When Americans look around the world today, we see one crisis after another. Russian aggression in Ukraine, extremism and chaos in Iraq and Syria, a deadly epidemic in West Africa, escalating territorial tensions in the East and South China seas, a global economy that still isn’t producing enough growth or shared prosperity — the liberal international order that the United States has worked for generations to build and defend seems to be under pressure from every quarter. It’s no wonder so many Americans express uncertainty and even fear about our role and our future in the world.

In his new book, “World Order,” Henry Kissinger explains the historic scope of this challenge. His analysis, despite some differences over specific policies, largely fits with the broad strategy behind the Obama administration’s effort over the past six years to build a global architecture of security and cooperation for the 21st century.

During the Cold War, America’s bipartisan commitment to protecting and expanding a community of nations devoted to freedom, market economies and cooperation eventually proved successful for us and the world. Kissinger’s summary of that vision sounds pertinent today: “an inexorably expanding cooperative order of states observing common rules and norms, embracing liberal economic systems, forswearing territorial conquest, respecting national sovereignty, and adopting participatory and democratic systems of governance.”

This system, advanced by U.S. military and diplomatic power and our alliances with like-minded nations, helped us defeat fascism and communism and brought enormous benefits to Americans and billions of others. Nonetheless, many people around the world today — especially millions of young people — don’t know these success stories, so it becomes our responsibility to show as well as tell what American leadership looks like.
This is especially important at a time when many are wondering, as Kissinger puts it, “Are we facing a period in which forces beyond the restraints of any order determine the future?”

For me, this is a familiar question. When I walked into the State Department in January 2009, everyone knew that it was a time of dizzying changes, but no one could agree on what they all meant. Would the economic crisis bring new forms of cooperation or a return to protectionism and discord? Would new technologies do more to help citizens hold leaders accountable or to help dictators keep tabs on dissidents? Would rising powers such as China, India and Brazil become global problem-solvers or global spoilers? Would the emerging influence of non-state actors be defined more by the threats from terrorist networks and criminal cartels, or by the contributions of courageous NGOs? Would growing global interdependence bring a new sense of solidarity or new sources of strife?

Obama’s Go-To ‘Moderate Islamist’ His Appointment to a Department of Homeland Security Council Has Been Dropped. By Andrew C. McCarthy

On Monday, I had a follow-up to last week’s column on why members of the Obama administration and other transnational progressives deny that the Islamic State is Islamic — viz., because they want to ally with what they call “moderate Islamists.” If Americans grasp that “moderate Islamists” and violent jihadists share the same basic ideology, such an alliance becomes politically untenable.

Case in point: The curious tale of Mohamed Elibiary, the Obama administration’s go-to “moderate Islamist” for counterterrorism advice.

The “moderate Islamist” folly has both domestic and international components, and the Obama administration is far from alone in it. On the foreign-policy side of the equation, see David French’s excellent post on Monday highlighting how the administration (echoed by the GOP’s McCain wing) is again calling for the arming of the purportedly “moderate Syrian rebels” — and don’t miss continuing coverage of these U.S.-backed “moderates” as they collude with terrorists from al-Qaeda and the Islamic State. When that same strategy was applied in Libya, it gave us the Benghazi Massacre, contributed to the rise of the Islamic State, and left the country in jihadist clutches.

My Monday follow-up column dealt with the domestic side of our government’s “moderate Islamist” charade: the appearance last week of several administration officials with a number of their Islamist advisers — leaders of enterprises linked to the Muslim Brotherhood. These organizations and institutions continue to have Obama’s ear even though some were proved in court to have conspired in the Brotherhood’s conspiracy to provide material support to Hamas, its Palestinian terrorist branch, through a “charity” known as the Holy Land Foundation.

Now the Washington Free Beacon’s Adam Kredo reports on Mr. Elibiary, Obama’s appointee to the Department of Homeland Security’s Advisory Council . . . though not for long. The administration has quietly announced that Elibiary is about to be cashiered.

Obama and then–DHS secretary Janet Napolitano made Elibiary a key counterterrorism adviser even though he had been a regular contributor to the very Holy Land Foundation charity the Justice Department had prosecuted. The HLF, it turns out, was established by Elibiary’s longtime friend Shukri Abu Baker. The latter was among the defendants convicted of using the “charity” to finance Hamas — he is serving a 65-year sentence from the prosecution that Elibiary dismisses as Islamophobic persecution.


Why should any American trust Washington to get its ISIS strategy right in a hurry?

By all means, let’s destroy the Islamic State, but let’s talk about it first.

We are in a very strange place right now. President Obama is rushing into a war he doesn’t want to fight. He can barely bring himself to call it a war.

Obama didn’t merely ignore the threat of the Islamic State for the better part of a year, he ridiculed the notion the terror group was anything but a “jayvee team.” Now suddenly, he wants to go to war.

Sort of. The administration has struggled with the W-word. The president had to try several times to articulate a coherent position, working through terms like “degrade,” “destroy,” “manage,” etc. Last week, the secretary of state insisted that “war” wasn’t just the wrong term (he preferred “counterterrorism operation”), but it was wrong even to analogize this new military action to war. That’s pretty remarkable given the Democrats’ comfort with analogizing pretty much everything else to war. We are through the looking glass when it is okay to say that opposition to requiring elderly nuns to pay for birth control is part of a “war on women” but airstrikes and coordinated ground attacks by allied militias aren’t like a “war” on terrorists.

By the end of the week the administration had made a fragile peace with the word “war,” but it’s unclear whether Obama has made peace with war itself. According to a report by the New York Times’ Peter Baker, the president feels he’s being pushed into a war — or counterterror operation — on a timetable not of his choosing because of the sudden shift in public opinion in the wake of the beheadings of two Americans.

Obama reportedly said that if he had been “an adviser to ISIS,” he wouldn’t have killed the American hostages. Instead, he would have released them with a note pinned to their chests reading: “Stay out of here; this is none of your business.” If only the terrorists had done that, the president seemed to be saying, I wouldn’t be stuck with this mess.

While I’m not sure I want the commander-in-chief spending a lot of time thinking about how Islamic State can improve its PR strategy, he’s probably right. The president is defensive about criticism that he’s too cautious. “I do not make apologies for being careful in these areas, even if it doesn’t make for good theater.”

I’m unaware of anyone criticizing the president for being careful. He’s been criticized for being wrong, vacillating, and inconsistent. Regardless, if he feels this way, why is he rushing to war?


A somewhat intemperate Philadelphia Tweeter called Christopher Reynolds spent his breakfast time trying to catch my eye:

@DanHannanMEP@MarkSteynOnline Steyn,your libertarianism in the USA is a joke now that I see your really a no to freedom#YesScotland

And a few minutes later:

@MarkSteynOnline You cry liberty and freedom while at the same time rejecting the real-life implementation of such in Scotland#YesScotland

As far as I’m aware, I haven’t expressed an opinion on the referendum in Scotland, but, given that I’m spending most of this month in the British Isles (if anyone still calls them that), I might as well put in a word on the subject. Let us first dispense with Mr Reynolds’ endearingly deranged notion that Thursday’s big vote is anything to do with “libertarianism”. The Scottish people are being invited to decide whether their cradle-to-grave welfare state will be more flush as a semi-devolved entity dependent on subventions from Westminster or as a reborn Kingdom of Scotland dependent on subventions from the European Union. In such a political culture, there are no takers for “libertarianism”.

I certainly accept the right of the Scots to secede from the United Kingdom, as I accept the right of the southern Irish to secede from the United Kingdom in 1922, or Quebec to secede from Canada in 1995. I’m not sure there’s anything particularly “libertarian” about that. But, if Mr Reynolds believes otherwise, he might start with his own rights as a Pennsylvanian. As we have had cause to note glumly here before, the 1869 Supreme Court decision says America’s Union is “perpetual” and “indissoluble”, and therefore if Mr Reynolds and 99 per cent of his neighbors vote to secede, tough: They can’t. What Irish nationalists sought in 1922 and Scottish nationalists are seeking on Thursday is forbidden to Pennsylvania and New Hampshire.

Which is not necessarily an abstract consideration. When an identity is not ethnically or geographically defined, its fortunes can wax and wane. “Britishness” is presently on the wane, which is surprising only to David Cameron and the boobs he relied on for his pro-Union campaign. But, over on this side of the Atlantic, it’s not hard to foresee circumstances in which in portions of an ever broker, ever more centralized unitary America the idea of “Americanness” might wane, and the least dysfunctional states might pine for the same right as Slovenia, Slovakia, and East Timor: the right to go it alone. In 1897 Britishness looked like a permanent feature of the map. But it’s had a rough half-century, and mostly at the hands of the British state. For half-a-century, it has been associated with – and, indeed, taught to three generations of schoolchildren as principally responsible for – all the worst -isms in the dictionary: imperialism, colonialism, racism. You can understand the attraction to England’s Celtic fringe in casting off the unloveliness of Britishness and presenting oneself as the last victims of Anglo imperialism. As David McWilliams put it the other day in The Irish Independent:

When the Scottish become Scottish and not British they might even become as well-liked around the world as us.

Cuban Intelligence Targets Academia Posted By Humberto Fontova

“Academia has been and remains a key target of foreign intelligence services, including the [Cuban intelligence service],” says an FBI report from Sept. 2nd.

“One recruitment method used by the Cubans is to appeal to American leftists’ ideology. “For instance, someone who is allied with communist or leftist ideology may assist the [Cuban intelligence service] because of his/her personal beliefs.”

Not that any of the above should come as earth-shaking news to anyone who:

A: Attended a typical college and suffered through typical Liberal Arts courses.

B. Knows anything at all about the history of Cuban spying in the U.S.

Let’s face it: FBI agents tasked with ferreting out Cuban spies in the U.S face a daunting task. Just think of how many Liberal Arts college professors match the potential Cuban-spy profile—ideology-wise that is, competence at sleuth-work is a different matter.) Just how many Liberal Arts college professors actually eschew “leftist ideology?”

Indeed, of the most recently convicted Cuban spies–Ana Montes, Walter Kendall Meyers and Carlos and Elsa Alvarez, three were recruited by Castro’s agents from academia– John Hopkins, for Montes and Florida International University for the Alvarez couple.

Cuba’s Intelligence services “will actively exploit visitors to the island” continues the report. “Intelligence officers will come into contact with the academic travelers (from the U.S.) They will stay in the same accommodations and participate in the activities arranged for the travelers. This clearly provides an opportunity to identify targets….Castro’s intelligence aggressively targets U.S. universities under the assumption that a percentage of students will eventually move on to positions within the U.S. government that can provide access to information of use to the [Cuban intelligence service,”] continues the FBI report.

“A preferred target are ‘study abroad’ programs (in Cuba,)” adds America’s top Cuban spycatcher Chris Simmons, recently retired from the Defense Intelligence Agency, “as participating students (from the U.S.) are assessed as inherently sympathetic to the Cuban revolution.”

The Buckley Program Stands Up for Free Speech By Bruce Thornton

The William F. Buckley Program at Yale University lately showed bravery unusual for an academic institution. It has refused to be bullied by the Muslim Students Association and its demand that the Buckley Program rescind an invitation to Ayaan Hirsi Ali to speak on campus September 15. Hirsi Ali is the vocal Somalian critic of Islamic doctrine whose life has been endangered for condemning the theologically sanctioned oppression of women in Islamic culture. Unlike Brandeis University, which recently rescinded an honorary degree to be given to Hirsi Ali after complaints from the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Buckley Program rejected both the MSA’s initial demand, and a follow up one that Hirsi Ali share the stage with one of her critics.

The Buckley Program is a rare instance of an academic organization staying true to the ideals of free speech, academic freedom, and the “free play of the mind on all subjects,” as Matthew Arnold defined liberal education. Most of our best universities have sacrificed these ideals on the altar of political correctness and identity politics. Anything that displeases or discomforts campus special interest groups––mainly those predicated on being the alleged victims of American oppression–– must be proscribed as “slurs” or “hateful,” even if what’s said is factually true. No matter that these groups are ideologically driven and use their power to silence critics and limit speech to their own self-serving and duplicitous views, the modus operandi of every illiberal totalitarian regime in history. The spineless university caves in to their demands, incoherently camouflaging their craven betrayal of the First Amendment and academic freedom as “tolerance” and “respect for diversity.”

In the case of Islam, however, this betrayal is particularly dangerous. For we are confronting across the world a jihadist movement that grounds its violence in traditional Islamic theology, jurisprudence, and history. Ignoring those motives and their sanction by Islamic doctrine compromises our strategy and tactics in defeating the jihadists, for we cripple ourselves in the war of ideas. Worse yet, Islamic triumphalism and chauvinism–– embodied in the Koranic verse that calls Muslims “the best of nations raised up for the benefit of men” because they “enjoin the right and forbid the wrong and believe in Allah”–– is confirmed and strengthened by the way our elite institutions like universities and the federal government quickly capitulate to special interest groups who demand that we endorse only their sanitized and often false picture of Islam. Such surrender confirms the jihadist estimation of the West as the “weak horse,” as bin Laden said, a civilization with “foundations of straw” whose wealth and military power are undermined by a collective failure of nerve and loss of morale.

Obama’s Non-Strategy on ISIS – on The Glazov Gang


This week’s Glazov Gang was guest-hosted by Michael Hausam and joined by Shillman Fellow Mark Tapson, Award Winning Journalist Victoria Taft and Screenwriter/Author Michael Walsh.

The guests joined the show to discuss Obama’s Non-Strategy on ISIS, analyzing an administration policy that has taken no steps forward — and two steps back. The panel also focused on The Obama DOJ’s Subversion of the IRS Investigation.


Bill Clinton was ambiguous about the definition of “sex” and “is.” Barack Obama is uncertain about what the definition of “war” might be.

And wars are central to the duties of the man in the White House.

Whether or not we’re in a war depends on who you ask and on which day of the week you ask him. Secretary of State John Kerry said that bombing ISIS in two countries wasn’t a war. After the White House spokesman said it is a war, Kerry agreed that maybe it might be a war after all.

Forget about finding a strategy, this administration can’t even agree on whether the thing that it needs to find a strategy for is a war.

Democrats don’t like the “W” word. They bomb more countries than Republicans do, but they find a prettier name for it.

One of the first things that Obama did in Iraq was to change the name of the war. It was no longer Operation Iraqi Freedom. It was now Operation New Dawn. Even though there were 50,000 troops in Iraq, the combat mission was officially over. The 50,000 were renamed “Advise and Assist” brigades.

As John and Yoko said, the “W” word really could be over if you wanted it to be. Or pretended it was.

Obama bombed Libya to implement regime change, but no one called it a war. It was just one of those things where we dropped a lot of bombs on another country in coordination with rebels on the ground to help them take over that country. Definitely not a war. Possibly one of those “man-caused disasters.”

At least that was how Obama Inc. tried to rename terrorism in the early heady days of hope and change.

A compulsive need to avoid calling things what they are is an obvious form of denial. But when a politician at the head of a government begins behaving in that shifty way, it’s also deeply dishonest.


Rotherham abuse and our celebrity-obsessed police

Over the Rotherham abuse scandal there have been no arrests of the perpetrators. Neither has any action been instituted against anyone for misconduct in a public office. Could it be that this is seen in police circles as being of less interest than celebrity cases like Yewtree?

At last! The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for South Yorkshire has quit. He was last seen being rushed out of an angry public meeting and driven off in a police car at high speed that was reminiscent of Starsky and Hutch.

Better late than never, although as far as I can see he must be either arrogant or stupid not to realise that his position had become totally untenable on the day the Rotherham abuse report was published. If he had gone immediately, as did the Leader of the Council, he would have retained a measure of public respect.

Under-reported was the news that the Chief Executive had fallen on his sword. He has done the proper thing and he deserves a measure of sympathy for having inherited a mess that pre-existed his appointment by many years. His fault was that he did not get a grip of it.

His opposite number at Rochdale inherited a similar situation, if much smaller. He acted quickly and a number of staff were required to continue their careers elsewhere. I suspect he was out of his depth. He was previously a Planner, so it is unlikely that he would have had much exposure to the vicious, back-stabbing politics that prevail in the Leader’s Office, at party group meetings and elsewhere behind the closed doors of the Town Hall.

So where does this leave the Chief Constable?

The Chief Constable of Wiltshire is facing an Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) investigation over mishandling of abuse cases over a period of about two years, not the 17 years and three inquiry reports at Rotherham.


David Haines murder means it’s time for military action

Nobody wants another war, but we cannot allow the fatigue of Afghanistan and Iraq to cloud our judgement in the face of such a bloodthirsty international threat as Islamic State. Isolationism is seductive, but we just can’t afford it

The brutal murder of British aid worker David Haines is yet another reminder of the barbarity of the Islamic State and should serve as a wakeup call for those who assume this problem will just fade away. The notion that the US and UK can sit back and make aid contributions to solve the problem has been proved wrong. We have a moral duty to intervene, and intervene we must.

Nobody wants another war, but we cannot allow the fatigue of Afghanistan and Iraq to cloud our judgement in the face of such a bloodthirsty international threat. The Islamic State has proven itself to be more dangerous, better financed and more bloodthirsty than al-Qaeda.

Through a sophisticated manipulation of social media, the organisation has managed to attract support from over 500 British citizens, establishing its own ‘state’ of evil, which cannot be ignored.

After the Syria intervention vote over the use of chemical weapons on children was sabotaged by the spineless Ed Miliband and, I am sad to say, some equally dishonourable Tory rebels, Britain has found itself struggling to act in the face of atrocities.

Our forefathers would be ashamed at what a passive country of inaction we have now become, turning a blind eye to international events instead of shaping them. To his credit, David Cameron has shown guts and conviction by taking on the evils of the Assad regime, but without Parliamentary support initiating meaningful action is near impossible.

Last week I helped to organise a Stand Up rally opposite Downing Street to raise awareness of the plight of Christians and other minorities in Iraq. The overwhelming messages was that we must stand tall for the persecuted, whatever the cost, and that the government must take action to halt the menace of Islamic State.

The event also heard reports from international religious leaders and senior politicians including Charles Tannock MEP, who issued a public demand for the protection of Assyrian Christians of Iraq.