Ben Weingarten

Reader. Writer. Thinker. Commentator. Truth Seeker.

Tag: Libya

Andrew C. McCarthy: Lessons from the Blind Sheikh Terror Trial, What Animates Jihadists, Why U.S. Middle East Policy Fails, Collapsing Iran’s Regime (Part I)

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My Guest

Andrew C. McCarthy (@AndrewCMcCarthy) is senior fellow at the National Review Institute, contributing editor of National Review and author most recently of essential books on the threat of Islamic supremacism including Willful Blindness: A Memoir of the JihadThe Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America and Spring Fever: The Illusion of Islamic Democracy.

In addition to being one of the nation’s foremost national security analysts and legal experts — formerly serving as Assistant U.S. Attorney in the vaunted Southern District of New York — he is one of the most humble, insightful and devoted patriots I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.

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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.

PJ Media: Serial Islamic Supremacist Enabler Lindsey Graham’s Laughable Attack on Ted Cruz

Check out my latest at PJ Media, where I delve into the long overdue foreign policy battle between the “right-wing” Wilsonianism espoused by Sen. Lindsey Graham et al, and in my opinion the superior policy articulated best by Jeane Kirpatrick, and I believe being represented most faithfully by Sen. Ted Cruz.

A taste:

[Sen. Lindsey] Graham may be a marginal figure in the polls, but his comments come in context of a critical and long overdue battle that has broken out within the Republican Party to define a conservative foreign policy superior to the “right-wing” Wilsonianism of George W. Bush, and left-wing Wilsonianism of Barack Obama under which mortal enemies have ascended.

In particular, a spat has broken out between Cruz and what may prove his stiffest competition, Sen. Marco Rubio. Graham, though perhaps less articulate and more impolitic than Rubio, serves as something of a stalking horse given that their positions on issues in the Middle East are largely indistinguishable.

Graham’s attack was in fact reminiscent of similar rhetoric we have seen from those in the Rubio camp in recent days.

For my money, I take Cruz’s judicious and clear-eyed policy over a third and fourth term of George W. Bush’s well-intentioned but ultimately detrimental democracy spreading.

And if Graham or Rubio for that matter takes issue with Cruz’s foreign policy in Syria in particular, one would be interested to hear what they would say to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, for whom what goes on in Syria has direct consequences. Netanyahu said recently:

If I see a situation where I don’t have a clear concept, I don’t charge in. In Syria, I do not see a simple concept because you choose here between a horrible secular dictatorship or the two other prospects that would be buttressed by Iran, and you would have Iran run Syria, a horrible prospect for us, or Da’ish, which is also touching our borders on the Golan. When two of your enemies are fighting each other, I don’t say strengthen one or the other. I say weaken both, or at least don’t intervene, which is what I’ve done. I’ve not intervened.It is hard to argue with that.

Read the whole thing here.

The Unredacted Huma Abedin-Hillary Clinton Email on Libya, Weapons and Former Rep. Mike Rogers

In working through some of the 7,000 Hillary Clinton emails released by the State Department yesterday, I came across one curious one sent from aide Huma Abedin to the then-Secretary of State regarding a Koran-burning in the U.S.

Here is another intriguing email:

It is noteworthy that this message on a sensitive subject — presumably about a meeting between then-Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) and Sec. of State Clinton on weapons collections in Libya — would be left unredacted, while many other emails in the Clinton trove are redacted in toto.

This may be because news reports around the September 10, 2011 email date indicate that Rep. Rogers, former Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, was concerned that weapons including anti-aircraft missiles could get into the “hands of bad actors” in the wake of the fall of former Prime Minister Muammar Gaddafi.

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20 Foreign Policy Questions For the 2016 Republican Presidential Field

With the race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination officially under way, I thought it apt to share a set of questions on foreign policy — an area in which it is vital that each candidate distinguish himself given the size and scope of the threats we face.

Below are 20 questions the next commander-in-chief will likely be grappling with, and should be able to answer cogently, consistently and comprehensively.

The responses to these queries would serve to elucidate the first principles of each of the potential nominees, and create a clear contrast in terms of their goals, strategies and tactics with respect to protecting and furthering America’s interests both at home and abroad.

1) Define your general foreign policy doctrine, and explain how it will differ from that of President George W. Bush.

2) How should America respond to the metastasization of Sunni and Shiite jihadists in the Middle East?

3) What do you believe would be the consequences of a hegemonic Iran in the region, and what steps might you take to counter her?

4) In the event of a nuclear arms race triggered by Iran, what if anything would you do as president?

5) Will you stand in the way if Israel acts unilaterally to destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities?

6) What is in America’s national interest with respect to Syria, and how do you intend to achieve it?

7) Do you believe it a sound policy to arm Muslim groups in the Middle East given the historically negative consequences for the West?

8) What is/are the key lesson(s) of the Iraq War?

9) What is/are the key lesson(s) of Libya?

10) Do you believe the Muslim Brotherhood and its violent and non-violent proxies both in the Middle East and the West pose a direct threat to the United States and her interests, and how will you counter the group’s growing influence?

Continue reading at TheBlaze…

10 Troubling Aspects of President Obama’s ‘Countering Violent Extremism’ Summit

The White House’s “Countering Violent Extremism” summit is barely underway, yet the message is already clear: the conference is politically correct — and far worse — a charade.

And that is a charitable interpretation.

Its sponsors are engaging in intentional obfuscation (e.g., saying “violent extremism” is the enemy), as well as peddling ineffective and ill-considered policy proposals (more community “empowerment”). The conference will effectively aid and abet America’s increasingly ascendant jihadist foes.

Reviewing the Obama administration’s summit preview, here are its 10 most disturbing aspects:

1. Contrary to its big government ethos, the Obama administration asserts that national security should be driven by the people, not the state.
Image source: BuzzFeed

(Image source: BuzzFeed)

According to the White House preview [emphasis mine]:

Really at the core of our approach is that the government does not have all the answers in combatting violent extremism. It is, at its core, a bottom-up approach. It puts communities with civic leaders, with religious authorities, with community power brokers, teachers, health providers, et cetera, in the driver’s seat. They know their citizens best. They are the first line of defense to prevent or counter radicalizing forces that can ultimately lead to violence. And so our approach is to really embrace and empower what local communities can do. So we’ve been working with our federal partners and our local partners to put in place this approach over the past couple of years.

Further:

Again, this is not about government, especially the federal government. The federal government doesn’t have all the answers. This is about building a comprehensive network to fight back against violent extremism. And we are explicitly recognizing the role that civil society plays, the private sector plays, and that families, et cetera, can play in countering violent extremism.

Who knew the Obama administration had so much respect for and faith in civil society?

Yet of course, this faith turns out to be dangerously misplaced as…

2. The groups the president wants to empower are those who may pose the biggest threat.

As Patrick Poole noted in an extensive report for TheBlaze:

In December 2011, the White House issued the “Strategic Implementation Plan for Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism in the United States” – the local partners, of course, being Islamic organizations, including those cited by the Justice Department as working to aid foreign terrorist organizations. All national security and law enforcement agencies on the federal, state and local level would now have to consult these groups and rely on “local partners” as a matter of policy. And as made clear in Salam al-Marayati’s Los Angeles Times op-ed, Islamic groups complaining about counter-terrorism policies or training would disrupt government efforts to “counter violent extremism” gave them an implicit veto over counter-terrorism policies. [Los Angels Times link added for context]

Why should we care about this 2011 report?

A senior Obama administration official noted in previewing the summit that the report details the very efforts the administration will be hawking during the three-day event.

Local partners such as the Council on American-Islam Relations — an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest Hamas funding trial in history — has advised members of the Muslim community not to work with the FBI, and religious leaders to lawyer up as opposed to working together with law enforcement when it comes to potential jihadists. On the eve of the summit, CAIR is reportedly calling for the Department of Justice to “protect those who act in good faith to prevent violent extremism by engaging with [Muslims] considering it in order to dissuade them.”

A partner of perhaps higher standing is the Islamic Society of Boston (ISB), a group linked to numerous jihadis and jihadi-sympathizers, that is reportedly the primary liaison between the Muslim community and law enforcement in countering violent extremism. The Boston  program will be one of the three held up as a success story during the summit, despite the ISB’s Islamic supremacist efforts.

Looking to the heart of Muslim communities, according to the Mapping Sharia project, imams in over 80 percent of 100 randomly surveyed representative mosques in America recommended the study of violence-positive texts. The correlations with these texts are disturbing, as illustrated below:

Sharia Adherence Mosque Survey: Correlations between Sharia Adherence and Violent Dogma in U.S. Mosques (Image Source: http://www.terrorismanalysts.com/pt/index.php/pot/article/view/sharia-adherence-mosque-survey/html)

(Image Source: Sharia Adherence Mosque Survey: Correlations between Sharia Adherence and Violent Dogma in U.S. Mosques)

In Pew’s extensive 2011 report on Muslims in America, 21 percent of those polled indicated there was a great deal or fair amount of “support for extremism among Muslim American;” 19 percent did not indicate that “suicide bombing/other violence against civilians is justified to defend Islam from its enemies;” only 70 percent indicated that they viewed Al Qaeda “very unfavorably.”

As leaked Department of Homeland Security documents reveal, the second highest concentration of people designated as “known or suspected terrorists” by our government reside in Dearborn, Michigan. Dearborn’s population is 96,000, and it has the highest percentage of Arab-Americans of any city in the country.

In light of these figures, and the fact that jihadist groups worldwide claim they are at war with America, having committed over 25,000 attacks in the name of Allah since Sept. 11, 2011, one must ask, what exactly is the rationale behind leaving self-policing to Muslim communities when these are the very places from whence jihadists spring?

Such a policy of course is only baffling if you are of the belief that jihad is an Islamic tenet, and that Islamic supremacist ideology is what animates the vast majority of the world’s “violent extremists.”

But of course…

3. According to the administration there is no profile of a “violent extremist.”

Continue reading at TheBlaze…

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