BEN WEINGARTEN

Reader. Writer. Thinker. Commentator. Truth Seeker.

Tag: Jihad (Page 1 of 3)

My In-Depth Interview with John Yoo on the Future of War, North Korea, Iran, Free Speech and More (Video)

For the first episode of Encounter Books’ new “Close Encounters” video interview series, I spoke with former Bush administration Justice Department official and bogeyman laureate for the Left, John Yoo, on his new book Striking Power: How Cyber, Robots, and Space Weapons Change the Rules for War.

During the interview we discuss the future of warfare given tremendous technological advances in the way of robotics, autonomous vehicles and cyberweapons, how the rules of war help terrorists, Yoo’s views on dealing with Iran Deal and North Korea, how America is losing the “War on Terror,” the state of free speech on our college campuses, and much more.

The Social Media Giants’ High-Tech Lynching of Counterjihadists

Apropos PragerU’s lawsuit against Google/YouTube on grounds of discrimination against and censorship of conservative speech, I recently prepared a comprehensive analysis, kindly published by the Gatestone Institute, on the ongoing war on counterjihadist speech by the social media giants.

In the piece, I extensively document the egregious efforts by Big Tech to snuff out and chill any content dissenting from the prevailing progressive orthodoxy regarding Islamic supremacism, while conversely aiding jihadists both directly and indirectly.

It is simply breathtaking both the kinds of messages social media companies will block, and the lengths to which the companies are willing to go to censor ideas they do not like on phony “hate speech” grounds. Absent pressure from the marketplace, i.e. all of us who use these services, things are going to get far worse.

Read the whole thing here.

13 Interviews that Will Make You Smarter on U.S. National Security & Foreign Policy

Over the last five years I’ve had the privilege to interview some of the savviest thinkers on American national security and foreign policy.

These discussions have covered critical subjects ranging from the global jihadist movement, to Iran, Russia and China, strategic disinformation and EMPs.

Below are what I think are some of the most insightful and thought-provoking of these conversations on such live and all-too-relevant topics.

1) Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Heretic

2) Andrew Bostom, Iran’s Final Solution for Israel: The Legacy of Jihad and Shi’ite Islamic Jew-Hatred in Iran

3) Victoria Coates, Special Assistant to the President & Senior Director for International Negotiations, NSC for the Trump Administration, David’s Sling [Transcript]

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My Latest at The Federalist: Iran Deal Shills Sell the Mullahs the Rope with Which to Hang Us

The Iran Deal echo chamber has been ratcheting up its rhetoric in the days around the Trump administration’s deal decertification announcement, seeking to protect the non-treaty at all costs.

Among the most honest and simultaneously sordid rationales for defending the deal, especially by leaders of the EU, is this: The JCPOA means big business for the West. As long as the money is good for the major corporations trading with Iran (who contribute to the politicians’ campaigns), who cares if the commerce is materially supporting the world’s leading state sponsor of jihad.

I explore this shameful episode in the history of the West in a new piece at The Federalist, detailing how the West is indeed selling out to a jihadist regime whose economy is expressly dedicated by Iran’s constitution itself to spreading its pernicious Islamic revolution.

Here’s a taste:

Now we understand why then-Secretary of State John Kerry was at pains to push Western entities to trade with Iran. Sec. Kerry served as Iran’s lobbyist-in-chief because he knew deeper economic integration between the West and Iran would make it that much more difficult politically to unwind the culmination of his life’s work undermining U.S. interests. Left unspoken is that such dalliances with Iran inextricably intertwine the West with those who directly threaten and undermine us.

Providing the world’s leading state sponsor of jihad with billions of dollars in cash, and trading it essential goods and services, merely bolster its malicious activities.

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Trump Reinvigorates the US-Israel Relationship Upending Obama’s Anti-Zionist Agenda

In the days since becoming president, Donald Trump took swift action indicating that days of Obama antipathy were coming to an end, through his symbolic and substantive appointment of staunch Zionist David Friedman as U.S. Ambassador to Israel, to his putting Iran “on notice” and imposing sanctions against it, and his reversal of U.S. policy on Judea and Samaria.

But February 15, 2017, the day that President Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stood side by side at the White House for the first time, may have marked the official end to the shameful Obama years.

I write about this heartening change for the benefit of all of Western civilization in a new piece at Conservative Review.

Here are seven fundamental takeaways from the recent Trump-Netanyahu joint press conference:

1. Mutual dedication to thwarting Iran and fighting Islamic supremacism more broadly:

Contrary to an Obama administration that coddled Iran and allowed Islamic supremacism to metastasize, President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu mutually agreed to mitigate the disaster that is the Iran Deal, including stopping Iran from ever obtaining a nuclear weapon and pushing back against its proxies like Hezbollah. Prime Minister Netanyahu lauded President Trump for his commitment to defeating jihadism more broadly, a fight Israel deals with daily in the form of Hamas, Hezbollah, and other terrorist threats. A common understanding of the nature of the Islamic supremacist threat to both nations, and Western civilization more broadly, is in and of itself a profound change.

2. Upending the two-state peace paradigm:

Turning the decades-old status quo on its head, the Trump administration indicated it would no longer be official U.S. policy to seek a peace agreement between the Israelis and Arabs of Palestine that takes the form of two states. As both leaders suggested, such an agreement could take many forms, but “labels” were secondary to substance.

3. The U.S. will not dictate the peace:

President Trump suggested that only a direct agreement between the Israelis and their Arab counterparts would clinch a deal. The U.S. will be happy to facilitate such conversations, including broader ones with Sunni Arab partners, but President Trump indicated a deal would not be forced on Israel by other parties. Moreover, President Trump appeared to endorse the preconditions Prime Minister Netanyahu put on such a peace, including recognition of Israel and its ability to adequately secure Judea and Samaria. Consistent with the administration’s prior statement, President Trump did not call the settlements an obstacle to peace, but did call for a pause seemingly in connection with forthcoming negotiations.

4. Recognition of Arab Jew-hatred as a primary obstacle to peace:

Both President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke about the pervasive fundamental Jew-hatred animating large numbers of the Arabs of Palestine, which has stood as a main obstacle to peace. Trump did not draw moral equivalence between the Israelis and Arabs, solely stating that both sides would have to make compromises in a deal.

5. Engaging with Sunni Arab partners:

One of the few silver linings of the Obama administration’s Iran-strengthening policy is that Israel and its Arab neighbors were drawn closer than perhaps at any time in the last hundred years given their common existential threat from Tehran. President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu pledged to work with such powers on areas of common interest, presumably including countering jihadists that would threaten their regimes and in context of a broadly negotiated Israeli-Arab peace deal. One such potential plan floated on the eve of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s trip to the U.S. involves creating an area for the Arabs of Palestine spanning from Gaza to the Sinai.

6. Ensuring protection at the United Nations:

Contrary to the Obama administration, President Trump pledged to work to protect Israel from the many hostile nations comprising the United Nations. Trump’s statement comes on the heels of UN Ambassador Nikki Haley’s rejection of former Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority Salam Fayyad’s appointment as the UN representative to Libya.

7. Rejecting the BDS movement:

Again contra the Obama administration, President Trump declared that he would oppose boycotts targeting Israel.

Prime Minister Netanyahu concluded the press conference by stating:

I’ve known the president and I’ve known his family and his team for a long time. There is no greater supporter of the Jewish people and the Jewish state than President Donald Trump. I think we should put that to rest.

The positive rapport between the two figures appeared genuine, based on a shared worldview and mutual respect.

Watching the press conference, it was self-evident that the pall cast over the relationship between the U.S. and Israel under President Obama has lifted, and the U.S.-Israel alliance reset at an auspicious moment in history.

A rebooted and robust U.S.-Israel relationship will play a central role if we are win the fight to preserve Judeo-Christian Western civilization against the jihadist forces that threaten our survival.

Read the whole thing here.

What the Reality-Denying Left Misses About Trump’s Immigration and Terror Entry Executive Order

In the false narrative the media has generated to try and discredit President Trump’s immigration/terror entry executive order, lost is the reasonable basis for the directive and the prudent nature of its substance.

As I note in a new piece at Conservative Review:

Opponents of the order would have us believe that we inhabit a world in which the following truths do not exist:

  1. That the global jihadist movement is waging war against the United States.
  2. That, as in all wars, the jihadist enemy seeks to undermine us through any and all means necessary. This includes immigrating to our homeland both legally and illegally, in order to collect intelligence, recruit additional members, and wage ideological and kinetic war, among other nefarious activities.
  3. That as America’s leading homeland security officials readily acknowledge, we are ill-equipped to adequately screen individuals coming to America from states in the Middle East with sizable jihadist populations.
  4. That there is no fundamental right for all peoples of the world to enter American soil.
  5. That immigration policy like all policy must necessarily be geared towards America’s national interest — which includes putting the interests of American citizens first.

In this context, when one reads the plain English of President Trump’s executive order, it appears eminently reasonable and prudent, as one step in what must be a comprehensive counterjihad policy geared towards keeping new enemies out and defeating the enemies already within.

 

Consider the nature of the substance of the executive order:

  • It is limited in both (i) the set of nations to which the visa restrictions apply — all seven of which were identified in previous Obama administration immigration policy as posing threats, and all of which are failed and/or jihadist-laden states; and (ii) the time period for which the restrictions apply in all cases except Syria, which is a country in civil war — in large part overrun by ISIS and other jihadist forces.
  • It is flexible in giving the secretaries of state and homeland security discretion to allow admission of individuals into the country who would be otherwise restricted under the order. As the Department of Homeland Security notes, the result was that contrary to the media portrayal of widespread chaos, the implementation of the order affected less than one percent of the more than 325,000 daily arriving international air travelers. 48 hours after the order went into place, all detained individuals at airports were released.
  • It is consistent with American values and the law in calling for prioritizing the resettlement of refugees who have been discriminated against because of their  religious minority status.
  • It is threat doctrine-based, ensuring that ideology — the basis of the jihadist threat — is a key filter in the immigration screening process, pursuant to Section 1 which states:
In order to protect Americans, the United States must ensure that those admitted to this country do not bear hostile attitudes toward it and its founding principles. The United States cannot, and should not, admit those who do not support the Constitution, or those who would place violent ideologies over American law. In addition, the United States should not admit those who engage in acts of bigotry or hatred (including “honor” killings, other forms of violence against women, or the persecution of those who practice religions different from their own) or those who would oppress Americans of any race, gender, or sexual orientation.

For those on the Left with a newfound appreciation for constitutional limits to federal power, the executive order is fully legal.

The Left, and its communications arm in the mainstream media, seeks to highlight the burdens born by those affected by the policy in order to score political points.

They ignore President Trump’s and indeed America’s forgotten men: Namely, victims of Islamic supremacism. This includes those maimed and murdered by jihadists, and their families. It also includes those who live in communities where refugees are resettled without any say in the matter or confidence that such refugees wish to assimilate or share the same values and principles. In truth, it includes the millions of American taxpayers supporting a government that has failed to counter the jihadist threat over the last 15 years and beyond.

Read the whole thing here.

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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Honor Our Troops with a Foreign Policy that Puts Their Lives — and America’s National Interest — First

On this Veterans Day, I wanted to share my vision for how to honor the sacrifices of our soldiers — namely by pursuing a foreign policy that puts their lives, and America’s national interest, first.

I lay out four principles for achieving this in my latest work at Conservative Review, which you can read here.

As I write in the piece:

There are several things that we as Americans ought to demand of our civilian leaders on behalf of our troops, including among them:

  • A foreign policy based in America’s national interest that does not result in the arming of those who wish to undermine us either directly or through destabilizing regimes that suppress such enemies;
  • A clear and logical justification for American interventions overseas, replete with a rationale cost-benefit analysis that looks at the peoples with whom we are engaging without politically correct blinders, and cogent exit strategy;
  • The abolition of suicidal rules of engagement that leave our troops vulnerable while protecting the enemy;
  • An end to social engineering of the armed forces — militaries exist to destroy enemies and defend shores, they are not playthings for progressives

We should be humanitarians towards our citizens first. Part of that includes not putting them in harm’s way to achieve abstract pipe-dreams overseas, the failures of which accrue to the benefits of our enemies.

On this Veterans Day, let us resolve to embrace a path that makes our troops’ sacrifices worthwhile.

Featured Image: U.S. Army Cpl. Robert Graves kneels while providing security as the 401st Military Police Company walks through the village of Udkheyl, Logar province, Afghanistan, on July 7, 2010. (Defense.gov/Wikimedia Commons)

Salon: A Spirited Discussion on Syria, the Sunni-Shia Battle for the Middle East and Russia

Salon gave me the opportunity to come on as the token conservative panelist in a discussion with host Carrie Sheffield of Bold and longtime national security/foreign affairs correspondent Courtney Kealy.

Check out our conversation on Syria, the Sunni-Shia battle for the Middle East and the broader proxy war going on between Russia and the U.S.

Carrie Sheffield sits down with Benjamin Weingarten and Courtn…WATCH LIVE: What is Aleppo? Don’t be like Gary Johnson. Here’s all you need to know about the crisis in Aleppo.

Posted by Salon on Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Featured Image Source: Salon/Facebook Live

Guest-Hosting Newsmax TV’s ‘DML Unfiltered:’ Willful Blindness Towards Jihadism in American National Security, Benghazi, Turkey, War on Cops and More

Last night I had the great opportunity to guest host Newsmax TV‘s “DML Unfiltered.”

Check out the five segments below:

Senator Ted Cruz-Led Willful Blindness Hearing Panelist Chris Allen Gaubatz on Hamas-Linked CAIR’s Damage to National Security, Federal Government’s See-No-Jihad Policy

House Benghazi Committee Findings, Gunrunning to Jihadists, and the Disaster of Hillary Clinton’s Libyan Intervention with Former CIA Agent Clare Lopez

Manhattan Institute’s Heather Mac Donald on The War on Cops, “Ferguson Effect” and More

Ex-CIA Agent Mike Baker and Green Beret Jason Beardsley on the Istanbul Airport Attack, Our Strategic Interest in Turkey, Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) vs. Counterjihadism

The State of the Presidential Election: Analyzing Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton’s Unpopularity, Strengths and Weaknesses

Featured Image Source: Newsmax TV.

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