Ben Weingarten

Reader. Writer. Thinker. Commentator. Truth Seeker.

Tag: Al-Qaeda

Michael Ledeen on the Potential Collapse of Iran’s Khomeinist Regime and America’s Role, the False Sunni-Shia Jihadist Split, IC and Law Enforcement Sacking of Pro-Israel Political Opponents, Why Gen. Flynn Was Targeted and May Have Falsely Pled Guilty


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My Guest

Michael Ledeen (@michaelledeen) is a historian, longtime think-tanker currently serving as the Freedom Scholar at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, former Special Advisor to the Secretary of State and consultant to the National Security Council during the Reagan administration and author of 38 books.

Perhaps most pertinent to today, Ledeen is an expert on Iran, with deep ties to dissidents and countless individuals in the diaspora cultivated over many decades, dating back to the fall of the Shah and the Revolution of 1979.

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Allah and Man at Yale

Here’s a taste of my latest at The Federalist, in which I question why Yale University is taking $10 million from a jihadi-tied Saudi billionaire to build an Islamic (read: Sharia) Law center that propagates an ideology under which Yale itself could not exist:

While America remains financially and militarily the mightiest nation on Earth, it is losing the war Islamic supremacism is waging against her because it is chiefly an ideological one. We have the strength to defend ourselves, but we lack the knowledge and the will to defeat our enemies. We are morally relativistic and therefore unable to acknowledge that different peoples are different and that not all ideologies are equal or seek the same ends.

But people like Saleh Kamal surely understand us. In the conquest ideology inherent to Sharia—Islam compels Muslims to extend the Islamic sphere, the ummah, over all the world—America has found an enemy able to best take advantage of our deeply held freedoms. Sharia explicitly calls for the use of the very tactics against which America is most vulnerable.

As a consequence of our willful blindness (contrasted with Islamic supremacists’ comparable clarity), we are constructing Islamic law centers, inviting Muslims to immigrate by the hundreds of thousands without recognition that Hijra is a form of jihad, and, 14 years after 9/11, our top military minds are arguing that we back al-Qaeda against ISIS—that is, the newly “good jihadists” against the “bad jihadists.” For the coup de grace, we are actively aiding, abetting, and enabling Iran’s Twelver jihadist regime in its quest for nuclear domination of the Middle East and beyond.

Read the whole thing here.

Featured Image Source: YouTube Screengrab/Firing Line.

Iran Literally Fired a Shot Across an American Ally’s Bow, But Obama Won’t Dump His Disastrous Deal

What, if anything, would cause President Barack Obama to step away from the negotiating table with Iran?

This is the question I find myself pondering in light of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Navy Patrol’s unchecked act of aggression on Tuesday against America’s interests in the Straits of Hormuz – an act that in a sane world would in and of itself put an end to the president’s disastrous nuclear deal with Iran.

As of this writing, reports indicate that the Iranian Navy Patrol fired shots at and ultimately seized a commercial cargo ship, the M/V Maersk Tigris, which flies under the Marshall Islands flag. Some believe Iran was even targeting a U.S. vessel.

An Iranian warship takes part in a naval show in 2006. (Photo: AP)

An Iranian warship takes part in a naval show in 2006. (Photo: AP)

In a helpful dispatch, commentator Omri Ceren notes the significant implications of such an action given that the U.S. is: (i) Treaty-bound to secure and defend the Marshall Islands, and (ii) Committed to maintaining the free flow of commerce in the strategically vital waterways of the Middle East — as affirmed just one week ago on April 21 by White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, State Department Spokesperson Marie Harf and Pentagon Spokesman Col. Steve Warren.

The U.S. fulfilling its obligations to its protectorate, and acting to ensure vital shipping lanes remain open are not trivial matters.

Further, this act can be seen as a brazen test of the sincerity of U.S. resolve, as it was timed to coincide with the opening of the Senate’s debate on the Corker-Menendez Iran bill.

Yet there is a broader and perhaps more important context in which to consider what Ceren calls an act of “functionally unspinnable Iranian aggression.”

Even if we ignore the history of Iranian aggression against the U.S. and its allies since the deposal of the Shah in 1979, the firing upon and seizing of the Tigris marks the latest in a long series of such provocations that Iran has undertaken in just the last few months. Consider:

This rhetoric and action comports with Iran’s historic hostility toward the U.S. since the fall of the Shah. Lest we forget, this list of atrocities includes, but is certainly not limited to:

Would Iran’s most recent actions in the Strait of Hormuz coupled with the litany of other recent and historical bellicose acts lead one to question whether it is in the United States’ interest to continue negotiating with the mullahs?

Put more directly: In what respect can the U.S. consider Iran to be a reliable, honorable negotiating partner?

Continue reading at TheBlaze…

Obama Peddles Osama’s Propaganda

Without America there would be no Islamic State.

Indeed, without America there would have been no Cold War. Without the Cold War there would have been no need to arm and train the Mujahideen against the Soviets. Without the Mujahideen there would have been no Al Qaeda. Without Al Qaeda there would have been no Iraq War. And without the Iraq War there would have been no Islamic State. Or as President Barack Obama put it:

ISIL is a direct outgrowth of Al Qaeda in Iraq which grew out of our invasion which is an example of unintended consequences which is why we should generally aim before we shoot.

Such is the pretzel logic to which one must subscribe if one is to believe the president.

Which is to say that Barack Obama’s argument during a recent interview with VICE News is patently absurd.

(Image Source: VICE News/YouTube screengrab)

(Image Source: VICE News/YouTube screengrab)

But there is something worse than the absurdity of the president’s remarks, his implicit banal Bush-bashing and unwillingness or inability to ever take responsibility for anything – the least of which includes his failure to negotiate a status of forces agreement with Iraq.

President Obama’s argument in the main is that America’s actions in the Middle East create terrorists. But by invoking “blowback,” he is parroting precisely the propaganda that Al Qaeda, Islamic State and other jihadist groups want us to repeat, while ignoring the self-evident truth that their actions come not from without but from within. In so doing, as when he raised the scepter of The Crusades, the president provides a veneer of legitimacy and even moral standing to genocidal Islamic supremacists who seek to destroy Western civilization and create a global caliphate.

The words of Osama bin Laden himself are germane to this argument. Witness what Al Qaeda’s godfather said during a May 1998 interview with ABC’s John Miller:

The call to wage war against America was made because America has spear-headed the crusade against the Islamic nation, sending tens of thousands of its troops to the land of the two Holy Mosques over and above its meddling in its affairs and its politics, and its support of the oppressive, corrupt and tyrannical regime that is in control. These are the reasons behind the singling out of America as a target.

…The wrongs and the crimes committed against the Muslim nation are far greater than can be covered by this interview. America heads the list of aggressors against Muslims.

…They rip us of our wealth and of our resources and of our oil. Our religion is under attack. They kill and murder our brothers. They compromise our honor and our dignity and dare we utter a single word of protest against the injustice, we are called terrorists. This is compounded injustice.

In a particularly nauseating portion of the interview in which Miller implores bin Laden to “give us the true picture that clarifies your viewpoint” – as opposed to the “distorted picture of Islam, Muslims and of Islamic fighters” presented by “American politicians,” bin Laden continues [emphasis added]:

The leaders in America and in other countries as well have fallen victim to Jewish Zionist blackmail. They have mobilized their people against Islam and against Muslims. These are portrayed in such a manner as to drive people to rally against them. The truth is that the whole Muslim world is the victim of international terrorism, engineered by America at the United Nations. We are a nation whose sacred symbols have been looted and whose wealth and resources have been plundered. It is normal for us to react against the forces that invade our land and occupy it.

Ignored however is the rest of bin Laden’s message [emphasis added]:

Continue reading at TheBlaze…

Do Not Be Fooled by Recent Struggles. Russia Poses a Direct Threat to America and Her Interests.Do Not Be Fooled by Recent Struggles. Russia Poses a Direct Threat to America and Her Interests.

While the media spikes the football in the face of a Russia hobbled by U.S. sanctions, the decline of the ruble and collapse in oil prices, Vladimir Putin’s protectorate poses a direct threat to America and its interests that we ignore at our own peril.

In the 15 years since Vladimir Putin ascended to his position as de facto czar, Russia has executed a long-term strategy that the West has failed to recognize and effectively counter under both Democratic and Republican administrations.

Following the fall of the Berlin Wall, the West thought it had defeated the Soviet Union. But unlike in a hot war, the victor did not annihilate its enemy, nor did the enemy’s leaders ever face the gallows.

The collapse of the Soviet Union in fact resembled a corporate reorganization more than the fall of an empire, as heads rolled and the state spun off assets (many later to be “reclaimed”), but the company and its culture endured.

The collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1991 signified the end of Communist rule in Russia.

The collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1991 signified the end of Communist rule in Russia.

In the face of difficult circumstances, Russia, understanding the mindset of its “former” foes, made the brilliant decision to join the West through economic and diplomatic “cooperation.”

This convergence strategy gave the outward appearance of a liberalizing Russia, but consistent with its historical adeptness at subversion and subterfuge, proved a clever way to rebuild, gain leverage over and embed itself within its enemies.

Russia opened itself to trade to raise capital and procure technology that it could use to exploit its natural resources, rebuild its military and enrich Vladimir Putin and his cronies.

In so doing, Russia developed energy pipelines that not only provided it with wealth, but power over not just its “near abroad” — which could literally be made to freeze were it not compliant — but Western Europe. Stated differently, it brought America’s NATO allies into Russia’s orbit.

Russia also allegedly stole a significant amount of information and technology.

Perhaps most terrifying of all, Russia embedded itself in a world business and financial architecture that it could penetrate and exploit.

On the diplomatic front, Russia became a U.S. “partner” in the “War on Terror,” a curious position given that Russia was and is a key ally of Iran, the world’s leading sponsor of terror. Vladimir Putin of course was the first world leader to call President George W. Bush on Sept. 11, 2001. We do not know all the ramifications of U.S. and Russian intelligence collaboration.

Continue reading at TheBlaze…

Why America’s Foreign Policy Has Failed, From George W. Bush to Barack Obama, and the Antidote

America’s foreign policy is, and has been driven by fatally flawed, intellectually dishonest premises and principles for more than a decade.

As a result, since Sept. 11, 2001, our goals, tactics and strategies have ranged from wrong-headed though well intentioned, to wrong-headed and ill intentioned. If America continues to fundamentally misunderstand its enemies, let alone honestly define who they are, it risks losing its position as the world’s preeminent superpower, a calamity the likes of which may spell the end of Western civilization as we know it.

President George W. Bush’s crucial first mistake in this author’s view was declaring a “War On Terror.” In announcing that America was at war with a tactic — either due to a genuine inability to identify the enemy or out of political correctness so as to avoid having to identify a foe primarily animated by religion — President Bush’s rhetoric was incoherent at best and obfuscatory at worst.

President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush shake hands during the opening ceremony of the George W. Bush Presidential Center on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas on April 25, 2013. (Getty Images)

President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush shake hands during the opening ceremony of the George W. Bush Presidential Center on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas on April 25, 2013. (Getty Images) 

While designating members of the so-called “Axis-of-Evil” as our chief adversaries was closer to the mark, President Bush nonetheless failed to recognize or refused to acknowledge a central truth we continue to ignore: That we are the enemy of a transnational theopolitical Islamic supremacist ideology that knows no borders whose adherents serve as an ally of, and proxy for international powers with anti-Western designs.

In fact, President Bush explicitly disavowed the notion that there was a link between Islamic supremacism and the jihadist acts that it compels, arguing in the days following September 11 that Islam was a “religion of peace.”

We can debate the merits of this assertion by looking to the Koran and the hadith as well as the theological interpretations of these works by leading Islamic scholars, but this is merely an academic exercise. Whether or not we call Islam a religion of peace, more important is that while there may be millions of peaceful Muslims, there are also millions of believers who are either violent Islamic supremacists or their aiders, abettors and enablers.

The latter group seeks to unite the world under a caliphate governed by Shariah law. Corroborative data on Islamic views not only in the Middle East but in Europe and the United States is readily available for all those who wish to see it.

Bush and those who shaped his foreign policy believed that America could forcibly transform Islamic nations into peaceful liberal bastions, pushing Afghanistan and Iraq forward by hundreds of years in a decade.

Iraq President Saddam Hussein is shown in Baghdad in this Jan. 1991 file photo. State-run Iraqiya television says, Saturday morning, Dec. 30, 2006, that Saddam Hussein has been hanged. (AP Photo, file)

Iraq President Saddam Hussein is shown in Baghdad in this Jan. 1991 file photo. On Dec. 30, 2006, Saddam Hussein was hanged after being deposed by American military intervention. (AP Photo, file) 

The de-Ba’athification of Iraq was done without recognition of the theopolitical Islamic supremacist ideology that reigns supreme in much of the Middle East in general, and in Iraq in particular. It further undercut America’s strategic interest in having Iraq continue to serve as a strong counterweight to Iran, based on the Sunni/Shiite divide between the two nations.

Many of our efforts under former presidential envoy to Iraq Paul Bremer seem to have been undertaken without clear goals, realistic objectives or even sound tactics. Much of the activity on the ground appears to have been chiefly informed by political correctness. Militarily, our troops report being hamstrung by suicidal rules of engagement that gave the benefit of the doubt, and thus the upper hand to enemy combatants. Finally, and most fundamentally, this mission was undertaken without a clear exit strategy.

However noble the aims of those who supported such a policy, and however much blame President Barack Obama deserves for not consummating a status of forces agreement with Iraq upon our departure, nearly $2 trillion — and more importantly the lives of thousands — have been spent “winning” wars and losing the peace, establishing Shariah-compliant constitutional “democracies” in Afghanistan and Iraq, and little else.

Freeing majority Islamic nations from secular authoritarians in order to re-make them as liberal Western democracies, and thus “win the hearts and minds” of those with views anathema to ours sounds great in theory. Yet practice has proven less hospitable.

Under President Obama, America’s war has morphed, with national security leaders – including our commander in chief – intentionally downplaying the size and scope of the threats we face, and denying the true nature of those who pose them, with deadly consequences.

Continue reading at TheBlaze…

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