The London Horror and Jihad Denial By Bruce Bawer It began on Tuesday in Woolwich, London, when two young men in a car deliberately ran over an off-duty British soldier who was walking to a nearby military installation, then “hacked and chopped” at his body and attempted to decapitate him as they shouted “Allah akbar!” They forced witnesses to film the scene, saying: […]

The John Kerry-Atlantic Council Connection: Amb. (Ret.)Yoram Ettinger

President Obama’s foreign policy and national security teams reflect the worldview of the Atlantic Council, a prestigious, Washington-based multilateralism-driven think tank.

Secretaries of State, John Kerry and Hillary Clinton have advocated engagement – rather than confrontation – with rogue regimes. They were members of a tiny group that believed – until the recent atrocities in Syria – that Bashar Assad was a generous, constructive leader, a reformer and a man of his word. Kerry was a frequent flyer to Damascus, dining with Assad and his wife, considering Hafez and Bashar Assad partners for peace. Kerry and Clinton have implemented much of the Atlantic Council’s policy recommendations, demonstrating fealty to the UN, participating in several of the Council’s seminars and receiving special awards from the Council. Upon the eruption of the recent violence on the Arab Street, they were staunch Arab-Springers, who believed that the mobs in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Yemen and Bahrain were Facebook demonstrators, the reincarnation of Mahatma Gandhi and MLK, transitioning from tyranny to democracy.

Defense Secretary, Chuck Hagel, was until recently the Chairman of the Atlantic Council, advocating negotiation with – rather than sanctions against – Iran. Just like the Council, Hagel considers the UN – the home court of anti-US regimes – the playmaker of international relations.

UN Ambassador and Cabinet Member, Susan Rice – who served as foreign policy advisor for Obama and Kerry during their 2008 and 2004 Presidential campaigns – was a board member of the Atlantic Council, always displaying her UN-leaning worldview.

It’s the Ideology, My Friends by CAPT. GARY HARRINGTON, US NAVY (RET.)

Major General Michael Nagata is the Deputy Director for Special Operations/Counterterrorism on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. While that position represents many years of distinguished accomplishment in the military for which he should be congratulated, consider these 10 rather undistinguished words, for which he should be chastised, that he offered to the Senate Armed Services Committee on May 16, 2013:

“The United States is not at war with an idea….”

I am very sorry to say that an otherwise splendid warrior who would declare this represents a highly disturbing sign that the Jihadi Salafist strategy has achieved a significant goal: blinding our highest officials to the threat Jihadis pose to our freedoms.

If I were Commander-in-Chief for a day, I would assign the General to KP for that statement. I’d then order a homework assignment – that he give me a book report, first, on the stellar “Future Jihad – Terrorist Strategies Against America” by Dr. Walid Phares. I’d also ask for reports on the many excellent seminars presented to CENTCOM, SOCOM; and on the internal analyses and publications made available to US Special Forces and considered as strategic consensus over the past decade. Then, I would require him to explain why the ideas in Chapter 9 of “Future Jihad”, and other similar books by experts who testified to the US Congress over several years, do not leap from their pages with clarity on the origins of Boston foot-dragging, or the scrubbed Benghazi Talking Points, or the misdirection of the video patsy, the tentative Department of Defense response to Islamist violence against Americans at an ill-protected Libyan Potemkin Village or the outrage and horror of the machete attack in London this past Wednesday. The ideas on which we should declare war, or at least strategize our confrontation to the ideology of al Qaeda and its allies and supporters, are the six Jihadi strategic ideas. They are economic, ideological, political, intelligence, subversive, and diplomatic.


Peace pushers and cognitive dissonance

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was not the only whirlwind visitor to the Holy Land on Thursday. British Foreign Secretary William Hague, too, was in the neighborhood to see Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Though it is Kerry who has come yet again to engage in shuttle diplomacy between Israel and the Palestinians, Hague was happy to serve as his American counterpart’s cheerleader.

“We ask the United States to make a massive effort, the biggest effort in 20 years, to bring new momentum to the Middle East peace process, and I’m very pleased that the secretary of state is putting in that effort,” Hague said, following a meeting with Netanyahu in Jerusalem and then Abbas (whom he called “a courageous man of peace”) in Ramallah. “This cannot just stand still. It is becoming much more urgent as the weeks and months go by …”

It beggars belief that such sentiments come on the heels of a vicious Islamic terrorist attack in the streets of London — but no more than Kerry’s concern that Israel curb settlement activity to prove to the Palestinians that it wants to achieve peace through capitulation.

Indeed, no matter how often it is proven that the Palestinian Authority — like the radical Muslims in the Arab world and in the West — consider the entire State of Israel to be a temporary “catastrophe” that must and will be eliminated, American, European and even many Israeli leaders continue to suggest that Israeli settlements are an “obstacle.”


Islam and its Infidels: How Extremists Distorted a Religion of Millions

What motives lay behind last month’s Boston Marathon bombing and the would-be attack on a Via Rail Canada train?

Leftists and establishmentarians variously offer imprecise and tired replies – such as “violent extremism” or anger at Western imperialism – unworthy of serious discussion. Conservatives, in contrast, engage in a lively and serious debate among themselves: some say Islam the religion provides motive; others say it’s a modern extremist variant of the religion, known as radical Islam or Islamism.

As a participant in the latter debate, here’s my argument for focusing on Islamism.

Those arguing for Islam itself as the problem (such as Wafa Sultan and Ayaan Hirsi Ali) point to the consistency from Muhammad’s life and the contents of the Koran and Hadith to current Muslim practice. Agreeing with Geert Wilders’ film “Fitna,” they point to striking continuities between Koranic verses and jihad actions. They quote Islamic scriptures to establish the centrality of Muslim supremacism, jihad and misogyny, concluding that a moderate form of Islam is impossible. They point to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s deriding the very idea of a moderate Islam. Their killer question is “Was Muhammad a Muslim or an Islamist?” They contend that we who blame Islamism do so out of political correctness or cowardliness.

To which, we reply: Yes, certain continuities do exist, and Islamists definitely follow the Koran and Hadith literally. Moderate Muslims exist, but lack Islamists’ near-hegemonic power. Mr. Erdogan’s denial of moderate Islam points to a curious overlap between Islamism and the anti-Islam viewpoint. Muhammad was a plain Muslim, not an Islamist, for the latter concept dates back only to the 1920s. And no, we are not cowardly but offer our true analysis.

And that analysis goes like this:

Islam is the 14-century-old faith of a billion-plus believers that includes everyone from quietist Sufis to violent jihadis. Muslims achieved remarkable military, economic and cultural success between roughly 600 and 1200 A.D. Being a Muslim then meant belonging to a winning team, a fact that broadly inspired Muslims to associate their faith with mundane success. Those memories of medieval glory remain not just alive, but central to believers’ confidence in Islam and in themselves as Muslims.

London Woolwich’s Jihadi Butchers: Their Non-Spontaneous Words Matter : Walid Phares The savage slaughtering of a British soldier on the streets of Woolwich, England is not a common random crime; it is an act of terror, an expression of relentless war that is inspired by a Jihadist ideology and sponsored by an international network of Salafist indoctrination. The reason we are making this assertion hours […]

DANIEL PIPES:The National Endowment for the Humanities’ Latest Project[title-raw]-daniel-pipes

The National Endowment for the Humanities has joined with two private foundations, Carnegie and Duke, to fund “Muslim Journeys,” a project that aims to present “new and diverse perspectives on the people, places, histories, beliefs, practices, and cultures of Muslims in the United States and around the world.” Its main component is the “Muslim Journeys Bookshelf,” a selection of 25 books and three films on Islam sent to nearly 1,000 libraries; the project has a website and also conducts some other activities. Marvin Olasky, who brought this project to public attention, estimates the whole project cost about $1 million.

As one of the taxpayers who unwittingly contributed to this project, as well as the compiler of my own bibliography on Islam and the Middle East, I take interest in the 25 books NEH selected for glory and has spread around the country.

Softness characterizes its list: The 25 books quietly ignore current headlines so as to accentuate the attractive side of Islamic civilization, especially its medieval expression, and gently promote the Muslim religion. It’s not so exuberant an exercise as the 1976 British World of Islam Festival, described at the time as “a unique cultural event that . . . was no less than an attempt to present one civilization — in all its depth and variety — to another.” But then, how can one aspire to such grandeur with all that’s happened in the intervening years?

NEH’s list and mine do share minor commonalities: for example, one author (the Moroccan writer Fatima Mernissi) and one series (the Very Short Introductions series issued by Oxford University Press).

But our purposes could not be more different: whereas I help readers understand why Muslims fill 30 out of the 32 slots on the most-wanted-terrorists list and how Islamism came to be the main vehicle of barbarism in the world today, the endowment’s list shields the reader’s eyes from all this unpleasantness. Where I provide background to the headlines, NEH ignores them and pretends all is well with Islam, as is the federal government’s wont.

My list seeks to answer burning questions: Who was Muhammad? What is the historical impact of Islam? When is warfare jihad? Why did Islamism arise? How does tribal culture influence political life? Where can one locate signs of hope for Islam to moderate? In contrast, the NEH list offers a smattering of this and that — poetry, personal accounts, antiquities, architecture, religion and history, original texts, and a smidgeon of current events, preferably presented fictionally. (For example, In the Country of Men by Hisham Matar, tells the story of a boy growing up in Qaddafi’s Libya.)


Earlier this week, Roger L. Simon of Pajamas Media broke a story with shocking revelations, contending that slain U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens was in Benghazi on September 11 to buy back Stinger missiles from al-Qaeda groups that had been originally provided to them by the U.S. State Department.

Simon cited two former U.S. diplomats:

Stevens’ mission in Benghazi, they will say, was to buy back Stinger missiles from al-Qaeda groups issued to them by the State Department, not by the CIA. Such a mission would usually be a CIA effort, but the intelligence agency had opposed the idea because of the high risk involved in arming “insurgents” with powerful weapons that endanger civilian aircraft.

Hillary Clinton still wanted to proceed because, in part, as one of the diplomats said, she wanted “to overthrow [Qaddafi] on the cheap.”

This left Stevens in the position of having to clean up the scandalous enterprise when it became clear that the “insurgents” actually were al-Qaeda — indeed, in the view of one of the diplomats, the same group that attacked the consulate and ended up killing Stevens.

A careful review of reports from Libya over the past few years corroborates some parts of that account, but contradicts others:

Some Libyan rebel leaders, including at least one who had spent time in a training camp in Afghanistan and who was in that country in September 2001, specifically asked Western countries to send Stinger missiles.

Qaddafi’s intelligence services believed that the rebels were having the missiles smuggled in over the country’s southern border — but they believed the French were supplying the missiles.

There is no evidence that the U.S. supplied the weapons, but it appears they gave their blessing to a secret Qatari effort to ship arms across Libya’s southern border in violation of a United Nations arms embargo.

Anti-Qaddafi forces also obtained a significant number of anti-aircraft missiles from the regime’s bunkers early in the conflict.

Enough Stinger missiles disappeared from regime stockpiles during the civil war to become a high priority and serious worry for the administration.

(Note that in much of the coverage of Libya, “Stinger” has turned into a catch-all term for any shoulder-mounted anti-aircraft missile.)

To save Eric Holder and the Department of Justice the trouble of reading my e-mail or collecting my phone records, all of the information in this report is gathered from public and open sources, both in the U.S. and overseas, and none of it can be considered classified or sensitive.


In Israel, a sense of historical importance is palpable, and the U.S. can learn from it.

Jerusalem — The first question from our group of U.S. war veterans, in typical American fashion, was whether the war-hardened Israeli officer we were meeting with had ever visited the United States for military training or for schooling. He had not; but with a sly grin on his face, he told us that he did visit SeaWorld in California during a family vacation a few years ago. Not exactly what you expect to be talking about with a high-ranking Israel Defense Forces officer.

He told us he was struck by what he experienced at SeaWorld. Before the Shamu whale show, the names of all the Americans killed in action that week in Iraq and Afghanistan were read over the loudspeaker (San Diego is a Marine Corps town, after all), followed by the singing of the national anthem. He was taken aback: “I felt like I was in Israel.” He was heartened to visit a country where patriotism and reverence for freedom’s sacrifices were still demonstrated.
That is in sharp contrast with his feelings about Europe, which he describes as a “giant museum,” slowly fading into irrelevance. This officer had spent a year studying in London, and while he had good things to say about the people he met and plenty of appreciation for the contributions Europe had historically made to the West, he bemoaned the lack of patriotism and the general apathy that pervade Europe, and especially its intelligentsia, today.

Two days into my first trip to Israel, I find this officer’s comments give a helpful insight into what makes Israel such a dynamic and special place. The officer, the men he commands, and the society they defend cannot afford the detachment and distractions experienced by much of the world — especially much of the modern West. This is not to say that Israelis live in fear or under siege; that is certainly not what I’ve observed thus far. But there is an ever-present understanding that the fragile peace they enjoy and their nation itself are preserved only through intentional, purposeful, and courageous action.

This is not to say that the country is without divisions. The hawks and the doves see opportunities and threats quite differently. There is also significant tension between the Orthodox Jewish communities and more secular Jews, especially regarding compulsory military service and the importance of (or problem posed by) Israeli settlements, especially in the West Bank. And, most directly, there remains a deep, fundamental distrust between Jewish and Arab Israeli citizens, as a slow-motion demographic race plays out.

THE PRESIDENT’S STRATEGY….LINK ALL TERROR TO AL QAEDA: BRIDGET JOHNSON Obama Still Running on ‘al-Qaeda Is on the Run’ Message as He Talks New Strategy President eager to link Islamic terrorism solely to al-Qaeda, distance al-Qaeda from known active affiliates, then distance al-Qaeda from all recent attacks: “They did not direct the attacks in Benghazi or Boston.” With two current scandals [1] pointing to […]