BEN WEINGARTEN

Reader. Writer. Thinker. Commentator. Truth Seeker.

Tag: Islam (Page 1 of 2)

azaz_syria_during_the_syrian_civil_war_missing_front_of_house

3 Lessons From Syria for an American-First Foreign Policy

On a bipartisan basis, America’s foreign policy establishment has championed a progressive, Wilsonian internationalist agenda that has served to our great detriment over the last 30 years.

Syria presents an ideal case study illustrating the pitfalls of this stultifying status quo.

In a new piece at Conservative Review, I analyze three aspects of that situation worth exploring as we look to build a framework for a new national interest-oriented foreign policy, focusing on the familiar themes of (i) Deposing relatively secular authoritarian dictators, (ii) Arming Islamic “rebels” and (iii) Picking sides in the Sunni-Shia war.

I close my piece with the following assertion:

…[E]very situation in the Middle East, and indeed the world, must not be viewed parochially. Strategic thinking requires understanding all of the players on the ground both immediately and as proxies for other forces, as well as understanding the different goals, strategies and tactics of each of the players. Often, the U.S. is going to be left with a series of bad options and outcomes, and near-term interests that may conflict with longer-term goals. In the case of ISIS for example, America must defeat them. As with the victory over any enemy however, we must also be looking downfield at who might fill ISIS’ vacuum. For the destruction of ISIS would not only represent the elimination of our jihadist foe, but the elimination of a Sunni competitor to Iran in its quest for hegemony. Such complexity underscores the significance of Sun Tzu’s urging that we know our enemies, but also know ourselves.

For decades policymakers have eschewed such analysis. Our leaders have often failed to articulate a basic explanation for why their decisions are in our national interest. They have failed to present a sober cost-benefit analysis for such actions based on a clear understanding of the nature of the enemy. They have failed to think thought through the knock-on effects of such actions on the broader world chessboard. Most pernicious of all, they have allowed politics and political correctness to inform decision-making, rather than forthrightly dealing with the world as it is.

The U.S. has the greatest assets in the world. But they have been misused thanks to a lack of knowledge, judgment, and strategic thinking. The Trump administration provides an opportunity to change this dynamic, an opportunity that we must seize.

You can read the whole thing here.

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My In-Depth Interview With Hero Ayaan Hirsi Ali on Islam versus the West and Free Speech

Edward Archer

My Latest in City Journal: New York’s Willfully Blind, Politically Correct Counterjihadist Document Purge

The very day that homegrown jihadist Edward Archer fired 13 shots at Philadelphia Police Officer Jesse Hartnett, New York City was settling two long-standing suits with Muslim individuals and organizations challenging the legality of the City’s intelligence and surveillance programs vis-à-vis the Muslim community.

While New York refused to acknowledge any liability arising from its counterjihadist programs, the NYPD agreed to scrub from its website a groundbreaking 2007 analysis published by two senior analysts in its intelligence unit, Radicalization in the West [download it before it’s gone], that represents one of the most clear-eyed and sober publicly disclosed analyses of the jihadist threat.

Radicalization in the West, Page 75.

Radicalization in the West, Page 75.

Eerily but tellingly, it provides a model of how an American goes from “pre-radicalization” to “jihadization” that matches perfectly the story and profile of the aforementioned Archer, and it argues that the chief animator of jihadists is theo-political Islamic supremacist ideology — something our national security establishment maddeningly and disastrously continues to ignore and/or deny.

The NYPD will not only purge what appears to be a valuable piece of analysis as a means of placating the Muslim community, but it has also agreed not to use the analysis to open or extend ongoing investigations.

I write about this politically-motivated travesty of a decision in a new piece at City Journal titled See No Islam, Hear No Islam.

Featured Image Source: PhillyVoice.

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We’re All Infidels Now (and Forever): A Dire Message from Rudyard Kipling and Middle Eastern Christians to the West

Father George William Rutler has written a piece over at the Catholic Crisis Magazine worthy of the West’s attention, and therefore consequently unlikely to get it in these times of willful blindness and unblissful ignorance.

In it, he pens a critical passage linking the prescient poet Rudyard Kipling to the persecuted Christians of the Middle East [emphasis mine]:

[O]ne still might echo Rudyard Kipling: “East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet.” The Chaldean Catholic archbishop of Mosul, Amel Shumoun Nona, has warned from exile in Kurdistan: “Our sufferings today are a prelude to what even European and Western Christians will incur in the near future. Your liberal and democratic principles here (in the Middle East) are not worth anything. You need to rethink our reality in the Middle East because you are receiving in your countries, an increasing number of Muslims. You too are at risk. You have to take strong and courageous decisions, at the cost of contradicting your principles. You think that men are all the same. It is not true. Islam does not say that all men are equal. Your values are not their values. If you do not understand in time, you will become victims of the enemy you have welcomed into your home.

East is East and West is West. Yet the Wise Men in their wisdom outwitted King Herod and such wisdom, mated with self-neglectful virtue, melts all physical and ideological boundaries with a charity that gives hope to the most helpless. That is why Kipling continued with his ballad:

But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth, When two strong men stand face to face, tho’ they come from the ends of the earth!

Jews have served as the historical canary in the coal mine of Western civilization, with the nation of Israel today’s first line of defense against Islamic tyranny.

But the unheeded cries of persecuted Christians in the Middle East are a harrowing reminder that Islamic supremacism’s enemy is Judeo-Christianity in toto.

We’re all infidels now, and indeed have been for all time.

There is a slow-motion global jihad being waged against us all, and we ignore the Islamic supremacist ideology that animates its soldiers abroad and at home at our own peril and to our own great detriment.

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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.

Der Grossmufti von Palästina vom Führer empfangen.
Der Führer empfing in Gegenwart des Reichsministers des Auswärtigen von Ribbentrop den Grossmufti von Palästina, Sayid Amin al Husseini, zu einer herzlichen und für die Zukunft der arabischen Länder bedeutungsvollen Unterredung.
9.12.41  Presse Hoffmann

ESPN Silenced Curt Schilling, So What Would It Say to This Arab Writer Who Compared Hamas to the Nazis?

According to the invaluable MEMRI, an Arab writer named Majed Hadib recently published an article in a PLO-affiliated publication in which he compared Hamas to Hitler and the Nazis.

In particular, he argues that the terrorist group’s tactics are going to lead those under its control to destruction akin to that of the Germans during WWII:

[Hamas’] measures resemble those taken by Hitler when he sought the permission of the Germans to lead Germany and its people towards years of glory. [However,] Hitler led Germany to collapse and division, after murdering, arresting and oppressing the German people. The laws he passed were meant to protect his regime on the one hand, and on the other hand to rally the people behind him and lead Germany towards the ‘glorious skies,’ as he called it. If Hamas continues to march on his path and try to rally the people around it without any comprehensive and unified national strategy, and under the pretext of letting the resistance win – it will lead our people to doom and to the end of its lengthy historic struggle, which is soaked in the blood of martyrs…

The author continues:

Hamas must understand now, before it is too late, that its adherence to the principle of attempting to eliminate the other, the steps it is taking to silence others, its increasing oppression of Palestinian national forces and of the people of Gaza, the legislation of the so-called ‘Mutual Responsibility [Tax] Laws’[2] and the taxation that preceded them, the restriction of general liberties… and the hobbling of all media that oppose its activity – all this will not cause the Palestinian people to rally behind it. This, because the Palestinian people is not a herd, but rather a people with a national cause [which has shown] creativity throughout its lengthy struggle. The attempts to eliminate the national forces of the Palestinian people or suppress them will not enable Hamas to lead [the Palestinians] to victory and to the establishment of a Palestinian state. Rather, [Hamas will lead them] where Hitler led the German people – namely to defeat and years-long destruction.

He concludes:

… Will Hamas learn a lesson and cease seeing the other components of the people as something that must be uprooted in order to strengthen [itself], under the pretext of ‘resistance’ and of leading the people towards victory? Or will it insist on following in Hitler’s footprints by levying taxes, legislating harsh laws, and taking increased security measures – [which] will lead the people to the brink of disaster and cause it to deteriorate for many years, even decades, has happened to Nazi Germany?

Now I grant that the rationale behind the comparison of Nazi Germany to Hamas-controlled Arab is not the one I would have made.

Hamas seeks the annihilation of the Jewish state of Israel, and I think that pretty much says it all. Not to mention the fact that we could loosely trace Hamas’ ideology to the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini, one of Hitler’s close allies.

But given the comparison of Hamas to the Nazis, one wonders what ESPN would say.

In the case of current ESPN anchor and former pitching great Curt Schilling, he might have had a more compelling case than this Palestinian author, and his comment was far less pointed.

The image Schilling tweeted, deleted and paid for — with ESPN canceling his telecast assignment for the Little League World Series — made the comparison of Islamic supremacists to Nazis.

(Image Source: Twitter)

(Image Source: Twitter)

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America’s See-No-Islam Problem Exposed With Boston Jihadism

The Boston Globe published a column in the wake of the shooting of an Islamic State-linked jihadist from Rosindale, Massachusetts that is a quintessential example of why the West is losing to Islamic supremacists.

In “Are Boston terrorism cases a trend?” two Globe authors reach out to several “antiterrorism specialists” and ask why it is that Boston appears to be so “vulnerable to violent extremism.”

Some submit that Boston’s “emergence as an international hub may leave it exposed to strains of radicalized behavior.”

Others find the existence of Boston-based jihadists curious given these jihadists “cannot be traced to one network, and individuals and groups do not appear to be connected.”

One such expert who has written on the Islamic State, J.M. Berger, acknowledges that “There is some degree of social network here that seems to be involved in radical thought.”

Halfway through the Globe article, the reader is left utterly unaware of any link between Boston jihadists and…jihadism. In fact, readers will not find the word “jihadist” in the column.

What readers do see is the lexicon of our see-no-Islam national security establishment, including euphemisms such as “violent extremism,” “homegrown terrorist,” and “radical presence.”

Continue reading at TheBlaze…

Hillary Clinton’s Hypocritical and Totalitarian War on Free Speech

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has suggested that a key litmus test in evaluating prospective Supreme Court appointees would be their willingness to challenge “the right of billionaires to buy elections.”

Presumably, a suitable judge would indicate a desire to overturn the Citizens United decision that struck down a ban on political expenditures by corporations and unions ruled to violate the First Amendment protection of free speech – a case coincidentally centered on Citizen United’s attempt to advertise for and air a film critical of none other than Clinton.

Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks to the reporters at United Nations headquarters, Tuesday, March 10, 2015. Clinton conceded that she should have used a government email to conduct business as secretary of state, saying her decision was simply a matter of "convenience." (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks to the reporters at United Nations headquarters, Tuesday, March 10, 2015. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

In light of recent allegations swirling around the presidential favorite, Clinton’s support of such a position is highly ironic.

For while the former secretary of State may oppose the rights of the wealthy to spend money on politics, she seems to have no such concern with the wealthy spending money on the Clinton Foundation and her husband Bill – all while Hillary served in the Obama administration.

Would Clinton seek a Supreme Court justice who would protect the rights of the likes of Carlos Slim and James Murdoch to contribute to the favored cause of a politician and shower the politician’s spouse with millions for speaking engagements?

If so, this apparent hypocrisy can be read in one of two ways:

  1. Clinton believes that money does not have a corrupting influence so long as it is funneled through “indirect” channels
  2. Clinton believes that the wealthy and powerful ought to bypass funding elections and simply pay politicians outright.

Appearances of impropriety aside, there are a few substantive questions around political speech that Clinton should be required to address.

Why does Clinton believe that the government has a compelling interest in stifling the political speech of any American, rich or poor?

How does Clinton square her supposed advocacy of human rights with her belief in inhibiting the right to free speech — which facilitates the robust and vigorous debate essential to a liberal society?

More generally, given a system in which millions of dollars are spent on losing causes each election cycle on both the left and right, what have Americans to fear about spending so long as laws are enforced equally and impartially regarding “pay-to-play” schemes and other politically corrupt activity?

Continue reading at TheBlaze…

America’s Progressive Foreign Policy Imperils Her Survival

Today the men and women who walk the morally decrepit corridors of the White House and State Department of our Republic-turned-social democracy are aiding, abetting and enabling evil.

We find ourselves at a time in history when all of our foes from Islamic supremacists to the Russians and Chinese are ascendant, while America at best retreats and at worst sides with the most dangerous of them.

Barack Obama delivers his statement on the interim Iran deal. (Image Source: Whitehouse.gov/YouTube screengrab)

Barack Obama delivers his statement on the interim Iran deal. (Image Source: Whitehouse.gov/YouTube screengrab)

Our enemies do not fear or respect us, our allies do not trust us and little indicates that the American people are cognizant of the size and scope of the perils that face us.

We are reliving Winston Churchill’s gathering storm in an era when it is questionable whether the majority of American citizens even know who Churchill is, let alone what he did. Many of those who do likely see him first and foremost as a dead white European male.

And unlike in World War II, today we are challenged by Nazis (insofar as Islamic supremacists are genocidal, Jew (and Christian) hating monsters who seek to dominate the world) and Communists (in their Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping-led manifestations.)

In the face of all this, America’s left exhibits two traits that together are fatal: hubris and ignorance.

Leftists have the hubris to believe that they can and should create a world according to their progressive vision – for the good of the people and their own aggrandizement.

Leftists have the ignorance of history and man’s nature that renders them unable to anticipate the dire consequences of their course.

Underlying their actions is the belief that all people are animated by the same goals and aspirations.

Yet different peoples are different. Evil cannot be appeased or assuaged. The world must be seen as it is, not as we wish it to be.

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…

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