Last week Bashar al-Assad attacked his own people and killed many of them with poison gas. President Trump ordered that two US ships patrolling the eastern Mediterranean fire cruise missiles to destroy the Syrian airfield from where the gas was carried and the aircraft that carried it.
We were delighted that he did. We cheered. The mass-murdering tyrant Assad and his allies and supporters, Russia and Iran, were being shown that the United States was no longer going to stand by while they committed such atrocities. We also applauded Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s announcement that Assad must go.
We invited our readers, both here on The Atheist Conservative website and on our Facebook page, to tell us what they thought about President Trump’s action.
Few agreed with us. Most said that Assad should be left in place because who knew what would follow his deposition. We argue that whatever followed, Syria could hardly experience worse than it has under Assad’s rule.
They argued that there was no firm evidence that Assad was responsible for the gassing. Some wanted him to be blamed and punished fairly, justly, as in an American court of law; not taking his past record into account; looking only at this particular atrocity and whether the evidence was strong enough for him to be found guilty of it.
Some declared that they had until now been Trump supporters, but his stroke against Assad had changed their view of him.
How many, we wonder, of those who voted Donald Trump into power now think he has done something so wrong that they regret their choice?
We cannot know. We do not trust the polls, and there is not going to be another presidential election in the near future to give the answer.
We can only point out that if we lose Trump, we lose the war. He is all we’ve got between us and the end of our civilization.
What war? How will it be the end of our civilization if we lose it?
Let’s look round the world and see what’s happening.
This is from an article at Gatestone by Guy Millière, titled Geert Wilders and the Suicide of Europe:
For years, the Dutch mainstream media have spread hatred and defamation against [Geert] Wilders for trying to warn the Dutch people – and Europe – about what their future will be if they continue their current immigration policies; in exchange, last December, a panel of three judges found him guilty of “inciting discrimination”. Newspapers and politicians all over Europe unceasingly describe him as a dangerous man and a rightist firebrand. Sometimes they call him a “fascist”.
What did Geert Wilders ever do to deserve that? None of his remarks ever incriminated any person or group because of their race or ethnicity. To charge him, the Dutch justice system had excessively and abusively to interpret words he used during a rally in which he asked if the Dutch wanted “fewer Moroccans”. None of Wilders’s speeches incites violence against anyone; the violence that surrounds him is directed only at him. He defends human rights and democratic principles and he is a resolute enemy of all forms of anti-Semitism.
His only “crime” is to denounce the danger represented by the Islamization of the Netherlands and the rest of Europe and to claim that Islam represents a mortal threat to freedom. …
What is happening in the Netherlands is similar to what is happening in most European countries. In the United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Germany and Sweden, the number of no-go zones is rapidly growing. Islamic riots occur more and more often. Ethnic gangs are growing more violent. Ethnic cleansing is transforming neighborhoods. Jews are leaving for Israel or North America.The Muslim population is sharply increasing. Radical mosques are proliferating. Islamic organizations are everywhere.
Politicians who dare to speak the way Geert Wilders does are treated the way Geert Wilders is treated : scorned, marginalized, put on trial.
The vision of the world in Western Europe is now “hegemonic”. It is based on the idea that the Western world is guilty; that all cultures are equal, and that Islamic culture is “more equal” than Western culture because Islam was supposedly so long oppressed by the West. What adherents of this view, that the West is guilty, “forget” is that Islam long oppressed the West: Muslim armies conquered Persia, the Christian Byzantine Empire, North Africa and the Middle East, Spain, Greece, Hungary, Serbia and the Balkans, and virtually all of Eastern Europe. The Muslim armies were a constant threat until the marauding Ottoman troops were finally turned away at the Gates of Vienna in 1683.
This European vision also includes the idea that all conflicts can be peacefully settled, that appeasement is almost always a solution, and that Europe has no enemies.
It also stands on the idea that an enlightened elite must have the power, because if Adolf Hitler came to power through democratic means eighty years ago, letting people freely decide their fate might lead to ill.
The dream seems to be of a utopian future where poverty will be overcome by welfare systems, and violence will be defeated by openness and love.
Repeat: Islamic terrorism “will be defeated by openness and love”.
It is this vision of the world that may have prompted Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel to open the doors to more than a million unvetted Muslim migrants, despite a migrant crime wave and an increasing number of rapes and sexual assaults. The only candidate likely to beat Angela Merkel in this year’s German elections is a socialist, Martin Schulz, a former European Parliament president.
In France, Marine Le Pen, the only candidate who speaks of Islam and immigration, will almost certainly be defeated by Emmanuel Macron, a former minister in the government of François Hollande — a man who see no evil anywhere.
It is this vision of the world that also seems to have led British Prime Minister Theresa May to say that the Islamic attack on March 22 in Westminster was “not an act of Islamic terrorism”.
This romanticized, utopian vision of the world also explains why in Europe, people such as Geert Wilders are seen as the incarnation of evil, but radical Islam is considered a marginal nuisance bearing no relation to the “religion of peace”. Meanwhile, Wilders is condemned to live under protection as if he were in jail, while those who want to slaughter him — and who threaten millions of people in Europe — walk around free.
Of all the countries in Europe where the indigenous Europeans have capitulated to Islam, the one most eager to submit to that supremacist totalitarian conqueror is Sweden. Recently a jihadi drove a truck into a crowd of Swedes, killing four.
What will the Swedes – what remains of them – do to save themselves from Islamic terrorism?
They will ban the use of vehicles in Swedish cities:
Virginia Hale reports at Breitbart:
Cars and other vehicles “have turned into deadly weapons”, and should be banished from cities to stop attacks like the one in Stockholm from happening in future, according to Aftonbladet editorialist Eva Franchell.
Crackdowns on immigration or extremist ideology are not the way forward when it comes to terror prevention, according to the veteran journalist, writing after Friday’s terror attack in Stockholm left four people dead.
Instead, it is cars — which she calls “effective murder machines” — that Franchell says “[which] must simply be removed from city centres and places where people gather, if people are to be protected in future”.
Vehicles are “easy to steal, and so nothing has been able to stop their advance”, writes Ms. Franchell.
“It just isn’t reasonable that a big truck can be driven right into one of Stockholm’s busiest streets on a Friday afternoon right before Easter.”
Noting how it is a popular destination for tourists, Franchell says the city centre must be a “safe environment” for visitors to enjoy. She described it as “remarkable” that it is possible to drive around the Swedish capital’s medieval old town.
Outlining her vision for a car-free Stockholm, she argues: “Most problems with regards to mobility and public transport can be solved, and deliveries to shops and restaurants could take place at times when people aren’t out on the streets.”
“Vehicles have been allowed to dominate our cities for decades and it’s the people who need space. It’s vital now that cars be regulated,” the piece concludes.
The idea of reducing the number of cars in Swedish cities was backed last month by Sweden’s environment minister, who argued that driving is a gender equality issue as well as a matter of shrinking the nation’s carbon emissions.
“Cars are driven largely by men so by giving a lot of space to cars; we’re giving a lot of space to men — at the expense of women,” Karolina Skog explained.
Cars are evil, and the need to get rid of them is a feminist issue. Two big important fights to be engaged there, with cars and sex inequality.
So are we and President Trump in a very small minority of Westerners who think that we should use all our strength to defeat Islam and its helpers and allies?
We don’t know. But there are voices raised on our side.
This is from the Investigative Project on Terrorism, by Yaakov Lappin:
The conflict in Syria has long ceased being a civil war, becoming instead a clash between coalitions and blocs that divide the entire Middle East.
The Iranian-led axis is the most dangerous and highly armed bloc fighting in Syria. Bashar al-Assad’s regime is not an independent actor, but rather, a component of this wider axis. In many respects, Assad is a junior member of the Iranian coalition set up to fight for him.
Russia joined the Iranian axis in 2015, acting for its own reasons as the pro-Assad coalition’s air force, helping to preserve the Syrian regime.
This coalition enabled the Assad regime to conduct mass murder and ethnic cleansing of Sunnis from Syria, while also using unconventional weapons against civilians in an effort to terrorize rebel organizations into submission.
Feeling confident by its growing control of Syria, Iran also uses its regional coalition to arm, finance, and deploy Shi’ite jihadist agents all over the Middle East, and to attack those who stand in the way of Iranian domination.
The Iranian-led axis has been able to spread violence, terrorism, and Islamic militancy without facing repercussions.
Until recently, the United States focused its attention exclusively on Sunni jihadist threats – ISIS and al-Qaida-affiliated groups. While these terrorists certainly need to be attacked, turning a blind eye to the activities of the more powerful radical Shi’ite coalition did nothing to stop the region’s destabilization. In this context, Assad’s numerous crimes against humanity went unanswered.
This helped embolden Assad to use chemical weapons. It also gave the Iranians confidence to magnify their meddling in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen, Bahrain, and to target many other states. The end result is Iran’s enhanced ability to export its Khomeiniest Islamic fundamentalist doctrine.
That sent a troubling message to America’s regional allies, who, in the face of these threats, formed a de facto coalition of pragmatic Sunni states – a coalition that includes Israel.
On April 6, the U.S. sent a signal that something may have changed. A cruise missile attack on an Assad regime air base, in response to a savage chemical weapons massacre in Idlib, Syria, was, first and foremost, a moral response to an intolerable act of evil.
But the strike also carries a wider prospective message about Washington’s new willingness to enforce red lines against Assad and his Shi’ite allies.
Potentially, it is an indication that the U.S. is willing to use its military prowess beyond the objective of targeting ISIS, and that it recognizes that Sunni jihadists are not the only global security threat that warrants the use of military force.
Statements by senior Trump administration officials indicate that a shift has occurred. “What you have in Syria is a very destructive cycle of violence perpetuated by ISIS, obviously, but also by this regime and their Iranian and Russian sponsors,” National Security Adviser H. R. McMaster told Fox News Sunday.
Russia must choose between its alignment with Assad, Iran, and Hizballah, and working with the United States, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Tuesday. The firm comment was made hours before he touched down in Moscow for talks.
According to U.S. officials, the April 6 missile attack destroyed 20 percent of Assad’s fighter jets. It represents the first time that Washington has taken military action against a member of the Iranian-led coalition.
The strike could evolve into a “dialogue of deterrence” that the U.S. initiates against dangerous actors. These radical actors all have “return addresses”, and are likely to prove responsive to cost-benefit considerations, despite their extreme ideology. They may think twice before considering further development and usage of unconventional weapons.
Washington is now able to exercise muscular diplomacy – the only kind that is effective in the Middle East – and inform all members of the Iran’s pro-Assad coalition that the deployment of unconventional weapons will not be tolerated. It can also begin to rally and strengthen the pro-American coalition of states in the Middle East, who seek to keep a lid on both ISIS and Iran.
With American officials indicating that they are “ready to do more” in Syria if necessary, signs suggest that the strike represents the start of a policy of deterrence, and leaving open future options for drawing additional red lines.
In theory, should Washington decide that Iran’s transfer of weapons and extremist Shi’ite military forces to other lands has reached unacceptable levels, or that Iran’s missile development program has gone far enough, it could call on Tehran to cease these activities. This call would carry substantially more weight following last week’s missile attack on the Syrian airbase.
The U.S. is in a better position to inform Assad and his allies that there is a limit to how far they can go in pursuing their murderous ambitions.
While the objective of creating a renewed American deterrent posture is vital, it should not be confused with plans for wider military intervention in the seemingly endless Syrian conflict.
There is little reason to believe that conventional weapons use against Syrian civilians is going to stop any time soon, or that the enormous tragedy suffered by the Syrian people is about to end.
And there is certainly no indication that the U.S. is planning to initiate large-scale military involvement in this failed state.
Hence, the missile strike should be seen for what it is: an attempt to boost American deterrence, which can then be leveraged to restrain radical actors that have, until now, been operating completely unchecked.
That is a message that will likely be heard loud and clear not only in Damascus, but also in Tehran, which has not given up its long-term ambition of building nuclear weapons.
North Korea, which helped build Syria’s plutonium nuclear plant (destroyed in 2007 in a reported Israeli air strike), and which maintains close links with Iran’s nuclear and missile programs, can be expected to take note as well.
If a policy of strategic deterrence follows the strike, it could have an impact on a coalition that is not just keeping Assad’s regime alive, but spreading its radical influence in many other areas.
In Syria, the Iranian Republican Guards Corps (IRGC) oversees ground operations across many battlefields to prop up Bashar al-Assad. Iran has gathered and armed tens of thousands of Shi’ite militia members from across the region into Syria, and manages a local force composed of 100,000 members. They fight alongside the Syrian Arab Army against Sunni rebel organizations, thereby increasing and entrenching Iranian influence.
The IRGC and its elite Quds Force are also helping to fill Hizballah’s weapons depots in Lebanon, with a vast array of surface-to-surface projectiles that are all pointed at Israel, often using Syria as an arms trafficking transit zone. Syria acts as a bridge that grants Iran access to Lebanon, and allows it to threaten both Israel and Jordan.
Jordan, an important U.S. ally, is deeply concerned by Iran’s actions in Syria, as evidenced by recent comments made by King Abdullah, who told the Washington Post that “there is an attempt to forge a geographic link between Iran, Iraq, Syria and Hezbollah/Lebanon.” IRGC forces are stationed within a mere 45 miles from Jordan’s border, he warned, adding that any hostile forces approaching the Hashemite Kingdom “are not going to be tolerated”.
Hizballah, a Lebanese-based Iranian Shi’ite proxy, evolved into a powerful army by sending 7,000 to 9,000 of its own highly trained members into Syria’s ground war. It helped rescue the Assad regime from collapse, and took part in battles stretching from Aleppo to the Qalamoun Mountains northeast of Damascus.
Last year, the Arab League and the Sunni countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council all declared Hizballah to be a terrorist entity.
Just as Iranian-backed Shi’ite militias have poured into Syria, the same has happened in Iraq, where 100,000 fighters supported by Tehran fight alongside the Iraqi government forces against ISIS. The IRGC’s network extends to Yemen’s Houthi Ansar Allah forces, who receive Iranian assistance. Ansar Allah, a heavily armed Shi’ite military force, fires ballistic missiles at Saudi Arabia on a regular basis.
The IRGC and Hizballah have been linked to a recent large-scale terrorist plot in Bahrain.
If the message addressed in the cruise missile strike is followed up with a strategy of deterrence, addressed to Ayatollah Khamenei as much as it was addressed to Assad, the U.S. could begin projecting to the world that it recognizes the threat posed by Shi’ite jihadists as much as it takes seriously the threat from their fundamentalist Sunni equivalents.
Washington’s campaign to pressure Russia to distance itself from its Middle Eastern allies could play an important part of this message.
It will take more than pressure. It will take war. If we want to save ourselves, we need all the cruise missiles we can make, and probably all the nukes too.
But if the West has no stomach for war, then it will perish in a state of “openness and love”, congratulating itself on its virtue: its fairness, its peacefulness, its generosity, its tolerance, its refusal to be racist, xenophobic, Islamophobic, or sexist. A great moral victory. And then – no more fairness, peacefulness, generosity, tolerance. No women driving cars. Just Islam.
Nebraska Democrats welcome Muslim “refugees” – some of them, opines this spokeswoman, “with skills”, such as those who have been “leaders of political parties” – with “comfort baskets” that include voting registration forms.
Note 1: There is no Islamic political organization in any of the countries the Muslim “refugees” are coming from – chiefly Syria and Iraq – that is not supremacist and totalitarian. There are no middle eastern Muslim political leaders who would allow women to be equal to men.
Note 2: US law does not permit an immigrant to vote until he/she has been in the US for 5 years and has then applied for, and been granted, citizenship.
This is pure “virtue-signaling”.
“We are such nice generous people,” is this woman’s message. “See how nice I am, how nice we Democrats are.”
They are not nice. They are either ill-informed and foolish, or deliberately subversive.
Steve Gern, an American in Iraq, presents a compelling argument for banning Middle Eastern “refugees” – Muslim would-be immigrants – from coming to the United States.
February 6, 2016. WE ARE LEAVING THIS POST AS IT IS, WITH A WITHDRAWN VIDEO THAT NO ONE CAN NOW SEE, TO DEMONSTRATE HOW FREE SPEECH IS BEING CURTAILED TO PROTECT ISLAM FROM TRUTHFUL CRITICISM.
THE ONLY SPEECH IN THE VIDEO THAT COULD BE CALLED “HATE SPEECH”, IS THE REPORTED DECLARATION BY MUSLIMS IN IRAQ THAT AN AMERICAN IS AT RISK OF BEING MURDERED THERE, BY IRAQIS, AT ANY MOMENT – FOR NO REASON BUT THAT HE IS AN AMERICAN AND AN “INFIDEL”.
Later news from Conservative Tribune, February 7, 2016:
Former Marine sergeant who was working as a security contractor in Iraq has been evacuated from the country after a video he made endorsing Donald Trump’s temporary immigration freeze went viral, garnering 43 million views.
Steven Gern’s video, which was posted on Facebook last week, has garnered over 289,000 likes in addition to its immense number of views. In it, Gern talked about asking locals in Iraq what would happen if he walked into town unprotected as an American.
They said he “absolutely would not be welcome.” When he asked what would happen to him, they said that he would be tortured and killed within an hour. The point of it is … this is the local populace who would do this. This isn’t ISIS, this isn’t Al Qaeda, this isn’t the PMU, this isn’t a militia from the Iranians, or anything like that. This is the local populace that would do this.
“So, my question to them was pretty simple after that: If you would do this to me, in your country, why would I let you into my country? Because all this means to me is that, if you have the opportunity to take the life of an American, you would do it.
“So, maybe there’s something you all need to think about back there,” he told his viewers. “If this is the way some of these cultures feel, if this is the way that these countries feel about Americans, why would you be so naive as to believe that if they came into the US, they would do anything any different than what they do right here in their own country?”
About Steve Gern:
… ends with a diabolical act of treachery.
Bret Stephens writes at the Wall Street Journal:
Barack Obama’s decision to abstain from, and therefore allow, last week’s vote to censure Israel at the U.N. Security Council is a fitting capstone for what’s left of his foreign policy. Strategic half-measures, underhanded tactics and moralizing gestures have been the president’s style from the beginning. Israelis aren’t the only people to feel betrayed by the results.
Also betrayed: Iranians, whose 2009 Green Revolution in heroic protest of a stolen election Mr. Obama conspicuously failed to endorse for fear of offending the ruling theocracy.
Iraqis, who were assured of a diplomatic surge to consolidate the gains of the military surge, but who ceased to be of any interest to Mr. Obama the moment U.S. troops were withdrawn, and only concerned him again when ISIS neared the gates of Baghdad.
Syrians, whose initially peaceful uprising against anti-American dictator Bashar Assad Mr. Obama refused to embrace, and whose initially moderate-led uprising Mr. Obama failed to support, and whose sarin- and chlorine-gassed children Mr. Obama refused to rescue, his own red lines notwithstanding.
Ukrainians, who gave up their nuclear weapons in 1994 with formal U.S. assurances that their “existing borders” would be guaranteed, only to see Mr. Obama refuse to supply them with defensive weapons when Vladimir Putin invaded their territory 20 years later.
Pro-American Arab leaders, who expected better than to be given ultimatums from Washington to step down, and who didn’t anticipate the administration’s tilt toward the Muslim Brotherhood as a legitimate political opposition, and toward Tehran as a responsible negotiating partner.
Most betrayed: Americans.
Mr. Obama promised a responsible end to the war in Iraq. We are again fighting in Iraq. He promised victory in Afghanistan. The Taliban are winning. He promised a reset with Russia. We are enemies again. He promised the containment of Iran. We are witnessing its ascendancy in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen. He promised a world free of nuclear weapons. We are stumbling into another age of nuclear proliferation. He promised al Qaeda on a path to defeat. Jihad has never been so rampant and deadly.
These are the results. They would be easier to forgive if they hadn’t so often been reached by disingenuous and dishonorable means.
The administration was deceptive about the motives for the 2012 Benghazi attack. It was deceptive about Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s service record, and the considerations that led it to exchange five Taliban leaders for his freedom. It was deceptive about when it began nuclear negotiations with Iran. It was deceptive about the terms of the deal. It continues to be deceptive about the fundamental aim of the agreement, which has less to do with curbing Iran’s nuclear ambitions than with aligning Washington’s interests with Tehran’s.
Now the administration is likely being deceptive about last week’s U.N. vote, claiming it did not promote, craft or orchestrate a resolution that treats the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City as a settlement in illegally occupied territory. Yet in November, John Kerry had a long talk on the subject with the foreign minister of New Zealand, one of the resolution’s sponsors.
“One of the closed-door discussions between United States Secretary of State John Kerry and the New Zealand government today was a potential resolution by the United Nations Security Council on a two-state solution for the Israel-Palestine conflict,” the New Zealand Herald reported last month. “‘It is a conversation we are engaged in deeply and we’ve spent some time talking to Secretary Kerry about where the U.S. might go on this,’” the paper added, quoting Foreign Minister Murray McCully.
The Israelis claim to have more evidence along these lines. If so, it means the administration no longer bothers to lie convincingly.
Even this might be excusable, if Mr. Obama at least had the courage of his mistaken convictions, or if his deception were in the service of a worthier end. Instead, we have the spectacle of the U.S. government hiding behind the skirts of the foreign minister of New Zealand — along with eminent co-sponsors, Venezuela, Malaysia and Senegal — in order to embarrass and endanger a democratic ally in a forum where that ally is already isolated and bullied. In the catalog of low points in American diplomacy, this one ranks high.
After the Carter administration pulled a similar stunt against Israel at the Security Council in December 1980, the Washington Post published an editorial that does the paper honor today.
“It cannot be denied,” the editors wrote, “that there is a pack and that it hounds Israel shamelessly and that this makes it very serious when the United States joins it.” The editorial was titled Joining the Jackals.
Unlike Mr. Carter, Mr. Obama hasn’t joined the jackals. He has merely opened the door wide to them, whether at the U.N. or in the skies over Syria or in the killing fields in Ukraine.
The United States abstains: What a fitting finish to this ruinous presidency.
Yes. For America, if not for himself, Obama’s presidency has been a colossal foreign policy failure.
If his domestic policy failures – a long list, headed by his failure to achieve even 3% GDP growth in any year of his two terms and his worsening of race relations – are added to the record, he surpasses Jimmy Carter to win the title of America’s worst president.
Islam’s renewed campaign against our civilization is inspired, directed, and carried out by the Muslim Brotherhood and the groups it has spawned.
Barack Hussein Obama, astoundingly elected President of the United States in 2008, did what he could to empower the Brotherhood, insisting that the organization, banned in Egypt, have pride of place in the audience of his first address abroad as president, in Cairo. He did his utmost to support the Brotherhood when revolution brought it to power in Egypt, and objected furiously when it was overthrown. He went so far as to appoint Muslim Brotherhood personnel as his advisers. The disastrous US policy towards the Middle East, causing war, civil war, displacements of millions, the catastrophic flooding of Europe by Muslim migrants, the death by drowning of thousands in the Mediterranean, the enslavement and mass murder of Christians and Yazidis, is the manifest result of their advice.
What a conjuring act it has been for Obama – to use his power to help the Muslim Brotherhood attain its ends at the same time as having to seem to be the chief guardian of Western civilization and liberty!
The two theorists on whose writings the Muslim Brotherhood was founded were Hasan al-Banna and Sayyid Qutb. ISIS, al-Qaeda, their terrorist activities in Europe and America, all spring from the Muslim Brotherhood, the organization that Obama protected, promoted, indulged, and abetted.
Writing in the Guardian, Robert Manne – emeritus professor of politics and vice-chancellor’s fellow at La Trobe University in Melbourne – explains how the Muslim Brotherhood and its “Qutbism” launched the jihad that is being waged against us. We quote his article in part:
During the period of my research, the Islamic State published in several languages, including English, a quarterly online magazine called Dabiq. …
In Dabiq, no theme was more important than the Islamic State’s desire to destroy those it regarded as its historical and current enemies – especially the Shia Muslims, the Rafida; their Syrian cousins, the Alawites or Nusayris; the fallen apostate peoples, the Yazidis and the Druze; the Christian west, the “Crusaders”; and the eternal enemy of the Muslims, the Jews. Despite its intellectual sophistication, each issue of Dabiq contained eschatological articles, concerning, for example, the nature of the Dajjal (the Rafida equivalent of the Antichrist) or the coming battles at the End of Days, from whose prophesied battleground, the town of Dabiq, the magazine took its name.
The magazine had several regular features. Each issue provided details of the military triumphs of the Islamic State and its affiliates, including both the planned operations and the lone-wolf attacks on its Crusader enemies in the west. (It was, however, conspicuously silent about the setbacks.) Each issue contained gruesome photos of the enemies it had dispatched – the beheaded western or Japanese hostages, the immolated Jordanian pilot, and dozens showing the corpses of the captured enemy troops and of the Shias, Alawites or Yazidis it had slaughtered.
Each issue told the story of the noble mujahideen “martyrs”, under the rubric Among the Believers Are Men. In a regular column called From Our Sisters, questions concerning women were discussed – the benefits of polygyny; the merits of sexual slavery; and the mothers’ indispensable role in providing a suitable education for the “lion cubs” – the next generation of soldiers. One of Dabiq’s preoccupations was the horror of life in the infidel (kuffar) societies of the west and the religious obligation of Muslims around the world to undertake migration to the Islamic State (hijrah) now that the caliphate had been established. …
Dabiq contained a regular feature it called In the Words of the Enemy. Here, special pleasure was taken in the comments of leading US generals, politicians or journalists expressing anxiety about the growing strength of the Islamic State and the danger it posed.
The pages of Dabiq express a remarkably consistent and internally coherent ideology, no less consistent and coherent than the Marxism–Leninism of the Soviet Union during the era of Stalin; more consistent and coherent, in my view, than the ideology of Nazism. As one can assume that Dabiq represents the official world-view of the Islamic State, it is surprising how little it has been analyzed by specialist scholars. It has been my primary source for an understanding of the mind of the current leadership of the Islamic State. …
The ideology of the Islamic State is founded upon the prison writings of the revolutionary Egyptian Muslim Brother Sayyid Qutb, in particular some sections of his commentary In the Shade of the Qur’an, but most importantly his late visionary work Milestones, published in 1964.
Qutb argued that the entire world, including the supposedly Muslim states, had fallen into a time of pre-Islamic ignorance, jahiliyya, or pagan darkness. He called upon the small number of true Muslims to form a revolutionary vanguard to restore the light of Islam to the world. …
So powerful was Qutb’s vision that several scholars have termed the ideology that provided the foundation of the Islamic State “Qutbism”. …
The first answer to the question about what was to be done by those who hoped to implement Qutb’s vision came a decade and a half after the master’s death, with The Neglected Duty, the underground revolutionary working paper of an Egyptian electrical engineer, Muhammad Abd al-Salam Faraj. Faraj called upon Muslims to fulfil their religious obligation of jihad – which he, like Qutb, interpreted as violent struggle in the service of God – and to lay the foundation of a truly Islamic state. His favoured method was assassination of the most important contemporary enemy of the Muslims, the apostate “Pharaoh”, a clear reference to the president of Egypt, Anwar Sadat.
Faraj regarded the “near enemy”, the Egyptian state, as a more strategically significant target than the “far enemy”, the Crusader Americans and the Zionist Jews. In 1981 Faraj’s group succeeded in their plot to kill Sadat. As a consequence, Faraj’s life, like Qutb’s, ended on the gallows. His pamphlet nonetheless represented the beginning of a 20-year era during which Egyptian jihadi revolutionaries, under the spell of Qutb’s prison writings, conducted a prolonged, bloody and ultimately unsuccessful revolutionary struggle against the “near enemy” – with plots to assassinate the apostate leaders, the taghut; to stage military coups; to incite popular uprisings.
A more influential answer to the question of what was to be done to implement the Qutbist vision was provided shortly after Faraj’s death by the Palestinian Islamic scholar Abdullah Azzam. After the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Azzam moved to Peshawar and established an office for the organisation of Arabs who had journeyed to Afghanistan to support the local jihadi fighters, the mujahideen.
In remarkably eloquent speeches, in the articles of his magazine, al-Jihad, and especially in two of his short books, Defence of the Muslim Lands and Join the Caravan, Azzam called upon Muslims across the globe to defend their nation, the umma, which was now under direct threat. Azzam insisted that defence of the umma through jihad, in the face of the infidel invader, was not a collective but an individual duty for each Muslim, as obligatory as one of the five pillars of the faith, such as praying and fasting. Azzam was assassinated in 1989, nobody knows for certain by whom. But by the time of his death, he had convinced a generation of revolutionary Muslims that the Afghan and Arab mujahideen had been responsible, through God’s grace and through their glorious martyrs’ deaths, for crippling the military might of the Soviet Union in Afghanistan.
Moreover, he saw in the triumphant struggles of the mujahideen in Afghanistan a portent of a worldwide Islamic revival – in the jahili Muslim lands of the present; in his homeland, Palestine, and all other Muslim lands that had been conquered by the Crusaders; eventually across the entire globe.
In Afghanistan, Azzam had worked for a time with a wealthy Saudi of Yemeni background, Osama bin Laden. …
Having absorbed both Qutb’s vision and Azzam’s triumphalism and ambition … in 1988 Bin Laden created in Afghanistan an organisation he called al-Qaeda, which was eventually to become the first global army of jihadis.
In 1996, upon his return to Afghanistan, Bin Laden set his sights on the destruction of the only remaining superpower, the United States. In his view, the US was under the control of the Jews. It had been responsible for inflicting upon the Muslims the cruellest wound, the creation of a Jewish state at the very heart of the umma. It was also the indispensable patron and protector of the taghut regimes throughout the supposedly Muslim world. Perhaps worst of all, since 1990, by invitation from the Saudi royal family after Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, the US had occupied the land of the two holiest cities of Islam, Mecca and Medina. In 1998 al-Qaeda called upon the mujahideen to kill Americans and Jews.
One of the signatories of Bin Laden’s fatwa was the most influential Egyptian Qutbist revolutionary of the past 20 years, Ayman al-Zawahiri. In mid-2001 Zawahiri led a part of his group, al-Jihad, into al-Qaeda. Their union was consummated with a double conversion. Zawahiri adopted Bin Laden’s concentration on the far enemy. For his part, Bin Laden adopted the tactic that Zawahiri and other Egyptian Islamist revolutionaries had long embraced: suicide bombings, or what the Qutbists now called “martyrdom operations” – a vital tactic in technologically unequal, asymmetrical warfare. The first fruit of their union was 9/11, the attack on the twin towers in New York and the Pentagon.
By this time, Zawahiri was responsible, most comprehensively in his 2001 memoir, Knights under the Prophet’s Banner, for systematising the political ideology founded on the vision of Sayyid Qutb.
The ideology had not yet reached its latest and perhaps final destination. One consequence of 9/11 was the March 2003 US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq. As it happened, one leader of the Sunni resistance was a Jordanian revolutionary jihadi, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who had established his own training camp in Afghanistan in 1999 at Herat and then, after the US invasion of Afghanistan and attack on the Taliban, had moved to Iraq via Iran in preparation for the generally anticipated US invasion.
Zarqawi was responsible for adding several new elements to the political ideology inspired by Qutb and systematised by Zawahiri. Zarqawi injected into its heart a sectarian and exterminatory hatred of the Shia.
Drawing upon the strategic theory of Abu Bakr Naji, the author of The Management of Savagery, and the theology of a jihadi scholar, Abu Abdullah al-Muhajir, the author of a work most commonly known as The Jurisprudence of Blood, Zarqawi extended vastly the purpose, the method and the permissible scope of killing. He conducted public beheadings of hostages. He greatly expanded the role of suicide bombings, with increasingly callous theological justifications, targeting not only the occupation forces and their Iraqi allies but also innocent Shia civilians and politically unfriendly Sunnis, earning for himself the well-deserved title of “the sheikh of the slaughterers”.
Before Zarqawi, the creation of an Islamic State, and even more the re-establishment of the caliphate, had been distant dreams of the Qutbists. With Zarqawi they became pressing items of a current political agenda. Before Zarqawi, too, the thought of the Qutbists had been largely unaffected by the eschatological or apocalyptic undercurrents of Sunni Islam. Under Zarqawi these began to rise to the surface. Zarqawi was killed in 2006. Nonetheless, his two successors, Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, who was killed in 2010, and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the first caliph of the Islamic State, embraced fully and even extended the anti-Shia sectarianism, the strategic and jurisprudential savagery, the immediate Islamic state-building ambition, and the apocalyptic dimension that Zarqawi had injected into the political ideology that had grown from the vision of Qutb.
A supporter of the Islamic State, thought to be the Yemeni journalist Abdulelah Haider Shaye, captured with admirable precision in a single sentence its ideological genealogy: “The Islamic State was drafted by Sayyid Qutb, taught by Abdullah Azzam, globalised by Osama bin Laden, transferred to reality by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, and implemented by al-Baghdadis: Abu Omar and Abu Bakr.”
The good news is that the days when the Muslim Brotherhood could bask in the patronage of an American government are coming to an end. President-elect Trump has said that he will ban it.
Q: Why do people help and protect the Clintons?
A: Because they are afraid of them.
They fear for their lives, and with good reason.
Aaron Klein writes at Breitbart:
Dave Schippers, who served as the Chief Investigative Counsel for the House Judiciary Committee’s probe into whether Bill Clinton committed impeachable offenses, stated in an exclusive radio interview that he is “terrified” of Hillary Clinton.
Schippers is one of the few people who personally viewed – indeed he helped to collect – the roomful of evidence in the impeachment probe. He says the evidence included 60,000-plus pages of written documents, video and “hours and hours” of tape recordings, all of which are still under lock and key.
During the interview, which aired on this reporter’s talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio,” Schippers, unprompted, raised questions about the death of Deputy White House Counsel Vince Foster. He further claimed, “We know that there were people who disappeared.”
Regarding his stated fear of Hillary, Schippers said:
Today, I am still terrified of Hillary. Absolutely I am terrified. Because if she gets into office. In fact, I’ve told my wife, I said, ‘If Hillary gets elected, look for the FBI or somebody to come and pick me up the next day.’ And I think I’m the only one left. [Former Congressman] Henry Hyde is dead. [Independent Counsel Kenneth] Star didn’t really hurt her. Yeah. I was scared when I was out there … I’ve been terrified ever since. Because things happen. Things happen.
Hyde, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, had asked Schippers, a Democrat, to lead the House impeachment probe.
During the interview, Schippers raised questions about the death of Foster, whose body was discovered on July 20, 1993 in Virginia’s Fort Marcy Park. An autopsy concluded the cause of death was a “perforating gunshot wound mouth-head.” …
Schippers said he believed that Foster was a “weak link in the chain of evidence”, and that his investigative committee was barred from probing the lawyer’s death.
Vince Foster was probably as close to Hillary as anybody on the face of the Earth. He knew all about the (Rose) law firm. He knew all about Whitewater. He knew all about the money she made, the $100,000 she made overnight in the commodities market. He knew everything. And I think he was a weak link. In my opinion, he was a weak link in the chain of evidence. And obviously, we could never have called him as a witness. But I was going into that investigation. I was going to call FBI agents. I was going to call the Park Service. I was going to call the coroner and everybody else. We weren’t allowed to do it. We were stymied. Just stopped dead in our tracks. And I don’t know why.
Five official or governmental investigations concluded that Foster committed suicide. The nature of Foster’s work, as well as the six days it took before Foster’s suicide note was found, led to speculation and conspiracies about his death.
I asked Schippers, “Are you saying, if I am hearing you correctly, that there are legitimate questions that you believe should be asked about the deaths surrounding the Clintons, like Vince Foster and others?”
“Absolutely. Absolutely,” he replied.
Schippers further claimed that “We know that there were people who disappeared.”
“When we started our investigation, Henry Hyde said, ‘How wide do you want to go?’ And I said, ‘Get us an open investigation. We have so many things that we want to investigate.’ And we got an open investigation where we were permitted to investigate as far as whatever came up in the impeachment inquiry.
“Immediately after the 1998 election, the leadership in the House put the brakes on.
We had a meeting and Henry Hyde said the House has told us that we’ve got Monica Lewinsky and we can go no further.We are not permitted to do any additional investigation. And I said, ‘My God, we’ve got at least three murders and other things that we are going into.’ And he says, ‘I’m sorry we can’t do it.’”
Schippers described the room at the Ford House Office Building where the evidence was housed during the impeachment probe as having armed guards outside. He said those who were permitted to enter were not allowed to bring anything in or out.
He said he was one of the few people who actually reviewed all of the evidence in the impeachment case. He said that only 65 House members accepted an invitation to review the evidence in the room and that all senators declined before they voted against impeaching Clinton.
Asked about the specifics of the evidence, Schippers said he is barred from answering the question. However, he replied, “Let me say this. Sixty-five Congressmen saw that evidence. And 64 voted to impeach. Take your own conclusion.”
And this is from the Political Insider:
Twenty-three years ago during the Clinton administration, Deputy White House Council Vincent Foster was found dead in his car.
But did he die in his car? Did he own the gun that shot him? Was he shot once or twice? A lot of evidence that pointed to the scene being fixed to look like suicide was suppressed.
This scandal shocked the country, and raised massive questions about just how dangerous the Clintons are.
Foster’s apparent suicide was quite suspicious. Two investigators – Robert Fiske and Kenneth Starr – separately concluded that Foster shot himself and died, due to suicide.
But over time, major questions have been raised about what may have really killed him. Now, recently discovered evidence blows the case wide open!
Discovered in the files of the National Archives and Records Administration, Starr’s lead prosecutor Miguel Rodriguez submitted a 2-page resignation letter and a 31 page memo about the injuries Foster sustained. Rodriguez notes in the letter details about injuries around Foster’s neck which were not reported in official government documents.
At the time, the FBI claimed that Foster’s neck injury photos were underexposed, and therefore useless to them.
Rodriguez claims that after he produced additional damning evidence of a possible Foster murder coverup, he became a target and was investigated internally!
In the letter, he explained 12 ways in which the case has mishandled and compromised. Then, he noted:
“I steadfastly maintained, and continue to maintain, that I, at all times, conducted myself as an experienced and trained prosecutor, with years of federal prosecutorial experience and federal grand jury experience.”
These records indicate Foster didn’t really die from one .38 caliber gunshot … but two gunshots! The other shot was on the right side of his neck, made by a “Small caliber” bullet hole.
This raises serious questions about Foster’s motives for suicide. He was tied to Hillary Clinton’s roles in White House scandals at Whitewater and the White House Travel Office. …
The theory is, as Vince Foster was one of Hillary’s closest friends, he knew too much about these scandals. In fact, he may have had a romantic relationship with the then first-Lady.
Foster had been a long-time friend and companion to Hillary. The two shared a brokerage account called Midlife Partners. When Barbara Walters asked Hillary if she had been having an affair with Vince Foster, Hillary lowered her eyes and told the 20/20 cameras, “He was a very special man.” When he died, Hillary said publicly that Vince Foster was the last person who would have committed suicide. Friends reported she was genuinely shocked and aggrieved.
Why, then, did Hillary lie under oath about the last time she saw Vince Foster?
Testifying before the Office of the Independent Counsel (OIC) in 1994, she claimed that the last time she had spoken to Vince Foster was on the phone “the Friday or Saturday before Father’s Day.” Yet documents from the National Archives, acquired by the New York Megaphone, show that Foster’s assistant, Tom Castleton, reported he “saw Hillary Clinton in Foster’s office approximately four times during the five weeks he was employed.” Castleton didn’t start working for Foster until after Father’s Day, 1993. …
Hillary Clinton asked Vince Foster to help her spy on her libertine husband in 1990. Foster hired Jerry Parks, an Arkansas investigator who later worked as the head of security for the Clinton/Gore campaign. According to Parks’s widow, “Jerry asked Vince why he needed this stuff on Clinton. He said he needed it for Hillary.”
When Vince Foster showed up dead in a Washington-area public park in the summer of 1993, Parks was terrified.
Two months later Parks was shot nine times at close range, at a stoplight, in his SUV, in Little Rock. Parks’s home was then raided by eight Federal agents, including officers from the FBI, IRS, Secret Service, and (unusual for a domestic case) the CIA.
If true, this means Vince Foster was murdered to make sure he didn’t tell the world what he knew about President Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary. He was too honest, and therefore couldn’t be trusted anymore.
This is actually worse than transmitting classified documents on a home email server… This is murder!
Not sure about that. Hillary endangered the lives of many Americans with her insecure emailing, all too easily hacked. Her recklessness with her emails probably contributed to the murders of Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans at Benghazi on 9/11/12. The attackers knew in advance where the Ambassador would be that night. How did they know?
And while Vince Foster and Jerry Parks may very well have been murdered on the orders of Hillary, did she not certainly cause the violent deaths of uncountable numbers in Libya, Iraq, Syria, and the Mediterranean sea?
But to return to the death of Vince Foster: even if he did kill himself, there is a strong case for believing that Hillary drove him to do it:
This is from the Washington Times:
The FBI found that a week before Foster’s death, Hillary held a meeting at the White House with Foster and other top aides to discuss her proposed health care legislation.
Hillary violently disagreed with a legal objection Foster raised at the meeting and ridiculed him in front of his peers, former FBI agent Coy Copeland and former FBI supervisory agent Jim Clemente told me. Mr. Copeland was Mr. Starr’s senior investigator and read the reports of other agents working for Mr. Starr.
During the White House meeting, Hillary continued to humiliate Foster mercilessly, both former FBI agents say.
“Hillary put him down really, really bad in a pretty good-size meeting,” Mr. Copeland says. “She told him he didn’t get the picture, and he would always be a little hick town lawyer who was obviously not ready for the big time.”
Indeed, Hillary went so far as to blame Foster for all the Clintons’ problems and accuse him of failing them, according to Mr. Clemente, who was also assigned by the FBI to the Starr investigation and who probed the circumstances surrounding Foster’s suicide.
“Foster was profoundly depressed, but Hillary lambasting him was the final straw because she publicly embarrassed him in front of others,” says Mr. Clemente, who, like Mr. Copeland, spoke about the investigation for the first time.
“Hillary blamed him for failed nominations, claimed he had not vetted them properly, and said in front of his White House colleagues, ‘You’re not protecting us’ and ‘You have failed us’,” Mr. Clemente says. “That was the final blow.”
After the meeting, Foster’s behavior changed dramatically, the FBI agents found. Those who knew him said his voice sounded strained, he became withdrawn and preoccupied, and his sense of humor vanished. At times, Foster teared up. He talked of feeling trapped.
On Tuesday, July 13, 1993, while having dinner with his wife Lisa, Foster broke down and began to cry. He said he was considering resigning.
That weekend, Foster and his wife drove to the Eastern Shore of Maryland, where they saw their friends, Michael Cardoza and Webster Hubbell, and their wives.
“They played tennis, they swam, and they said he sat in a lawn chair, just kind of sat there in the lawn chair,” Mr. Copeland says. “They said that just was not Vince. He loved to play tennis, and he was always sociable, but he just sat over in the corner by himself and stared off into space, reading a book.”
Two days later, Foster left the White House parking lot at 1:10 p.m. The precise time when he shot himself could not be pinpointed. After Park Police found his body, they notified the U.S. Secret Service at 8:30 p.m.
Based on what “dozens” of others who had contact with Foster after that meeting told the agents, while Foster was already depressed, “The put-down that she gave him in that big meeting just pushed him over the edge,” Mr. Copeland says. “It was the final straw that broke the camel’s back.”
No one can explain a suicide in rational terms. But the FBI investigation concluded that it was Hillary’s vilification of Foster in front of his colleagues, coming on top of his depression, that triggered his suicide about a week later, Mr. Copeland and Mr. Clemente both say.
Mr. Starr issued a 38,000-word report, along with a separate psychologist’s report on the factors that contributed to Foster’s suicide. Yet Mr. Starr never mentioned the meeting with Hillary, leaving out the fact that his own investigation had found that Hillary’s attack had led to her friend’s suicide.
Mr. Starr never told Mr. Copeland or Mr. Clemente why he decided to exclude the findings from his report. But Mr. Clemente says, “Starr didn’t want to offend the conscience of the public by going after the first lady. He said the first lady is an institution.”
Q: How can anyone want Hillary Clinton to be president of the United States?
A rebel group in Syria cut off the head of a poor, emaciated, hungry, sick boy named Abdullah Issa, aged between eleven and thirteen.
They claimed he was a “spy”, but they most likely seized him in order to make their gleeful snuff-film (which you can watch here if you have the stomach for it).
The group has been lavishly supported by Obama.
When questioned about the official reaction to the atrocity, the State Department spokesman expressed indignation that such groups (in that chaotic bloodbath!) were ”not obeying the laws of armed conflict”.
From the (pacifist) New American, by Alex Newman:
As if Americans needed another reason to rein in the out-of-control government in Washington, D.C., jihadist Syrian “rebels” backed and “vetted” by the Obama administration and neocons in Congress beheaded a 12-year-old boy. The barbaric beheading of the impoverished child was perpetrated on video that surfaced this week, with smiling jihadists funded and armed by the U.S. government shouting “Allahu Akbar” as they sever the child’s head. According to the Obama-backed terror group behind the horror, the boy was suspected of being a “spy” for the government. The group, which received heavy military equipment and funding from Obama, claimed it was “investigating” the gruesome child beheading.
The latest atrocity perpetrated by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Obama’s allegedly “moderate” Syrian rebels, one faction in the globalist-fueled civil war, follows years of similar horrors. … Obama-backed jihadists have engaged in … a seemingly never-ending stream of horrific war crimes. …
The specific group behind the latest beheading of a child, which sparked a global outcry and headlines worldwide, is known as Nour al-Din al-Zenki. … The U.S. government supplied the terror group with American tax dollars and even BGM-71 TOW anti-tank missiles … As many as 1,000 Zenki jihadists were reportedly on the payroll of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency …
The writer points out that the group was approved as “part of the ‘well-vetted’ jihadist alliance” by Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).
The terror group also worked closely with the self-styled “Free Syrian Army”, the jihadist umbrella group loudly promoted by Obama … It was also reportedly a regular ally of al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate, known as Jabhat al-Nusra. …
According to the terrorist group, the 12-year-old boy from a poor family was originally arrested near Aleppo for serving as an alleged “spy” for al-Quds, a group that supports the Syrian regime. The accusation led the jihadist group to decapitate the boy using a small knife on the back of a pick-up truck. The video of the murder, which was posted online, has caused a worldwide uproar. It shows the apparently prepubescent boy laying down in the truck surrounded by five adult jihadists with huge smiles on their faces. In the beheading footage, one of the men can be seen severing the boy’s head … [and then] holding the head up in triumph. …
As the beheading of the child and the Obama administration’s links to it became a global scandal, the John Kerry-led State Department was forced to respond. “We strongly condemn this type of barbaric action, no matter what group is responsible,” the State Department was quoted as saying. “We do not comment on which groups are funded by the United States. We do, however, routinely vet the groups we work with and support and their human rights record figures prominently in that. We do not support groups that condone this sort of barbarity, period.”
State Department spokesperson John Kirby noted that “al-Zenki has identified some of its own members as being responsible for this appalling act”. He also said that, according to a statement, the terror group had supposedly arrested those allegedly responsible for the beheading. “We encourage al-Zenki to investigate the incident and expect all parties to comply with their obligations under the law of armed conflict,” Kirby was quoted as saying by the far-left Daily Beast. “Regardless of who may be culpable, we strongly condemn what appears to be the brutal murder of a minor.” Other reports suggested that Obama had recently stopped funding the terror group, reportedly less than a year ago.
As The New American has documented extensively, however, the Obama administration has been lawlessly showering funds and weapons on practically every faction involved in the conflict — including the Shia militias out of Iraq fighting alongside Assad’s forces … Other factions benefiting from American largess include multiple terror groups officially designated as terrorist organizations by the U.S. State Department. … There appears to be no warring faction that has not at some point been receiving U.S. government aid — a major violation of federal law, which does not provide exceptions for government officials in criminalizing support for terror groups.
Today is the last day of Ramadan 2016.
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and is observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad according to Islamic belief. This annual observance is regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam. The month lasts 29–30 days based on the visual sightings of the crescent moon.
While fasting from dawn until sunset, Muslims refrain from consuming food, drinking liquids, smoking, and engaging in sexual relations. Muslims are also instructed to refrain from sinful behavior that may negate the reward of fasting, such as false speech (insulting, backbiting, cursing, lying, etc.) and fighting.
The excellent website ironically named The Religion of Peace keeps a daily record of Islamic terrorist attacks. Their toll of lethal attacks world-wide since 9/11 is reflected in our margin.
Here’s its count of terrorist attacks and murders carried out during this year’s month of Ramadan:
In the last few days, Muslim terrorists have been busier than ever, as if to crowd as much terror and atrocity into the month as they could before it ended.
The following list shows that the victims of the attackers were mostly Muslims, although the Koran and the Hadith, while commanding the killing of non-Muslims,* forbid the killing of fellow Muslims: “But whoever kills a believer intentionally – his recompense is Hell, wherein he will abide eternally, and Allah has become angry with him and has cursed him and has prepared for him a great punishment.” – Koran 4:93.
From a CNN report:
Multiple major terror strikes have occurred in recent days as the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan approaches. Ramadan ends Tuesday evening.
ISIS either claimed responsibility or is suspected in each of them.
At least six members of Jordan’s security forces were killed June 21 in a suicide car bombing launched from the Syrian side of the border. …
ISIS claimed responsibility through Amaq, its de facto media agency, saying the act was carried out by an ISIS fighter.
Six people died and 19 others were wounded following a series of suicide attacks in a mainly Christian area of northern Lebanon, close to the border with Syria.
According to Lebanon’s National News Agency the first incident happened at around 4.20 a.m. last Monday when a suicide bomber blew himself up outside a house in the village of Qaa, in the country’s Bekaa Valley.
Three other attackers — with at least one wearing an explosive vest — then detonated themselves as rescue teams and locals gathered at the scene. …
Security analysts think ISIS could be responsible.
On Thursday, the army said it foiled “two major terrorist operation” planned by ISIS – one targeting a “large tourist facility” and the other targeting a densely populated area.
Five people have been arrested, including the mastermind of the operation, the statement said.
At least 42 people, mostly soldiers and one child, were killed when attackers launched four suicide car bombings at security targets in a major Yemeni city …
The attacks occurred last Monday in Mukalla, a southeastern port city in Hadramaut province.
At least 30 people were injured — all security officers except for five civilians …
One of the attacks targeted a military compound near a government intelligence building. The others targeted military checkpoints. A child walking near one of the checkpoints was killed.
The attackers were from ISIS, [the] group’s media voice said.
Terrorists stormed Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport last Tuesday, killing 44 people and injuring hundreds.
There has been no claim of responsibility, but hallmarks of the strike points to ISIS and the attack resembled the suicide bombings in March at the main airport in Brussels.
Reports have emerged about the identities of the suicide bombers as well as the organizer, … a top soldier in the ISIS war ministry.
Two of the three assailants in the terror attack at Ataturk Airport were identified as Rakim Bulgarov and Vadim Osmanov, according to Turkey’s state news agency Anadolu, citing an anonymous prosecution source.
That report did not identify the third attacker and did not reveal their nationalities. But officials have said they believe the three attackers are from Russia, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, and entered Turkey a month ago from Syria’s ISIS stronghold of Raqqa.
Gunmen in Bangladesh killed 20 hostages and two police officers late Friday and early Saturday before authorities raided the restaurant and ended the standoff.
The massacre occurred at the end of the day when Muslims would have been breaking their daily fast for Ramadan.
Authorities released the nationalities of the 20 hostages found dead … after Bangladeshi troops stormed the cafe early Saturday morning, ending a nearly 11-hour siege. …
The attack took place in the city’s diplomatic enclave, and those killed were from around the globe: Italians, Japanese, Indian, Bangladeshi and an American …
ISIS claimed responsibility, but … all the attackers in the deadly assault on a cafe in Dhaka were Bangladeshi citizens.
In that bloodbath, the terrorists spared hostages who could recite the Koran.
A suicide truck bomb ripped through a busy shopping district in Baghdad Saturday night, killing more than 200 people.
The strike in the Karrada neighborhood also left at least 175 people wounded.
Families had been gathering hours after they broke the fast for Ramadan and prepared for Eid al-Fitr – the day that marks the end of the holiday this week.
As people congregated, shopped and watched soccer matches, the bomb-laden truck plowed into a building housing a coffee shop, stores and a gym. Firefighters rescued wounded and trapped people in adjacent buildings.
ISIS claimed responsibility for the action …
For a video and many pictures of this atrocity see the Daily Mail here.
Kuwait security agencies foiled a number of ISIS plots in three preemptive operations on Sunday, according to Kuwait news agency Kuna.
Kuna reports the arrested ISIS members were planning to strike a Jaafari mosque in Hawali and a Ministry of Interior facility during the first days of Eid Al-Fitr, at the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
Saudi Arabia endured a wave of suicide bombings over a 24-hour period ending Monday, a coordinated string of attacks analysts are linking to ISIS.
The strikes occurred near the U.S. Consulate in Jeddah, and a Shiite mosque in Qatif. The holy city of Medina was also a target. The strikes failed in Jeddah and Qatif. Four people were killed in Medina.
There has been no claim of responsibility. But Peter Bergen, CNN national security analyst, said ISIS called for attacks during Ramadan and “now we have them”.
*eg. “Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. And those with him are hard against the disbelievers and merciful among themselves.” – Koran 48:29. “Fight everyone in the way of Allah and kill those who disbelieve in Allah” – Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 992.
When WMDs were not found in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, though they had been a compelling reason for the US invasion, the story coming through unofficial channels was that Saddam had hastily moved them to Syria, to be stored there for him until he had beaten back the President Bush-led onslaught.
Although the sources were unofficial, they had proved themselves to be generally trustworthy. So many of those who heard the story believed it. But the sources could not be cited.
When the story was largely confirmed to “defense reporters” by [then] Lt. Gen. James Clapper* in 2003, it was still not widely accepted.
Is it more likely to be accepted now? If so, it may be too late to be useful to those who have defended the invasion of Iraq, but not too late to be interesting to historians.
Today, May 2, 2016, Front Page is re-running an article by Bill Gertz that was first published in the Washington Times on October 29, 2003:
Iraqi military officers destroyed or hid chemical, biological and nuclear weapons goods in the weeks before the war, the [US’s] top satellite spy director said yesterday.
Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. James Clapper, head of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, said vehicle traffic photographed by U.S. spy satellites indicated that material and documents related to the arms programs were shipped to Syria.
Other goods probably were sent throughout Iraq in small quantities and documents probably were stashed in the homes of weapons scientists, Gen. Clapper told defense reporters at a breakfast.
Gen. Clapper said he is not surprised that U.S. and allied forces have not found weapons of mass destruction hidden in Iraq because “it’s a big place.”
“Those below the senior leadership saw what was coming, and I think they went to extraordinary lengths to dispose of the evidence,” he said.
Congress is investigating whether U.S. intelligence agencies overstated information indicating that Iraq had hidden its chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. The Bush administration has defended the intelligence agencies on prewar reports that the weapons were there.
Iraqi government officials “below the Saddam Hussein and the sons level saw what was coming and decided the best thing to do was to dispose, destroy and disperse [them]”, he said.
So maybe it wasn’t Saddam himself who gave the order to transport the WMDs to Syria, but some authority did. (Was there an authority in Saddam’s Iraq other than Saddam himself?)
Gen. Clapper said he felt strongly that the satellite imagery of Iraq’s weapons facilities before the war was “accurate and balanced”. …
He also said the Iraqi government carried out operations after the fall of Baghdad in April to cover up the hidden weapons programs. The chaos following might have included both looting and “organized dispersal made to look like looting“, he said. “So by the time that we got to a lot of these facilities, that we had previously identified as suspect facilities, there wasn’t that much there to look at,” he said.
Valuable documents on Iraq’s weapons were destroyed or lost in the chaos, which included burning of major government ministries.
Saddam began dispersing his weapons and sending elements of his chemical, biological and nuclear programs out of the country in the weeks before the war, he said.
The dispersal included moving both weapons and equipment as well as documents. …
As for shipping weapons out of Iraq, he said, there is “no question” that people and material were taken to Syria. …
Convoys of vehicles, mostly commercial trucks, were spotted going into Syria from Iraq shortly before the start of the war March 19 and during the conflict, he said.
It may be a sign of instinctive wisdom that people are inclined to believe what they overhear more than what they are told.
*James Clapper is now Director of National Intelligence.
It is more than likely now that Donald Trump will be the Republican Party’s nominee in the presidential election this November.
It is therefore very likely that the Republican platform will be what he wants it to be. And many Republicans, especially the go-along-to-get-along pillars of the Grand Old Party, most prominently its leaders in Congress, do not like what he wants. They repudiate him and his ideas. They say he is unfaithful to conservative principles and will alter long-standing Republican policies. But if their choice is between changing principles and policies to those of Trump or breaking the Party asunder by thwarting the will of the millions of voters he attracts, they will accept – are slowly coming round to accepting – Trump and his vision for America. (While probably still planning to knock it into a more familiar and acceptable shape.)
What do his conservative Republican critics object to in particular?
In an article hostile to Donald Trump, but accepting that he is almost certain to be the Republican nominee, Linda Chavez writes at Townhall:
Trump represents a repudiation of the Republican Party’s commitment to smaller government, free trade and an internationalist foreign policy.
Let’s consider these commitments one by one, and assess how far Trump is likely to change them, and how bad the change would be.
Smaller government is certainly a cherished principle of conservative Republicanism. We list it among our core conservative ideals, along with individual freedom, a market economy, and strong defense. Regretfully we admit that government is not likely ever again to be actually small, but does Trump not say anything that suggests he would reduce the hugely overblown bureaucracy oppressing Americans now? He does. He says he will lower taxes. Lower taxes must mean some shrinking of government. And that’s probably the most any conservative Republican could do.
It’s on free trade that we have a difference of opinion with Trump. He has indicated that he would match tariff barriers with tariff barriers. We think that’s counter-productive. But it’s not enough to induce us to call Trump a wrecker of American prosperity. In fact, most of his economic thinking is likely to increase American prosperity very considerably. He would stop foreign aid unless America got something back for it. He would make those countries that want American military protection contribute to the cost of it. And he has plans for job creation which we’re inclined to trust because, as an extremely successful businessman, he has done it.
As for the Republican “internationalist foreign policy” – we’re coming to that.
Here are some points from Charles Krauthammer’s syndicated column on Trump’s recent foreign policy speech. Much as we respect Charles Krauthammer, on this rare occasion we disagree with him.
On the Republican side … foreign policy has been the subject of furious debate. To which Donald Trump has contributed significantly, much of it off-the-cuff, contradictory and confused. Hence his foreign policy speech on Wednesday. It was meant to make him appear consistent, serious and presidential. …
Its major theme, announced right at the top [was]: America First. Classically populist and invariably popular, it is nonetheless quite fraught. On the one hand, it can be meaningless — isn’t every president trying to advance American interests? …
On the other hand, America First does have a history. In 1940, when Britain was fighting for its life and Churchill was begging for U.S. help, it was the name of the group most virulently opposed to U.S. intervention. It disbanded — totally discredited — four days after Pearl Harbor. …
The irony is … it is the underlying theme of [Obama’s] foreign policy — which Trump constantly denounces as a series of disasters. Obama, like Trump, is animated by the view that we are overextended and overinvested abroad. …
Both the left and right have a long history of advocating American retreat and retrenchment. The difference is that liberals want to come home because they think we are not good enough for the world. Conservatives want to wash their hands of the world because they think the world is not good enough for us.
That’s nicely put! Our disagreements will come below.
For Obama, we are morally unworthy to act as world hegemon. Our hands are not clean. He’s gone abroad confessing our various sins — everything from the Iranian coup of 1953 to our unkind treatment of Castro’s Cuba to the ultimate blot, Hiroshima, a penitential visit to which Obama is currently considering.
Trump would be rightly appalled by such a self-indicting trip. His foreign policy stems from a proud nationalism that believes that these recalcitrant tribes and nations are unworthy of American expenditures of blood and treasure.
At least Krauthammer calls it “a proud nationalism”. Linda Chavez, in her article, likens Trump’s nationalism to disreputable [?] European nationalist groups which are better described as tribal. She seems to forget that the United States has for centuries been a melting-pot, and the American nation has been – until very recently under Obama – the least tribal in the world. And Trump’s “nationalism” is better described as patriotism. That’s what an American’s “proud nationalism” really is.
This has been the underlying view of conservative isolationism … It is not without its attractions. Trump’s version, however, is inconsistent and often contradictory. After all, he pledged to bring stability to the Middle East. How do you do that without presence, risk and expenditures (financial and military)? He attacked Obama for letting Iran become a “great power.” But doesn’t resisting that automatically imply engagement?
More incoherent still is Trump’s insistence on being unpredictable. An asset perhaps in real estate deals, but in a Hobbesian world American allies rely on American consistency, often as a matter of life or death. Yet Trump excoriated the Obama-Clinton foreign policy for losing the trust of our allies precisely because of its capriciousness. The tilt toward Iran. The red line in Syria. Canceling the Eastern European missile defense. Abandoning Hosni Mubarak.
Trump’s scripted, telepromptered speech was intended to finally clarify his foreign policy. It produced instead a jumble. The basic principle seems to be this: Continue the inexorable Obama-Clinton retreat, though for reasons of national self-interest, rather than of national self-doubt. And except when, with studied inconsistency, he decides otherwise.
Is Trump’s patriotism a “version of isolationism”? Is it “inconsistent and often contradictory”? By “unpredictable” did he mean what Krauthammer is taking his words to mean?
What did Trump actually say?
We quote his speech in part (find all of it here):
America first will be the major and overriding theme of my administration. But to chart our path forward, we must first briefly take a look back. We have a lot to be proud of.
In the 1940s we saved the world. The greatest generation beat back the Nazis and Japanese imperialists. Then we saved the world again. This time, from totalitarianism and communism. The Cold War lasted for decades but, guess what, we won and we won big. …
Does he regret those American involvements? Not at all. He is proud of them.
Unfortunately, after the Cold War our foreign policy veered badly off course. We failed to develop a new vision for a new time. In fact, as time went on, our foreign policy began to make less and less sense. … We went from mistakes in Iraq to Egypt to Libya, to President Obama’s line in the sand in Syria. Each of these actions have helped to throw the region into chaos and gave ISIS the space it needs to grow and prosper. Very bad. It all began with a dangerous idea that we could make western democracies out of countries that had no experience or interests in becoming a western democracy.
With that we could not agree more strongly. It is not possible to turn states like Iraq and Afghanistan – Arab states, Islamic states – into Western style democracies.
And as for his comment on Obama’s actions – they have been “unpredictable” in that they make no logical sense. Krauthammer chooses them as examples of unpredictability to condemn Trump’s recommendation of it, when in fact Trump means something entirely different – as we shall see.
We tore up what institutions they had and then were surprised at what we unleashed. Civil war, religious fanaticism, thousands of Americans and just killed be lives, lives, lives wasted. Horribly wasted. Many trillions of dollars were lost as a result. The vacuum was created that ISIS would fill. Iran, too, would rush in and fill that void much to their really unjust enrichment.
They have benefited so much, so sadly, for us. Our foreign policy is a complete and total disaster. No vision. No purpose. No direction. No strategy.
Trump goes on to “identify weaknesses in our foreign policy” and to say how he would fix them. Among them (they are worth reading in full) is this:
We’ve had a president who dislikes our friends and bows to our enemies, something that we’ve never seen before in the history of our country. He negotiated a disastrous deal with Iran, and then we watched them ignore its terms even before the ink was dry. Iran cannot be allowed to have a nuclear weapon, cannot be allowed. Remember that, cannot be allowed to have a nuclear weapon. And under a Trump administration, will never, ever be allowed to have that nuclear weapon …
At the end of his analysis and outline of his intentions he promises:
This will all change when I become president.
To our friends and allies, I say America is going to be strong again. America is going to be reliable again. It’s going to be a great and reliable ally again. It’s going to be a friend again. We’re going to finally have a coherent foreign policy based upon American interests and the shared interests of our allies. …
Does that sound isolationist?
We need a long-term plan to halt the spread and reach of radical Islam.Containing the spread of radical Islam must be a major foreign policy goal of the United States and indeed the world. Events may require the use of military force, but it’s also a philosophical struggle, like our long struggle in the Cold War.
Absolutely right! And no other politician, as far as we can recall, has said it before.
He goes on to speak of “working very closely with our allies in the Muslim world”, which is one of the few points on which we disagree. There can be no such thing as an American ally in the Muslim world, precisely because “the philosophical struggle” prohibits it. Islam is ideologically opposed to the West.
… And then there’s ISIS. I have a simple message for them. Their days are numbered. I won’t tell them where and I won’t tell them how. We must as a nation be more unpredictable. We are totally predictable. We tell everything. We’re sending troops. We tell them. We’re sending something else. We have a news conference. We have to be unpredictable. And we have to be unpredictable starting now. But they’re going to be gone. ISIS will be gone if I’m elected president. And they’ll be gone quickly. They will be gone very, very quickly.
So that is what Trump means by “unpredicatble”. A commander-in-chief does not announce to his country’s enemy just when its army will stop fighting and when he will withdraw his troops – as Obama has done. It is a military absurdity!
He goes on to say “we have to rebuild our military and our economy”.
The Russians and Chinese have rapidly expanded their military capability, but look at what’s happened to us. Our nuclear weapons arsenal, our ultimate deterrent, has been allowed to atrophy and is desperately in need of modernization and renewal. And it has to happen immediately. Our active duty armed forces have shrunk from 2 million in 1991 to about 1.3 million today. The Navy has shrunk from over 500 ships to 272 ships during this same period of time. The Air Force is about one-third smaller than 1991. Pilots flying B-52s in combat missions today. These planes are older than virtually everybody in this room.
And what are we doing about this? President Obama has proposed a 2017 defense budget that in real dollars, cuts nearly 25 percent from what we were spending in 2011. Our military is depleted and we’re asking our generals and military leaders to worry about global warming.
We will spend what we need to rebuild our military. It is the cheapest, single investment we can make. We will develop, build and purchase the best equipment known to mankind. Our military dominance must be unquestioned, and I mean unquestioned, by anybody and everybody.
Does that sound “isolationist”?
But we will look for savings and spend our money wisely. In this time of mounting debt, right now we have so much debt that nobody even knows how to address the problem. But I do. No one dollar can be wasted. Not one single dollar can we waste. We’re also going to have to change our trade, immigration and economic policies to make our economy strong again. And to put Americans first again. …
But, he says …
I believe an easing of tensions, and improved relations with Russia from a position of strength only is possible, absolutely possible. Common sense says this cycle, this horrible cycle of hostility must end and ideally will end soon. Good for both countries.
Some say the Russians won’t be reasonable. I intend to find out. If we can’t make a deal under my administration, a deal that’s great — not good, great — for America, but also good for Russia, then we will quickly walk from the table. It’s as simple as that. We’re going to find out.
Fixing our relations with China is another important step — and really toward creating an even more prosperous period of time. China respects strength and by letting them take advantage of us economically, which they are doing like never before, we have lost all of their respect.
We have a massive trade deficit with China, a deficit that we have to find a way quickly, and I mean quickly, to balance. A strong and smart America is an America that will find a better friend in China, better than we have right now. Look at what China is doing in the South China Sea. They’re not supposed to be doing it. …
To be militarily strong again, and at the same time try to negotiate better relations with an aggressive Russia and China – is that “contradictory” or is it speaking softly while carrying a big stick?
I will not hesitate to deploy military force when there is no alternative. But if America fights, it must only fight to win. …
Our power will be used if others do not play by the rules. In other words, if they do not treat us fairly. Our friends and enemies must know that if I draw a line in the sand, I will enforce that line in the sand. Believe me. …
My goal is to establish a foreign policy that will endure for several generations. That’s why I also look and have to look for talented experts with approaches and practical ideas … We have to look to new people because many of the old people frankly don’t know what they’re doing …
No country has ever prospered that failed to put its own interests first. Both our friends and our enemies put their countries above ours and we, while being fair to them, must start doing the same. We will no longer surrender this country or its people to the false song of globalism. The nation-state remains the true foundation for happiness and harmony. I am skeptical of international unions … And under my administration, we will never enter America into any agreement that reduces our ability to control our own affairs. …
I will view as president the world through the clear lens of American interests. I will be America’s greatest defender and most loyal champion. …
The world is most peaceful and most prosperous when America is strongest. America will continue and continue forever to play the role of peacemaker. We will always help save lives and indeed humanity itself, but to play the role, we must make America strong again. … We have to and we will make America great again.
Where are the alleged “inconsistencies”? Where is the “jumble”. (We urge doubters to read the whole speech and tell us if they find any inconsistencies or contradictions that we have overlooked.)
The speech as a whole could be taken as a manifesto of the new Republicanism – what the Republican Party will stand for under the leadership of Donald Trump. He will take the Party forward, but not in the direction it has long wanted to go. It wanted to go, but did not move. He will make both good and bad decisions, as leaders generally do. But he will make them in the interests of a strong and prosperous America, and that is an America that is good for the world.