Saturday, October 04, 2014
There may have been a plot, but Obama can’t acknowledge its real source.
October 4, 2014
A TV grab from the Qatar-based Al-Jazeera news channel dated 17 June 2005 shows Al-Qaeda number two Ayman al-Zawahiri delivering a speech at an undisclosed location with a machine gun next to him. Al-Zawahiri, in a video posted on the Internet 29 September 2006, called US President George W Bush a liar who had “failed in his war against Al-Qaeda”, Al-Jazeera television reported. The previous day, Islamist websites on the Internet had said there would be a new video message posted by Zawahiri entitled ” Bush, the pope, Darfur and the Crusades.” AFP PHOTO/AL-JAZEERA — QATAR OUT & INTERNET OUT — (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)
The Daily Beast’s Eli Lake is one of the best national-security reporters there is. Late this week, he made an important contribution to the “Khorasan” debate — the controversy over President Obama’s commencement of an aerial bombing campaign, in the absence of congressional authorization, based on what the administration has portrayed as an “imminent” threat to the United States. The source of the threat was said to be the “Khorasan Group,” a virtually unknown terrorist entity.
The upshot of Mr. Lake’s report is that back in June, U.S. military and intelligence officials assessed that “a shadowy network of al Qaeda veterans in Syria were planning to attack airliners flying to the United States.” The officials thus formulated combat plans for strikes against this terror cell’s key locations. These “targeting packages,” however, were not submitted to the president because, according to an unidentified senior intelligence official, military brass knew Mr. Obama would not authorize the strikes. They did not want to ask if the answer was certain to be “no.”
I have no doubt that this is the case. My focus, however, is on Mr. Lake’s description of the Khorasan controversy. As he frames it,
Some critics on the left and right have questioned whether the White House invented the threat from the so-called “Khorasan Group” in order to justify airstrikes that began in September against al Qaeda and ISIS targets in Syria.
“ISIS,” of course, refers to the Islamic State, formerly, the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (meaning Iraq and Greater Syria or the Levant). It is the al-Qaeda spin-off currently rampaging across that region. ISIS is distinguished from al-Qaeda because the two — at least for the moment — are rivals. Al-Qaeda’s Syrian franchise is Jabhat al-Nusra. Mr. Lake further asserts that this franchise “has been focused on its fight inside [Syria],” in apparent distinction from the so-called Khorasan Group’s focus on attacking the United States.
This is all worth teasing out because there is confusion about what the Khorasan controversy is over. The Lake report, moreover, is a valuable demonstration of how the government’s conscious avoidance of Islamic-supremacist ideology leads to wayward analysis and policy.
It is true that Obama critics have questioned whether the White House invented the threat from the “Khorasan Group.” Still, this conflates two things that should be scrutinized separately: (a) whether there really was a threat, and (b) whether there really is a “Khorasan Group” as represented by administration officials. Many of us who reject the latter are less skeptical about the former.
With respect to the so-called Khorasan Group, the overarching objection here is that we are really just talking about al-Qaeda. No one doubts that al-Qaeda, being an international terror network that has been at war with the United States for about 20 years, has an internal organizational structure as well as both franchises and smaller cells throughout the world. But the units, franchises, and cells are not independent, autonomous operators; they are al-Qaeda. That, in fact, is what separates them from the Islamic State, which has broken away from the mother ship, at least for the time being.
The Obama administration portrayed the abruptly emergent “Khorasan Group” as if it were a standalone terrorist organization — a jihadist-combat entity targeting the United States. In reality, the threat the administration was talking about was from al-Qaeda. The administration does not like to admit that al-Qaeda is still a formidable enemy because President Obama has made a habit of falsely claiming to have defeated it. That is why we are hearing about the “Khorasan Group.”
To the extent such an entity exists, however, it is merely a small group of experienced and trusted al-Qaeda operatives who advise the terror network’s emir, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and carry out his directives. In this instance, Zawahiri sent some of these top terrorists to Syria, to work with the Syrian franchise, al-Nusra. As I noted earlier this week, and as Mr. Lake also reports, al-Anan Television’s Jenan Moussa has documented that putative Khorasan members were understood within the al-Qaeda framework to be al-Nusra’s elite unit. This is consistent with other reporting I’ve previously cited, which details how Syrian jihadists now said to be part of “Khorasan” were working within, and were indistinguishable from, al-Nusra.
Bottom line: It was all al-Qaeda. Khorasan, al-Nusra, and al-Qaeda are one and the same.
Obama’s approach is to atomize al-Qaeda into its separate parts. Politically, this is intended to make it appear that the president has made great progress against a network that, in actuality, has gotten larger and more threatening on his watch. Philosophically, it fits the Obama agenda of miniaturizing the enemy into small outfits, consumed by regional or parochial concerns and largely unthreatening to the United States — nuisances unconnected by Islamic-supremacist ideology and manageable by law-enforcement processes.
Obama implausibly bragged that the killing of bin Laden by U.S. special forces during his first term was a fatal blow to the global terror network. Patently, this has proved not to be the case, so administration officials now maintain that the president was referring merely to “core al-Qaeda” — the hierarchy of al-Qaeda said to be holed up in Pakistan and Afghanistan. That is deceptive revisionism: If you review the president’s campaign rhetoric, he was extravagantly claiming to have defeated al-Qaeda, not a small subset of al-Qaeda. But the fraud runs deeper: “Core al-Qaeda” is a term cooked up by our government, not by the terror network. It is useful because the “core” can be sliced as finely as the president needs to slice it in order to depict the killing of this or that terrorist as “decimation.”
The pretense does not end with assertions that the “core” is distinct from the impressive transcontinental network al-Qaeda’s leaders have built, or that even the core is somehow distinct from its own little “Khorasan.” The government draws further artificial distinctions by claiming that separate al-Qaeda entities have unconnected missions.
For example, the “Khorasan Group” was clearly operating within al-Nusra, the Syrian al-Qaeda franchise. Yet, Mr. Lake reports the intelligence community’s assessment that al-Nusra “has been focused on its fight inside” Syria, while the allegedly separate “Khorasan” concentrated on attacking the United States.
This ignores al-Qaeda’s Islamic-supremacist ideology. Al-Qaeda — the whole international network — has an overarching goal of global conquest: placing the entire world under an Islamic caliphate governed by its construction of sharia. Put aside whether you think the goal can be accomplished. The point is that they believe it can — that, in time, it will.
Achieving the goal calls for the accomplishment of several important missions, most prominently including: defeating the United States (“the head of the snake”) and its Western allies; destroying Israel (“the little Satan” — the U.S. being “the big Satan”); overthrowing Middle Eastern regimes said to be “secular” or “infidel” (i.e., non-adherent to al-Qaeda’s construction of sharia even if nominally Muslim); and uniting Islamist factions that control territory into a single jihadist juggernaut.
You can’t pick up a carpet by all four corners at once. Some al-Qaeda units are assigned to one or more of these objectives at different times; but all al-Qaeda units support and work toward the comprehensive, hegemonic program. It is highly unlikely that the so-called Khorasan Group is working on a mission completely distinct from al-Nusra’s mission; but even if there were such a division of labor, they are still one organization with one ideology and one ultimate goal.
Attacking the United States is essential to the goal, which is why al-Qaeda never stops plotting such attacks — many of which have been carried out. As a result, none of us can confidently rule out the administration’s claim that an “imminent” attack was being planned.
As Mr. Lake points out, “U.S. officials have walked back claims in the last week that the strikes on the Khorasan Group were an attempt to disrupt an imminent threat.” Moreover, I have contended that the administration had a motive to exaggerate the threats as “imminent.” A president is not required to seek congressional authorization for threats of imminent attack. Obama did not want to ask Congress’s approval. Doing so would have launched a potentially embarrassing examination of (a) the president’s claims to have defeated al-Qaeda, and (b) the fact that the “moderate rebels” Obama proposes to aid in Syria work arm-in-arm with al-Qaeda.
By claiming to act against an imminent threat, the president sidestepped that problem. Of course, there could still have been an imminent threat — that an assertion is politically convenient does not necessarily make it untrue. However imminent the threat, though, its source is al-Qaeda.
— Andrew C. McCarthy is a policy fellow at the National Review Institute. His latest book is Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment.
Friday, October 03, 2014
As the Obama administration crashes and burns, insiders begin to blame Valerie Jarrett.
President Obama with Valerie Jarrett in the West Wing.
Are significant chunks of the mainstream media in despair over Barack Obama? This past week, Obama used 60 Minutes to attempt to shift blame for the failure to anticipate the rise of ISIS, endured a cover-up of White House security disasters by the Secret Service, and saw a government-agency report that he had skipped nearly 60 percent of his intelligence briefings.
The reaction from some longtime Obama defenders was swift and harsh. “President Obama this week committed professional suicide,” wrote former CNN host Piers Morgan, now an editor-at-large for Britain’s Daily Mail.
He called Obama’s throwing of the intelligence community under the bus a “shameless, reprehensible display of buck-passing” that will result in some analysts’ exacting “cold-blooded revenge on Obama by drip-feeding negative stories about him until he’s gone.” As for the Secret Service fiasco, Morgan said it was “no wonder the Secret Service gets complacent when The Boss exudes complacency from every pore.”
Chris Matthews of MSNBC, the former White House speechwriter who once rapturously recounted that he “felt this thrill going up my leg” as Obama spoke, didn’t hold back on Wednesday’s Hardball. “Let’s get tough here,” Matthews began, as he lambasted Obama for being “intellectually lazy” and “listening to the same voices all the time.” He even named names, saying that Obama had become “atrophied into that little world of people like Valerie Jarrett and Mrs. Obama.”
Jonathan Alter, a columnist for Bloomberg News and the author of a sympathetic book on Obama’s first term, reported that Jarrett is an unusual presence in the White House: “Staffers feared her, but didn’t like or trust her. At meetings she said little or nothing, instead lingering afterwards to express her views directly to the President, creating anxiety for her underlings and insulting them by saying, ‘I don’t talk just to hear myself talking.’”
Everyone expects a presidential spouse to weigh in on issues, but the reference to Valerie Jarrett, the White House senior adviser who mentored both the president and the first lady at the start of their careers in Chicago, is telling. Her outsize role in many presidential decisions is known to insiders, but she remains resolutely behind the scenes. So when Jarrett does enter the news, it’s significant, because it may provide a window into how the Obama White House really works.
This week, Greg Hinz of Crain’s Chicago Business noted that President Obama was back visiting Chicago but “having to share headlines with Valerie Jarrett.” She began the week with a cameo appearance on CBS’s highly rated show The Good Wife. Then a column by Michael Sneed in the Chicago Sun-Times reported that Jarrett “may be the worst abuser” of any executive-branch official with a Secret Service detail, using guards “round the clock” even while she was shopping, at the gym, or visiting friends in Chicago.
At a time when a government report shows the Secret Service is more than 550 agents below its optimal strength, Sneed bluntly asked, “Is this expense justifiable or is it an abuse of power?” Sneed quoted a source close to the White House: “Jarrett is treated as a member of the Obama family, but she’s had no real death threats requiring the constant use of the Secret Service that I know of.”
When Mark Leibovich of the New York Times tried to trace how Jarrett obtained Secret Service protection, he was told by someone close to her that she found such questions “ridiculous and offensive.”
Hinz of Chicago Business has covered Jarrett for years and has decided to offer her some quick advice: “Do whatever it takes to get your name out of the papers. And just watch TV for a while. OK?” He then joked that if Jarrett really wanted “to have some fun, try to figure out who dropped the dime on you.”
I wouldn’t bet against Jarrett finding out. As I wrote last year, White House aides “went to extraordinary lengths to uncover the identity of a senior official who was using Twitter to make snarky comments about Jarrett and other White House staffers. . . . The official had gone so far as to tweet ‘I’m a fan of Obama, but his continuing reliance and dependence upon a vacuous cipher like Valerie Jarrett concerns me.’”
When the bloodhounds uncovered Jofi Joseph, the point man on nuclear nonproliferation at the National Security Council, as the offending official, he was fired — not for revealing any secrets but for making disparaging comments about thin-skinned administration players such as Jarrett.
On Capitol Hill, members of both parties are more and more mystified at Obama’s apparent disengagement from parts of his job. Months before he dropped the ball on ISIS, he failed to keep himself properly apprised of the problems with Obamacare’s website. Jarrett appears to exercise such extraordinary influence that in some quarters on Capitol Hill she is known as “Rasputin,” a reference to the mystical monk who held sway over Russia’s Czar Nicholas as he increasingly lost touch with reality during World War I.
No one suggests that Jarrett is solely responsible for the administration’s slow response to the crises, contradictory communication, and labored political calculation that have become its hallmarks. But many do think that she has failed to encourage the president to bring in new people with fresh ideas.
So how has she survived? Not only has she been close to the first couple for nearly a quarter-century, but she clearly makes the president feel even better about himself than he would anyway. Consider this quote from her interview with New Yorker editor David Remnick for his book The Bridge (2010):
I think Barack knew that he had God-given talents that were extraordinary. He knows exactly how smart he is. . . . He knows how perceptive he is. He knows what a good reader of people he is. And he knows that he has the ability — the extraordinary, uncanny ability — to take a thousand different perspectives, digest them and make sense out of them, and I think that he has never really been challenged intellectually. . . . So what I sensed in him was not just a restless spirit but somebody with such extraordinary talents that had to be really taxed in order for him to be happy. . . . He’s been bored to death his whole life. He’s just too talented to do what ordinary people do.
Journalists who contacted the White House this week and asked to speak with Jarrett didn’t get very far. Maybe she’s decided to follow the advice of Greg Hinz and lie low for a while. But if journalists really want a fuller explanation for how the Obama administration has reached its current low ebb, perhaps they should continue to follow the threads of the Jarrett string that were revealed this week and see where those lead.
— John Fund is national-affairs correspondent for NRO.
Posted By Robert Spencer On October 3, 2014 @ 12:58 am In Daily Mailer,FrontPage | 1 Comment
Alton Nolen, the man accused of beheading a woman in an Oklahoma food plant office, maintained a Facebook page full of disturbing warnings to America and photos of terrorist fighters. (Facebook)
Jah’Keem Yisrael (formerly Alton Alexander Nolen), who beheaded one of his coworkers and was shot while in the process of trying to behead another on September 26 in Vaughan Foods, a food processing plant in Moore, Oklahoma, didn’t live in a vacuum. His mosque, the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City, worked hard to distance itself from him before its leaders stopped talking to the media altogether, and has denounced his actions. That will probably be good enough for the clueless and politically correct Obamoid FBI, which has forgotten what the “I” stands for in its name, but it leaves too many questions unanswered. Chiefly this one: when Jah’Keem Yisrael went to his mosque, what kind of teachings did he hear?
Unfortunately, the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City doesn’t offer tapes or transcripts of Friday khutbas. And while they have been affecting a pose of being as moderate as the day is long, some clues to the contrary have appeared. Last week from a former member of the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City:
I went to the same mosque the Oklahoma Muslim who beheaded his co-worker today. I live ten minutes away!
The Imam was Imad Enchassi the last I heard. He was a friend of mine. He is a Lebanese-born Sunni who hates Israel. He once gave a sermon that the Israelis were trying to collapse al-Aqsa mosque by digging tunnels underneath it. They have no issue with Palestinian suicide bombings because, as it was explained to me, that is the only weapon the Palestinians have.
They sold Milestones in the book shop while I was there, which as you know calls for replacing all non-Islamic governments with Islamic ones. I remember listening to a tape a friend of mine, Yahya Graff, another white convert to Islam, had that prayed for the destruction of Israel and America.
The imam when I first converted, Suhaib Webb, is hailed as a moderate by liberals in the United States but he was the one that explicitly told me that according to Islam, three choices are to be given to non-Muslims: convert, pay the jizyah tax and live under Islamic rule, or jihad. They try very hard to whitewash Islam when the media is around, but they believe in their religion and the ultimate goal of an Islamic caliphate.
Then on September 30, , who has left not only the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City but also Islam as a whole. He gave more details to demonstrate that this mosque was not at all as “moderate” as its leaders claimed in the wake of the beheading:
Among the explosive revelations: Mosque members said that if Osama bin Laden showed up at the door and needed help, he would help him because he is a Muslim brother. Once this former member went target shooting AK-47’s with two other Muslim converts — the targets were labeled George W. Bush and Ariel Sharon.
Has the mosque changed since this man stopped going there? That’s unlikely. The current imam, Imad Enchassi, is a friend of the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). In a sermon he preached on September 19, just a week before the beheading, said that CAIR Oklahoma City Executive Director Adam Soltani “doesn’t do anything without consulting me.”
While CAIR is quite mainstream these days, this self-styled “civil rights group” was actually named an by the Justice Department. CAIR operatives have repeatedly Hamas and Hizballah as terrorist groups.
Several . CAIR’s cofounder and longtime Board chairman (Omar Ahmad), as well as its chief spokesman (Ibrahim Hooper), have made . Its a poster telling Muslims not to talk to the FBI. CAIR has opposed every anti-terror measure that has ever been proposed or implemented.
In sum, Imad Enchassi’s association with CAIR doesn’t speak well of his moderate bona fides.
Enchassi also claimed, just days before Jah’Keem Yisrael’s jihad rampage at Vaughan Foods, that “Islamophobes” in Oklahoma were . This was the environment in which Jah’Keem Yisrael lived and moved. His Facebook page contained numerous photos of himself at the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City, and it has since been revealed that he attended frequently, at least once a week. While there, he would likely have heard about the anti-Muslim machinations of the kuffar (unbelievers), and come out seething with resentment and righteous rage. Maybe he even beheaded Colleen Hufford at Vaughan Foods before the Infidels could behead him.
The Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City should be thoroughly investigated, and if found to be fomenting hatred, violence and sedition, shut down. Instead, however, Obama’s politically correct Keystone Kops will likely only go there to conduct an “outreach” program.
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Article printed from FrontPage Magazine: http://www.frontpagemag.com
Thursday, October 02, 2014
Young women today do not understand the fragility of civilization and the constant nearness of savage nature
September 29, 2014
The horrors and atrocities of history have been edited out of primary and secondary education except where they can be blamed on racism, sexism, and imperialism — toxins embedded in oppressive outside structures that must be smashed and remade. But the real problem resides in human nature, which religion as well as great art sees as eternally torn by a war between the forces of darkness and light.
Liberalism lacks a profound sense of evil — but so does conservatism these days, when evil is facilely projected onto a foreign host of rising political forces united only in their rejection of Western values. Nothing is more simplistic than the now rote use by politicians and pundits of the cartoonish label “bad guys” for jihadists, as if American foreign policy is a slapdash script for a cowboy movie.
The gender ideology dominating academe denies that sex differences are rooted in biology and sees them instead as malleable fictions that can be revised at will. The assumption is that complaints and protests, enforced by sympathetic campus bureaucrats and government regulators, can and will fundamentally alter all men.