The uses of false intelligence 1

The scurrilous “intelligence” dossier on President-elect Donald Trump, claiming that he did disgusting, low, disreputable things on a visit to Russia (which he never made) –  the alleged antics being on film and in the possession of Russian snoop officials, so the Putin government has a hold on him forever (and that’s why Putin wanted Trump to win the election and therefore wrecked poor Hillary’s otherwise perfect campaign) – was concocted by an erstwhile MI6 agent, now having even more fun running his very own espionage company. His name is Christopher Steele.

He has been accused of lying! And he feels so got-at that he’s gone into hiding.

Which is – we are to understand – awfully unfair, because, you see, the information in the dossier never was intended to be TRUE. Good grief! TRUE? When was “intelligence” ever intended or expected to be TRUE?

A corrective to so naive an expectation comes from an article by Tom Burgis in the Financial Times of January 14, 2017. We quote from the print version:

[Intelligence agents] argue that the rush to shoot the messenger [Christopher Steele] represents a misunderstanding of what intelligence is, whether amassed by state agencies or private companies. It does not deal in true or false, they say, but in shades of confidence in sources. “When you are in the corporate intelligence world, everyone knows that, in every report you get, not everything is true,” says a British investigator who knows Mr Steele.

So in every report you get, there are falsehoods. In every report you get, everything may be false, nothing true. There is no way of knowing.

Now you’ve been educated, now you know that trade secret, how do you feel about your country’s intelligence services? Confident in them? Safer?

No intelligence service detected signs that the 9/11 terrorists attacks on New York and the Pentagon were coming. Nor subsequent mass killings by Muslim terrorists in the US, Britain, France, Germany, and Spain.

However, US intelligence has uncovered many violent plots and prevented them. They have found, or stumbled upon, the truth very often. So it is possible for them to find out what is really happening, has really happened, is going to happen. They surely  do strive for accurate information. They are a vital part of the defense of the nation. They cannot take that responsibility as lightly as the colleagues of Christopher Steele insouciantly brag that they do.

The important point about the dossier on Donald Trump in Russia is that it was a work of pure fiction, of cruel malice, of witless irresponsibility. It was extremely unintelligent.

And the chiefs of the US intelligence services knew that it was all those things. Yet they “leaked” the tainting lies to media hostile to the president-elect. That is distressing and horrible to contemplate.  

We expect President Trump’s appointees to the headship of the intelligence services – in which many persons of integrity do labor for the truth –  to be better and to do better.

Posted under Britain, Defense, Ethics, France, Germany, Islam, jihad, Muslims, Russia, Spain, United States by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, January 17, 2017

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Intelligence disservices 1

What disservice have these four men done to the Intelligence Services of the United States – which they have been in charge of under Obama, the Disserver-in-Chief?:

James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, who informed Congress that the Muslim Brotherhood was “largely secular”.

Mike Morell, former Director of the CIAwho helped concoct White House lies to cover-up the horrific treachery that was “Benghazigate”.

John Brennan, Director of the CIA, who defends Islam in this age of a renewed Islamic onslaught on the West

James Comey, Director of the FBI, who protected Hillary Clinton from prosecution for her many serious crimes.

Have they turned the Intelligence Services into the enemies of the new United States administration? A Democratic Senator and a journalist who “held positions as the Germany bureau chief for The Wall Street Journal and Germany correspondent for Time magazine” and is now with the Brookings Institution, claim that that is what has happened.

Cliff Kincaid writes at Canada Free Press:

Echoing New York Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer’s warning that the intelligence community is out to “get” President-elect Trump, a Brookings Institution expert who served in the Clinton administration says that Trump’s treatment of his spies will “come back to bite him” in the form of “devastating” leaks to the media that will make him look foolish or incompetent.

“Leaking by intelligence officials and analysts is, of course, illegal. The intelligence community doesn’t leak as much as the Pentagon or Congress, but when its reputation is at stake, it can do so to devastating effect,” says Daniel Benjamin of the Brookings Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence. Benjamin previously served as the principal advisor to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on counterterrorism and was embroiled in the controversy over Mrs. Clinton’s failure to stop the massacre of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya.

The Bookings Institution is generously funded by Arab governments.

Benjamin’s article, How Trump’s attacks on the intelligence community will come back to haunt him, did not refute the widely held belief that President Obama’s CIA and its director John Brennan were behind the recent leaks to The Washington Post and New York Times depicting Trump as a Russian puppet. In fact, the implication is that the CIA and the rest of the intelligence community will seek further revenge on Trump if he continues to criticize them.

At his recent news conference, in regard to the leaks about his meetings with intelligence officials, Trump noted that “I think it’s pretty sad when intelligence reports get leaked out to the press. I think it’s pretty sad. First of all, it’s illegal. You know, these are classified and certified meetings and reports.”

But it appears that some intelligence officials believe they are above the law and can use illegal leaks to damage an elected President who has been critical of their work product. In the most recent case, CNN and BuzzFeed were leaked a document offering unsubstantiated claims of Trump being sexually compromised by Russian officials. CNN summarized the document; BuzzFeed published the whole thing.

Trump denounced these leaks, with Director of the Office of National Intelligence James Clapper disclosing that he had called Trump about them and had declared his “profound dismay at the leaks that have been appearing in the press …”. He said that he and Trump “both agreed that they are extremely corrosive and damaging to our national security”.

Trump said Clapper “called me yesterday to denounce the false and fictitious report that was illegally circulated.”

“I do not believe the leaks came from within the IC [Intelligence Community],” Clapper said. However, he did not indicate what investigation, if any, he had conducted to make this determination.

“When something goes wrong — say a military deployment to combat jihadi insurgents in the Middle East blows up in the Trump administration’s face — the press will overflow with stories telling of intelligence reports that were ignored by the White House and briefings the president missed,” Benjamin wrote. Such stories, of course, would be based on illegal leaks.

“Imagine what an aggrieved intel community might do to a genuinely hostile president,” he said. Benjamin’s comments suggest that the intelligence community will use the media to blame Trump for things that go wrong in foreign affairs, in order to protect its own reputation.

It’s reputation? It’s reputation now, thanks to its own leaders, needs improving, not protecting.

The Brookings expert said, “The CIA is usually one of the very first agencies to establish a relationship with new chief executives, because of the briefings it delivers before elections have even occurred and the beguiling prospect it offers of handling missions quietly and efficiently.”

It’s not clear what he means by this. The Obama CIA’s “covert” arms-running program in Syria has backfired in a big way, provoking a Russian military intervention, the loss of up to 500,000 lives, and a refugee crisis which threatens the future of Europe.

Benjamin speculated that Trump will ask the CIA to organize a covert operation to undermine the regime in Iran, a state sponsor of terrorism, and that the agency will offer him options that don’t guarantee success and which he may have to reject. He wrote that “…it is an iron law of bureaucracy that no agency will knock itself out for a leader it deems capricious, especially one who cannot be relied on to defend his own if something goes wrong.”

“The answer from the intel community will never be no,” he said. “Instead, the planners will brief the president on three different approaches. Then they will assess the risk of failure for each at 60-80 percent, providing the Oval Office with a dare it cannot possibly accept. For some, of course, this could turn out to be a silver lining in an otherwise dismal story.”

In short, the CIA will look for excuses not to proceed, and then get back to the business of leaking damaging stories to the press when terrorist incidents and other problems occur.

Is the CIA really the “invisible government” that the so-called “conspiracy theorists” have warned about? Is there a “deep state” that tries to run the government behind-the-scenes? 

Here is the video clip – we view it gain and again for the sheer pleasure of it – in which President-elect Trump treats journalists who try to traduce him with the powerful scorn they deserve:

Who are the news fakers? 2

CNN is “fake news”, Trump said, and BuzzFeed “is a failing pile of garbage”.

Right!  President-elect Trump says it as it is. (That’s why he’s been elected president.)

Here’s the story as Cliff Kincaid tells it at GOPUSA, somewhat shortened:

On Tuesday, January 10, … the CIA used CNN to air unsubstantiated …

And completely false … 

… charges against [President-elect] Trump.

CNN didn’t delineate the bizarre sexual nature of those charges; that was left to a left-wing “news” organization by the name of BuzzFeed, which posted 35 pages of scurrilous lies and defamation.

Demonstrating the sad state of ethical standards at CNN, Wolf Blitzer hyped the story into “breaking news”, when the allegations had been circulating for months, and Jake Tapper was brought on the air, “joining me with a major story we’re following right now.” Blitzer emphasized, “We’re breaking this story.” It was the beginning of CNN regurgitating what President-elect Trump called “fake news”. 

What followed was a low point in Tapper’s career, as he willingly participated in a ginned-up controversy using anonymous sources to report on “information” about Trump that started falling apart shortly after CNN aired its “breaking news”.

“That’s right, Wolf, a CNN exclusive,” said Tapper, apparently unaware that he was recycling a document that had been passed around for months. It was CNN, which uses former CIA official Michael Morell as an on-air contributor, that ran with it. Morell has worked for Beacon Global Strategies, a firm founded by former Hillary Clinton aide Philippe Reines, since November 2013.

Trying to distance himself from the controversy, Morell went on CNN to refer to some of the information as “unverified” in the “private document”.

But the damage had already been done, and Morell knew it. CNN had manufactured a controversy over Trump yet again

Ironically, CNN is a “partner” in an effort known as the First Draft Coalition that is dedicated “to improving practices in the ethical sourcing, verification and reporting of stories that emerge online”.

Sure it is. It’s the ethical way. Same way Saudi Arabia heads a Human Rights agency of the UN.

“CNN has learned that the nation’s top intelligence officials gave information to President-elect Donald Trump and President Barack Obama last week about claims of Russian efforts to compromise President-elect Trump,” said Tapper. “The information was provided as part of last week’s classified intelligence briefings regarding Russian efforts to undermine the 2016 U.S. elections.”

Trying to pump up the “claims”, Jim Sciutto, Chief National Security Correspondent for CNN, said, “To be clear, this has been an enormous team effort by my colleagues here and others at CNN.”

A team effort to verify what? It looks like they were handed a 35-page document from the CIA and decided to publicize it. They failed to reveal the details precisely because they could not verify the document.

Sciutto said, “Multiple U.S. officials with direct knowledge of the briefings tell CNN that classified documents on Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election presented last week to President Obama and to President-elect Trump included allegations that Russian operatives claimed to have compromising personal and financial information about Mr. Trump.” …

Later, Tapper said the charges were “uncorroborated as of now”, indicating that they might be confirmed by somebody at some time in the future. There was “no proof” of the claims but “confidence by intelligence officials that the Russians are claiming this”.  …

CNN was reporting “news”, since a two-page CIA summary of this dirt was attached to a classified CIA report on Russian hacking and election influence that was given to Trump … But it was “fake” in the sense that CNN had no way of knowing if the charges had been completely made up.

On this basis, the story could and should have turned against the Intelligence Community, with reporters asking why unverified information had been used against Trump and whether this was retaliation for his criticism [of the “Intelligence Community”]. But this course of action by CNN would make it impossible for CNN reporters to go back to these same sources for scurrilous information and false charges in the future. This fact makes it abundantly clear that the news organization was being used by anonymous sources in the Intelligence Community, most likely the CIA.

Since CNN likes anonymous sources, I will use one of my own. “This is a classic CIA blackmail operation where the CIA under Director John Brennan uses someone else’s dirt for the blackmail, and postures themselves as ‘innocent’ in presenting it to Trump,” one observer of the Intelligence Community told me. This is certainly the real story — that an intelligence agency run by Obama’s CIA director would use an American television network to attack the President-elect with scurrilous and unsubstantiated charges.

Is America a constitutional republic ruled by the people through their elected representatives? Or do the intelligence agencies rule America and try to blackmail our leaders?

The President-elect said it would be “a tremendous blot” on the record of the Intelligence Community if they did in fact release the document to the media. At another point, he said, “I think it was disgraceful, disgraceful that the intelligence agencies allowed any information that turned out to be so false” get released in that fashion to CNN and BuzzFeed.

CNN is “fake news”, Trump said, and BuzzFeed “is a failing pile of garbage”. 

The intelligence chiefs are being unintelligent. The media people who are continuing to malign and antagonize President-elect Trump are being foolish.

Thing is, “gentlemen” and “ladies” of the fourth estate, if you like your toadying you can keep your toadying – only change the object of it from crushed Clinton to triumphant Trump. It’s the smart thing to do. If you can’t change your nature, change your idol. Serve your own interest. Be nice where the power lies.

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Post Script: Republican Senator John McCain, who has great guts but little brain, has admitted it was he who gave the FBI the fake dossier that smeared Donald Trump.

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Post Post Script: Newsmax reports that Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer posted in Britain’s Moscow embassy in 1990, is the author of the controversial dossier on President-elect Donald Trump. Hnow runs the private Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd. in London. He reportedly prepared the dossier on Trump at the request of Republicans running against him in the presidential primaries and later by the Hillary Clinton campaign. It was  obtained by a former British ambassador, who forwarded it to Arizona GOP Sen. John McCain last year, who passed it along to the FBI.  Steele, fearing anger over the matter by Russia, has fled his London home. Though he is no longer a British agent and compiled the dossier for his private company, the U.K. government was nonetheless concerned the matter could damage relations with the incoming administration, and British security services attempted to block news agencies from reporting Steele’s name.

Collectivist idealism: an obituary 1

The Marxist movement that tormented the human race for 100 years – 1917 to 2017 – was a Western bourgeoisie revolt against itself.

Almost all its leading idealists came from middle-class well-educated families. (Stalin was an exception.)

Its victims were multitudes of vulnerable individuals in frail societies.

Its last desperate heave for enduring power was the successful campaign of the Democratic Party to get Barack Obama elected to the presidency of the United States.

But America is not a frail society. The people are not poor, helpless, vulnerable. They have been made strong by 240 years of constitutionally protected liberty and property-owning free market capitalism.

Obama weakened America militarily and put it into heavy debt, but he is being constitutionally replaced by a patriotic capitalist, and there is nowhere for the Marxist movement to go now except into oblivion. 

There will still be idealists of collectivism, chiefly in the academies, for some years to come. Communist regimes linger on in a few sad places – North Korea, Cuba. But it is unlikely that there will be new regimes of that sort.

Here’s Milton Friedman explaining, kindly and politely but inarguably, how collectivism is bad for people and freedom is good for them:

Posted under communism, Cuba, Economics, Leftism, Marxism, North Korea, Soviet Union, United States by Jillian Becker on Thursday, January 5, 2017

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The impending collapse of the global warming scare 1

… is the title of an article by Francis Menton – economist – at his blog, Manhattan Contrarian.

He sums up the signs of what is likely to happen to the “climate change” environmentalist movement under President Trump.

Here’s (almost all of) what he writes:

Over the past three decades, the environmental movement has increasingly hitched its wagon to exactly one star as the overwhelming focus of the cause, namely “climate change.”  Sure, issues of bona fide pollution like smog and untreated sewage are still out there a little, but they are largely under control and don’t really stir the emotions much any more. If you want fundraising in the billions rather than the thousands, you need a good end-of-days, sin-and-redemption scare. Human-caused global warming is your answer!

Even as this scare has advanced, a few lonely voices have warned that the radical environmentalists were taking the movement out onto a precarious limb.  Isn’t there a problem that there’s no real evidence of impending climate disaster? But to no avail. Government funding to promote the warming scare has been lavish, and in the age of Obama has exploded.  Backers of the alarm have controlled all of the relevant government bureaucracies, almost all of the scientific societies, and the access to funding and to publication for anyone who wants to have a career in the field.  What could go wrong?

Now, enter President-elect Trump.  During the campaign, as with many issues, it was hard to know definitively where Trump stood. Although combatting climate change with forced suppression of fossil fuels could be a multi-trillion dollar issue for the world economy, this issue was rarely mentioned by either candidate, and was only lightly touched on in the debates. Sure, Hillary had accused Trump of calling climate change a “hoax” in a November 2012 tweet. (Actual text: “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make American manufacturing non-competitive.”) But in an early 2016 interview, Trump walked that back to say that the statement was a joke, albeit with a kernel of truth, because “climate change is a very, very expensive form of tax” and “China does not do anything to help.”Trump had also stated that he intended to exit the recent Paris climate accord, and to end the War on Coal. So, was he proposing business-as-usual with a few tweaks, or would we see a thorough-going reversal of Obama’s extreme efforts to control the climate by fossil fuel restrictions?

With the recently announced appointments, this is starting to come very much into focus.  In reverse order of the announcements:

  • Rex Tillerson, CEO of ExxonMobil, as Secretary of State.  As of today, we still have as our chief diplomat the world leader of smugness who somehow thinks that “climate change” caused by use of fossil fuels is the greatest threat to global security.  He is shortly to be replaced with the CEO of Exxon.  Could there be a bigger poke in the eye to the world climate establishment?  I’m trying to envision Tillerson at the next meeting of the UN climate “conference of parties” with thousands of world bureaucrats discussing how to put the fossil fuel companies out of business.  Won’t he be laughing his gut out?
  • Rick Perry as Secretary of Energy.  Not only was he the longest-serving governor of the biggest fossil fuel energy-producing state, but in his own 2012 presidential campaign he advocated for the elimination of the Department of Energy.  This is the department that passes out tens of billions of dollars in crony-capitalist handouts for wind and solar energy (Solyndra!), let alone more tens of billions for funding some seventeen (seventeen!) research laboratories mostly dedicated to the hopeless task of figuring out how to make intermittent sources of energy competitive for any real purpose.
  • And then there’s Scott Pruitt for EPA.  As Attorney General of Oklahoma, another of the big fossil fuel energy-producing states, he has been a leader in litigating against the Obama EPA to stop its overreaches, including the so-called Clean Power Plan that seeks to end the use of coal for electricity and to raise everyone’s cost of energy.

You might say that all of these are very controversial appointments, and will face opposition in the Senate. But then, Harry Reid did away with the filibuster for cabinet appointments.  Oops! Barring a minimum of three Republican defections, these could all sail through. And even if one of these appointments founders, doesn’t the combination of them strongly signal where Trump would go with his next try?

So what can we predict about where the climate scare is going? Among members of the environmental movement, when their heads stop exploding, there are plenty of predictions that this will be terrible for the United States:  international ostracism, loss (to China!) of “leadership” in international climate matters, and, domestically, endless litigation battles stalling attempts to rescind or roll back regulations. I see it differently. I predict a high likelihood of substantial collapse of the global warming movement, both domestically and internationally, over the course of the next couple of years.

Start with the EPA. To the extent that the global warming movement has anything to do with “science,” EPA is supposedly where that science is vetted and approved on behalf of the public before being turned into policy. In fact, under Obama, EPA’s principal role on the “science” has been to prevent and stifle any debate or challenge to global warming orthodoxy.  For example, when a major new Research Report came out back in September claiming to completely invalidate all of the bases on which EPA claims that CO2 is a danger to human health and welfare, and thus to undermine EPA’s authority to regulate the gas under the Clean Air Act, EPA simply failed to respond.  In the same vein, essentially all prominent global warming alarmists refuse to debate anyone who challenges any aspect of their orthodoxy. Well, that has worked as long as they and their allies have controlled all of the agencies and all of the money.  Now, it will suddenly be put up or shut up. And in case you might think that the science on this issue is “settled,” so no problem, you might enjoy this recent round-up at Climate Depot from some of the actual top scientists. A couple of excerpts:

Renowned Princeton Physicist Freeman Dyson:  “I’m 100% Democrat and I like Obama. But he took the wrong side on climate issue, and the Republicans took the right side.” 

Nobel Prize Winning Physicist Dr. Ivar Giaever: “Global warming is a non-problem. I say this to Obama: ‘Excuse me, Mr. President, but you’re wrong. Dead wrong.’ ” 

Now the backers of the global warming alarm will not only be called upon to debate, but will face the likelihood of being called before a highly skeptical if not hostile EPA to answer all of the hard questions that they have avoided answering for the last eight years. Questions like:  Why are recorded temperatures, particularly from satellites and weather balloons, so much lower than the alarmist models had predicted?  How do you explain an almost-20-year “pause” in increasing temperatures even as CO2 emissions have accelerated? What are the details of the adjustments to the surface temperature record that have somehow reduced recorded temperatures from the 1930s and 40s, and thereby enabled continued claims of “warmest year ever” when raw temperature data show warmer years 70 and 80 years ago?  Suddenly, the usual hand-waving (“the science is settled”) is not going to be good enough any more.  What now?

And how will the United States fare on the international stage when it stops promising to cripple its economy with meaningless fossil fuel restrictions? … Here’s my prediction: As soon as the United States stops parroting the global warming line, the other countries will quickly start backing away from it as well. …

Countries like Britain and Australia have already more or less quietly started the retreat from insanity. In Germany the obsession with wind and solar … has already gotten average consumer electric rates up to close to triple the cost in U.S. states that embrace fossil fuels. How long will they be willing to continue that self-destruction after the U.S. says it is not going along? And I love the business about ceding “leadership” to China. China’s so-called “commitment” in the recent Paris accord is not to reduce carbon emissions at all, but rather only to build as many coal plants as they want for the next fourteen years and then cease increasing emissions after 2030! At which point, of course, they reserve their right to change their mind.  Who exactly is going to embrace that “leadership” and increase their consumers’ cost of electricity by triple or so starting right now?  I mean, the Europeans are stupid, but are they that stupid?

And finally, there is the question of funding. Under Obama, attaching the words “global warming” or “climate change” to any proposal has been the sure-fire way to get the proposal whatever federal funding it might want. The Department of Energy has been the big factor here. Of its annual budget of about $28 billion, roughly half goes to running the facilities that provide nuclear material for the Defense Department, and the other half, broadly speaking, goes to the global warming cause: crony capitalist handouts for wind and solar energy providers, and billions per year for research at some seventeen (seventeen!) different energy research laboratories.

During the eight Obama years, the energy sector of the U.S. economy has been substantially transformed by a technological revolution that has dramatically lowered the cost of energy and hugely benefited the American consumer.

No thanks to Obama himself, who opposed fracking in concert with the “global warming” chorus.

 I’m referring, of course, to the fracking revolution.

How much of the tens of billions of U.S. energy subsidies and research funding in that time went toward this revolution that actually produced cheaper energy that works?  Answer:  Not one single dollar! All of the money was completely wasted on things that are uneconomic and will disappear as soon as the government cuts off the funding spigot. All of this funding can and should be zeroed out in the next budget.  Believe me, nobody will notice other than the parasites who have been wasting the money.

If the multi-tens-of-billions per year funding gusher for global warming alarmism quickly dries up, the large majority of the people living on these handouts will have no choice but to go and find something productive to do.  Sure, some extreme zealots will find some way to soldier on.  But it is not crazy at all to predict a very substantial collapse of the global warming scare over the course of the next couple of years.

The environmental movement has climbed itself way out onto the global warming limb.  Now the Trump administration is about to start sawing off the limb behind them.

And that’s good news for us anti-religion extremists. Man-made climate change is a religion. The notion that giving money to Al Gore and his fellow alarmists will save planet Earth from destruction by fire and flood is a particularly silly doctrine of  it.

Came the hour, came the man – soon-to-be president Donald Trump – to swipe this superstition off the agenda of international politics.

 

(Hat-tip Cogito)

The management of savagery 1

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 FarajFaraj 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.