Tag Archives: Islam

Obama And His Very Confused Middle East Policy

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The Obama administration’s policy in the Middle East appears to be designed to remove secular tyrants and replace them with more religiously oriented regimes.  Thus, Gaddafi (“We came, we saw, he died.”  Ha ha ha.) and Mubarak were targeted.  Bashar al Assad is the current target.  This policy has been marked by monumental incompetence, mendacity, and confusion.  Nothing about it should be accepted without a healthy dose of skepticism, including what follows.

The Telegraph of the U.K. has a video of U.S. commandos fleeing a town under a barrage of insults (“Crusaders!  Infidels!  Dogs!  Get out!”) from the Free Syrian Army, our supposed allies.  CENTCOM commander General Lloyd Austin testified that a 500-million-dollar program to train opposition soldier had resulted in “four or five” being trained.  CIA-backed rebels have had armed confrontations with Pentagon-backed forces.  Two of Senator John McCain’s Libyan “heroes,” Abdelhakim Belhadj and the late Abu Mosa, turned out to be ISIS leaders.  Turkish and Saudi allies clearly do not have the same objectives as the U.S.  Former U.S. Department of State senior adviser David Phillips said, “Turkey’s role has not been ambiguous – it has overtly supported the ISIL.”

This confused U.S. policy has led to speculation that the U.S. created and still supplies ISIS.  In an interview with a reporter from the Koelner Stadt-Anzeigernewspaper, Abu Al Ezz, a militant jihadist commander with Jabhat Al-Nusra, claims, “The U.S. is on our side.”  Abu Al Ezz claims that his tanks came from Libya and that they have been supplied with American-made TOW rockets.  He also claimed that “we had officers from Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Israel and America here[.] … Experts in the use of satellites, rockets, reconnaissance and thermal security cameras.”  Al Ezz claimed that Jabhat Al-Nusra broke with ISIS because “[m]ost of the IS leaders are working with intelligence services, and it’s now clear for us. We, the Jabhat Al-Nusra, have our own way.”  Jabhat al-Nusra has been designated a terrorist group by the U.S. and U.N.

Al Ezz’s allegations are supported by documents obtained by Judicial Watch that reveal early U.S. support for ISIS.  The same article reported that U.K.-based Conflict Armament Research’s report traced the origins of Croatian anti-tank rockets recovered from ISIS to a Saudi/CIA joint program via serial numbers.  In 2012, Kenneth R. Timmerman reported that the Taliban fired on a CH-47 helicopter with a Stinger missile.  He reported, “The Stinger [serial number] tracked back to a lot that had been signed out by the CIA recently, not during the anti-Soviet jihad.”  Jihadists have also obtained a “significant” number of tanks and Humvees from their operations in Iraq.  These weapons have undoubtedly led to the deaths of American servicemen.  Attacks on U.S. forces could have been led by released Guantanamo detainees.  The Washington Postreports that at least 12 former detainees have launched attacks against the U.S.

The anti-Assad coalition may also have used poison gas in order to justify a U.S. attack on the Assad regime.  The network nsnbc claims that evidence of approval leads directly to the White House.  Dr. Christof Lehmann has done an extensive study on the gas attack.  Investigative reporter Seymour Hersh claims that Hillary Clinton approved sending the gas to Syria.  Although this attack was to be attributed to the Assad regime, the evidence would not justify a U.S. attack. German intelligence claimed that it had intercepted phone calls between Syrian officers and the Syrian High Command that convinced them that none of the Syrian forces has used a chemical weapon.

Al Ezz also commented ten days prior to the attack on the aid convoy bound for Aleppo that Jabhat Al-Nusra would not allow the aid to go through.  The aid convoy was attacked on September 15, resulting in 20 civilian fatalities.  U.S. Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified that he had no doubt that it was a Russian attack and called it an “unacceptable atrocity.”  He based this on the fact that two Russian aircraft were in the area of the strike when it happened, but he admitted he “had no facts.”

Secretary of state John Kerry has proposed grounding Syrian and Russian aircraft over Syria.  However, according to General Dunford, “Right now … for us to control all of the airspace in Syria would require us to go to war against Syria and Russia.”  Defense secretary Ash Carter stated that U.S. jets conduct their strikes “with exceptional precision … that no other country can match.”  He said this after U.S. airplanes struck a Syrian base at Dayr Az Zawr.  CENTCOM declared that they halted this airstrike when they were informed by Russian officials that the target hit by U.S. airplanes may have been a Syrian Arab Army base.  There is no evidence of coordination, but ISIS assaulted and overran the Syrian Army base right after the U.S. airstrike.

The Dayr Az Zawr attack may have been the result of relying on intelligence provided by anti-Assad forces.  Apparently, U.S. intelligence does not have a good reputation.  Volker Perthes, director of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs in Berlin, has stated, “Everyone is extremely skeptical about U.S. intelligence revelations.”  A congressional task force has confirmed allegations that senior U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) leaders manipulated intelligence assessments in 2014 and 2015 to make it appear that President Barack Obama is winning the war against the Islamic State.”  And two senior intelligence analysts at CENTCOM say the military forced them out of their jobs because of their skeptical reporting on U.S.-backed rebel groups in Syria.

A spokesman for the Syrian military called the Dayr Az Zawr strike a “serious and blatant attack on Syria and its military” and “firm proof of the U.S. support of Daesh.”  (Daesh is the Arabic acronym for ISIS.)  A Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, announced, “The White House is defending Islamic State. Now there can be no doubts about that.”  Our U.N. ambassador, Samantha Power, said Zakharova should be embarrassed by that claim.

It is not only Russians and Syrians who question U.S. policy.  U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Tom McInerney has claimed, “We are not trying to destroy ISIS.”  Daniel McAdams, executive director of the Ron Paul Institute, asserted, “The CIA agenda is definitely not anti-ISIS [Daesh], it’s primarily anti-Assad.”  Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev claimed, “The strengthening of the Islamic State became possible partially due to irresponsible policies of the United States.”

Naturally, U.S. policy has led to increased tension.  U.S. ambassador to the U.N.Samantha Power stated, “It’s apocalyptic what is being done in eastern Aleppo.”  She may be closer to the truth than she realizes.  State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told the press, “I think when American lives are at stake, when we’re talking about defending our own interests, we’re not looking for the approval of the Syrian regime.”  Why is the State Department so unconcerned about Syrian airspace yet scrupulous about Libyan airspace when an ambassador is under attack?

John Dietrich is a freelance writer and the author of The Morgenthau Plan: Soviet Influence on American Postwar Policy, Algora Publishing, 2013.

Trump Sees the Jihadist Trojan Horse

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Don’t Say You Haven’t Been Warned about Terror

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Few are likely to mistake New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio for the fount of political wisdom. Even those few must have been astonished by his response to the first of the two incidents in his city on September 17, 2016. In his mode of political correctness, he said that the explosion on that day of a device in the Chelsea section of New York that injured 29 people and caused extensive damage, was an “intentional act.” He refused to acknowledge that the device was a bomb by an Islamist terrorist. One could draw the conclusion that it was really a Chinese firecracker that a joker used to intensify the usual cacophony on 23rd Street in New York on a Saturday evening.

Even for the politically correct it is now clear the various attacks or attempted attacks in two days, two in New York, one in Seaside Park in New Jersey, one in Elizabeth, NJ, were perpetrated by individuals linked to or influenced by Radical Islam. Fortunately, no one was killed in the explosions in New York and elsewhere, but the life of the city, its transit system, and its economy have been affected, if only temporally. In addition, the financial cost is high since, along with the physical damage, 1,000 additional NY State Police officers and National Guard troops are being deployed to patrol bus terminals, airports, and subway stations in New York.

It is ironic that the major explosion took place a few days before the 71st annual meeting in New York of the United Nations General Assembly beginning on September 19, 2016. The U.S. as host country is responsible for the security of the thousands of dignitaries who are attending the meeting, little more than a mile away from the scene of the explosion at 23rd Street.

The General Assembly is due to discuss a number of important global issues, including climate change, and sustainable development. Nevertheless, recent events have made it even more imperative that the UN should spend considerably more time on what should be its immediate priority, responding to international terrorism. It is bewildering that though there are countless proposed definitions of “terrorism” by organizations and countries throughout the world, the UN has been unable to agree on any binding definition, and consequently unable or unwilling to propose solutions or get agreement to act against the evil of our time.

The problem is even more pronounced because the UN is supposed to prevent and combat terrorism, even if undefined. The UN endorsed the Global Control-Terrorism Strategy, and the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force. In 2004 the UN Security Council in Resolution 1566 passed a nonbinding resolution on terrorism. It has also been concerned with threats to international peace and security. But the lack of consensus among the countries on what behavior constitutes terrorism prevents action.

On the definition of, and the search for the cause and motivation of terrorist acts some clarity is appropriate. Many well-meaning humanitarian organizations often call for inquiry into the “root causes” of terrorism. As a starting point, they should be aware that terrorism is not to be equated with any of the suggestions that are in effect excuses for violence: armed struggle of people under colonial or foreign domination or occupation; the struggle for liberation and self-determination; the unlawful use of force; poverty, social and economic inequality: racial or religious discrimination; emotional and mental instability.

The reality, all too obvious in view of the recurring atrocities aimed at killing innocent civilians, is that the overwhelming terrorism in our age is the result of Radical Islam, whether perpetrated by organizations that may or may not be state-sponsored, or by private individuals, so-called lone wolves. It may be ISIS, or al-Qaeda, or the Nusra Front, or Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, or Al Mourabitoun and Boko Haram in Africa, or Ansar al- Shariah in Algeria, or one of the many Islamist groups in the Middle East and North Africa.

Or it may be individuals such as Nidal Hassan, who killed 13 people at Fort Hood in November 2009, or the couple of Pakistani descent who killed 14 in San Bernardino in December 2015, or Dahir Adan, a Somali, who stabbed nine people in a shopping mall in St. Cloud in Minnesota, in September 2016, or Ahmad Khan Rahami, the 28-year-old Afghan immigrant and citizen of the U.S. who is alleged to have triggered the Chelsea explosion.

In all cases, whether or not the individual perpetrator was addressed as “soldier of the Islamic state,” the objective was the same, to inflict maximum damage on western life and civilians in the name of Islam. The West now appreciates that ISIS has been claiming responsibility for most of the terrorist acts of groups and individuals all over Europe and in the U.S. ISIS and its main competitor Al-Qaeda and other Islamist groups have declared they are at war with the West, and the U.S. is the prime target, the main symbol of liberty, civil and human rights, and of the Enlightenment.

Indeed. the most recent ISIS video is titled “So take warning,”

Contrary to President Obama, terrorism has not been contained. A number of actions are necessary to counter it. First, the next president of the U.S. must exercise leadership and willpower, and lead a coalition of interested foreign parties that could include not only the democratic West but also Russia, Turkey, the Kurds, and the Gulf countries. That person has to make clear that the U.S. is responding to and giving priority to the war inflicted on Western civilization, while maintaining the delicate balance between free expression, national security, and protection of the population.

ISIS, surviving on extortion, robbery, human trafficking, and oil, must be ended. So must the other groups, especially al-Qaeda, which cut ties with ISIS in February 2014 for tactical and ideological reasons and now is anxious to reassert its influence.

A second requirement is to put maximum emphasis on the use of social networks. Cyberspace and new technology must be intensified against ISIS to counter its very effective online propaganda. Perhaps Twitter can be induced to prevent terrorists from misusing it, even removing accounts associated with ISIS from the social media.

A third issue is the controversial one of immigration. European countries are troubled by the problem and are seek to control their borders and turn away the many thousands of economic migrants, some posing as refugees, and some perhaps potential terrorists. British Prime Minister Theresa May has declared that the uncontrolled wave of immigrants into Europe is not in the best interests of the UK nor of the countries they have left.

The local state election on September 18, 2016 in Berlin has shown the backlash against the generous migrant policy of Chancellor Angela Merkel. The anti-immigrant party, the Alternative for Germany (AfD) founded only in 2013, has had a dramatic rise and won 13 % of the vote in the Berlin Parliament.

The candidates in the U.S. presidential election, like the rest of the U.S. population in Chelsea and elsewhere, are aware of these issues. The question is whether they will use them to their electoral advantage.