American Elephants


ISIS is Recruiting ‘Thousands’ of young American Muslims on the Internet, and We Are Not Responding. by The Elephant's Child
May 13, 2015, 10:18 pm
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , , ,

FBI Director James Comey last week testified that the terrorist group ISIS is using social media to attract and radicalize “maybe thousands” of Muslim Americans  to “kill kill kill.” Discouraging young Muslims from joining ISIS has become a wartime imperative. We must have an answering message. Homeland Secretary Jeh Johnson warns that one or more of these ISIS recruits could strike at any moment on orders directed through Twitter. One of the American Muslims who opened fire in Garland Texas at the free speech event, traded calls for violence on Twitter with ISIS fighters. The warnings have prompted the Pentagon to elevate its threat level on U.S. military bases to Bravo. Judicial Watch has warned that there are ISIS training camps just 8 miles south of the border.

U.S. Intelligence officials agree that the Internet is a huge recruiting tool for ISIS and that we are losing the propaganda war. What are we doing? The man President Obama has named to head the country’s counter messaging effort against ISIS — the director of the Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications —Rashad Hussain is a terror-supporting Islamist who says that terrorists need more of fundamentalist Islam.

Hussain is a lawyer who has defended known terrorists and is associated with groups that espouse jihad. He claims to be a moderate, but is affiliated with the radical Muslim Brotherhood. He denies that Islam has any role in violent extremism, and has defended more than half a dozen Muslims who have been convicted in high-profile terrorism cases, while denouncing the Patriot Act. President Obama has seemed to think he can work with the Muslim Brotherhood.  Bret Stephens remarked:in his book America in Retreat:

Four years after his Cairo speech, just 16 percent of Egyptians had a favorable view of the United States, down from 30 percent in 2006. at the height of George W. Bush’s global unpopularity.The administration has performed the extraordinary feat of enraging every corner of Egyptian society from the Muslim  Brotherhood, to the military who know he sold out cheap on their historical alliance. After the United States refused to sell Egypt F-16 fighters, Cairo opened talks with Moscow, its military patron in the days of Nasserist glory..

Countries have options. An American president who does not honor the basic bargain of Pax Americana—military protection in exchange for diplomatic pliancy—will sooner or later squander the benefits of Pax Americana.

Obama has seldom made good choices in terms of advisors. Rashad Hussain would seem to be among the number. He has been on the job since February, but has not yet produced an anti-ISIS counter propaganda video for the State Department while ISIS has flooded the internet with more than 250 graphic recruitment messages.



We Need to Study Up. What We Don’t Know Can Hurt Us. by The Elephant's Child

As the revelations regarding Benghazi drip, drip out, slowly, it is becoming clear that the administration’s understanding of the terrorism threat, and belief that terrorism is spawned by grievances about social, economic, and other problems for which America bears fault, play a large role in the administration’s deeply misguided foreign policy.

Andrew McCarthy had a helpful post at National Review a few days ago:

Let’s start with the intimation that “religious fanaticism” causes terrorism. To be sure, that’s a better explanation than the Left’s “blame America first” approach.  Yet, it still misses the mark. The real cause is ideology, not religion. The distinction is worth drawing because, for the most part, Islamist terror is not fueled by Muslim zealousness for Islam’s religious tenets — for instance, :the oneness of Allah.” We Westerners recognize such beliefs as belonging to the realm of religion or spirituality. To the contrary, Islamist terror is driven by the supremacism and totalitarianism of Middle Eastern Islam — i.e., by the perception of believers that they are under a divine injunction to impose all of Islam’s tenets.

Most of those tenets do not concern religion or spirituality, at least not as Westerners interpret those concepts. Instead, sharia is largely concerned with controlling what we see as secular affairs —political, social, military, financial, jurisprudential, penal, even hygienic matters. Of course, the fact that we separate church and state in the West does not mean our moral sense is without influence —indeed, profound influence — over how we conduct secular affairs. But in the West, we reject the notion that any religious belief system’s tenets should control those affairs.  In the United States, we reject the establishment of a state religion — such official primacy would suffocate freedom of conscience, a bedrock of liberty.

By contrast, the foundation of Middle Eastern Islam is submission to Allah’s law, not individual liberty.  This interpretation of Islam thus rejects a division between the secular and the spiritual.  Its sharia system contemplates totalitarian control.  That makes Islamist ideology (i.e., Islamic supremacism, or what is sometimes more elliptically called “political Islam”) just another totalitarian ideology, albeit one that happens to have a religious veneer.

The whole article is here. It is really worth your time. Andy of course, was the federal prosecutor in the trial of the Blind Sheik. His books are: The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America (2010). Willful Blindness: A Memoir of the Jihad (2008), and most recently Spring Fever: The Illusion of Islamic Democracy (2012), among others.

Andy has thought deeply and clearly about radical Islam, and takes great care with the words he uses. We can get in awful trouble if we don’t know what we’re talking about, or even thinking about.




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