious: Trump, embarrassed by the reporter’s piercing question, which pointed up a supposed similarity between Trump’s plan for having a database for Muslims, and the registration of Jews in Nazi Germany, did not know how to reply, and could do no better than “you tell me” and – presumably mortified at having of the similarity of his plan and that of the Nazis pointed out – then walked away.

I read this exchange quite differently. I read it as Trump being so disgusted by the comparison that he did not think it deserved anything more than being turned back against its asker. His “you tell me” meant “you tell me what similarity could there possibly be between the ‘database’ that might be set up to identify those Muslims most likely to engage in terrorist attacks and the registration the Nazis required of Jews in order to better round them up to be killed.” What kind of idiocy must someone possess to suggest that proposals for keeping track of Muslims in the West by means of “databases” (already being used by the anti-terrorist police in Europe), which presumably would contain such obviously relevant information such as whether the subject logs onto Islamic websites, or has travelled to IS-held parts of Syria, Iraq, or Yemen, or spent a lot of time at a mosque that is known for the dangerous views of its imam, given that there have been nearly 30,000 terrorist attacks by Muslims around the world since 9/11/2001, have anything in common with the Nazis forcing entirely inoffensive Jews, who were no threat to anybody, to register with German authorities so that they could be more easily seized and, as ultimately happened, murdered? A database designed to prevent mass murder is very different from a database intended to facilitate mass murder. Far from being, as Arsalan Iftikhar thinks, horrific, Trump’s answer was one of his finest moments, because, he knew, only one decent reply was possible: “You tell me.” What Arsalan Iftikhar describes as admirable “journalistic pushback” was, in fact, an example of moral myopia. I’m not sure there’s a prescription strong enough to correct that level of impairment.

Meanwhile, we can all wait for the Reign of Trump Terror to begin, with the knocks at midnight, and the sound of mechanized tumbrils rolling, and for America to become – why, it’s halfway there already, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, mein damen und herren – the new Nazi Germany, and Muslims will be, why, according to them they already are, the new Jews, and what will we tell our children we did in this time of testing? Did we stand with the brave truth-teller Arsalan Iftikhar or with the likes of Donald Trump?

Unsolicited Advice for the Trump Transition Team on National Security Intelligence

November 10, 2016

Unsolicited Advice for the Trump Transition Team on National Security Intelligence, PJ Media, Andrew C. McCarthy, November 10, 2016

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It was encouraging Wednesday to hear that President Obama intends to emulate President Bush, who generously provided Obama with a highly informative and smooth transition process.

Running the Executive Branch is a daunting task, so there is no aspect of the transition to a new administration that is unimportant. But obviously, the most crucial focus for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who is heading up President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team, must be national security.

That transition is going to be more complicated than it should be, but there are things Gov. Christie can do – better to say, people he ought to consult — to make sure his team is getting accurate information.

The Bush National Security Council was very good about putting together briefing books so their successors could hit the ground running. The problem now, however, is the trustworthiness of what is in those books.

As PJ Media has reported, a highly disturbing report by a congressional task force this summer found that the Obama administration had politicized its intelligence product.

Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS), who has been stellar on national security issues and was among the leaders of the task force (comprised of the Intelligence, Armed Services, and Appropriations Committees), put it this way when the report was issued:

After months of investigation, this much is very clear: from the middle of 2014 to the middle of 2015, the United States Central Command’s most senior intelligence leaders manipulated the command’s intelligence products to downplay the threat from ISIS in Iraq.The result: consumers of those intelligence products were provided a consistently “rosy” view of U.S. operational success against ISIS. That may well have resulted in putting American troops at risk as policymakers relied on this intelligence when formulating policy and allocating resources for the fight.

The intelligence manipulation became a controversy in 2015, when 50 intelligence-community whistleblowers complained that their reports on the Islamic State and al-Qaeda terror networks were being altered.

The manipulation, driven by Obama’s Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) and carried out in the Defense Department by senior Central Command (CENTCOM) officers, aimed to downplay the jihadist threat.

This is a reckless practice I have written about several times over the last eight years (see, e.g., here). The Obama administration has made a concerted effort to miniaturize the terrorist threat in order to project a mirage of policy success.

Intelligence has routinely been distorted — portraying the networks as atomized, largely detached cells that are not unified by any overarching ideology — in an attempt to make them appear smaller and less threatening. Basically, a nuisance to be managed rather than an enemy to be defeated.

Even when the terrorists are on the march, the administration claims they are in retreat. Indeed, less than 24 hours after four Americans, including our ambassador to Libya, were killed by al-Qaeda-affiliated jihadists in the 2012 siege of Benghazi, President Obama stated this in a political fundraising speech:

A day after 9/11, we are reminded that a new tower rises above the New York skyline, but al-Qaeda is on the path to defeat and bin Laden is dead.

Intel manipulation ran rampant after Obama fired Marine General James Mattis, CENTCOM’s commander, in 2013. General Mattis had the irksome habits of demanding clear-eyed assessments of America’s enemies and forcing administration policymakers to confront the potential consequences of their ludicrously optimistic assumptions, particularly regarding Iran’s behavior. Obama officials replaced him with Army General Lloyd Austin.

Meanwhile, it was made clear to the Pentagon that because the president made campaign commitments to end the U.S. mission in Iraq, he did not want to hear information contradictory to his narrative that withdrawing our forces was the right thing to do. After retiring, Army General Anthony Tata confirmed that an ODNI official instructed the Defense Department not to put in writing assessments that portrayed al-Qaeda and ISIS as fortified and threatening.

The result, of course, was that the president was told what wanted to hear.

This eventually led to Obama’s infamous assertion that ISIS was merely a “JV” terrorist team. Naturally, when the JV team rampaging through Iraq and Syria rendered that judgment embarrassing, the White House shifted the blame to General Austin, pushing him out the CENTCOM door.

The administration has done more to sculpt the narrative than quell the enemy. So Gov. Christie and his team will need to regard with skepticism any briefing books Obama’s transition coordinators supply.

Of course, Team Trump already has a tremendous resource to rely on: retired Army General Michael Flynn, the former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency (and the author, along with PJ Media columnist Michael Ledeen, of The Field of Fight, which pleads for a desperately needed strategy for fighting the global war against jihadists and their allies). Like General Mattis, General Flynn (in 2014) was pushed out of his job because he rejected the politicization of our intelligence product for purposes of low-balling the terrorist threat. He knows his stuff, knows what we are up against, and will be a major asset not only to the transition, but to the Trump administration.

I would also respectfully suggest that Gov. Christie consult with General Mattis and General Jack Keane: smart, experienced former commanders who have given a great deal of thought to, and sound advice to Congress regarding, the current administration’s strategic and intelligence voids.

In understanding global jihadist networks — who the players are, how the organizations collude and compete — Tom Joscelyn, editor of The Long War Journal, is the best expert in the United States, bar none. While his value would be limitless, Tom is especially knowledgeable about the jihadists released from Guantanamo Bay, many of whom have gone back to the jihad.

Yet again, this is a context in which briefings from the Obama administration would be suspect. The president adheres to another narrative driven by foolish campaign promises, namely: the cost of Gitmo as a “recruiting tool” for the enemy outweighs the benefit of detaining committed, capable, anti-American jihadists. To justify both this absurd premise and the release of the terrorists, the administration watered down intelligence that supported holding the terrorists as enemy combatants who posed continuing danger to the United States.

The new administration needs accurate information for purposes of grasping the threat and formulating sound detention policy.

Finally, it is vital to understand “Countering Violent Extremism,” the Obama administration’s strategic guidance — their playbook for military, intelligence, and law-enforcement officials on how to approach and respond to terrorism. CVE is where the dereliction that I have labeled “willful blindness” has devolved into compulsory blindness.

Under CVE guidelines, the fact that Islamic-supremacist ideology spurs the jihadist threat and knits together terrorists and their sponsors is no longer just consciously avoided; taking notice of it is verboten.

The most thoroughgoing critique of this lunacy is Catastrophic Failure: Blindfolding America in the Face of Jihad. Its author is Stephen Coughlin, a trained military intelligence officer and an attorney who has made a point of learning how Islamic law principles inform the goals and tactics of our enemies. Steve is extraordinarily informed about the administration’s wayward assumptions. If the Trump transition team wants to check the premises on which their work is based, he’s the guy.

Let’s welcome President Obama’s assurances of a seamless transition to the Trump administration. But my best unsolicited advice to Gov. Christie: When it comes to briefing books, don’t believe everything you read.

The People — and No One Else — Have Spoken

November 9, 2016

The People — and No One Else — Have Spoken, PJ MediaRobert Spencer, November 9, 2016

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The establishment media and the political elites are reeling, and we have every reason to believe they will never recover.

Considering the massive coalition Donald Trump and his movement had to fight against, it may truly be said that the people — the people alone — have spoken more clearly than they have at any time in recent memory.

Against the always shrill, often hysterical opposition of the establishment media and the leaders of both the Democratic and the Republican parties, the American people have made it clear: they’re tired of politics as usual. It is time indeed to drain the swamp.

Trump’s victory shows that the hegemony of the globalists, the internationalists who have held sway in Europe and North America for decades, is decisively weakening. The Brexit vote in the UK and both the Trump candidacy and his victory show that huge numbers of people on both sides of the Atlantic are fed up with lies, hypocrisy, and self-serving corruption. The free world is fed up with the suicidal policies of the political elites, and their bought-and-paid-for mouthpieces among what are supposed to be objective news outlets.

Not that those elites are going quietly into the night. The upset win, they say, is proof of America’s deep-seated “racism” and “xenophobia.” It’s a sign that Americans are misogynistic, unwilling to countenance a female president and all too forgiving of Trump’s tasteless locker room bluster.

This is the line they took throughout the campaign. Few who opposed Trump — either among the Democrats or among the neo-mugwump NeverTrump faction — ever grasped what made him popular in the first place. They still (still!) have no idea what enabled this man, who had never been a politician and had all sorts of negatives regarding his personal behavior, to defeat sixteen Republican challengers, including several movement conservatives, and then to defeat the Clinton machine.

Trump’s success isn’t a sign that America is “racist.” It’s a sign that significant numbers of Americans want the United States to survive as a free nation. Among all those who excoriated Trump for his proposed temporary moratorium on Muslim immigration never addressed why he actually made the suggestion: not because of their lazy charge of “xenophobia,” but because of the real, rational concern that jihad terrorists will enter the United States among peaceful refugees.

The Islamic State has vowed to embed jihadis among the refugees; refugees were among the jihadis who murdered 130 people in Paris in November 2015.

No one who opposed Trump’s proposal ever offered an alternative way to keep jihadis out of the country. (Of course, the problem of those who learn jihad inside the U.S. is also acute, and must be addressed). Some glibly opined that Trump should ban “Islamists,” not Muslims as a whole, yet never suggested a reliable way to distinguish “Islamists” from ordinary Muslims. Indeed, the Islamic State has instructed its operatives to appear secular — to avoid ostentatious displays of Islamic piety that might arouse suspicions of “radicalization.”

Hillary Clinton promised that the refugees would be “vetted,” but in light of her refusal to acknowledge the Islamic doctrinal roots of Islamic jihad terrorism, it was unclear how she proposed to do this. How could U.S. officials vet for an ideology that they don’t admit exists? Tashfeen Malik, the Islamic jihadist who, along with her husband Syed Rizwan Farook, murdered fifteen people at a Christmas party in San Bernardino last December, showed how effective this “vetting” is: she had passed five separate background checks from five different U.S. agencies.

A majority of the American people saw through the same-old, same-old hollowness of Clinton’s proposals, and opted for a real choice, not an echo.

As Donald Trump begins his presidency, we may only hope that he continues his stinging critique of the political and media elites, and that he never surrenders to their inevitable attempts to regain power. They are the ones who have gotten us into this fix. It’s time for new faces with the courage and the will to do what it takes to get us out of it.

 

Liberals Wanted to Talk about Islamophobia at the Debate, but the Real Problem is Terrorism

October 10, 2016

Liberals Wanted to Talk about Islamophobia at the Debate, but the Real Problem is Terrorism, Conservative Review,  Nate Madden, October 10, 2016

distraction-signs

Amid the tawdry, ad hominem cacophony that was the second presidential debate at Washington University in St. Louis, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were forced to contend with the implications of a supposed “rise in Islamophobia.” However, a quick look at the facts show that the question and implication really need some context.

Sunday night’s debate was, as expected, laden with pro-Clinton bias from moderators Anderson Cooper and Martha Raddatz. However, several of the questions submitted by the randomly-selected panel of undecided voters on the stage also carried the hallmarks of prepared layups for the Democrat nominee.

One such topic in particular, asked by one of the attendees, Gorbah Hamed, put the candidates on the spot about how they would deal with “Islamophobia” as president (per the Washington Post):

There are 3.3 Muslims in the United States and I’m one of them. You’ve mentioned working with Muslim nations, but with Islamophobia on the rise, how will you help people like me deal with the consequences of being a threat to the country after the election is over?

To his credit, Trump bridged the question directly to recent terror attacks, and the importance of Muslims patrolling their own communities. Meanwhile, Clinton criticized Trump’s views on immigration from Muslim-majority nations while hypocritically espousing religious freedom for foreign nationals from those nations, despite her own deplorable positions on free exercise for anyone who disagrees with her views on marriage and abortion.

Furthermore, while Clinton made a very big point of agreeing with Trump’s premise that American Muslims need to be “part of our eyes and ears” on the front lines, and bragged about her work with Muslim groups in the U.S. and how she intends to use that experience to defeat ISIS. But she failed to differentiate how her approach to the Muslim community is going to differ from President Obama’s, whose analogous “countering violent extremism” program has already been found as a “catastrophic failure,” according to a recent report.

But I digress. While the issues of Middle Eastern immigration and jihadist terror in the 2016 election cycle have sparked a chorus of concern from the Left over so-called “Islamophobia,” the concerns ignore reality of how big a threat it actually is.

The question hearkens back to a few weeks ago when the Hamas-and-Muslim-Brotherhood-affiliated Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), said in the wake of a jihadist stabbing that they were afraid of the blowback from the attack.

“We are concerned about the potential for backlash,” CAIR’s Minnesota executive director Jaylani Hussein said, per NBCNews.com, following last month’s Minnesota mall stabbing. “[Muslims] are being made to suffer for [the terrorists’] acts. They are minorities in our faith. Islam is peace.”

Well, here’s the real story about that blowback.

According to FBI data, ACTUAL incidents of Islamophobia pale in comparison to incidents of anti-Semitism in the U.S. Numbers from December indicate that in the previous year saw, 1,140 victims of anti-religious hate crimes, and the rate of Jewish victims was nearly four times that of Muslim victims at a proportion of roughly 57 percent to 16 percent.

Even in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks — the deadliest Islamist attack in American history — 2002 data from the FBI shows that anti-Muslim hate crimes totaled a grand total 174 for the year. These are, of course, dwarfed when compared to the 1,084 cases committed against Jews, and the 237 committed against “other.”

And it doesn’t stop there: America’s college campuses have become seething hotbeds of anti-Jewish activity. Meanwhile, a report from February finds, attacks on free exercise of religion across the board have doubled in the waning years of the Obama administration.

There was no mention of how America’s Jewish population (with nary a notable terrorist attack attached to its name) is under increasing fire — and has been so for years. Furthermore, recent jihadist terror attacks in San Bernardino to Orlando to Manhattan have taken scores of American lives and have left all of our citizens, regardless of their religion, under siege.

Yet, the question that both candidates were forced to contend with is one that clearly targeted the Republican nominee’s focus on the security concerns that mass migration from Muslim-majority countries generates in relation to America’s national security.

When we look at this issue earnestly, the real threat to American Muslims from the specter of Islamophobia are far less than the threats faced by all Americans from the threat of global jihadism. They’re far less than what American Jews have to deal with both on and off the university campus. And they’re far less than what anyone who runs afoul of the government’s views on marriage, abortion, and contraception face on any given day.

Finally, when it comes to the havoc created by ISIS and other terror organizations that commit atrocities in the name of Allah, President Obama and company are quick to point out that most of the victims of jihadist violence around the world are Muslims themselves. But when it comes to the the same threat posed to those on our own soil, such concerns are nowhere to be found. Rather, they find themselves drowned out by those that worry about a so-called “Islamophobia” epidemic rather than the threat faced by every person in the civilized world, Muslims included, when they leave their homes every morning.

What exaggerated concerns about “Islamophobia” actually do, however, is dull, silence, and distract from the message of those who actually voice that there is indeed a centuries-old problem within Islam — that it creates legitimate security concerns, and that these realities have to be addressed in bold and earnest terms. Those terms might hurt someone’s feelings, after all.

In sum, the “Islamophobia” question was endemic of a host of concerns that the Left has thrown at anyone who dare raise questions about the Islamic nature of jihadist terrorism, or about the safety of the Obama administration’s immigration and refugee policies. However, in light of the numbers and the real security threats faced by Muslims and non-Muslims around the world, that the debates chose to focus on “Islamophobia” really ought to be put into context.