Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Islamic State of the World

The Islamic State of the Worldby Brian Fahy & Garrett Fahy

The American people have learned that once again, they were not told the truth.  We were told that by the fall of 2012, Al Qaeda was purportedly on the run, finished off by a diplomacy that exchanged bullets for talking points, kinetic warfare for bridge-building conciliation.   None of it was true.  These talking points masked the reality that the vacuum created by America’s withdrawal was quickly being filled by resurgent Islamists.
Now, it seems, modernity is on the run, being terrorized by adherents to a violent ideology buried in the sands of centuries past. The Islamic State (ISIS) is thriving and growing in the newest episode of the perpetual clash of civilizations.
In retrospect and in contrast, our former Iraqi nemesis, Al Qaeda in Iraq, seems tame.  It never inflicted this kind of senseless carnage or provoked such international outrage.  No world leader ever cut short a vacation to address the violence in Iraq.
After Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq, was unceremoniously dispatched by a drone strike, Sunni leaders in the Anbar province, strengthened by the victories won by American troops, rose up against Al Qaeda.  The Anbar province awoke, and Al-Qaeda in Iraq was largely eliminated as an existential threat to the country and American interests.  After six years of civil war and sectarian strife, Iraq was stable, its borders intact.
This was the Iraq President Obama inherited.  That Iraq no longer exists. In its place is a country halved and convulsed by the rapid conquest of ISIS.  The border region between Syria and Iraq has been replaced by the Islamic caliphate, the Islamic State, where the beheadings of Christian children and American journalists are de rigueur.
In reaction to these developments, President Obama solemnly intones that such barbarism has no place in this century.  The Islamic State terrorists agree, to a point. They aim to recreate a political entity not seen since the first millennium.  Secretary of State Kerry offered the same modernist scolding as Vladimir Putin sent his special forces to annex Crimea and Eastern Ukraine without firing a shot.  We saw what American weakness produced in Europe.  What will it produce in regard to ISIS?
What is clear is that ISIS is not Al Qaeda.  Where Al Qaeda sought hidden training camps, ISIS seeks a caliphate.  Where Al Qaeda forsook phones and email for messengers with handwritten notes, ISIS utilizes YouTube.   ISIS, by its public exploits, thus offers a better target than Al Qaeda did, if only the world would shoot.  Yet the world holds its collective trigger finger.
Armed with more money, materiel, land, and better organization than Al Qaeda, ISIS poses a graver and more immediate threat to U.S. interests and allies.  Al Qaeda pulled off 9/11, but it never threatened to control large swaths of a major oil producing country and the financial resources that come with it.  ISIS has achieved more in two months than Bin Laden achieved in almost two decades.
The ISIS rise invites regional instability in the Middle East, the expansion of militant Islam worldwide, and perhaps most ominous, the exporting of more audacious terror attacks around the world.   A group that crucifies dissenters and beheads children provides ample evidence of its future intent.  Who will thwart them?
Beyond the geopolitical consequences, the unraveling of Iraq illustrates important truths and portends serious domestic political consequences.
First, the Barack Obama-Rand Paul vision of foreign affairs has been OBE – overcome by events – and is definitively discredited.   Both men share an isolationist bent, for equally unwise reasons.  Whatever the reasons, their unwillingness to confront and defeat evil abroad should not be tolerated by Americans, who are justifiably horrified to see their fellow citizens beheaded by terrorists, their allies overrun, and their previous victories squandered.
Indeed, by dint of ISIS’s rise and rapid takeover of nearly half the territory of Iraq, America will be forced to invest a significant military presence in Iraq for the fourth time in slightly more than two decades.  This time, however, they may be fighting some of their fellow countrymen.  According to American intelligence officials, the Islamic State draws jihadists from the United States, Europe and Australia.  These same officials believe it is just a matter of time before they return to their home country to practice what they learned in Iraq and Syria.
Second, the inevitable surge of US troops in Iraq will inevitably require Hillary Clinton to explain her politically inspired opposition to the Iraq surge, which crushed Sunni terrorists and pacified the country.  What does she really think about the use of force to protect American interests abroad? Is her recent criticism of President Obama sincere? Or is it just characteristically opportunistic Clintonism?
Third, the 2016 presidential election will now be, more than it was a month ago, a foreign affairs election.  Fortunately for Democrats, the Islamic State debacle has taken the Obamacare/IRS/border debacles off the news cycle, for now.  Unfortunately for Democrats, this Administration’s incompetence in foreign affairs only reaffirms the post-Vietnam belief that Democrats cannot be trusted with America’s defense.
Fourth, the rise of the Islamic State and the active participation in its conquest by Westerners should forever put to rest the false notions that violent Islamic jihad results from Western military operations in the Islamic world, or that America’s position in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict fuels terrorism, or that Gitmo causes more terrorism.  Islamic radicalism, the kind that broadcasts and revels in the beheading of infants, fuels terrorism.
Finally, it is time to discard the canards that soft diplomacy and leading from behind protect American lives and interests.  Matched against a barbarism unseen in centuries, the only appropriate response is overwhelming military force, boots on the ground if need be.  Scoldings don’t disarm terrorists, troops do.
Our troops will likely be called upon again to impose order in a disordered land; and they will fight to victory if our political leaders will let them.  Our security, and Iraq’s, is once again in their hands.  The Islamic State started the fight, but the US military will end it if permitted to.  Whether we have the stomach and the will for another Iraq war is the defining question of the moment.

Islamist Terror Behind Murder of 4 in Seattle, NJ

Islamist Terror Behind Murder of 4 in Seattle, NJ

Sun, August 24, 2014
Ahmed Said (left) and Dwone Anderson-Young were murdered by Ali Muhammad Brown, who lured the two using a gay dating app.
Ahmed Said (left) and Dwone Anderson-Young were murdered by Ali Muhammad Brown, who lured the two using a gay dating app.
Ali Muhammad Brown, the radical Muslim accused of murdering four people near Seattle and in New Jersey, has confessed and said the acts were retaliation for U.S. foreign policy. This is no longer solely an Islamist hate crime; it’s an act of Islamist terrorism.
It is now believed that Brown’s murder spree began on April 27 with the drive-by shooting of Leroy Henderson in Seattle.
Then on June 1, Brown allegedly murdered two homosexuals near Seattle, Ahmed Said and Dwone Anderson-Young, after he lured them into a trap using a gay dating phone app.
The latter two deaths were described as an execution and they were deliberately targeted because of their sexual orientation. It issuspected that he chose Said as a victim because of his Muslim name, making his homosexual lifestyle exponentially more offensive to Brown.
This was the second anti-gay attack by a radical Muslim in the Seattle area this year. Another Islamist tried to burn down a nightclub frequented by gays on New Year’s Eve. Islamist doctrine holds that the punishment for homosexuality is death.
Brown escaped to N.J. and murdered Brendan Tevlin on June 25. Four days later, he robbed a man at a coffee shop in Point Pleasant, but spared his life. Brown was apprehended on July 18 at a homeless shelter.
Brown has confessed to the murders and made it clear that he had terroristic motivations. This was not just a hate crime against gays or a typical murder spree. It was an act of terrorism, morally indistinguishable from the Fort Hood shooting or the Boston Marathon bombings.
“[When a] man sees evil, then he must take action against that evil,” he explained.
Brown said that the “evil” he was responding to was U.S. actions towards Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Iran.
“All these lives are taken every single day by America, by this government. So a life for a life,” he said.
Brown said his violence was not purely political in nature. His religious views permitted it. He said, “My mission is my mission between men and my Lord.”
He said his murder of Tevlin, only 19 years old, is a “just kill” because he is an adult male and no women, children or elderly persons were put in danger.
Brown may have links to other Islamist terrorists. He reportedlyattended a jihadist training camp in California, but there is no information available that is more specific. The court documents have not confirmed that report.
In 2004, Brown was arrested with three other Islamists for money laundering. They deposited fraudulent checks into accounts at several banks. The FBI believed they were financing terrorists in Somalia, but were unable to convict them on terrorism charges. The ringleader, Rupert Shumpert, later traveled to Somalia and joined Al-Shabaab, Al-Qaeda’s affiliate there. He was killed in combat.
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray confirmed that Brown had Islamist motivations in a statement on August 20.
“The charging documents reveal disturbing details about Brown’s motive for committing these murders, which appears to have based on anti-American sentiment and an extreme interpretation of the Muslim faith. While Brown invoked his faith, we must be clear that Brown’s views and his actions do not reflect the values of Muslims,” it reads.
Brown’s decision to target homosexuals, particularly one with a Muslim name, is significant because it shows that he was not merely a violent political activist. Grievances over U.S. foreign policy are not the driver of his extremism.
Political causes do not trigger beliefs that death is due for homosexuals and American civilians. There has to be another source for his outlook.
His anti-Americanism and hatred for gays is a product of the Islamist ideology and not a product of political frustration. His Islamist radicalization caused the rage over foreign policy, accompanied with bigotry and violence.
Brown’s violence needs to be appropriately characterized by the media as a terrorist attack. He murdered four civilians. The Tsarnaev brothers murdered three in the Boston Marathon bombings and a police officer afterwards.
The motivations of the Tsarnaev brothers and Brown are the same. Even the death count in their attacks is the same. Brown’s terrorism is not as dramatic, but it’s still terrorism.

There's No Such Thing as 'Black America'

There's No Such Thing as 'Black America'

The concept of a ‘black community’ or ‘black America’ led by figures like Al Sharpton is counterproductive and, at best, outdated. It’s time we spent more time concentrating on what unites us.

In light of the tragic shooting of Michael Brown, I’ve been troubled by the notion that a monolithic entity called “Black America” or “the black community” still exists in the 21st century—if it ever existed at all. Moreover, I think that it is simply dangerous for the likes of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson to be allowed to act as if they speak for all black Americans. They don’t, but the media and our first black president perpetuate this insidious myth.
America has obviously made tremendous progress since the days of Jim Crow, Bull Connor, and voter intimidation at the polls. We have our first black president in Barack Obama, who immediately chose Eric Holder to be our top law enforcement officer. People of color serve at the highest levels of business, academia and politics. Still, without question, there is inequality in our country today. And does racism still exist in certain aspects of our society? Unfortunately, of course, the answer is yes.
But the civil rights era is over, and the idea that there’s still some separate Black America out there is as unproductive as it is inaccurate. The tragedy that took place in Ferguson should have allowed for a meaningful opportunity for everyone in this country to talk about race from an individual perspective. Instead, people who inflame racial tensions to suit their own political ends have helped polarize this nation further, leading to a continued “us” versus “them” idea of race that doesn’t do justice to our more complicated reality.
Case in point: the spectacle of Brown’s funeral on Monday. The day the young man should have been laid to rest in peace and dignity served as a political pep rally that underscored the false narrative that something called the black community is crying out for justice in light of the shooting. NBC News was happy to play into this fantasy in their coverage of Brown’s funeral by offering: “The crowd of 4,500 was brought to its feet by the Rev. Al Sharpton, the activist…who said Brown’s killing was a wakeup call for the black community and the entire nation.”
In his remarks, Sharpton noted: “All of us are required to respond to this. We can’t have a fit. We have to have a movement.” A movement? We need to have an impartial call for calm minds to search for the facts, not a kangaroo media court looking to convict a white police officer. We need to take a deep breath and push back on the destructive idea that white police officers hate blacks and want to shoot them.
Those in the grievance industry are always looking to make a buck off racial strife, and it’s time we stopped listening to them. Be honest: When you first heard about the tragic shooting, did you not think to yourself that the likes of Jackson and Sharpton would be along shortly with a bullhorn in one hand and acollection jar in the other?
We will never live up to our national motto of E Pluribus Unum until we stop hyphenating Americans and seeking to classify our fellow citizens based on race, ethnicity and gender. Six years into the much-ballyhooed presidency of our first post-racial president, race relations in America seem more polarized than they have in decades. Why is this the case?
Those in the grievance industry are always looking to make a buck off racial strife, and it’s time we stopped listening to them.
For a president who made his race a defining (and admirable) aspect of his run for the Oval Office, Obama has shied away when he could have led on matters of race, while injecting himself in ways that have been divisive rather than helpful. Think: “Cambridge Police acted stupidly,” or “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon Martin.” In the case of Ferguson, the president sat on the sidelines for too long as rioters and other criminals descended on the community, looking for “justice” as they stole and damaged the property of local residents.
And then of course there’s the company that Obama keeps and, by extension, legitimizes. That he and his senior advisers would turn to Sharpton—perhaps the most racially inflammatory figure in contemporary America—for advice on race relations is beyond troubling. Politico reported over the weekend that Sharpton is the de facto liaison for the White House regarding the shooting in Ferguson. Couldn’t they have found a less polarizing figure?
We will continue to make strides forward in the United States on matters of race by focusing on what brings us together rather than what divides us. So it’s time to reject the notion of the existence of a Black America or White America. There’s one America, and it functions best as a melting pot. Likewise, it’s time to extinguish the flames of racial animosity by turning away figures like Sharpton and Jackson, who claim to speak for every black American and profit from the idea that we are two countries divided by race. Instead, let’s start listening to people who want to bring us together, and try to speak for all of us.

Don's Tuesday Column

THE WAY I SEE IT   by Don Polson   Red Bluff Daily News   9/02/2014

Attackers devoid of truth, shame

As we resume normal Internet access, and the ability to peruse these pages, there are three items requiring my response. The first is a simple correction to the name of the slain young man in that altercation with police Officer Wilson in Ferguson, MO. His first name was “Michael,” not “Jason.” Absent Internet sources for verification, and with only marginal radio reception, my memory did not serve me well. One of my emails to the editor associated with the column asked for the names to be checked but that didn’t happen. By the time I realized my error, it was too late to even phone a correction in, so the wrong first name appeared for “Michael Brown.” Otherwise, I stand behind all other statements and opinions that I wrote last week. I’ll happily correct an occasional mistake but small-minded, antagonistic critics will have to do better than that to “prove” me wrong on the issues.
While it is often wiser to ignore epithets hurled my way rather than dignify them here, there are some that rise, or rather descend, to a level of offense demanding refutation. Most readers have little or no awareness of the regular issuance of “the North State Voice,” by Cliff Larimer, emailed to recipients. It is often a good, but rather cynical and caustic, read on the numerous topics and news items that come to his attention. While my name turns up occasionally, it is, as I said, not worth dignifying with any sort of response. As I went through literally hundreds of items in my Inbox, his August 29 issue described me thusly: “a Tea-partier with a strong racist bent.”
I’ll put it this way: To call someone a racist is the equivalent of using the “n-word” when referring to African Americans, the way I see it. It is such a despicable, unfair and disingenuous lie that it ought to be legally actionable as defamation or libel. I believe it is used in mostly irresponsible ways to attempt to stifle another’s free expression, and for someone of Mr. Larimer’s journalistic background to stoop that low reveals to any fair-minded person more about his character than mine. I harbor no ill will for any group of people, save those who reveal their own idiocy through foul-minded expressions and prevarications. Moreover, Larimer never once spelled my name properly, using “Poulson” in place of “Polson”; the correct spelling is easily discoverable by simply reading the Daily News or its online equivalent. It’s sad, in my opinion, for someone of his background to resort to name-calling, ad hominem attacks and, well, lies.
Finally, a line of argument that has been hurled my way by one Mr. Hogan for about as long as I have been writing this column (over 9 years), surfaced on this page and I want to provide some perspective. The argument goes like this (in case you missed the letter last week): He offers to pay my way to Iraq so I can do the fighting myself, since I have supported America’s military in past columns. The point is absurd in every respect and, due to his incessant and offensive emails on that and other topics, I have banned him from emailing me, which request he ignores, prompting me to delete his messages unread. He has used the term “sand (n-word)” to describe middle-eastern people as well, which term I prefer not to even read.
It behooves me to point out that he intentionally misquoted what I said when he wrote that I, “as he often does, called for military action in the mid-east.” That I did not do. Anyone can plainly observe what I pointed out: America’s military have remained in every country in which they have fought in order to, as I said, “secure peace in the midst of potential instability. That prevents subsequent chaos and bloodshed requiring going back into a country like Iraq.” Nowhere did I “call for military action,” only that “chaos and bloodshed” might not be stopped without further American efforts. Some would say that we broke it (Iraq) so we own it (the chaos and bloodshed). Remember, President Bush left Obama a relatively peaceful and stable Iraq with, yes, enough troops to keep it that way—not many of them were dying in action by then, either.
The last time I looked we’ve never had an active military leader as President—the Commander in Chief is always a civilian and every time our military is deployed, it is at the direction of a civilian President and a Congress composed of civilians and inactive veterans (mostly). Democrats in Congress insisted on voting a second time for war in Iraq so they could be on record supporting something that Americans, when polled, supported.
I just read recently that a civilian, non-veteran President Obama continues to keep American troops and advisers in Iraq and has deployed Special Forces into harm’s way to assist some of the refugees. He’s happy to take credit for spending tens of millions of dollars to launch air strikes against the Islamic terrorists while he vacations in Martha’s Vineyard; no military assets are being deployed at my direction or encouragement. What disasters befall the people in the Middle East are on Obama’s head and skinny shoulders alone. He’s the one who refused to keep a residual force of 20,000 soldiers in Iraq, which is what military commanders (not 63-year-old, non-veteran pontificators such as myself) were asking for to “secure the peace.”

Monday, September 1, 2014

Obama fails History 101

President Obama doesn't know much about history.
In his therapeutic 2009 Cairo speech, Obama outlined all sorts of Islamic intellectual and technological pedigrees, several of which were undeserved. He exaggerated Muslim contributions to printing and medicine, for example, and was flat-out wrong about the catalysts for the European Renaissance and Enlightenment.
He also believes history follows some predetermined course, as if things always get better on their own. Obama often praises those he pronounces to be on the "right side of history." He also chastises others for being on the "wrong side of history" -- as if evil is vanished and the good thrives on autopilot.
When in 2009 millions of Iranians took to the streets to protest the thuggish theocracy, they wanted immediate U.S. support. Instead, Obama belatedly offered them banalities suggesting that in the end, they would end up "on the right side of history." Iranian reformers may indeed end up there, but it will not be because of some righteous inanimate force of history, or the prognostications of Barack Obama.
Obama often parrots Martin Luther King Jr.'s phrase about the arc of the moral universe bending toward justice. But King used that metaphor as an incentive to act, not as reassurance that matters will follow an inevitably positive course.
Another of Obama's historical refrains is his frequent sermon about behavior that doesn't belong in the 21st century. At various times he has lectured that the barbarous aggression of Vladimir Putin or ISIS has no place in our century and will "ultimately fail" -- as if we are all now sophisticates of an age that has at last transcended retrograde brutality and savagery.
In Obama's hazy sense of the end of history, things always must get better in the manner that updated models of iPhones and iPads are glitzier than the last. In fact, history is morally cyclical. Even technological progress is ethically neutral. It is a way either to bring more good things to more people or to facilitate evil all that much more quickly and effectively.
In the viciously modern 20th century -- when more lives may have been lost to war than in all prior centuries combined -- some 6 million Jews were put to death through high technology in a way well beyond the savagery of Attila the Hun or Tamerlane. Beheading in the Islamic world is as common in the 21st century as it was in the eighth century -- and as it will probably be in the 22nd. The carnage of the Somme and Dresden trumped anything that the Greeks, Romans, Franks, Turks or Venetians could have imagined.
What explains Obama's confusion?
A lack of knowledge of basic history explains a lot. Obama or his speechwriters have often seemed confused about the liberation of Auschwitz, "Polish death camps" the political history of Texas, or the linguistic relationship between Austria and Germany. Obama reassured us during the Bowe Bergdahl affair that George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt all similarly got American prisoners back when their wars ended -- except that none of them were in office when the Revolutionary War, Civil War or World War II officially ended.
Contrary to Obama's assertion, President Rutherford B. Hayes never dismissed the potential of the telephone. Obama once praised the city of Cordoba as part of a proud Islamic tradition of tolerance during the brutal Spanish Inquisition -- forgetting that by the beginning of the Inquisition an almost exclusively Christian Cordoba had few Muslims left.
A Pollyannaish belief in historical predetermination seems to substitute for action. If Obama believes that evil should be absent in the 21st century, or that the arc of the moral universe must always bend toward justice, or that being on the wrong side of history has consequences, then he may think inanimate forces can take care of things as we need merely watch.
In truth, history is messier. Unfortunately, only force will stop seventh-century monsters like ISIS from killing thousands more innocents. Obama may think that reminding Putin that he is now in the 21st century will so embarrass the dictator that he will back off from Ukraine. But the brutish Putin may think that not being labeled a 21st-century civilized sophisticate is a compliment.
In 1935, French Foreign Minister Pierre Laval warned Josef Stalin that the Pope would admonish him to go easy on Catholics -- as if such moral lectures worked in the supposedly civilized 20th century. Stalin quickly disabused Laval of that naiveté. "The Pope?" Stalin asked, "How many divisions has he got?"
There is little evidence that human nature has changed over the centuries, despite massive government efforts to make us think and act nicer. What drives Putin, Boko Haram or ISIS are the same age-old passions, fears and sense of honor that over the centuries also moved Genghis Khan, the Sudanese Mahdists and the Barbary pirates.
Obama's naive belief in predetermined history -- especially when his facts are often wrong -- is a poor substitute for concrete moral action.