Saturday, June 17, 2017

Loretta Lynch, Portrait Of Corruption - Ari Lieberman

by Ari Lieberman

New revelations surrounding Lynch’s effort to sink email probe sparks bi-partisan call for investigation.

She barely served two years as attorney general during Obama’s tenure but during that time, Loretta Lynch distinguished herself as arguably the most corrupt attorney general in the history of the United States. That’s a tall order considering that her predecessor was Eric Holder, who was notorious for politicizing his office and cited for contempt of Congress for stonewalling in the infamous Fast and Furious fiasco. Nevertheless, when it comes to outright corruption, it’s hard to find a better candidate than Loretta Lynch.

Lynch like everyone else who listened to the mainstream media elites believed that a Clinton presidency was all but guaranteed. She was likely angling for a position within the next administration and would utilize the power of her office to make certain that nothing altered the presidential trajectory charted by media elites, leftist pollsters and top Democratic Party insiders.

During his recent testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, former FBI director James Comey testified that Lynch directed him to refer to the FBI’s criminal investigation of Hillary Clinton as a “matter,” which “confused and concerned” him and gave him a “queasy feeling.” The benign language employed by Lynch directly tracked the Clinton campaign’s talking points in an effort to downplay the significance and negative ramifications of the criminal probe.

But it gets worse for Lynch, much worse in fact. Circa reports that in closed session before the Intelligence Committee, Comey testified that he confronted Lynch with a sensitive document in which it was suggested that Lynch was going to use her authority and power of her office to thwart prosecution of Clinton irrespective of the FBI’s findings in the email probe. Lynch reportedly stared at the document and then “looked up with a steely silence that lasted for some time, then asked him if he had any other business with her and if not that he should leave her office.”

These strange and rather adversarial interactions with Lynch, coupled with the now infamous 25-minute meeting that Lynch had with Bill Clinton (where the two allegedly discussed grandchildren and golf) at a Phoenix tarmac just days before Hillary was scheduled to testify before the FBI, led Comey to conclude that he needed to make his findings public “to protect the credibility of the investigation.”

The disturbing revelations regarding the nation’s top law enforcement officer and her attempts to interfere with an ongoing FBI investigation have prompted bipartisan calls by a growing chorus of Senate Judiciary Committee members to subpoena Lynch and investigate her conduct. Among those who have called for an investigation are Senators Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) and surprisingly, Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif) the committee’s ranking member and certainly no ally of Donald Trump. But Lynch’s alleged conduct was so egregious and outrageous that it left Feinstein with little choice. Silence on the matter would reek of hypocrisy and double standards.

Fox reported that on Wednesday, Judiciary Committee chairman, Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) sent a letter to Feinstein noting that the committee will pursue investigations into any efforts to influence FBI investigations. That would presumably include purported efforts by Lynch to influence or even thwart the outcome of the FBI’s email probe. The letter should have been sent days ago following Comey’s testimony and it is unclear why Chairman Grassley dragged his heals on the matter.

But even if Lynch is called before the committee, don’t expect much. Lynch is anything but straight-forward. She is adept at evading and obfuscating. During her testimony before the House Judiciary Committee last year, exasperated congressmen marveled at her seeming inability to provide straight-forward answers to direct questions requiring a simple “yes” or “no” response.

One frustrated congressman, David Trott (R-Michigan) noted that Lynch refused to answer probative questions on at least 74 occasions. Rep. Trey Gowdy, (R-S.C.), noted that Lynch’s “lack of clarity is bad for the republic.” And Rep Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) bluntly told Lynch that she was “sending a terrible message to the world,” and that her “lack of clarity” before the committee was “pretty stunning.” Rep. Doug Collins (D- Ga) dryly commented that he missed Eric Holder because “at least when he came here he gave us answers.”

But Lynch remained unfazed by the criticism. Her stoic demeanor throughout the proceedings betrayed the thought-process of a well-connected, high-level law enforcement official who thought she was above the law. Nevertheless the new and troubling revelations provided by the former FBI director in his testimony before the Intelligence Committee have provided committee members with specific, concrete information and not just innuendo. There is now evidence of actual impropriety and not merely the appearance of impropriety. In light of this tangible evidence, it will be interesting to see how the former attorney general will attempt slither her way out of the corrupted hole she dug herself into.

Ari Lieberman is an attorney and former prosecutor who has authored numerous articles and publications on matters concerning the Middle East and is considered an authority on geo-political and military developments affecting the region.


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Marking a decade of Hamas rule in Gaza - Dr. Mordechai Kedar

by Dr. Mordechai Kedar

There is a de facto Hamas state in Gaza and Israel recognizes that fact - with the consequences.

Characteristiclally, writing that appears in the media tends to be negative and critical, because journalists generally deal with disasters, wars, disputes, problems and all kinds of trouble - and not with, let's say, the dedications of new kindergartens or cornerstone laying ceremonies for new neighborhoods.

Sadly enough, the Arab world provides a good deal of depressing subject matter, especially since the last months of 2010. Late 2010 is when the terrible tempest known at first as the Arab Spring began, leading to hundreds of  thousands of deaths, millions of injured and over 10 million refugees, mostly Syrian. No one has any idea when - or if - this horrible tragedy will come to an end. 

In this article, I want to deal with something that has some positive sides to it, even though my country, the State of Israel, suffers not a little from it - and that is Gaza, the state established exactly a decade ago during June 2007 by Hamas. I am certainly not a supporter of Hamas, since one of its main goals is to eliminate me, my family and my country. Still, one must salute this movement which, against all predictions, managed to establish a state, administer it, defend it and turn it into a fait accompli on the political map of the Middle East.

I consider Gaza a state, because what has been established in that geographical strip over the past decade is, for all intents and purposes, a state. It is a governmental entity with a leader, law enforcement agency, army, military industry, internal secuirty and intelligence agencies, legal system, media, tax structure, legislature, education and health ministries, infrastructure - and every other institution a state needs. The State of Gaza even has marked borders, as well as border crossings to Israel and Egypt, its surrounding states, and it has reached agreements with those countries and others that allow for the management of daily life.

The establishment of a state, however, does not change the fact that Hamas is a terror organization through and through, not only because of its acts of terror against Israel and its Jewish population, but because of the terrible means it employs against its own residents in order to maintain its rule over them. Israel is well aware of this, but its political echelons have no intentions of bringing down the Hamas government, and even countries like Egypt which is conducting an all-out war against the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas' birth mother, conducts negotiations with Gaza State representatives who arrive as official guests to its capital city.
Furthermore, the State of Gaza has succeeded in forcing Israel, its arch-enemy, to provide it with food, fuel, medicine and building materials, some used to dig attack tunnels against Israel itself. There is no other country in the world that has succeeded in getting another state - for whose destruction it continues to call - to provide it with goods. Can anyone imagine the United Kingdom, France of the USA sending so much as an overripe banana to a country which has vowed to destroy them? Israel does. it sends hundreds of tons of perfectly edible bananas to Gaza every day, despite the fact that the Islamic Covenant of Hamas - its founding document - calls in no uncertain terms for Israel's destruction.

Every single day, over a thousand trucks piled with every kind of merchandise, enter the State of Gaza from Israel.  Hamas immediately confiscates anything that can be of use to its members and leaves the leftovers for the general population. In addition, Hamas levies taxes for fund its activities, and while the smuggling tunnels connecting Egypt and Gaza remained open, until Egypt destroyed them, Hamas ran the smuggling industry: it allowed only its members to dig the tunnels, forbade anyone on its black list to do so, and was given a portion of the contraband goods as a form of tax.

From a political standpoint, Hamas has managed to achieve a position on the same level as that of the PLO, that of representing the "Palestinian people." Hamas, impressively, won most of the Palestinian Legislature seats in the first elections in which the organization took part. Another, just as important, achievement is the fact that Hamas leaderrs managed to get Qatar, with all the massive economic ability of that gas-rich emirate, on their side. The Qatari Emir is the first Arab ruler, and so far the only one, who visited the State of Gaza while it is under Hamas rule - and without asking the Palestinian Authority for permission to do so.

Qatar has invested billions so far in the State of Gaza, its money funding significant portions of the local arms, rocket and tunnel-digging industry. The economic backing Qatar provided for Hamas enabled it to survive three violent clashes with Israel, Operations Cast Lead in 2008-09, Pillar of Defense in 2012 and Protective Edge in 2014. Qatar's media outlet Al Jazeera served Hamas interests during each one of these operations, broadcasting non-stop anti Israel reports that turned Arab and international public opinion against Israel.

The State of Gaza has fallen upon hard times recently as a result of Qatar's altercation with other Arab states, Trump's inclusion of Hamas on his list of terrorist organizations in his Riyadh speech and now because of PA refusal to continue paying for the Hamas State's electricity supplied by Israel. Hamas can easily afford to pay for its own electricity whose entire annual cost is about a tenth of the amount Hamas invests in its members welfare, in military industry and tunnel infrastructure, but Hamas leaders have reacted with utter cynicism: for all they care, the Gazan population can continue suffering in darkness and without refrigeration in the torrid summer weather,  while they carry on with their comfortable lives and continue digging tunnels.

Gaza's population has not said a word. They all know what happens to anyone who criticizes Hamas - he is first arrested, then taken to the torture chambers in Hamas' dungeons, and is never heard from again. Anyone suspected of collaboration with Israel is summarily executed - this happened just a few weeks ago. Sinwar, the new Hamas leader, is himself accused of killing someone he suspected of treason. In extreme cases, masked men appear at suspects' homes in the dead of night and humiliate their families in various ways.

All  this aside, the Hamas State's greatest accomplishment is the security standoff it has reached with Israel. Taking advantage of Israel's sensitivity to human life, Hamas places its rocket launchers in the midst of civilian areas so that its citizens form human shields. In emergencies, Hamas leaders hide in bunkers built underneath hospitals, knowing that Israel will never bomb them. The Hamas regime digs its attack tunnels underneath UNWRA schools because the UN will not allow Israel to hit them. Just recently, the UN organization discovered one of these tunnels, and its Secretary General did not even bother to condemn Hamas for digging it. After all, Qatar funds certain UN organizations, such as UNESCO, so the secretary general knows enough to refrain from offending the source of his budget.

Israel is concerned about security for the Israeli population near Gaza, leading it to try to avoid friction with the Hamas State as much as possible. Every time someone fires a shot from the Gaza Strip to Israel, the Israeli reaction is immediate and painful, and the Hamas government has learned that lesson.  Israel has also built underground obstacles to tunnel digging from Gaza into Israeli territory, but my heart tells me that Hamas will search for, and possibly find, ways to get around these obstacles, either by destroying them or digging under them.

Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz has called for building a Gazan seaport and perhaps even an airport on an artificial island opposite Gaza, so that everything that arrives to Gaza would first have to pass Israeli scrutiny before reaching the coast. There is logic in this idea, but it is hard to believe that the Hamas government will agree to it.  The terrorist regime doesn't care much for its citizens' welfare and is interested in runninng its own port, not one built out in the sea where it cannot import weapons and rockets because Israel is in control.

The obvious question is what Israel's position should be regarding the Hamas State. In my opinion, Israel should grant de facto recognition to the State of Gaza and relate to it as it does to any state, while limiting sea access to the Strip. Israel can allow Gaza to use the nearby port in Ashdod, allowing any goods that do not pose a danger to Israel to be sent straight to Gaza without delay - and without paying customs.

Israel should establish other emirates, city states, based on the rule of local families, in Hevron, Ramallah, Shechem, Qalqilya, Tulkarem and Jenin. Israel would have to remain in the village areas, it can offer citizenship to villagers (about 10% of the Arab population in Judea and Samaria) and let all the rest be citizens of the new Emirates. That solution will give Arab residents of Judea and Samaria independence, stability and prosperity, granting to security to Israel - and peace to all. 

Written for Arutz Sheva, translated by Rochel Sylvetsksy, senior consultant for English site.

Dr. Mordechai Kedar is a senior lecturer in the Department of Arabic at Bar-Ilan University. He served in IDF Military Intelligence for 25 years, specializing in Arab political discourse, Arab mass media, Islamic groups and the Syrian domestic arena. Thoroughly familiar with Arab media in real time, he is frequently interviewed on the various news programs in Israel.


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ISIS claims Jerusalem killing, replicates UK modus - debkaFile

by debkaFile

Israeli security authorities are now investigating how those shooting practices went unnoticed despite the boosted surveillance in force before and during the month-long Muslim Feast of Ramadan

The Islamic State claimed three “Lions of the caliphate” committed the coordinated Palestinian stabbing-cum-shooting attack Friday night, June 16, outside Damascus Gate in Jerusalem, in which Border Guard policewoman Hadas Malka was stabbed to death and four people were injured. This was the first coordinated ISIS attack in Israel. The jihadists warned it was not the last.

The three Palestinian terrorists, aged 18-19, from the Deir Abu Meshaal village near Ramallah, were shot dead by security forces. The ISIS notice honored the young killers by naming them as Abu Al-Buraa al Miqdasi, Abu Hassan al Miqdasi and Abu Rabah al-Miqdasi. They are described as having prayed before going into action against “the Jews.” The notice went on to say “The martyrs planted fear in the hearts of the Jews and with the help of Allah this won’t be the last attack. The Jews should expect their state to be laid to ruin by the soldiers of the caliphate.”

The Palestinian Hamas refrained from explicitly claiming the attack but praised the three terrorists as its members and issued a statement that the attack was “renewed proof that the intifada continues.”

debkafile’s counterterrorism sources report that the three young Palestinians trained for some weeks in the use of a Carl Gustav submachuine gun in open ground outside their village in the region of Ramallah, the seat of the Palestinian Authority. Israeli security authorities are now investigating how those shooting practices went unnoticed despite the boosted surveillance in force before and during the month-long Muslim Feast of Ramadan, which tends to be a season of Islamic violence. It can also be reve[a]led that the three terrorists left their village days earlier and were put up somewhere in Jerusalem.

Official spokesmen tried to play down these lapses by referring to the Jerusalem attack as a local incident.

The three killers evidently copied the modus operandi of the Islamists who carried out three terror attacks in the British towns of Manchester and London, killing 39 people since March. The last took place in London on June 3, ieaving seven people dead.

Our sources stress that the coordinated attack Friday night had to be prepared in detail; the perpetrators or their accomplices must have studied the terrain of the two linked attacks well in advance. They discovered that the ancient Cave of Zedekiah, which is heavily overgrown with weeds, formed a perfect hiding place for jumping out on the Israeli police patrol at and around the Damascus Gate leading into the Old City.  However it was discovered that one of their sub-machine guns malfunctioned. Otherwise the casualty toll would have been a lot higher.



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The Emerging Trump Doctrine of Strategic Savvy - Jiri Valenta and Leni Friedman Valenta

by Jiri Valenta and Leni Friedman Valenta

“America will not lead from behind. America First does not mean America alone. It is a commitment to protecting and advancing our vital interests…”

BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 500, June 17, 2017
…if the campaign is protracted, the resources of the State will not be equal to the strain.”
– Sun Tzu
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: “America will not lead from behind. America First does not mean America alone. It is a commitment to protecting and advancing our vital interests…” So wrote President Donald Trump’s NSA, General H.R. McMaster, with Gary Cohn, head of the National Economic Council, in the Wall Street Journal. What follows is a discussion of US leaders’ failed strategies in several wars, Trump’s team of generals, and the emerging Trump doctrine, which is here termed “strategic savvy”.
1964 Vietnam War; “Lies that Led to Vietnam”

Bullet-headed Lt. General H.R. McMaster, the US National Security Adviser, is not just a brave warrior. Like his mentor, General David Petraeus, he is a prominent military intellectual. Both men wrote their PhD dissertations on the lessons of Vietnam. In The American Military and the Lessons of Vietnam, Petraeus concluded, “…significant emphasis should be given to counterinsurgency forces, equipment and doctrine.” McMasters’s thesis, Dereliction of Duty, addressed the roles of LBJ and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara. His subtitle was “Lies that Led to Vietnam.”

On August 4, 1964, the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution was pushed through Congress authorizing military action against North Vietnam as “vital” to US national interests. It sought to punish Hanoi for an allegedly unprovoked attack by three torpedo boats on a US destroyer in the Gulf of Tonkin. In fact, it had not been unprovoked; the US had made repeated prior attacks on the North Vietnamese coast.

The major reason for the American war against North Vietnam, asserts McMaster, was the then-upcoming 1964 presidential election. To Johnson, the prime enemy that summer was not the North Vietnamese but his GOP opponent, Barry Goldwater, who had accused the president of being soft on communism. In response, LBJ and McNamara misrepresented the facts and the pretext for sending US ground forces to Vietnam, and deliberately concealed the costs of war. McNamara’s thinking was shaped by his “whiz kids,” DOD civilian nerds, who lacked combat experience and arrogantly believed quantitative statistical analysis could compensate for their deficits in geopolitics, history, and military strategy.

Boasting that he had won his election “bigger than anybody had won ever,” LBJ endorsed McNamara’s strategy of gradual pressure on Hanoi, seeking to wear it down by “attrition.” To McMaster, this was “not a strategy but a lack of it … reinforcing arrogance, weakness, lying in the pursuit of self-interest and above all dereliction of duty to the American people.”

2001 War of Necessity in Afghanistan

In this century, the one war the US won – at least in its initial stage – was Afghanistan. There, following the 9/11 attack on the US homeland, President George Bush defended America’s vital national interests. Nor was this a regular DoD operation by the US army. US forces consisted of CIA operators, Special Forces, and an anti-Taliban Afghan resistance, the Northern Alliance. The 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade was also involved, commanded by the current Defense Secretary, then Major General James Mattis, USMC. In addition, the US was given logistical help by Russian President Vladimir Putin, then Bush’s strategic partner. Within three months, the US had defeated its foe, liberated Kabul, and changed the regime.

2003 War of Choice in Iraq  

But afterwards, as Paula Broadwell observed, the initial brilliant success in Afghanistan “was squandered when the US marched headlong into Iraq in early 2003.” Instead of finishing the war of necessity in Afghanistan, Washington entered into a war of choice with Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein – who had had nothing to do with 9/11.

Why? In the words of historian Jean Edward Smith, the president tried to sell the war on the basis of “the flimsy notion that he was removing a potential threat to the United States” because Saddam might have WMD. That threat proved to be nonexistent. In addition, as a born-again Christian, Bush believed he was divinely guided to bring democracy to the Iraqi people.

On August 4, 2002, the 38th anniversary of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, Senator Chuck Hagel, a distinguished Vietnam veteran, told Congress, “We didn’t ask any questions before we got into Vietnam … this is why it’s important to do so now.” Two senior members of Bush’s team did so: Secretary of the Treasury Paul O’Neill, who questioned the costs of war in Iraq; and Secretary of State General (ret.) Colin Powell, who prophesied ethnic divisions and insurgency. Both were subsequently marginalized by the Bush administration.

Like McNamara, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his two principal assistants, Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith, lacked the combat experience necessary to make sound military decisions. In the end, the one who did have it – Powell – was proven right. He and Bob Richer, then head of the CIA’s Middle East Division, also blamed Bush’s NSA, Condoleezza Rice, for the subsequent attempt at instant democratic nation-building. As Richer explained, “Rice’s vision that Iraq had to look like us overnight was catastrophic.” The president, he observed, “was a realist, but he listened to her and was swayed.”

US forces were sufficient to topple Saddam following a major invasion. But instead of liberating the Iraqis, the Americans became hated occupiers. This gave rise to a Sunni insurgency, during which the US fired the Iraqi military without setting up a stipend program for the soldiers and their families (thus compelling them to subsist on nothing for five long weeks). The US then fired all Baath Party members down to Level 4 without any agreed reconciliation process. This gave tens of thousands of influential Iraqis – often Western-educated – an incentive to oppose the new Iraq rather than support it.

In the ensuing struggle over leadership, a virtual civil war erupted between Sunnis and Shiites, with Kurds in the mix as well – not to mention al-Qaeda, which was rising in the Sunni community in Iraq. The unfinished war in Afghanistan and the unending, Vietnam-like quagmire in Iraq produced two growing insurgencies.

The Surge of Petraeus and his “Shipmate” Mattis

Before he became, in early February 2007, Commander of Multi-National Forces in Iraq, General David Petraeus worked with Mattis to lead a prominent team of US Army and Marine experts on an Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Referred to as “King David’s Bible,” this manual became an outstanding social science study of insurgencies and counter-insurgencies, as well as a guide to how to win the hearts and minds of Iraqis (and Afghans).

Those principles and techniques were applied by the forces under Petraeus in Iraq for over 19 months in 2007-08. The Surge, as the effort was known (due to the deployment of well over 25,000 additional American forces), ushered in a new strategy that was a 180-degree shift from the previous one, which had been assessed as failing in December 2006 by then-commander and ambassador Ryan Crocker.

The result was an 85% reduction in the level of violence and significant progress in a host of areas. President Bush deserves enormous credit for supporting the deployment of additional forces and for backing Petraeus and Crocker.

In late 2011, after some three years of further progress and additional reductions in violence, President Barack Obama decided to withdraw the remaining US combat forces and the last four-star US commander, leaving only a modest training mission.  He reportedly was concerned that there would not be an Iraqi parliament-approved Status of Forces Agreement. Iraqi PM Maliki subsequently pursued ruinous sectarian measures – orchestrating legal charges against the Sunni Arab Vice President and his security detail, and later targeting the Sunni Arab Finance Minister and a prominent Sunni Arab parliamentarian. He returned to Iraqi military and police units abusive Iraqi leaders whom General Petraeus had insisted be removed before US support would be provided, then had those forces put down peaceful Sunni demonstrations very violently. He stopped honoring agreements to provide various forms of assistance to tens of thousands of former Sunni insurgents who had reconciled with the government during the Surge.

Tragically, these actions undid much of what coalition and Iraqi forces had sacrificed to achieve, and the Sunni insurgency in Iraq began to rise again. Islamic State arose out of the ashes of the defeated al-Qaeda in Iraq.

2011: Obama‘s Leading from Behind in Libya

In 2011, to make matters even worse, Obama and his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, began to militate for yet another war, this time in Libya at the height of the “Arab Spring.” They did not heed Defense Secretary Robert Gates’s strenuous objections that it did not encompass “our vital national interests,especially amidst two ongoing wars in the Middle East. Nor did Obama consider the war’s costs. Once again, the naysayer was ignored. Nine days later, Gates resigned.

Like LBJ and McNamara in Vietnam and Bush and Rice in Iraq, Obama and Clinton engaged in deceit about the real purpose of the war. Clinton argued that a NATO intervention was urgently needed to avert a massacre of Libyan civilians by Muammar Qaddafi’s troops. But her subsequently hacked e-mails substantiated that the real objective was regime change in the service of democratic nation-building.

After the rebels murdered Qaddafi, Libya, like Iraq earlier, became a paradise for tribal fighters and jihadists, and there ensued a significant flow of migrants to Europe. None of this chastened Clinton. She began to support secretly arming the Syrian rebels in a proxy war with both its dictator Assad and his patron, Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

Obama’s Strategic Patience  

On June 11, 2011, Obama announced that he would withdraw 10,000 troops from Afghanistan by the end of December 2011 and the rest of the 30,000-member surge force by July 2012 (i.e., before the Democratic Party convention). Once again there arose a troublesome naysayer.
General David Petraeus objected to the premature withdrawal. Aware as he was of the actual situation on the ground, he was adamant that the projected timing of the draw-down would jeopardize the progress made in the previous year of the surge in Afghanistan. Obama was forced to compromise, but did not forget Petraeus.

Rahm Emmanuel, Obama’s chief of staff and one of the president’s loyalists, suspected that Petraeus was contemplating his own presidential run in 2016. It did not help that Petraeus emphatically told Emmanuel he wasn’t. Two days after the 2012 presidential election, Petraeus resigned his post as CIA director because of an affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell. (The mishandling of classified information did not surface until months later.) When historian Smith queried “whether the Obama administration had taken advantage of his affair to cut his head off,” Petraeus smiled, but did not reply.

Towards Strategic Savvy

If there is any solace for Washington’s numerous follies in the Middle East, it is Donald Trump’s selection of an outstanding national security team: Mattis, McMaster, and General John Kelly (Homeland Security). With Trump’s election, America saw the dawn of a new doctrine to replace “strategic patience,” leading from behind, and the absence of strategy. We call the new approach “strategic savvy,” meaning the judicious use of military force, diplomacy, and economic instruments. Petraeus describes it as a “comprehensive and sustainable commitment” in defense of American vital national interests. The president and his security team seek to overturn policies that have produced only failed states, Islamist-fed chaos, growing terrorist attacks in Europe, and catastrophic debt.

We have witnessed the first actions defining this emerging doctrine. On April 7, 2017, US navy destroyers carried out a missile strike on a Syrian airfield in retribution for Assad’s use of chemical weapons against his subjects. A tactical move, it bore profound strategic significance, since it used judicious force to accomplish what Obama had failed to do in 2013 despite his own declared red line. So did the dropping of the “Mother of All Bombs” (MOAB, or Massive Ordnance Air Blast), the largest conventional bomb in the US arsenal, on ISIS fighters in Afghanistan on April 14.

Facing what Mattis has called a “clear and present danger” from North Korea, Trump’s team did not put the problem off in the manner of the past three US administrations. He is meeting it head on with an unprecedented deployment of three carrier groups with massive naval and air power. This is intended to send a clear message on the need to stop a maniacal leader from accomplishing a nuclear weaponization and delivery system that could eventually reach American shores. President Trump has communicated this need to Chinese President Xi very clearly as well. The era of Obama’s “strategic patience” is finally over.

Future presidents should consider replicating Trump’s placement of national security responsibilities in the hands of individuals with combat experience. America’s future leaders should be men and women with such experience combined with intellectual prowess.

In the meantime, the saga continues. Americans are transfixed by Russo-gate, much as they were by Watergate. President Trump’s political opponents seek to undo the results of the 2016 election by painting him as Putin’s Manchurian candidate.

Trump should now do what Obama did not: pardon Petraeus, whom Gates called “one of the nation’s great battle captains.” As Senator Rand Paul observed, Petraeus showed his personal journals, which did contain classified material, to only one person, an Army reserve intelligence officer with a top secret clearance. Her book was thoroughly checked for classified information and any sensitive political items by the then head of West Point’s Social Sciences Department, Colonel Mike Meese. The negligent Hillary Clinton, still unpunished, revealed classified material to the multitudes through her unsecured server.

Petraeus sympathizes with the beleaguered Trump’s predicament, but only to a certain extent. Like the authors, he realizes that Trump, a novice at presidential politics, has made big mistakes and then repeated them, making things worse.

In his final address as a general, Petraeus quoted Teddy Roosevelt’s 1910 Men in the Arena speech. The words are now surely applicable to both of them:
It is not the critic who counts … the credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood … who errs and comes up short again and again … but who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotions, who spends himself for a triumph of high achievement and … if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.
he authors are indebted to General David Petraeus for his comments and suggestions.

BESA Center Perspectives Papers are published through the generosity of the Greg Rosshandler Family


Dr. Jiri Valenta and his wife, Leni, are the principals of The Institute of Post Communist Studies and Terrorism ( They are authors of a forthcoming book on Russia and US interventions in the 21st century. A prominent author and speaker, Jiri served for decade as a professor and coordinator of Soviet and East European Studies at the US Naval Post-Graduate School and former consultant to senior members of Reagan administration.


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Americans Learning to Live with Treason - Peggy Ryan

by Peggy Ryan

How did we get here

Pop the champagne corks, set off the fireworks, former FBI Director, James Comey nixed the "Russian collusion." In his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Comey cleared President Trump of all charges – no collusion, no conspiracy, no investigation, no there there. 

Yay! It's over. The Russian conspiracy nonsense is finally debunked. Whew!

Does anyone else see the insanity here – that we celebrate when the president is cleared of phony charges, that we breathe a sigh of relief when the fired FBI director fails to establish an obstruction of justice charge? 

Does anyone wonder why we anxiously watch each inane congressional hearing to see if the left gets the goods to pull off its coup, why we wake up each morning terrified that the insurgents have hit their mark, found something, anything they can use to depose a duly elected president?

We are watching, in real-time, a palace revolution, an overt effort to remove the president of the United States. Just as James Comey proudly admitted he leaked privileged communication to the press, so these insurgents brazenly brag that they want to harm the president, to impeach him, to overthrow our government. The American people seem shockingly oblivious to the looming danger.

How did we get here? Well, let's give credit where credit's due: the left has its ducks in a row. Leftists are carrying out a carefully planned, well executed plot to take control of our government.

Oh, it's not soldiers bursting through the White House gates to forcefully remove the president, or, as the left says, not yet. No, they're using a form of behavior therapy, systematic desensitization, to numb the American people to their insurgence. 

Systematic desensitization is a technique used to treat phobias. The patient, while relaxed, is exposed to progressively more frightening aspects of his phobia. For instance, treatment for arachnophobia, fear of spiders, might start by showing the phobic an image of a spider. The patient employs relaxation techniques while exposed to the image until he overcomes his anxiety. Next, a real spider may be introduced, far away, in a cage. After the person accepts that exposure, the spider is taken out of the cage and moved closer and closer until the patient is able to hold a live spider in his hand. 

Congress, corporate and social media, activist courts, and a contingent in our intelligence community unite to form a cabal (a conspiratorial group of plotters). This cabal uses this desensitization technique to condition us to overcome our fear of losing our freedom, of a disappearing democracy. 

Using this technique, the cabal does something wrong, illegal, or unconstitutional – behavior that's a threat to our republic.

• Benghazi – Obama and his administration to the American people that a video caused the horrific massacre. President and allies openly engage in cover-up.
• FBI investigation on Hillary Clinton – Comey announces Hillary's guilty on all counts, then the judgment, and she walks. A two-tier justice system; Hillary's above the law.
• CNN caught giving to Hillary Clinton. Democrats rig debates. Democrats cheat Bernie Sanders out of the nomination. Democrats rig elections. 
These are just a few of the unacceptable transgressions by our corrupt leaders. Each time, outraged conservatives demand that the perpetrators be brought to justice. Each time, the press gaslights the American people with a media blackout, acts as though the incident never happened. Each time, the cabal rides out the news cycle until the story fades, and everyone's home free. 

Time and again, the deception, lawlessness, violation of the Constitution, or open act of sedition is met with disbelief. This is banana republic stuff; these things don't happen in America. The people look to our system of checks and balances to restore order. 

Except the only checks the members of Congress care about are the ones from their donors, and some in Congress are actually members in good standing with the cabal. But the courts will intervene, right? Nope – the courts are no longer confined to interpreting the law. They now make the law – not a reprieve, but another hurdle.

Oh, and our media, that last bastion of democracy – they're actually facilitating the coup. They ignore the transgressions, excuse them, or explain them until our anxiety wanes and we learn to live with treason. Then it's on to the next level, the spider moving ever closer. 

Conservatives sidestep the seriousness of this open rebellion. National media waging a campaign to usurp our president is not bad journalism; its sedition:
To write, print, utter or publish, or cause it to be done, or assist in it, any false, scandalous, and malicious writing against the government of the United States, or either House of Congress, or the President, with intent to defame, or bring either into contempt or disrepute, or to excite against either the hatred of the people of the United States, or to stir up sedition.
Wow – that's like the media's playbook, right? Well, there are some who see the problem. Freedom Watch's Larry Klayman is demanding regulatory enforcement action against CNN for "a persistent campaign of dangerous, incendiary, false, and libelous propaganda against now President Trump." It's a start.

The media's role in this conspiracy is why their effusive praise for the newly appointed special prosecutor of nonexistent crimes, Comey's BFF and mentor, Robert Mueller, is a red flag. The dichotomy of a prosecutor without a crime to prosecute is troubling. Questions abound. What's his mission? How will he prosecute if his friend, Comey, is implicated? Or maybe we're just being paranoid, overly dramatic. Or maybe it's the next level, the spider within reach.

What's next? Will this cabal one day walk into the Oval Office and escort the president out, to prison, to execution? Ridiculous, you say. This is America.

Really? Is it America when national media poison the people against their president, stir sedition, and advocate an overthrow? Is it America when nearly all news outlets publish lies and fake news to indict the president? 

Is it America when Democrats "resist" and "obstruct" our government with the stated intention of weakening the president, making him an easier target; when courts establish authority over our commander-in-chief on foreign policy; when our intelligence communities use their superpowers to spy on the American people with impunity?

Is it America when the left invents a story, Russian collusion, and every branch of our government advances the lie, when the media join forces to turn news channels into indoctrination centers to smear the president, to prop up the Russian fiction? 

Even if the Russian contrivance falls through, these rebels will keep the ground they've taken, and it's significant. They've recruited a sizable number to their cause with their lies, fake scandals, and Hitler-style indoctrination. They've normalized lawlessness and deception, rigged investigations, erected a two-tiered justice system, rigged debates, rigged elections, and instituted a national campaign to usurp the president. Seriously, what's left? 

They could still pull the Russian thing off. After all, the only steps we're taking to stop this coup d'état is to whine about witch hunts, call them sore losers, left-wing media, and spineless Republicans. But in the end, that's like complaining that the guy slashing you to death is using a dull knife. 

Lies and fake news are the norm these days, the once unthinkable and now the expected. This cabal is a powerful alliance. If we don't stop them, if we continue to allow this open treason, they'll eventually reach their goal, and there will be no way back. 

Ronald Reagan warned: "You and I have the courage to say to our enemies, 'There is a price we will not pay.' 'There is a point beyond which they must not advance.'"

I pray he's right. Their price is our freedom, their next stop tyranny. And they're moving ever closer.

Peggy Ryan


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Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

No Tolerance for Extremism - Denis MacEoin

by Denis MacEoin

Flatly, Islam in its original and classic forms has everything to do with today's radicals and the violence they commit.

  • At the moment, the bar for taking extremists out of circulation is set ridiculously high. People known for their own extremism that reaches pre-terrorist levels should not be walking the streets when they have expressed support for Islamic State (ISIS) or tried to head to Syria or called for the destruction of Britain and other democracies or allied themselves to people already in prison. Their demand for free speech or freedom of belief must never be elevated above the rights of citizens to live safely in their own towns and cities. It is essential for parliament to lower the bar.
  • Is this to be the political landscape for the future, where groups of people demanding death and destruction are given the freedom of the streets whilst those wishing to hold a peaceful celebration are prevented from doing so?
  • To see extremist Islam as a "perversion" of Islam misses an important point. The politically correct insistence that radical versions of Islam somehow pervert an essentially peaceful and tolerant faith forces policy-makers and legislators, church leaders, rabbis, interfaith workers and the public at large to leave to one side an important reality. Flatly, Islam in its original and classic forms has everything to do with today's radicals and the violence they commit. The Qur'an is explicit in its hatred for pagans, Jews and Christians. It calls for the fighting of holy war (jihad) to conquer the non-Muslim world, subdue it, and gradually bring it into the fold of Islam. Islam has been at war with Europe since the seventh century.
On the Sunday morning after the terrorist attacks in London the night of June 3, British Prime Minister Theresa May addressed the nation in a powerful speech. It deserves to be read in full, but several points stand out and call for a response.
We cannot and must not pretend that things can continue as they are. Things need to change and they need to change in four important ways.
First, while the recent attacks are not connected by common networks, they are connected in one important sense. They are bound together by the single evil ideology of Islamist extremism that preaches hatred, sows division and promotes sectarianism.
It is an ideology that claims our Western values of freedom, democracy and human rights are incompatible with the religion of Islam.
Lower down, she enhances that by saying:
Second, we cannot allow this ideology the safe space it needs to breed. Yet that is precisely what the internet, and the big companies that provide internet-based services provide.
No one who has watched the endless stream of radical Muslim preachers who appear on YouTube or who post extremist, anti-Western, anti-democratic, or anti-Semitic opinions on Facebook would object to May's stricture. But given earlier attempts to rein in the providers of so many internet spaces in a demand for better scrutiny and the removal of radicalizing material from their sites, we must remain pessimistic about how far May or any other Western leader can bring effective pressure to bear. Without strong financial disincentives, these rulers of the internet will pay little heed to the concerns of the wider public and our security services.

Perhaps May's strongest statement comes some lines later:
While we have made significant progress in recent years, there is -- to be frank -- far too much tolerance of extremism in our country. So we need to become far more robust in identifying it and stamping it out across the public sector and across society. That will require some difficult, and often embarrassing, conversations.
Here, she puts her finger on the most sensitive yet compelling reason for our vulnerability. The democracies have been and still are weakened by the very things that in other contexts give us strength. May speaks rightly of our "pluralistic British values". But those values include freedom of speech, freedom of religion, open-mindedness, and tolerance -- things that are not held as desirable values in any Muslim country. Such values are key to our survival as free and tolerant people unrestricted by any overarching ideology. Yet May is right. Even toleration has its limits. While allowing Muslims to live in our societies with full freedom to live their lives according to the tenets of their faith is desirable expression of our openness and love for humanity, we have been tolerant of radical Islam and even traditionalist and conservative Islam where it leads into radicalization and an extremism that erupts in physical assaults, fatalities, and, as intended, widespread public fear.

For years, we have known the identities of radical Islamic preachers and extremist organizations, but we have allowed them to bring their hatred for us onto university and college campuses, into mosques and Islamic centres, and even onto our streets, where they set up stalls to speak and hand out literature. Scroll down here or here to find long lists of radical individuals and organizations, few of which have even been banned. Few terrorist suspects have ever been deported. In a Telegraph article from 2015, one reads:
Here is an astonishing figure to mull over. In the past 10 years, the UK has deported just 12 terrorism suspects from its shores under its Deportation with Assurances (DWA) scheme. In the same period, France deported more than 100 more. The British figures come from a review of the DWA programme that is unlikely to be published until after the general election. It suggests, as we have always suspected, that the UK remains a soft touch for foreign-born jihadists.
It took eight years, 15 court cases and a £25 million bill to keep the hate preacher and terrorist fighter Abu Hamza and his huge family in the UK before he was finally deported (to the United States) in 2012, where he was sentenced to life imprisonment. In that same year, Theresa May (then Home Secretary) was frustrated because another sinister figure, Abu Qatada, could not be deported to Jordan because the European Court of Human Rights had ruled against it for fear of his being tortured there. But in 2013, once Jordan agreed not to do so, he was sent there only to be tried and set free. Last year, he used Twitter to urge Muslims to leave the UK for fear of persecution and "bloodshed" -- a possible encouragement to would-be jihadis to head abroad. May spoke vehemently against the Strasbourg ruling:
It is simply isn't acceptable, that after guarantees from the Jordanians about his treatment, after British courts have found that he is dangerous, after his removal has been approved by the highest courts in our land, we still cannot deport dangerous foreign nationals.
The right place for a terrorist is a prison cell. The right place for a foreign terrorist is a foreign prison cell far away from Britain.
We constantly undermine ourselves by our need to be principled. This is an ongoing problem in politics. Jeremy Corbyn, leader of Britain's Labour Party, is frequently described as a man of principle, and in many ways that judgement seems fair. Certainly, he has stuck by his socialist principles even if they have led him to adopt positions not well aimed at creating security for Britain. He has supported the IRA; refused many times to condemn their terrorist attacks; has called Hamas and Hizbullah his "friends" and invited their representatives to the British parliament. If that were not enough, he has boasted of his opposition to every piece of anti-terrorist legislation parliament has tried to pass.

In a 2015 interview just shown by the tabloid newspaper The Sun, Corbyn spoke with the Bahrain-based LuaLua Television. Although The Sun is not a reliable source, the clip from the interview shows Corbyn speaking in English with an accurate Arabic translation in subtitles. The interviewer speaks in Arabic. What are alarming are Corbyn's statements, including a criticism of the UK government laws preventing would-be fighters who have travelled to Syria and from returning to the UK:
The British government's response has been to try to make it impossible for them to travel, to restrict their ability to travel, to take upon themselves the ability to remove passports and, strangely, to deny people the right of return – which is legally a very questionable decision.
Surely no responsible politician would want to make it easy for jihadi fighters to come and go between Syria and the UK, especially while Islamic State is encouraging jihadis who leave to go back to European countries to carry out acts of terror -- which seems to be exactly what has been happening.

In 2002, Corbyn addressed a large anti-Israel rally in London attended by Hizbullah supporters, several radical preachers including Abu Hamza, and 300 members of al-Muhajiroun, a banned extremist organization. According to one left-wing newspaper:
None of these groups called (openly at least) for the destruction of the state of Israel. It was a different story though for the ultra-reactionaries of such organisations as Al Muhajiroun, who held placards reading, "Palestine is muslim". They chanted, "Skud, Skud Israel" and "Gas, gas Tel Aviv", along with their support for bin Laden. Two would-be suicide posers were dressed in combat fatigues with a 'bomb' strapped to their waists. This section accounted for no more than 200-300, but they made a noise far out of proportion to their numbers.[1]
Stories concerning Corbyn's support for jihadis was plastered on the front pages of several newspapers one day before the general election on June 8. He may never take charge of our national security, but following the results of the election, which proved disastrous for May and her Conservative party, it is now not entirely unimaginable that he may yet form a minority government. Overconfidence in her party's strength, a hardline stance on Brexit, and a lack of concern in her Manifesto for public sensitivities concerning the National Health Service, social care and pensions led May to lose the confidence of much of the public, especially some, such as the elderly, who were traditional Tory voters. The campaign she ran turned out to be very badly handled. The two advisers who worked on it have just resigned, and large numbers of citizens, including 60% of Conservatives, are calling on her to resign. She no longer commands the large parliamentary majority of which she was so sure when she called the election, in fact she has no majority at all without pairing with the backward-looking Democratic Unionist Party, founded by bigoted Ian Paisley in 1971 and now the largest party in Northern Ireland. Many predict that the alliance will soon founder.

Whoever remains in power in coming months, the threat of terrorism has risen to the top of the agenda as a public preoccupation. Except that almost nobody talked much about it in the days after the London Bridge attack leading up to the election. Alarmingly, large numbers of young people rushed to vote for the leader of the one party that will do the least to combat that threat. The abolition of student fees or other right-on issues mattered so much more. And yet, in a matter of months, the British people have grown frightened of a beast our political correctness and laxity helped create, a Frankenstein monster that has risen from its slab and shows no signs of lying back down again. This beast has, in a few fell swoops, changed the nature of politics in Britain as it has elsewhere.

Jeremy Corbyn is the last person to whom we should entrust our future safety, yet he is now in a position to water down or cancel any legislation that might ensure more preparedness and better control. Theresa May, whatever her political disaster, has at least promised firmness in our relations with the Muslim community, identifying the problem and calling for action.

That promise of action is exemplified in her statements that:
If we need to increase the length of custodial sentences for terrorist-related offences -- even apparently less serious offences -- that is what we will do. Since the emergence of the threat from Islamist-inspired terrorism, our country has made significant progress in disrupting plots and protecting the public. But it is time to say "Enough is enough".
On June 6, addressing party supporters in Slough, and again speaking about resistance to terrorism, she went farther, saying:
I mean longer prison sentences for those convicted of terrorist offences.
I mean making it easier for the authorities to deport foreign terrorist suspects back to their own countries.
And I mean doing more to restrict the freedom and movements of terrorist suspects when we have enough evidence to know they are a threat, but not enough evidence to prosecute them in full in court.
And if our human rights laws get in the way of doing it, we will change the law so we can do it.
Clearly, not even May can ride roughshod over essential human rights values and legislation, things put in place to protect the public. Now, with Corbyn looking over shoulder, tough and measured action is in jeopardy. It is clear nonetheless that an excessive concern for the rights of dangerous individuals and hostile communities has served to take away vital protections for the lives of British citizens. This misguided generosity is linked to a growing worry that we have been too relaxed about individuals who have later gone on to commit atrocities in our midst. Salman Abedi, the suicide bomber who murdered 22 concert-goers, including several children, during an Ariane Grande concert in Manchester, had been reported to the authorities no fewer than five times, yet had been allowed to walk free enough to take forward his mission to kill and maim.

Youssef Zaghba, one of the three attackers on London Bridge and Borough Market on June 3, had been stopped in Bologna in 2016 carrying terrorist literature while trying to fly to Istanbul en route for Syria. He told officers "I am going to be a terrorist", was arrested but later released. His name was flagged on an international terrorism database and the Italian authorities notified the British security services. Allowed to go to the UK, he helped kill seven people and injure more.

Even more alarmingly, his accomplice, Khuram Butt, a Pakistani-born British man, was well above the horizon. He had been reported to the security services and was alleged to have been an associate of Anjem Choudary, a radical preacher now serving time in jail for his support for Islamic State. Butt had defended Choudary by calling a Muslim opposed to the preacher an apostate (murtadd); and in 2016, he had appeared in a Channel 4 television documentary where he was seen with others in a park holding an ISIS flag and at two events attended by radical preachers who had been arrested for radicalizing others. One of those preachers, Mohammed Shamsuddin, has said: "Our message is deadly, we are calling for world domination, and for Sharia for the UK."

In 2015, MI5, the UK's domestic intelligence service, stated that it had 3,000 extremists on its watchlist. According to Business Insider:
There are 6,000 employees at GCHQ and 4,000 at MI5. But there are up to 3,000 terror suspects in the UK. At the French ratio, you would need 60,000 officers to track them all. That's almost half of Britain's total number of police officers, 127,000.
What this means, in effect, is that thousands of potential terrorists are left free to live with little interference from the police or MI5. Raising the number of police, as Jeremy Corbyn demands, would place a heavy strain on the economy of a country sailing into uncharted waters as it leaves the EU. The answer must be, as May suggests, a different approach to human rights legislation. At the moment, the bar for taking extremists out of circulation is set ridiculously high. People who are known for their own extremism that reaches pre-terrorist levels should not be walking the streets when they have expressed support for Islamic State or tried to head to Syria or called for the destruction of the UK and other democracies or allied themselves to people already in prison. Their demand for free speech or freedom of belief must never be elevated above the rights of citizens to live safely in their own towns and cities. It is essential for parliament to lower the bar.

That the police and security services are avoiding any real confrontation with Islamists is clear from the contents of this letter, sent on June 7 to the Daily Mail by pro-Israel activist Clive Hyman. It makes troubling treading:
On 18th June, Muslims will be holding a march in central London to celebrate Al-Quds Day. In previous years these marches have called for the destruction of Israel and death to the Jews, and the marchers have carried signs to this effect and flags supporting Hamas, Hezbollah and ISIS. Despite requests from both the Christian and Jewish communities for this march to be cancelled because of the violence it will incite amongst those participating and their followers, Mayor Khan and the Metropolitan police have refused to do so, their reason being that there has been no violence at these marches in previous years.
By comparison, an event to honour Israel organised by Christians United for Israel for 22nd June has been cancelled apparently because Mayor Khan and the Metropolitan Police cannot guarantee the safety of those who wish to attend.
Is this to be the political landscape for the future, where groups of people demanding death and destruction are given the freedom of the streets whilst those wishing to hold a peaceful celebration are prevented from doing so?
As might be expected, leftists have rejected May's appeal for changes in human rights legislation. They argue that she will need to declare a state of emergency, something that can only be invoked when the life of the nation is under threat. This is not incorrect, since all democracies have to avoid potential dictators using changes in the law to give themselves powers they might not otherwise have. But that is not the whole story.

What May plans to do will take us far, but not far enough. Her weakness, set against Corbyn's show of strength, undermines the likelihood of any serious changes to how Britain tackles the Islamic threat. Bit by bit, the political fear of appearing xenophobic or "Islamophobic" will reassert itself. Labour will make sure of that. Members of parliament with substantial numbers of Muslim constituents will answer calls to water down any legislation that can be labelled as discriminatory to Muslims. It is only when we come to terms with the fact that terrorist attacks are not being carried out by Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Baha'is, Quakers or the members of any religion except Islam.

Regrettably May herself fell into a politically-correct trap in her speech, when she said in reference to Islamic radicalism, "It is an ideology that is a perversion of Islam and a perversion of the truth." It is easy to see what she means by this -- that she wants to distance radicalism and terrorism from the majority of decent Muslims in the UK, the ones like Sara Khan who work to create a British Islam based on the best Islamic values in alliance with the British values May rightly extols. However, to see extremist Islam as a "perversion" of Islam misses an important point. The politically correct insistence that radical versions of Islam somehow pervert an essentially peaceful and tolerant faith forces policy-makers and legislators, church leaders, rabbis, interfaith workers and the public at large to leave to one side an important reality. If not tackled head-on, that reality will not go away.

In a June 3 speech, British Prime Minister Theresa May regrettably fell into a politically-correct trap, when she said in reference to Islamic radicalism, "It is an ideology that is a perversion of Islam and a perversion of the truth." (Photo by Hannah McKay/Pool/Getty Images)

Flatly, Islam in its original and classic forms has everything to do with today's radicals and the violence they commit. The Qur'an is explicit in its hatred for pagans, Jews, and Christians. It calls for the fighting of holy war (jihad) to conquer the non-Muslim world, subdue it, and gradually bring it into the fold of Islam. Muhammad himself led his followers into battle and sent out expeditions out of Arabia before his death in 632. The astonishing Islamic conquests that followed in the Middle East, Europe, and far beyond into Central Asia and India turned a swathe of territories into Islamic fiefdoms, and most of these remain under Muslim rule today. The Ottoman Turkish conquest of Constantinople in 1453 not only destroyed the Eastern Orthodox Roman Empire (the Byzantine Empire), but is still regarded by Muslims as a turning point in the history of the world. The subsequent Ottoman conquests across eastern Europe were only halted when the King of Poland John III Sobieski (1629-1696) defeated a massive Turkish army under the command of Sultan Soleiman I outside the city of Vienna.

In 2015, after Islamist attacks in Paris, French president François Hollande declared that "We are in a war against terrorism, jihadism, which threatens the whole world." But Islam has been at war with Europe since the seventh century. The beheadings, crucifixions, massacres and demolitions of towns and churches carried out by Islamic State today are replicas of wider atrocities carried out by the Muslim conquerors of Spain in the 8th century.[2]

Jihad wars against the Byzantines were carried out twice a year. Spain and Portugal were occupied for centuries until the Christian kingdoms of the north drove the Muslims out, in a process that itself took some centuries. The Ottomans continued to be a threat down to their defeat in the First World War. From the sixteenth to late eighteenth centuries, the Muslim slavers, known as the Barbary pirates, dominated the Mediterranean and took more than a million Christian slaves to North Africa. In the nineteenth century, jihad wars against European colonists were frequent.[3] Today, Europeans and others are fighting wars against Islamic radicals from Afghanistan to Iraq to Syria, and on the streets of our own cities.

To be at war is justification for extreme measures. Deportation and internment are unattractive, just as the measures Western countries have been forced to take against their enemies in other wars. But set next to the threat of unending terror in our cities, and given the nature of the people we will deport or intern, they are probably not as bad as the alternative. We will not execute terrorists (just as Israel has never executed the thousands of terrorists who have murdered its citizens) nor torture them or harm their families. Minor adjustments to our human rights laws and the lowering of the bar a bit on what we consider unacceptable are all we need. But that will not stop Jeremy Corbyn and his terrorist-supporting friends crying that such measures will be a "slippery slope" that will set back community relations by decades.
Dr. Denis MacEoin has recently completed a large study of concerns with Islam. He is an Arabist, Persianist, and a specialist in Shi'i Islam. He is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Gatestone Institute.

[1] See also here.
[2] See Darío Fernández-Morera, The Myth of the Andalusian Paradise, Wilmington, 2016, chapters 1 and 2.
[3] See Rudolph Peters, Islam and Colonialism: The Doctrine of Jihad in Modern History, The Hague, 1979, especially chapter 3.

Denis MacEoin has recently completed a large study of concerns with Islam. He is an Arabist, Persianist, and a specialist in Shi'i Islam. He is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Gatestone Institute.


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Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.