WHY WE LOSE

April 10, 2017

The fight against Islamic terror has two faces today, public relations and strategic hokum. The recent meeting of the ministers of the Global Coalition on the Defeat of ISIS in Washington illustrates these phenomena. Whilst the foreign ministers of “68 nations” were wining, dining, and thumping their chests inside the Beltway, another soldier of Islam successfully struck the British parliament in London. Whatever the purpose of the Washington soiree, it was undone in London by a single Muslim martyr with better motivation and better credentials than any infidel foreign minister. Indeed, the slaughter on Westminster Bridge, enjoyed global press coverage above the fold for a week.

In contrast, the very title of the so-called anti-ISIS coalition is a study in rhetorical obfuscation. The GCDI is neither global, nor much of a coalition, nor is it likely to stem the spread of Islamism or terror. Of the 68 nations that came for crudités and cocktails, few ever do anything about terror, jihadists, the Islamic State, or global Islamism.

Atrocity in London was displaced by atrocity in Syria overnight. The alleged Syrian “gas attack against children” took Islamic terror off the front page. Before you could say qui bono, Assad and Russia were again summarily lynched by a press narrative, followed quickly by cruise missile strikes against Shayrat Air Base. After 59 cruise missiles ($60 million US) hit their mark, the Syrian airfield was launching MIG sorties the next day.

Whenever thinking about religious terror becomes too painful, somehow a convenient secular bogyman seems to reappear. Vladimir Putin is now the default setting for conspiracy theory everywhere.

The real fighting coalition on the ground in the Levant has, at best, six national players, three of which are marginalized by American policy. Neither Syria, nor Russia is invited to party in Washington. Kurdistan fighters are real enough, yet they are sure to be thrown to Turkish wolves as soon as their proxy utility is exhausted by CIA and the Pentagon.

Kurds should not have any illusions about friends in NATO. The only country that argues to recognize Kurdistan is Israel. The Israeli justice minister, Ayelet Shaked, alone has publically called for an independent Kurdistan.

The fight against Islamic terror has two faces today, public relations and strategic hokum. The recent meeting of the ministers of the Global Coalition on the Defeat of ISIS in Washington illustrates these phenomena. Whilst the foreign ministers of “68 nations” were wining, dining, and thumping their chests inside the Beltway, another soldier of Islam successfully struck the British parliament in London. Whatever the purpose of the Washington soiree, it was undone in London by a single Muslim martyr with better motivation and better credentials than any infidel foreign minister. Indeed, the slaughter on Westminster Bridge, enjoyed global press coverage above the fold for a week.

In contrast, the very title of the so-called anti-ISIS coalition is a study in rhetorical obfuscation. The GCDI is neither global, nor much of a coalition, nor is it likely to stem the spread of Islamism or terror. Of the 68 nations that came for crudités and cocktails, few ever do anything about terror, jihadists, the Islamic State, or global Islamism.

Atrocity in London was displaced by atrocity in Syria overnight. The alleged Syrian “gas attack against children” took Islamic terror off the front page. Before you could say qui bono, Assad and Russia were again summarily lynched by a press narrative, followed quickly by cruise missile strikes against Shayrat Air Base. After 59 cruise missiles ($60 million US) hit their mark, the Syrian airfield was launching MIG sorties the next day.

Whenever thinking about religious terror becomes too painful, somehow a convenient secular bogyman seems to reappear. Vladimir Putin is now the default setting for conspiracy theory everywhere.

The real fighting coalition on the ground in the Levant has, at best, six national players, three of which are marginalized by American policy. Neither Syria, nor Russia is invited to party in Washington. Kurdistan fighters are real enough, yet they are sure to be thrown to Turkish wolves as soon as their proxy utility is exhausted by CIA and the Pentagon.

Kurds should not have any illusions about friends in NATO. The only country that argues to recognize Kurdistan is Israel. The Israeli justice minister, Ayelet Shaked, alone has publically called for an independent Kurdistan.

The fight against Islamic terror has two faces today, public relations and strategic hokum. The recent meeting of the ministers of the Global Coalition on the Defeat of ISIS in Washington illustrates these phenomena. Whilst the foreign ministers of “68 nations” were wining, dining, and thumping their chests inside the Beltway, another soldier of Islam successfully struck the British parliament in London. Whatever the purpose of the Washington soiree, it was undone in London by a single Muslim martyr with better motivation and better credentials than any infidel foreign minister. Indeed, the slaughter on Westminster Bridge, enjoyed global press coverage above the fold for a week.

In contrast, the very title of the so-called anti-ISIS coalition is a study in rhetorical obfuscation. The GCDI is neither global, nor much of a coalition, nor is it likely to stem the spread of Islamism or terror. Of the 68 nations that came for crudités and cocktails, few ever do anything about terror, jihadists, the Islamic State, or global Islamism.

Atrocity in London was displaced by atrocity in Syria overnight. The alleged Syrian “gas attack against children” took Islamic terror off the front page. Before you could say qui bono, Assad and Russia were again summarily lynched by a press narrative, followed quickly by cruise missile strikes against Shayrat Air Base. After 59 cruise missiles ($60 million US) hit their mark, the Syrian airfield was launching MIG sorties the next day.

Whenever thinking about religious terror becomes too painful, somehow a convenient secular bogyman seems to reappear. Vladimir Putin is now the default setting for conspiracy theory everywhere.

The real fighting coalition on the ground in the Levant has, at best, six national players, three of which are marginalized by American policy. Neither Syria, nor Russia is invited to party in Washington. Kurdistan fighters are real enough, yet they are sure to be thrown to Turkish wolves as soon as their proxy utility is exhausted by CIA and the Pentagon.

Kurds should not have any illusions about friends in NATO. The only country that argues to recognize Kurdistan is Israel. The Israeli justice minister, Ayelet Shaked, alone has publically called for an independent Kurdistan.

AYELET SHAKED.jpg

Thus, the three (Syrian, Russian, and Kurd) most effective military contingents on the ground are hobbled by strategic myopia in Washington. Syria has survived, with Russian support, decades of Washington sponsored sedition. Next door, Baghdad has become a Shia/Iran client state courtesy of regime change folly in Iraq. Kurdistan, the most civilized nation in the Ummah, is caught between genocidal Turks, perfidious Shia/Sunni religious fanatics, and feckless Americans.

Clearly, Trump era strategic bluster is little different than Obama era posturing. Political rhetoric, conferences, and faux coalitions are still thought to be substitutes for coherent strategy. War at home and abroad is now a cat fight in cyber space where the weapons of choice are invective, fake news, or propaganda. The default setting for political invective is Russia or Vladimir Putin.

As terror struck again in a European capital, American Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was channeling John Kerry, bragging about “significant progress” against ISIS and claiming that terrorists are finding it “harder to get in and harder to get out.” Get in and out of “where” we know not.

Surely Tillerson isn’t talking about continental Europe or the British Isles. Europe, thanks to EU open borders, is importing unvetted Muslims by the millions and in turn exporting home-grown jihadists by the thousands.

It seems that yet another American administration can’t distinguish between tactics and strategy either. Yes, words matter. Yes, diplomacy matters. Yes, propaganda matters. Alas, none of these tactics are a substitute for a coherent global vision, consistent policy, real allies, and a winning military strategy.

The best illustration of tactical agility and strategic coherence, alas, is now found in jihadist coalitions. The recent rebranding of Sunni Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria provides an example.

On the one hand, Al-Nusra is a long-time affiliate of al-Qaeda in the Levant. You may recall that al-Qaeda was once run by Osama bin Laden who orchestrated the most successful terrorist urban attack in modern history. The New York atrocity was manned and sponsored by Saudi Arabia, yet to be brought before the American bar.

Nevertheless, after 9/11, the al-Nusra franchise cultivated triste immunities with anti-Assad, deep state, American operatives in Syria. Indeed, after the Muamar Gadhafi kill, Libyan weapons were distributed by the CIA Annex near Benghazi to Sunni “allies” like al-Nusra.

Prior to the American sponsored assassination of Gadhafi, Libya was the wealthiest and best armed secular nation in Africa.

In short, the lethal bits and pieces left in the wake of the American sponsored collapse of Libya were redistributed to Syria with the expectation that Assad and Syria might suffer the same fate as Hussein in Iraq and Gadhafi in Libya. Barack Obama called Libya a “shit story,” a rare candid assessment that now applies to Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan.  The erstwhile president failed to mention that terror and guano in North Africa was another CIA/US State Department import.

Tragically, regime change fiascos, in Africa and the Levant, produced nothing save chaos and mayhem. However, terror groups like Ansar al-Sharia in Libya and al-Nusra in Syria still thrive, friends with benefits if you will, playing naïve American Intelligence dupes like chumps.

The al Nusra name change is another bit of tactical dexterity lost on American strategists. The separation from al Qaeda created the space for al Nusra to be seen as an “ally” against Assad. Rebranding itself, Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (Conquest of the Syria Front) provides another opportunity for al-Sham to again be what it is not and put the arm on American regime change zealots. The meaning of “sham” in English is surely not lost on literate jihadists.

By targeting the Syrian regime, separated from al-Qaeda’s global focus, al-Sham is yet another local terror franchise eligible for US tax dollars and an exemption from US airstrikes.

“On July 28, al-Qaeda’s second-in-command, Ahmed Hassan Abu al-Khayr, announced that Jabhat al-Nusra’s leadership had been instructed to “go ahead with what protects the interests of Islam and Muslims and what protects jihad.” Al-Qaeda’s No. 1 leader, Ayman al-Zawahri, added, that the brotherhood of Islam … is stronger than any organizational links.”

Stronger indeed! ISIS and al Qaeda machinations in the Middle East are consistent with Islamist doctrine worldwide.

Tactics and alliances might vary, but the strategy of “jihad” and the links within the “brotherhood of Islam” are global constants. Islam is not parsed by Muslims. Only infidels are naïve enough to believe that Islamist factions have significantly different core goals and objectives.

US State Department and American Intelligence data bases, in contrast, illustrate the timidity and incoherence of American policy. After decades of warfare, the Muslim Brotherhood (aka al Ikhwan), the Taliban, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Force (Shia), and the Caucasus Emirate do not have terror designations, yet the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) are still on the official State Department sierra list.

Making matters worse, America often cultivates undesignated terrorists as “partners”. Saudi Arabia and the Emirates are the most prominent examples. The Taliban in South Asia were formerly celebrated as “mujahedeen” allies while Chechen terrorists in the Caucasus are frequently romanticized as “freedom fighters.”

Any Muslim terrorist with anti-Russian credentials has the bone fides to merit American support and arms. Any Arab silent partner with oil seems to enjoy similar privileges. The Pentagon now scores 50 years of Muslim wars as a stalemate. “Stalemate” is a very charitable assessment of a conflict where neither the Department of Defense nor the White House sees global Islamic jihad as an existential threat.

If the Coalition on the Defeat of ISIS were real, to say nothing of effective, it would be the called a coalition to defeat Islamism, not ISIS. ISIS is just a single facet of a global Muslim threat that flourishes in dozens of branded militant organizations, in hundreds of terror cells, and under uncounted ideological covers. Not all Muslims are terrorists, but virtually all terrorists are Islamists.

The problem is religious imperialism, the soldiers are Muslims, their strategy is Islamism, and their goal is victory. Islam is now the ideological ‘blue screen of death.’  Passive aggressive Muslims, an arguable majority, make the kinetic minority possible. If only ten percent of Muslims are activists, the Jihad has 150 million shooters or proselytizers in the field as we speak.

There are four beliefs that distinguish Islamic leadership from their European/American counterparts. The Islamist is: willing to die for belief, willing to admit the reality of existential war, and willing to name Judeo/Christian states as their enemies. Jihadists are crystal clear about objectives.

The rationale for ignoring the threat or appeasing Islam can be reduced to a single simple minded argument: dramatic pushback from the West might make matters worse. Call it “demographobia,” fear of Muslim numbers; the belief that Muslims are so numerous (1.6 billion) that no nation dare offend Islam or Mohamed.

Putting aside the illogic of clairvoyance, if the truth be told, the real question should be; how bad does the Islamic problem have to get before the West draws real lines in the sand?

Yes, with new policy, things might get worse. Without new strategies, things will surely get worse.

Some potential game changers, policy options, might include the following top ten initiatives:

  • Move the American Embassy to Jerusalem.
  • Abandon the “two-state” fantasy.
  • Recognize Kurdistan.
  • Reform NATO. Expel Turkey.
  • Revise Foggy Bottom’s official terror list. Add prominent Islamic state sponsors to the list.
  • Vet immigrants. Deport Islamist activists.
  • Abandon regime change and proxy wars as policies.
  • Redefine Islam as a political, vice religious institution.
  • Withdraw American troops from internecine Islamic religious wars.
  • Insist that the Ummah fund, fight, or resolve all Shia/Sunni sectarian disputes. (Shoot winners as required.)

The objective of global jihad is to replace the weak sisters of social democracy with sharia, Mohamed’s law. The only successful Islamist party in Western Europe today is on record about these objectives. The goal of the Islamist is not democracy, nor assimilation, nor multiculturalism. On the contrary, the goal of Islamists, simply put, is hegemonic Islam.

Muslim zealots are winning today because they have better politicians, better generals, effective tactics, superior strategy, and crystal clear objectives.

Without some countervailing strategic response in the West, the diverse “globalist” future of Western Europe, especially, is beginning to look a lot like the Ummah – or the 7th Century.

Call it back to the future if you will. Insh’allah!


This essay appeared in the Small Wars Journal on 9 April 17,

Read morehttp://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/08/jabhat-al-nusra-sever-al-qaeda-focus-local-syria.html#ixzz4cZIjRaaQ

Images:

https://static01.nyt.com/images/2017/03/23/world/23Diplo/23Diplo-master768.jpg

 


Who’ s Afraid of Hillary Clinton?

October 6, 2016

G. Murphy Donovan's Blog

Edward Albee died on 16 September. The death of America’s greatest modern playwright was obscured by the run-up to the first 2016 presidential debate. You can’t help but think of the parallels between an evening with Donald and Hillary and an evening with Albee’s George and Martha in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

The Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) in question was a real literary figure trapped in a failed marriage, a dilemma that was resolved by suicide. Woolf filled her pockets with stones and walked into a pond. Albee’s drama is supplemented by intermittent repetition of Disney’s jingle Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf.

Albee’s metaphorical wolf is illusion; or more precisely, the truth about self, marriage, family, career, and toxic relationships. Albee was no fan of conventional wisdom, human nature, or the status quo.

Albee lived as he wrote, ever the champion of the need to break…

View original post 948 more words


Open Season on Cops

August 4, 2016

                       

“Lots of cops get blown away during routine traffic stops” ― Kenneth Eade

The police were ambushed recently in Baton Rouge, three dead and three seriously wounded. A dozen cops were ambushed earlier in Dallas on 7 July, five of those died.

Police nationwide are literally in the cross hairs. Baton Rouge is just the latest killing field. What’s happening here?

Cops are often called many things, but for most folks they’re peace officers or lawmen. They are, indeed, the thin blue line between us and the worse among us.

Somehow that paradigm has been turned on its head. Punks, thugs, and religious cults are now portrayed as victims whilst cops have become the bad guys. Even the last Super Bowl featured a twerking, faux blond, rap mannequin attacking cops.

We might start with culture, the Beltway culture of racial parsing, where crime is rationalized by skin tone. Take the other day when the president ran off a string of irrelevant statistics about the likelihood of “black” Americans being stopped or searched by cops. The reasoning here is astounding! Are we to believe that less traffic stops in high crime favelas would mean fewer confrontations, fewer misdemeanors, or fewer felonies?

Mister Obama had nothing to say about the incidence of felony crime among his black brothers in high risk, self-segregated schools and ghettoes, the “hood” if you will. He failed to mention the abject sexism, violence, anti-Semitism, and racism in rap and hip-hop quarters. This is a street culture where “mothafucker” is the all-purpose epithet and “nigga” is the noun used to describe a black president at National Press Club galas.

The president also failed to mention that cops have confrontations in black neighborhoods because that’s where the crime is. If you are an elderly white in the wrong neighborhood, you might be the prey in a “polar bear hunt,” aka the knockout game.

Mister Obama forgot too to note that many urban traffic stops are made by black cops. The president failed to tell us how many traffic stops bag creeps with long rap sheets, if not active felony warrants.

A punk or thug with a criminal past is unlikely to be a model driver. Good cops know these things. Apparently the President of the United States does not. Mister Obama seldom uses crime statistics to illuminate social pathologies among his robotic constituents, the good citizens of Chicago or, better still the District of Columbia.

The president’s children go to pricey white private schools in pricey white neighborhoods. Mister Obama is not schooling his kids in the crime ridden, largely black, DC public school system. Daughters Malia and Sasha will not be attending the University of the District of Columbia or Howard University either.

When it comes to personal preferences and family associations, the president favors his mother, the white side of Americana. You would think that some feminist would remind wife Michelle that the personal is political.

The presumption that there are excuses or immunities to be found in melanin is absurd. Most folks, black or white, are mutts; including the family in the White House.

Rather than expanding the racial divide with nonsense numbers about cop stops, you might think that Obama would use the bully pulpit to condemn the  hate-cop movements like Black Lives Matter. It’s no surprise that Micah Johnson was gunning for “white” cops at the Dallas BLM hate rally.

Dallas police came to protect an anti-cop street demonstration and in doing so provided a target. A dozen cops were shot. At least one NPR commentator, also black, celebrated the Texas shooter as a “martyr.” Martyr rhetoric in now the coda for all terrorists.

BLM shills and media sympathizers would have America believe that social riot, arson, and crime is a function of police, not punk, behavior. So let us, for the umpteenth time, review some real world facts about black behavior in America for Mister Obama and his BLM hate hustlers.

  • As much as ninety-two percent of children fathered by black fathers are born out of wedlock and 82 percent of these end up on welfare. Numbers may vary from study to study, but they’re all bad.
  • Seventy-two percent of black children are raised by a single parent (the woman), up from 25 percent when the Moynihan report was written.
  • Half of black males who attend high school do not graduate. Albeit; tuition, transportation, and meals in public schools are still cost-free to black parents.
  • One in three black males will spend some time in prison in their life time. Black women are three times more likely than whites to be incarcerated.
  • Recidivism among black males is as high as 40 percent.

Even the Washington Post study of crime by race had to concede: “… a disproportionate amount of murders and other violent crimes are committed by black Americans.”

  • In many cities, New York for example, black women abort more babies than they bring to term. A woman of color is five times more likely to have an abortion as her white counterpart.
  • Black unemployment rates are twice those of whites. The District of Columbia, the president’s home town, has the highest black unemployment rate in the country. The unemployment rate for illegals is lower than that of blacks.
  • Black women earn two thirds of African American bachelor’s degrees and seventy percent of master’s degrees. Nearly 100 percent of black women have to raise and support black children too.
  • One of three black Americans in prison converts to Islam each year. The converts are not moderates by any stretch based on behavior and affiliation. Black men gravitate to the dark side of the Ummah; Salafists, Wahabists, and Louis Farrakhan’s cult, the Nation of Islam. Hard to believe that black American men are suckered by religious cults where slavery thrives and women are treated worse than they are treated in American public housing.
  • The cop/perp violence dilemma now has an economic dimension too. Every incident creates a plaintiff lawyer’s feeding frenzy. Cities like Baltimore will cough up serious cash even before a grand jury sits. Cops accused in the Freddie Gray case have been exonerated to date, yet the city has already paid thrice with riot, arson, and a seven million dollar payday for lawyers and the criminal’s family. None of this augers well for citizen restraint.

Black America seems to have entered a moral and cultural void with no exits. Withal, the bollixed black majority actually believes that Barack Hussein has done a good job.

Nevertheless, few if any of the pathologies in so-called minority communities have anything to do with white fright or cops. The bleeding hood in America is a self-inflicted wound. Too many blacks, especially males, have embraced the punk life and can’t find the exits.

The prevailing ethos is closer to the twisted martyr logic at Public Radio or in modern Islam. The jihadist and the militant black thug are not absolute bedfellows, but the two are getting closer, cultural wingmen on parallel tracks.

Neither seems to be capable of reflection or adult civic behavior. Both cling to historical injury, real or imagined, and each insists on cultural infancy, a dependent or victim’s status that denies dignity, respect, and opportunity. American racist punks and their Muslim counterparts are fond of blaming some “other,” often women, for their plight or condition. How many times do we need to hear the words bitch, “ho,” “motherfucka,” or “nigga” from the mouths of idiots who can’t spell an insult?

Values like personal responsibility are lost on losers who refuse to behave, learn, or grow up. A ghetto mentality is a tight space. Cultural clichés about black men have little to do with whites, bias, or cops. Behavior is always the acid test. BLM’s best investment for change or justice might be a mirror.

Sartre was probably correct: “Hell is other people.” Indeed! Culture is just another word for the company you keep, brother. If your crew or neighbors have a bad rep, you probably earned it. Truth isn’t biased by definition.

Alas, if the past is prologue, there will be no reflex ion or remorse in black America or at the White House this summer. Withal, lawmen and soldiers will still honor their duty. Cops are indeed the new centurions, all that stands between us and the abyss. Our prayers are with all those who serve and protect, all those men and women who go in harm’s way.

 


Murphy Donovan comes from a family of cops in the East Bronx.

Tags: Dallas, Baton rouge, cop killers, Baltimore riots, Freddie Gray, Micha Johnson, Beyonce, knockout game, District of Columbia, racism, and Barak Hussein Obama


Whence Islam?

March 7, 2016

 

Yes, Islam! The politics and theology of Muslims is now the dominant source of global instability; although any separation of the two is moot in most nations with an Islamic majority. This is not to discount criminals, militants, extremists, terrorists, various Muslim small wars/insurgencies, or even “nefarious characters” and “lone wolves.” All of these euphemisms are symptoms; unfortunately, now also doing service as rhetorical burkas for metastasizing religious instability, a theopolitical movement of global dimensions. Call it Islamism, if a short hand is necessary.

Indeed, a latter day Muslim crusade is underway. Religious imperialism is now an existential threat across the autocratic Ummah and the republican West. If we can borrow the Huntington prophesy, the future is one of cultural conflict – between “the West and the rest.” The secular world is at war with irredentist theocracy.

China is still a bit of a clinker as its brand of command mercantilism is the ingénue polity of the 21st Century. Neither the West nor the Chinese have much experience with capital communism, so the best that can be said of Beijing at the moment is that the jury is still out. Nonetheless, the Chinese, like Russians, have their theocratic insurgents too – and few illusions about tolerance in the name of religious idolatry.

A few Muslim nations are “secular” in the same sense that the Democratic Republic of Congo is democratic or republican. National adjectives might be harmless for true republics, but for most of the contemporary Muslim world, the adjective “Islamic” is deadly serious. Just ask any resident minority, Jew, woman, apostate, or visible infidel. Tolerance is a national value for Islam only where Muslims are a voting minority.

Compassion in Islam is a one-way street too. While the West is awash in Muslim “refugees” and moral “obligations,” few migrants will find refuge in affluent Arabia or the affluent Muslim Far East. What the West calls humanitarian migration, Ummah imperialists probably see as missionary economy of force. Humanitarian values in the Ummah are a very selective and sometime thing.

If the non-Muslim world is to think of Islam as a morally equivalent ideology, then Muslims should reasonably be expected to behave at least as well as Anglicans. Islamic Immigration now serves three masters: religious proselyting, growing constituencies in social democracies, and terror cells when necessary. Votes and the dole are the most insidious 5th columns. The clear and present dangers of open borders cannot be obscured by humanitarian absurdities.

And with migration, the vector of empire is reversed. The irredentist now colonizes the advanced. Backwards is the new forward. The imperial Muslim refugee serves the ambitions of fascist and passive aggressive Islam alike. Demographic tsunamis augment the mythical “moderate Muslim majority” as well.

Contemporary Islamofascism has its roots in Arabia and Egypt; the same cultures that spawned the original crusading Mohammadans, (570 AD- 1683 AD) a campaign waged by various ethnicities for more than a thousand years. We should note here that the Christian Crusades (1095-1291) were relatively brief, defensive, and in the end, unsuccessful. With the exception of the Iberian Peninsula and Israel, most original Muslim (Arab, Mongol, or Ottoman) conquests/colonies remain intact – and Islamic. The eastern Mogul Khanate (Yuan Dynasty) proved to be the exception, Buddhist to this day.

The modern Muslim Ummah is not so much a global political condominium as it is an aspiring religious monoculture. Feuding Shia and Sunni tribes might have varying claims to legitimacy, but goals, means, and ends are held in common. Cultural proselytizing, punctuated by blood and guts terror, now appears to be more effective than conventional variants of warfare. Sanguinary sedition is portable, cheap, and effective.

The grand leitmotif for future conflict is societal, a cage match between evolved democratic norms and a persistent strain of theocratic fascism. We say “persistent” because there is more than a little merit to the many arguments that suggest contemporary Islamism is merely the logical extension of Mohammed’s original crusade, an ambition never limited by time, geography, or Arab tribes.

The Modern Muslim theopolitical jihad, like its antecedents, is opportunist in origin and viral in effect.

The modern Islamist era probably began with British colonial naiveté, dividing South Asia (1948) along ill-defined religious lines. Pakistan has been a neo-religious, if not crypto-terrorist, basket case ever since. The “Islamic” Republic of Pakistan is a continuing source of conflict with India, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan. Pakistan now works both sides of the jihad street; at once receiving generous technical and military support from the West whilst exporting terror cells and providing sanctuary for groups like al Qaeda and the Taliban. Pakistan is host also to the first Islam bomb, a strategic land mine commonly ignored in global threat calculus. Nonetheless, the political janissary that passes for government in Islamabad often seems ripe for the picking, and like many Islamic states, a bullet away from theocracy. The religious terrorist is a snake that inevitably eats the host.

The Israel Miracle

The Israeli miracle was an ironic Islamist milestone. The triumph, of a few Jews in serial warfare with multiple Arab states and the restoration of the Jewish homeland, was and is nothing short of miraculous; seven major conflicts and countless smaller operations since 1947 where Israel has, for the most part, prevailed. Indeed, Israel has done what the European crusades could not; rescued and defended the geographic cultural wellspring of Western civilization from Muslim iconoclasts, humiliating 360 million Arab Ishmaelites in the process.

Whither Israel, so goes the West.

The liberation of Jerusalem and subsequent existential struggles has spawned a host of Palestinian terror NGOs. More ominous is the sea change of global public opinion which has metastasized into a new and toxic variant of anti-Semitism, now especially fashionable at the schoolhouse in particular and liberal social democracies in general. The most pernicious global non sequitur abroad today argues that a Palestinian state on Israeli borders would somehow pacify militant Islam. Alas, Israeli victories have become Islam’s excuses; excuses for Arabs and Muslims to behave badly – in the Levant and anywhere else.

Coup and Counter-coup in Persia

Mark 1953 and 1979 on the Shia jihad calendar. The revolt against the House of Pahlavi in Iran was both payback for British and American mid-century meddling and an Islamist masterstroke on several counts: a corrupt, if not illegitimate, autocratic monarchy was deposed; an ancient culture was hijacked by religious zealots; and a potent Muslim theocracy was enfranchised. Withal, the Persian Shia minority upstaged a largely clueless Sunni majority in the larger Ummah.

Now on the verge of nuclear hegemony, the Persian variant of atomic Islam is now the dominant Muslim player in the Mideast. Indeed, excepting the Kurds, Shia proxy Hezb’allah is the most effective fighting ground force in Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq. America and Europe were so mesmerized by the hostage crisis of the Carter/Reagan years that the Ayatollah’s theocratic counter-coup barely caused a ripple in any strategic calculus then – or now.

Ataturk Undone in Turkey

Mustfa Kemal Ataturk (1881-1938) might be spinning in his grave today. Turkey, once a model of Ottoman and Islamic reformation, is undergoing a religious renaissance, a retreat to Muslim irredentism. The race backwards is attributable to two institutions and two personalities, one visible and the other a shadow government of sorts.

The visible institution is the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Parti), an autocratic Islamist political front led by Recip Tayyip Erdogan. The incumbent neo-Ottoman in Ankara is now notorious for double dealing, simultaneously a NATO “ally” and ISIS financier. Less well known is the associated Cemaat (community) or Hizmet (service) movement led by Fethullha Gulen, a very wealthy Turkish Sunni imam who resides in Pennsylvania (sic) and presides over a global network of businesses, secondary schools, and ideological synods.

Gulen’s Pennsylvania fortress is more than a bit of a cipher. Why is a Sunni imam, a Turkish kingmaker, indeed a venerated leader of a global Islamist movement, holding court in the Poconos? Clearly there is some understanding or working agreement between the Obama and Erdogan regimes and their respective intelligence agencies. This much is certain; an Islamist cleric with global reach, pulling strings from Pennsylvania, is not good news for secular democracy in Turkey, NATO security to the east, or separation of church and state anywhere.

Cradle of Civilization Chaos

Iraq and Syria are now the disaster twins of the Levant. Like Afghanistan and Libya, regime change campaigns gone awry. Indeed, Iraq and Syrian oil is now on a par with Afghan opium, commodities that finance Islamism and terror. The sectarian poles in Iraq were reversed by two American wars and now a good part of Saddam Hussein’s Army and the Sunni tribes have gone over to the dark side of Islam, to groups like ISIS, a new caliphate. Syria was to suffer a similar fate until Vladimir Putin stepped in and rescued Bashar Assad from an end similar to Hosni Mubarak, Muammar Gadhafi, and Saddam Hussein. For the moment, regime change follies are on hold but the resultant chaos rages on. The best thing that might be said about Washington and Brussels foreign policy in the past fifty years is that it has facilitated the various local jihads and guaranteed the rise of ever more toxic terror phenomena like the Islamic State.

Countless lives and treasure were squandered in the sands of Iraq and Kuwait only to have America gift that same oil back to incontinent Arab tribes who now use oil revenues to finance jihad in the Levant and elsewhere. Blowback indeed!

The Arab Spring Charade

If the theocratic coup in Persia was lost in the emotional miasma of the Iran hostage crisis, the smog of the so-called Arab Spring is still a function of American/NATO propaganda, media hyperbole, and wishful strategic thinking. Still, the consequences of the Arab Spring charade are now manifest: theocracy, not democracy, is the default setting for failed Muslim states; regime change is more poison pill than policy; and Arabia, the Levant, North Africa, and the near East are now invested with sectarian chaos wrought by generational strategic poltroons. More ominous still is the prospect that one of those dynastic authors of American foreign policy folly may manipulate the vicissitudes of domestic gender politics to again “lead” the free world “from behind” in

If living American presidents were characterized as a confederacy of foreign policy dunces, such an assessment would be charitable. At the moment, the explanation for what appears to be chronic; if not masochistic, serial failure in the Muslim wars would probably be reduced to bromides like: “It’s complicated!”

The ISIS Tar Baby

The Islamic State, or ISIS, is the latest idol raised by modern jihad. Besides pretentions to statehood and televised beheadings, ISIS is not much different than its Islamic predecessors or contemporary Assassins. And like al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, Boko Haram, and the Taliban, the Islamic State is just another symptom, not the ailment. Indeed, today there are literally dozens of Islamist terror crews with the same modus operandi. The US State Department keeps a modest, but by no means complete, list of contemporary terror groups other than ISIS. Administration and media obsession with ISIS, another terror flavor du jour, is a symptom of threat atomized to obscure a larger problem; a feckless policy of endless reactive tactics at the expense of operational competence and clear strategic vision.

                                        What is to be done?

Surely, whatever passed for American foreign or military policy in the past three decades is not working. Just as clearly, in case anyone keeps score these days, the dark side of Islam is ascendant at home and abroad. What follows here is a catalogue of policy initiatives that might halt the spread of Islamic fascism and encourage religious reform in the Ummah.

Some observers believe that the Muslim problem is a matter of life and death. Be assured that the need for Islamic reform is much more important than either. The choices for Islam are the same as they are for Palestine Arabs; behave or be humbled. Europe may still have a Quisling North and a Vichy South; but Russia, China, and even America, at heart, are still grounded by national survival instincts – and Samuel Colt.

Call a spade a spade

The threat is Islam, both kinetic and passive aggressive factions. If “moderate” Islam is real, then that community needs to step up and assume responsibility for barbaric terror lunatics and immigrants/refugees alike. Neither America nor Europe has solutions to the Islamic dystopia; civic incompetence, strategic illiteracy, migrants, poverty, religious schisms, or galloping irredentism. The UN and NATO have no remedies either. Islamism is an Ummah, Arab League, OIC problem to solve. Absent moral or civic conscience, unreformed Islam deserves no better consideration than any other criminal cult.

Western Intelligence agencies must stop cooking the books too. The West is at war and the enemy is clearly the adherents of a pernicious ideology. A global war against imperial Islam might be declared; just as angry Islam has declared war on civilization. A modus vivendi might be negotiated only after the Ummah erects a universal barrier between church and state globally. Islam, as we know it, is incompatible with democracy, civility, peace, stability, and adult beverages.

Oxymoronic “Islamic” states need to be relegated to the dust bin of history. If the Muslim world cannot or will not mend itself; Islamism, like the secular fascism of the 20th Century, must be defeated, humbled in detail. Sooner is better.

Answer the Ayatollahs

Recent allied concessions to Tehran may prove to be a bridge too far. If the Persian priests do not abide by their nuclear commitments, two red lines might be drawn around Israel. Firstly, the ayatollahs should be put on notice, publicly, that any attack against Israel would be considered an attack against America – and met with massive Yankee retaliation. Secondly, any future cooperation with NATO or America should be predicated on an immediate cessation of clerical hate speech and so-called fatwas, those arbitrary death sentences.

 

Persian political theater

Clerical threats to “wipe Israel off the face of the earth” and “death to America” injunctions are designed to stimulate jihad and terror globally. The only difference between a Shia ayatollah and a Sunni imam these days seems to be the torque in their head threads.

Ostracize the Puppeteers

Strategic peril does not emanate from Sunni tacticians like Osama bin Laden, Mullah Omar, or Abu Bakr al-Baghadadi. Nor does the real threat begin with or end with al Qaeda, the Taliban, Hezb’allah, Hamas, or the Islamic State. Lethal threat comes, instead, on four winds: toxic culture, religious politics, fanatic fighters, and furtive finance; all of which originate with Muslim state sponsors. The most prominent of these are Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, Turkey, Iran, and Pakistan.

Put aside for a moment the Saudi team that brought down the Twin Towers in New York. Consider instead, the House of Saud as the most egregious exporter of Salifism (aka Wahabbism) doctrine, clerics, imams, and mosques from which ultra-irredentist ideologies are spread. The Saudis are at once the custodians of Islam’s sacred shrines and at the same time the world’s most decadent, corrupt, and duplicitous hypocrites. Imam Baghdadi is correct about two things; the venality of elites in Washington and Riyadh. The House of Saud, an absolutist tribal monarchy, does not have the moral standing to administer “holy” sites of any description – Mecca, Medina, or Disneyland.

The cozy relationship between Europe, the European Union, and Arabia can be summarized with a few words; oil, money, arms sales, and base rights. This near-sighted blend of Mideast obscenities has reached its sell-by date. The “white man’s burden” should have expired when Edward Said vacated New York for paradise.

Jettison Turkey and Pakistan

What Saudi Arabia is to toxic ideology in North Africa; Turkey and Pakistan is to perfidy in the Levant and South Asia. Turkey and Pakistan are Islam’s most obvious and persistent grifters. Turkey supports the Islamic State and other Sunni terror groups with a black market oil racket. Pakistan supports the Taliban, al Qaeda, and ISIS with sanctuary and tolerance of the world’s largest opium garden. Oil and drug monies from Arabia, Turkey, and South Asia are financing the global jihad. Turkey also facilitates the migration of Muslims west to Europe while sending Islamist fighters and weapons south to Syria and Iraq.

With the advent of Erdogan and his Islamist AKP, Turkey has morphed into NATO’s Achilles Heel, potentially a fatal flaw. Turkey needs to be drummed out of NATO until secular comity returns to Ankara. Pakistan needs to be restrained too with sanctions until it ceases to provide refuge for terrorists. Pakistani troops harassing India could be more prudently redeployed to exterminate jihadists.

Sanctions against Russia and Israel are a study in moral and political fatuity whilst Arabs and Muslims are appeased midst a cultural sewer of geo-political crime and human rights abuses. If NATO’s eastern flank needs to be anchored in trust and dependability; Russia, Kurdistan, or both, would make better allies than Turkey. Ignoring Turkish perfidy to protect ephemeral base rights confuses tactical necessity with strategic sufficiency.

Recognize Kurdistan

Beyond Israel, Kurdistan might be the most enlightened culture in the Mideast. The Kurds are also the largest ethnic group in the world not recognized as a state. While largely Muslim, the Kurds, unlike most of the Ummah, appreciate the virtues of religious diversity and women’s rights. Indeed, Kurdish women fight alongside their men against Turkish chauvinism and Sunni misogyny with equal aplomb. For too long, the Kurds have been patronized by Brussels and Washington.

While Kurdish fighters engage ISIS and attempt to control the Turkish oil black market, Ankara uses American manufactured NATO F-16s to bomb Kurds in Turkey and Syria. Turkish ground forces now occupy parts of Iraq too. In eastern Turkey, Ergdogan’s NATO legions use ISIS as an excuse for bookend genocide, a cleansing of Kurds that might rival the Armenian Christian genocide (1915-1917).

 

Kurdish angel of death

All the while, American strategic amateurs argue for a “no-fly” zone in contested areas south of Turkey. Creating a no-fly zone is the kind of operational vacuity we have come to expect from American politicians and generals. Such a stratagem would foil Kurdish efforts to flank ISIS and allow the Erdogan jihad, arms, and oil rackets to flourish. A no-fly zone is a dangerous ploy designed to provoke Russia, not protect Muslim “moderates.”

Putin, Lavrov, and the Russians have it right this time, Turkish and Erdogan family subterfuges are lethal liabilities, not assets.

Washington and European allies have been redrawing the map in Eastern Europe, North Africa, South Asia, and the Mideast since the end of WWII. The time has come to put Kurdistan on the map too. Kurdistan is a unique and exemplary case of reformed or enlightened Islam; indeed, a nation that could serve as a model for the Muslim world. If base rights are a consideration, Kurdistan would be an infinitely more dependable ally than Turkey or any corrupt tribal autocracy in Arabia. America has a little in common with desert dictators – and fewer genuine friends there either. Indeed, at the moment America is allied with the worst of Islam.

Create New Alliances

NATO, like the European Union, has become a parody of itself. Absent a threat like the Soviet Union or the Warsaw Pact, Brussels has taken to justifying itself by meddling in East Europe and resuscitating a Cold War with the Kremlin. Indeed, having divided Yugoslavia, NATO now expands to the new Russian border with reckless abandon; in fact, fanning anti-Russian flames now with neo-Nazi cohorts in former Yugoslavia, Georgia, and Ukraine.

NATO support for the Muslims of one-time Yugoslavia is of a piece with support for Islamic trouble makers in Chechnya and China too. Throughout, we are led to believe that jihad Uighurs and caliphate Chechens are freedom fighters. Beslan, Boston, Paris, and now San Bernardino puts the lie to any notion that Islamists are “victims” – or heroes. Indeed, the Boston Marathon bombing might have been prevented had Washington a better relationship with Moscow.

Truth is, America has more in common with Russia and China these days than we do with any number of traditional European Quislings. Indeed, it seems that Europe and America can’t take yes for an answer.

The Cold War ideological or philosophical argument has been won. Moscow and Beijing have succumbed to market capitalism. Islamism, in stark contrast, is now a menace to Russian, Chinese, and American secular polities alike. The logic of a cooperative or unified approach to a common enemy seems self-evident. America, China, and Russia, at least on issues like toxic Islam, is a match made in Mecca.

The late great contest with Marxist Russia and China was indeed a revolution without guns. Now the parties to that epic Cold War struggle may have to join forces to suppress a theofascist movement that, like its Nazi predecessor, will not be defeated without guns. The West is at war again, albeit in slow motion. Withal, questions of war are not rhetorical. Saying that you are not at war does not make it so. Once declared, by one party or the other, the only relevant question about war is who wins and who loses. Losers do not make the future.

If America and Europe were as committed to Judeo/Christian secular values as Islamists are committed to a sick religious culture, then the war against pernicious Islam would have been won decades ago. Or as Jack Kennedy once put it: “Domestic policy can only defeat us; foreign policy can kill us.

Trump Footnote

Presidential candidate Donald Trump made several policy suggestions on the Islamism issue, one on immigration, the other on Mideast oil. On the former, he suggests a hiatus on Muslim immigration until America develops a plan or reliable programs to vet migrants. On Arab oil, he suggests, given the lives and treasure spent liberating Kuwait and Iraqi oil fields, America should have held those resources in trust and used oil revenues to finance the war against jihad, however long that takes. The problem with both Trump ideas is that they come perilously close to common sense, an American instinct in short supply these days.

……………………………………….

  1. Murphy Donovan usually writes about the politics of national security. This essay appeared in the February issue of the Small Wars Journal.

Images:

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTXeAtJk3yb804L-_d5Q_ICameKQbw7v_SPK0sd_ZYsTUsqQNT-

http://i.ytimg.com/vi/p0JrcyUkpXI/0.jpg

https://www.facebook.com/1814267612131127/photos/pb.1814267612131127.-2207520000.1451742580./1947716668786220/?type=3

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcS7GgQnhBVNPqhkxxzsQFIOkF8zHyaTOvbDiv9mhHTFn82EiYjR4g

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mohammed’s Kaaba stone in art

Yes, Islam! The politics and theology of Muslims is now the dominant source of global instability; although any separation of the two is moot in most nations with an Islamic majority. This is not to discount criminals, militants, extremists, terrorists, various Muslim small wars/insurgencies, or even “nefarious characters” and “lone wolves.” All of these euphemisms are symptoms; unfortunately, now also doing service as rhetorical burkas for metastasizing religious instability, a theopolitical movement of global dimensions. Call it Islamism, if a short hand is necessary.

Indeed, a latter day Muslim crusade is underway. Religious imperialism is now an existential threat across the autocratic Ummah and the republican West. If we can borrow the Huntington prophesy, the future is one of cultural conflict – between “the West and the rest.” The secular world is at war with irredentist theocracy.

China is still a bit of a clinker as its brand of command mercantilism is the ingénue polity of the 21st Century. Neither the West nor the Chinese have much experience with capital communism, so the best that can be said of Beijing at the moment is that the jury is still out. Nonetheless, the Chinese, like Russians, have their theocratic insurgents too – and few illusions about tolerance in the name of religious idolatry.

 

 

 

Romancing the stone in modern Mecca

A few Muslim nations are “secular” in the same sense that the Democratic Republic of Congo is democratic or republican. National adjectives might be harmless for true republics, but for most of the contemporary Muslim world, the adjective “Islamic” is deadly serious. Just ask any resident minority, Jew, woman, apostate, or visible infidel. Tolerance is a national value for Islam only where Muslims are a voting minority.

Compassion in Islam is a one-way street too. While the West is awash in Muslim “refugees” and moral “obligations,” few migrants will find refuge in affluent Arabia or the affluent Muslim Far East. What the West calls humanitarian migration, Ummah imperialists probably see as missionary economy of force. Humanitarian values in the Ummah are a very selective and sometime thing.

If the non-Muslim world is to think of Islam as a morally equivalent ideology, then Muslims should reasonably be expected to behave at least as well as Anglicans. Islamic Immigration now serves three masters: religious proselyting, growing constituencies in social democracies, and terror cells when necessary. Votes and the dole are the most insidious 5th columns. The clear and present dangers of open borders cannot be obscured by humanitarian absurdities.

And with migration, the vector of empire is reversed. The irredentist now colonizes the advanced. Backwards is the new forward. The imperial Muslim refugee serves the ambitions of fascist and passive aggressive Islam alike. Demographic tsunamis augment the mythical “moderate Muslim majority” as well.

Contemporary Islamofascism has its roots in Arabia and Egypt; the same cultures that spawned the original crusading Mohammadans, (570 AD- 1683 AD) a campaign waged by various ethnicities for more than a thousand years. We should note here that the Christian Crusades (1095-1291) were relatively brief, defensive, and in the end, unsuccessful. With the exception of the Iberian Peninsula and Israel, most original Muslim (Arab, Mongol, or Ottoman) conquests/colonies remain intact – and Islamic. The eastern Mogul Khanate (Yuan Dynasty) proved to be the exception, Buddhist to this day.

The modern Muslim Ummah is not so much a global political condominium as it is an aspiring religious monoculture. Feuding Shia and Sunni tribes might have varying claims to legitimacy, but goals, means, and ends are held in common. Cultural proselytizing, punctuated by blood and guts terror, now appears to be more effective than conventional variants of warfare. Sanguinary sedition is portable, cheap, and effective.

The grand leitmotif for future conflict is societal, a cage match between evolved democratic norms and a persistent strain of theocratic fascism. We say “persistent” because there is more than a little merit to the many arguments that suggest contemporary Islamism is merely the logical extension of Mohammed’s original crusade, an ambition never limited by time, geography, or Arab tribes.

The Modern Muslim theopolitical jihad, like its antecedents, is opportunist in origin and viral in effect.

The Pakistan Precedent

The modern Islamist era probably began with British colonial naiveté, dividing South Asia (1948) along ill-defined religious lines. Pakistan has been a neo-religious, if not crypto-terrorist, basket case ever since. The “Islamic” Republic of Pakistan is a continuing source of conflict with India, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan. Pakistan now works both sides of the jihad street; at once receiving generous technical and military support from the West whilst exporting terror cells and providing sanctuary for groups like al Qaeda and the Taliban. Pakistan is host also to the first Islam bomb, a strategic land mine commonly ignored in global threat calculus. Nonetheless, the political janissary that passes for government in Islamabad often seems ripe for the picking, and like many Islamic states, a bullet away from theocracy. The religious terrorist is a snake that inevitably eats the host.

The Israel Miracle

The Israeli miracle was an ironic Islamist milestone. The triumph, of a few Jews in serial warfare with multiple Arab states and the restoration of the Jewish homeland, was and is nothing short of miraculous; seven major conflicts and countless smaller operations since 1947 where Israel has, for the most part, prevailed. Indeed, Israel has done what the European crusades could not; rescued and defended the geographic cultural wellspring of Western civilization from Muslim iconoclasts, humiliating 360 million Arab Ishmaelites in the process.

Whither Israel, so goes the West.

The liberation of Jerusalem and subsequent existential struggles has spawned a host of Palestinian terror NGOs. More ominous is the sea change of global public opinion which has metastasized into a new and toxic variant of anti-Semitism, now especially fashionable at the schoolhouse in particular and liberal social democracies in general. The most pernicious global non sequitur abroad today argues that a Palestinian state on Israeli borders would somehow pacify militant Islam. Alas, Israeli victories have become Islam’s excuses; excuses for Arabs and Muslims to behave badly – in the Levant and anywhere else.

Coup and Counter-coup in Persia

Mark 1953 and 1979 on the Shia jihad calendar. The revolt against the House of Pahlavi in Iran was both payback for British and American mid-century meddling and an Islamist masterstroke on several counts: a corrupt, if not illegitimate, autocratic monarchy was deposed; an ancient culture was hijacked by religious zealots; and a potent Muslim theocracy was enfranchised. Withal, the Persian Shia minority upstaged a largely clueless Sunni majority in the larger Ummah.

Now on the verge of nuclear hegemony, the Persian variant of atomic Islam is now the dominant Muslim player in the Mideast. Indeed, excepting the Kurds, Shia proxy Hezb’allah is the most effective fighting ground force in Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq. America and Europe were so mesmerized by the hostage crisis of the Carter/Reagan years that the Ayatollah’s theocratic counter-coup barely caused a ripple in any strategic calculus then – or now.

Ataturk Undone in Turkey

Mustfa Kemal Ataturk (1881-1938) might be spinning in his grave today. Turkey, once a model of Ottoman and Islamic reformation, is undergoing a religious renaissance, a retreat to Muslim irredentism. The race backwards is attributable to two institutions and two personalities, one visible and the other a shadow government of sorts.

The visible institution is the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Parti), an autocratic Islamist political front led by Recip Tayyip Erdogan. The incumbent neo-Ottoman in Ankara is now notorious for double dealing, simultaneously a NATO “ally” and ISIS financier. Less well known is the associated Cemaat (community) or Hizmet (service) movement led by Fethullha Gulen, a very wealthy Turkish Sunni imam who resides in Pennsylvania (sic) and presides over a global network of businesses, secondary schools, and ideological synods.

Gulen’s Pennsylvania fortress is more than a bit of a cipher. Why is a Sunni imam, a Turkish kingmaker, indeed a venerated leader of a global Islamist movement, holding court in the Poconos? Clearly there is some understanding or working agreement between the Obama and Erdogan regimes and their respective intelligence agencies. This much is certain; an Islamist cleric with global reach, pulling strings from Pennsylvania, is not good news for secular democracy in Turkey, NATO security to the east, or separation of church and state anywhere.

Cradle of Civilization Chaos

Iraq and Syria are now the disaster twins of the Levant. Like Afghanistan and Libya, regime change campaigns gone awry. Indeed, Iraq and Syrian oil is now on a par with Afghan opium, commodities that finance Islamism and terror. The sectarian poles in Iraq were reversed by two American wars and now a good part of Saddam Hussein’s Army and the Sunni tribes have gone over to the dark side of Islam, to groups like ISIS, a new caliphate. Syria was to suffer a similar fate until Vladimir Putin stepped in and rescued Bashar Assad from an end similar to Hosni Mubarak, Muammar Gadhafi, and Saddam Hussein. For the moment, regime change follies are on hold but the resultant chaos rages on. The best thing that might be said about Washington and Brussels foreign policy in the past fifty years is that it has facilitated the various local jihads and guaranteed the rise of ever more toxic terror phenomena like the Islamic State.

Countless lives and treasure were squandered in the sands of Iraq and Kuwait only to have America gift that same oil back to incontinent Arab tribes who now use oil revenues to finance jihad in the Levant and elsewhere. Blowback indeed!

The Arab Spring Charade

If the theocratic coup in Persia was lost in the emotional miasma of the Iran hostage crisis, the smog of the so-called Arab Spring is still a function of American/NATO propaganda, media hyperbole, and wishful strategic thinking. Still, the consequences of the Arab Spring charade are now manifest: theocracy, not democracy, is the default setting for failed Muslim states; regime change is more poison pill than policy; and Arabia, the Levant, North Africa, and the near East are now invested with sectarian chaos wrought by generational strategic poltroons. More ominous still is the prospect that one of those dynastic authors of American foreign policy folly may manipulate the vicissitudes of domestic gender politics to again “lead” the free world “from behind” in 2016.

 

 

 

 

Generational cluelessness

If living American presidents were characterized as a confederacy of foreign policy dunces, such an assessment would be charitable. At the moment, the explanation for what appears to be chronic; if not masochistic, serial failure in the Muslim wars would probably be reduced to bromides like: “It’s complicated!”

The ISIS Tar Baby

The Islamic State, or ISIS, is the latest idol raised by modern jihad. Besides pretentions to statehood and televised beheadings, ISIS is not much different than its Islamic predecessors or contemporary Assassins. And like al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, Boko Haram, and the Taliban, the Islamic State is just another symptom, not the ailment. Indeed, today there are literally dozens of Islamist terror crews with the same modus operandi. The US State Department keeps a modest, but by no means complete, list of contemporary terror groups other than ISIS. Administration and media obsession with ISIS, another terror flavor du jour, is a symptom of threat atomized to obscure a larger problem; a feckless policy of endless reactive tactics at the expense of operational competence and clear strategic vision.

                                        What is to be done?

Surely, whatever passed for American foreign or military policy in the past three decades is not working. Just as clearly, in case anyone keeps score these days, the dark side of Islam is ascendant at home and abroad. What follows here is a catalogue of policy initiatives that might halt the spread of Islamic fascism and encourage religious reform in the Ummah.

Some observers believe that the Muslim problem is a matter of life and death. Be assured that the need for Islamic reform is much more important than either. The choices for Islam are the same as they are for Palestine Arabs; behave or be humbled. Europe may still have a Quisling North and a Vichy South; but Russia, China, and even America, at heart, are still grounded by national survival instincts – and Samuel Colt.

Call a spade a spade

The threat is Islam, both kinetic and passive aggressive factions. If “moderate” Islam is real, then that community needs to step up and assume responsibility for barbaric terror lunatics and immigrants/refugees alike. Neither America nor Europe has solutions to the Islamic dystopia; civic incompetence, strategic illiteracy, migrants, poverty, religious schisms, or galloping irredentism. The UN and NATO have no remedies either. Islamism is an Ummah, Arab League, OIC problem to solve. Absent moral or civic conscience, unreformed Islam deserves no better consideration than any other criminal cult.

Western Intelligence agencies must stop cooking the books too. The West is at war and the enemy is clearly the adherents of a pernicious ideology. A global war against imperial Islam might be declared; just as angry Islam has declared war on civilization. A modus vivendi might be negotiated only after the Ummah erects a universal barrier between church and state globally. Islam, as we know it, is incompatible with democracy, civility, peace, stability, and adult beverages.

Oxymoronic “Islamic” states need to be relegated to the dust bin of history. If the Muslim world cannot or will not mend itself; Islamism, like the secular fascism of the 20th Century, must be defeated, humbled in detail. Sooner is better.

Answer the Ayatollahs

Recent allied concessions to Tehran may prove to be a bridge too far. If the Persian priests do not abide by their nuclear commitments, two red lines might be drawn around Israel. Firstly, the ayatollahs should be put on notice, publicly, that any attack against Israel would be considered an attack against America – and met with massive Yankee retaliation. Secondly, any future cooperation with NATO or America should be predicated on an immediate cessation of clerical hate speech and so-called fatwas, those arbitrary death sentences.

 

Persian political theater

Clerical threats to “wipe Israel off the face of the earth” and “death to America” injunctions are designed to stimulate jihad and terror globally. The only difference between a Shia ayatollah and a Sunni imam these days seems to be the torque in their head threads.

Ostracize the Puppeteers

Strategic peril does not emanate from Sunni tacticians like Osama bin Laden, Mullah Omar, or Abu Bakr al-Baghadadi. Nor does the real threat begin with or end with al Qaeda, the Taliban, Hezb’allah, Hamas, or the Islamic State. Lethal threat comes, instead, on four winds: toxic culture, religious politics, fanatic fighters, and furtive finance; all of which originate with Muslim state sponsors. The most prominent of these are Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, Turkey, Iran, and Pakistan.

Put aside for a moment the Saudi team that brought down the Twin Towers in New York. Consider instead, the House of Saud as the most egregious exporter of Salifism (aka Wahabbism) doctrine, clerics, imams, and mosques from which ultra-irredentist ideologies are spread. The Saudis are at once the custodians of Islam’s sacred shrines and at the same time the world’s most decadent, corrupt, and duplicitous hypocrites. Imam Baghdadi is correct about two things; the venality of elites in Washington and Riyadh. The House of Saud, an absolutist tribal monarchy, does not have the moral standing to administer “holy” sites of any description – Mecca, Medina, or Disneyland.

The cozy relationship between Europe, the European Union, and Arabia can be summarized with a few words; oil, money, arms sales, and base rights. This near-sighted blend of Mideast obscenities has reached its sell-by date. The “white man’s burden” should have expired when Edward Said vacated New York for paradise.

Jettison Turkey and Pakistan

What Saudi Arabia is to toxic ideology in North Africa; Turkey and Pakistan is to perfidy in the Levant and South Asia. Turkey and Pakistan are Islam’s most obvious and persistent grifters. Turkey supports the Islamic State and other Sunni terror groups with a black market oil racket. Pakistan supports the Taliban, al Qaeda, and ISIS with sanctuary and tolerance of the world’s largest opium garden. Oil and drug monies from Arabia, Turkey, and South Asia are financing the global jihad. Turkey also facilitates the migration of Muslims west to Europe while sending Islamist fighters and weapons south to Syria and Iraq.

With the advent of Erdogan and his Islamist AKP, Turkey has morphed into NATO’s Achilles Heel, potentially a fatal flaw. Turkey needs to be drummed out of NATO until secular comity returns to Ankara. Pakistan needs to be restrained too with sanctions until it ceases to provide refuge for terrorists. Pakistani troops harassing India could be more prudently redeployed to exterminate jihadists.

Sanctions against Russia and Israel are a study in moral and political fatuity whilst Arabs and Muslims are appeased midst a cultural sewer of geo-political crime and human rights abuses. If NATO’s eastern flank needs to be anchored in trust and dependability; Russia, Kurdistan, or both, would make better allies than Turkey. Ignoring Turkish perfidy to protect ephemeral base rights confuses tactical necessity with strategic sufficiency.

Recognize Kurdistan

Beyond Israel, Kurdistan might be the most enlightened culture in the Mideast. The Kurds are also the largest ethnic group in the world not recognized as a state. While largely Muslim, the Kurds, unlike most of the Ummah, appreciate the virtues of religious diversity and women’s rights. Indeed, Kurdish women fight alongside their men against Turkish chauvinism and Sunni misogyny with equal aplomb. For too long, the Kurds have been patronized by Brussels and Washington.

While Kurdish fighters engage ISIS and attempt to control the Turkish oil black market, Ankara uses American manufactured NATO F-16s to bomb Kurds in Turkey and Syria. Turkish ground forces now occupy parts of Iraq too. In eastern Turkey, Ergdogan’s NATO legions use ISIS as an excuse for bookend genocide, a cleansing of Kurds that might rival the Armenian Christian genocide (1915-1917).

 

Kurdish angel of death

All the while, American strategic amateurs argue for a “no-fly” zone in contested areas south of Turkey. Creating a no-fly zone is the kind of operational vacuity we have come to expect from American politicians and generals. Such a stratagem would foil Kurdish efforts to flank ISIS and allow the Erdogan jihad, arms, and oil rackets to flourish. A no-fly zone is a dangerous ploy designed to provoke Russia, not protect Muslim “moderates.”

Putin, Lavrov, and the Russians have it right this time, Turkish and Erdogan family subterfuges are lethal liabilities, not assets.

Washington and European allies have been redrawing the map in Eastern Europe, North Africa, South Asia, and the Mideast since the end of WWII. The time has come to put Kurdistan on the map too. Kurdistan is a unique and exemplary case of reformed or enlightened Islam; indeed, a nation that could serve as a model for the Muslim world. If base rights are a consideration, Kurdistan would be an infinitely more dependable ally than Turkey or any corrupt tribal autocracy in Arabia. America has a little in common with desert dictators – and fewer genuine friends there either. Indeed, at the moment America is allied with the worst of Islam.

Create New Alliances

NATO, like the European Union, has become a parody of itself. Absent a threat like the Soviet Union or the Warsaw Pact, Brussels has taken to justifying itself by meddling in East Europe and resuscitating a Cold War with the Kremlin. Indeed, having divided Yugoslavia, NATO now expands to the new Russian border with reckless abandon; in fact, fanning anti-Russian flames now with neo-Nazi cohorts in former Yugoslavia, Georgia, and Ukraine.

NATO support for the Muslims of one-time Yugoslavia is of a piece with support for Islamic trouble makers in Chechnya and China too. Throughout, we are led to believe that jihad Uighurs and caliphate Chechens are freedom fighters. Beslan, Boston, Paris, and now San Bernardino puts the lie to any notion that Islamists are “victims” – or heroes. Indeed, the Boston Marathon bombing might have been prevented had Washington a better relationship with Moscow.

Truth is, America has more in common with Russia and China these days than we do with any number of traditional European Quislings. Indeed, it seems that Europe and America can’t take yes for an answer.

The Cold War ideological or philosophical argument has been won. Moscow and Beijing have succumbed to market capitalism. Islamism, in stark contrast, is now a menace to Russian, Chinese, and American secular polities alike. The logic of a cooperative or unified approach to a common enemy seems self-evident. America, China, and Russia, at least on issues like toxic Islam, is a match made in Mecca.

The late great contest with Marxist Russia and China was indeed a revolution without guns. Now the parties to that epic Cold War struggle may have to join forces to suppress a theofascist movement that, like its Nazi predecessor, will not be defeated without guns. The West is at war again, albeit in slow motion. Withal, questions of war are not rhetorical. Saying that you are not at war does not make it so. Once declared, by one party or the other, the only relevant question about war is who wins and who loses. Losers do not make the future.

If America and Europe were as committed to Judeo/Christian secular values as Islamists are committed to a sick religious culture, then the war against pernicious Islam would have been won decades ago. Or as Jack Kennedy once put it: “Domestic policy can only defeat us; foreign policy can kill us.

Trump Footnote

Presidential candidate Donald Trump made several policy suggestions on the Islamism issue, one on immigration, the other on Mideast oil. On the former, he suggests a hiatus on Muslim immigration until America develops a plan or reliable programs to vet migrants. On Arab oil, he suggests, given the lives and treasure spent liberating Kuwait and Iraqi oil fields, America should have held those resources in trust and used oil revenues to finance the war against jihad, however long that takes. The problem with both Trump ideas is that they come perilously close to common sense, an American instinct in short supply these days.

……………………………………….

  1. Murphy Donovan usually writes about the politics of national security. This essay appeared in the February issue of the Small Wars Journal.

Images:

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTXeAtJk3yb804L-_d5Q_ICameKQbw7v_SPK0sd_ZYsTUsqQNT-

http://i.ytimg.com/vi/p0JrcyUkpXI/0.jpg

https://www.facebook.com/1814267612131127/photos/pb.1814267612131127.-2207520000.1451742580./1947716668786220/?type=3

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcS7GgQnhBVNPqhkxxzsQFIOkF8zHyaTOvbDiv9mhHTFn82EiYjR4g

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Trump Revolution 2016

February 24, 2016

The probability that any American political candidate will propose any “revolutionary” domestic reforms in 2016 is slim to none. Even means testing for entitlements is anathema across the American political spectrum.

Nonetheless, Bernie Sanders promises a “revolution” in November. What he really means, if elected, is more of the same, only bigger – more taxes, more spending, and more redistribution of other people’s money.American politicians of both parties posture, pander, and prosper on the supply side of entitlements. If there is to be real difference among 2016 candidates, variations are likely to be found mostly in foreign/military policy, not social programs.

Foreign policy is, and always has been, the existential consideration. Indeed, we could argue that it, and apathy on the right, defeated Mitt Romney in 2012. Recall that during the last series of party debates, whenever candidate Obama mentioned terror, war, or foreign policy, candidate Romney’s stock response was, ”me too.”

Of all prospects in 2016, only Donald Trump represents a clear departure from decades of foreign policy malpractice.
Beyond the bluster and bombast, Trump is substantially different on several existential issues: Israel, Islam, jihad, Russia, and immigration to name the most obvious. No small coincidence that all these hot buttons are related in important ways.

Trump prospects in 2016 are still iffy, but more than any other candidate, right or left, he has reset the foreign/military policy table.

Israel

Trump’s loud support for Israel is not without hiccups. Most American Jews identify with the Democrat Party and the American left. Nonetheless, Trump has been outspoken in siding with Likud policies and Israeli politicians like Benjamin Netanyahu. Trump is also outspoken in his criticism of Israel’s Shia and Sunni enemies alike. The Iran nuclear agreement and any “two state” Palestinian deal are unlikely to make any Trump “to do” list.

Trump likely sees Israel as the canary in the geo-strategic coal mine, the lone civilized democracy in a very bad Muslim neighborhood. Wither Israel, so goes the Mideast – and probably Europe. Compared to team Obama’s neglect, if not hostility, Trump’s Israel policy is likely to be a sea change.

And in the global propaganda war, Donald Trump is unlikely to allow State, CIA, DOD, or National Security Council apparatchiks to define what is or is not “Islamic.”
Islam.

Donald Trump doesn’t seem to have any illusions about the politics of Islam and the host of related problems associated with toxic politicized religion: problems like terror, small wars, war crimes, human rights atrocities, and the 5th Column potential of so-called “migrants.” Most significant is Trump’s willingness to call a spade a spade. He actually uses words like “Islam” and “Muslim” to describe national security threats.

Trump’s candor infers that he believes that jihadist Islam knows why it fights, while America and Europe do not. The call to “make America great again” implies Trump believes that America has lost faith, preeminence, and a sense of purpose. Oblique as it may be, Mr. Trump’s political logic has become the lodestone for Yankee angst in 2016.

Jihad

Withal, Trump’s take on those Muslim small wars is a mixed bag. He seems to think the Afghanistan tar baby was a good investment, but Iraq was a “disaster.” If fact, both ongoing theaters of war are American quagmires where progress is elusive and Muslim native “allies” do not fight – at least not fight well.

Trump is closer to truth on the handling of 9/11 where the Bush regime failed and then repatriated a host of likely Saudi Sunni culprits before an investigation could even begin. The 9/11 disaster was the worst warning failure since WWII and yet the then NSA chief, Michael Hayden, was promoted by President Bush in the wake of failure.

Rewarding tactical, operational, and strategic failure now seems to be an American national security meme. Trump made “you’re fired” the buzzwords of a decade. If he brings that ethic to office, fear and loathing amongst national security elites in Brussels and Washington is understandable.

Saudi Arabia and the Emirates still provide sanctuary, succor, and finance to the growing theofascist mutation that underwrites jihad, small wars, and Muslim terror worldwide. For the moment, America is allied with the worst of Islam: Iran, Arabia, Turkey, and Pakistan.

Given the American treasure and lives invested in liberating Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, and now Syria; Trump’s suggestion to seize and hold ground wealth to pay for Muslim wars and counter terror operations is spot on. Oil and opium pay for mosques, madrassas, toxic ideology, and the swords of Islam. Fighting Islamic propaganda and petro-terror with Arab or Muslim oil money would be a brilliant, if not game changing, policy.

The Russian Air Force and the Kurdish army are now in the process of cutting the fiscal throats of a corrupt Turkish regime and the genocidal Islamic State. The Russian/Syrian/ Kurd coalition has done more damage to imperial Sunni Islam in a few months than the American mythic “60 state” coalition has done in 20 years.

Russia

American policy towards Israel, now Russia, is a kind of contemporary political penis envy. The West now resents decisive and successful leaders like Netanyahu and Putin simply because they are strong men with a clear vision of their national interests.

Europe and America, in contrast, have been captured by a generation of effete, dithering social democrats where emotional issues undermine security, achievement, and military success. Open borders is an example. Indeed, American and European weakness has made the modern, passive and aggressive, Muslim crusades possible. The West can’t say no to imperial Islam. And the jihadist wolf in Islamabad, Tehran, and Riyadh can’t say no to easy pickings either.

Muslim apologetics, compassionate intervention, regime change, and open borders are all symptoms of a West hijacked by clueless bleeding hearts in Brussels and Washington. Humanitarian intervention is a 21st Century oxymoron.

Donald Trump says he can do business with Vladimir Putin. We should hope so. The Obama Cold War over Chechnya, Georgia, Ukraine, or Syria is a policy driven by personal demonization not ground truth. Good relations with Russia are essential to any prospect of success in Eastern Europe, the Muslim world, or outer space for that matter.

Trump, unlike the Pentagon, does not consider Russia to be a major national security threat to NATO or America. Nonetheless, the chimera of an aggressive Kremlin today serves two purposes for both American political parties: military spending and a continuing excuse to change the subject, avoid confronting Shia and Sunni Islam as the global existential threats.

Immigration

Muslim migration is one of two things; a humanitarian crisis or the second wave of imperial Islam, a cultural blitzkrieg. Neither Europe nor America can decide which. Impaled on a moral dilemma of its own making, Brussels and Washington have accepted open borders by default. Concurrently, there are few open borders in the Ummah. Trump says that unvetted Muslim immigration is an evolving disaster. If national sovereignty and national security are still virtues, he is correct.

A hiatus on Muslim immigration pending rigorous vetting and improved border control facilities is simple common sense. Acknowledged or not, the Islamic world is the nexus of modern global instability. Chaos, terror, sedition, and religious fascism are now Islam’s primary cultural exports.

The Ummah problem is both jihad and religious ideology. Islam is at war with the world, but only ayatollahs, imams, and gadflies like Netanyahu and Trump seem to acknowledge that reality.

Donald Trump often obscures intimations of policy with bombast, bad manners, and broad strokes. Fortunately, Trump is running for commander-in-chief, not Secretary of State. He defends the absence of specifics so as not to telegraph his punches. Indeed, the telegraphed punch has become a battle standard of hapless team Obama in the Levant and South Asia. If Trump does nothing else in 2016, his broad policy strokes may herald a pragmatic and much needed revolution in 21st Century American foreign/military affairs.

Often, the ship of state must come about before it can fire for effect. Policy wonks can wait for the details.

………………………………………

This essay appears in American Thinker.


Long Island Bromance

February 2, 2016

“Get your facts straight and then you can distort them as you please.” – Mark Twain

They couldn’t be more different, most folks would say. Trump is a loud decadent capitalist and Sanders is a shrill socialist, or worse. One is running as a Republican, the other a Democrat. And we all understand how “different” political parties are these days.

Donald is coifed, fabulously rich, and much married to beautiful women. Bernie looks like an unmade bed, lives off a government salary, a guy who might have trouble getting a date. One flies around the country in a private jet or helicopter and the other uses a bus or calls Uber. Donald Trump speaks to issues in broad generalities and Bernie Sanders sounds like a Brooklyn grocer counting pennies to make the rent. One is a creature of Wall Street, the other vows to meltdown Di Modica’s bull in front of the NY Stock Exchange.

At first glance, you might say the differences couldn’t be more profound, at last a real choice between radically different socio political philosophies. Alas, things are never quite what they seem in politics. Turns out, in America, labels tell you as little as possible. Right is often left and the left is often hysterically nostalgic. Loud political distinctions are not necessarily differences.

Take Senator Claire McCaskill (D), a Clintonista who represents the “show me” state.  The other day Claire launched a triple chinned broadside at Democrat colleague Sanders by claiming that the Republicans would be running up “hammer and sickle” attack ads if Bernie becomes the Democrat nominee. Apparently, Ms. McCaskill slept through the demise of the Soviet Union more than a quarter century ago. Moscow now flies the white, blue, and red.  There are probably some “tools” left in the Kremlin, but they’re not on the Russian flag anymore.

See if you can follow McCaskill’s logic. She of the far feminist Left, is using the ghost of Soviet communism past to bash a self-confessed Brooklyn socialist? A mind and political science degree from Missou seems to be a terrible thing to waste, even in the Senator.

Not to be outdone on the fratricide front, the National Review devoted an entire issue to “conservative” authors who think Trump needs to be dumped. George Will, Barbara Bush, and David Brooks are very unhappy with recent polls too. By the bye, calling Brooks a political “conservative” is a little like calling Sean Penn an investigative journalist. Like BBC, the only thing that was ever conservative about the American Corporation for Public Broadcasting is taxpayer funding.

So what’s going on here? Both sides of the political spectrum and most of the media are attacking the frontrunners. Everyone but the voters have their knickers in a knot. Whoda thunk it?

Elites, right and left, are not pleased with the wisdom of crowds. And if we are totally honest, Donald and Bernie are not the real worry for the establishment. The real threat to traditional elites comes from the people – the voter, folks with real jobs who pay taxes. Cooking the media books along with primary poll picks, the jackass class and media brass see their sinecures and monopolies at risk in 2016.

Forsooth, choice, for the most part, is a bit of a chimera in social democracies in any case. Still, Trump versus Sanders comes close to real choice compared to the usual sleep walkers from the status quo stables. Nonetheless, if polls are omens, the true opponents in 2016 primary race feature the usual suspects against the usual chumps. Only this time out, the American lumpen proletariat seems to have had it with media spinners and party puppet masters.

In this, Trump and Sanders are brothers by other mothers, two outsiders bucking the same system, a bull and a bear squaring off in a cage match of their own making.  Wow! Who would have thought that American politics might be transformative, interesting – and entertaining?

Let’s just assume that the early auguries have it right.  A Trump versus Sanders match might not have as much drama as you might think. Indeed, a bull and bear contest in the big show might just turn out to be a “bromance.”

Both are outsider animals. Both are calling for revolution. Both are running against the Beltway bandits. Both are New Yorkers, Queens and Brooklyn boys. Turns out those New York values, whatever they are, are an asset not a liability. Unlike the Clintons and the Obamas, neither Trump nor Sanders are breeding lawyers. Indeed, both front runners are normal family men of a sort.

Both attract large enthusiastic crowds. Neither have much of a following among the media, party hacks, feminists, special pleaders, Islamists, cold warriors, moneyed interests, the legal profession, or race hustlers. Both seem to be inclined to fix things on the home front before they try to mend the dysfunctional world. Both also agree that Hillary shouldn’t get a third term in the White House. And neither Trump nor Sanders, quite frankly, seems to give a damn about what George Will, Rich Lowry, Nina Totenberg, or Chris Matthews thinks America should be.

Nonetheless, we are led to believe that both Trump and Sanders would be disasters. Really? Compared to whom? Surely not a Bush, an Obama, or another Clinton.  America has had three doses of Bush, two draughts of Clinton, and now two too much of Obama. At home, the country is still burdened with debt, deficit, and flirts annually with default. Abroad, those Muslim wars are now about to have Platinum Jubilee with no end to terror, or toxic religious refugees, on the horizon.

After seven seasons of inertia, fiscal incontinence, and yes, serial foreign policy disasters; a lottery might have picked better presidential timber than either of the two American political parties. So why not have the people pick a commander-in-chief 2016. Almost anyone should do better than the usual suspects.

Hillary Clinton might be the perfect example of all that’s wrong with American politics in both major parties. Primarily, Ms. Clinton wouldn’t know the truth if it bit her on that junk in her pant suit trunk. Whatever the subject; Arkansas shenanigans, bimbo eruptions, human rights for women, wall street donors, speaking fees, Benghazi, Islamists, immigrants, and now “private” email servers, Hillary provides no candor or adult explanations save happy talk.

The Clintons are royalty in an American shyster cult where truth and justice are a function what you can get away with. America needs another pair of lawyers in the Oval Office like Brazil needs more mosquitoes before the Olympics.

Indeed, Mrs. Clinton believes that America is stupid enough to put another empty symbol in the White House. Indeed, she is a passenger on Bill’s and now Barack’s coattails. Hillary is coasting too, for the most part, on her vagina, just as Barack Obama ran primarily on melanin – and Jeb Bush now runs for dynasty.

Hillary’s core constituents are social dependents and women who get their information from the View and the Talk, their values from daytime soap operas, and their baby sitters from the Simpsons, South Park, and the Family Guy. The only voting demographic that might be more callow is one that takes cues from the National Review frat house.

Believe what you will about Bernie Sanders. He’s not Bill Clinton’s wife. Say what you will about Donald Trump too. He’s nobody’s bitch either.

————————————————–

Images:

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRqlQvLbTocFe4UY5MOFlqmO8wjOcazzHbc0ZsgAxcyiWXaJ-WWCg

https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://wallstreetonparade.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Wall-Street-Bull-Statue-in-Lower-Manhattan.jpg&imgrefurl=http://wallstreetonparade.com/2014/09/wall-streets-bull-has-a-problem/&h=229&w=300&tbnid=mwjU-7uTM_LGkM:&docid=MSb8hSymzYstjM&ei=wSGmVvqgAcPg-QGqvoSQBA&tbm=isch&ved=0ahUKEwi6ha7Eh8XKAhVDcD4KHSofAUIQMwglKAgwCA

https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://media.cagle.com/54/2004/03/24/1925_600.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.cagle.com/2004/03/bull-and-bear/&h=373&w=600&tbnid=q_46DASXXvTKkM:&docid=Tc-

Key words: US Presidential Primaries, American politics, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Claire McCaskill.


Atilla the Hen

January 23, 2016

“If I hadn’t started painting, I would have raised chickens.” – Grandma Moses

It all began as a bit of an experiment. Three neighbors discussing the virtues of fresh eggs. My wife eats eggs like a ferret. We all like breakfast and baked goods too. So why not get a modest flock of chickens, thought we all. So the women made plans and the men built a coop; a natty cedar affair with a fenced run, a ramp, a roost, windows, doors, and two nesting boxes.

We started with Silky chicks and then traded them in for six Rhode Island Rock Barreds. The Silkies turned out to be hostile, homely, and oblivious to predators due to a surfeit of head feathers. In fact, the Silky breed looks like a double ended rear end.

In contrast, the Yankee hens are a stately study of chaste pin stripped productivity and, unlike their Silky sisters, they are agnostic about humans – coupled with lethal hostility towards most other critters, including cats, rats, and the neighborhood pit bull.

When the gal pals came of age they served notice on predators large and small. An impudent brown rat tried to raid their duplex and the girls made short work of him. Had we left the prostrate rodent where he fell, I’m fairly certain the sorority would have eaten him too.

Chickens love meat.

If you give them a ham and cheese sandwich, they will fight over the ham, share the cheese, and leave a pile of scat on the bread. Ironically, store bought chicken feed, like dog food, is mostly carbohydrates. Small wonder then that chickens prefer pill bugs, beetles, worms, and the occasional pizza.

Yes, pizza! The morning after a teen soiree on our street we found an unmolested boxed pepperoni pizza pie on our lawn under the butternut tree. We donated the soggy pizza to the hens and the tube steak topping started a feathered food riot.

Hens that eat protein will give protein – omelets, custard, quiche, hollandaise, and cholesterol too. Chicks also eat each other if they get too cranky. Surely, the first real bullies were hens, not tweens and teens.

In all hen parties, there’s usually a bird that ruffles too many feathers for whatever reason. So it was with our Hillary, the runt of her litter. Our petite one is so named because she is more than a bit shifty, ambiguously unpopular, and annoying in ways that only other hens appreciate; in short, a victim by default midst cool gals with attitudes.

Alas, unlike lady lips, chicken lips are lethal weapons. The big hens started with Hillary’s comb and then pecked her bald. “Pecking order,” in the bird world, is no metaphor. Nor is hair pulling. When we saw blood, we had to separate the runt from the rest.

Hillary now roosts with immunities in a big blue recycling bin, safe from abuse. Hens are a little like politicians. Some require special treatment, a kind of aviary affirmative action, if they are to thrive. Martyrs, nonetheless, are still very marketable in their own way.

By day, she is free range, to the everlasting consternation of her sisters. If you let one, or some, of the hens out of the run, and keep some in; the outhouse birds will stay close to the coop. Free-range is a sometime thing for the entire flock. Absent the bonds of sisterhood, a gaggle of hens might play in traffic, become street walkers, or flock back to Rhode Island.

At night, the chickens are confined to quarters, as it is after dark that all girls in violation of curfew become witless or clueless. The fox, the coyote, and the owl dine after nine.

Indeed, at dusk when the birds must be tucked in, it’s a race with the sun. If we are too late, the hens take to the trees. Once aloft, they have to be lifted down with a lacrosse stick which presents its own problems. Having found a good weave, a hen’s talons are reluctant to part with it.

It’s a safe bet that no Chicken is born Jewish either, fond as they are of meat and dairy at the same table. However, they often become converts after being disrobed by feather pluckers. A Christian might begin her days with a cold bath, a kosher chicken ends hers with a healthy salt water soak.  Before the pot, six Yankee hens can be models of Smithsonian productivity, four to six eggs a day, up to 2200 eggs a year.

Without celibacy, chicks might rule the world. On occasion, rainy days it seems, we get twins, seven eggs from six birds; something to cluck about indeed.

Alas, most chickens are virgins without vows, a deficit which may explain demeanor, eye rolling, and mood swings. Roosters are only necessary if you need fertilized eggs, more chickens, or lack an alarm clock. The few dudes in the chicken world make too much noise, get up too early, and only earn their keep in bed – where they seldom snuggle.

Hens make good neighbors, roosters not so much. Indeed, calling a hen house a coop is not necessarily the best moniker. Chicken cloister is more accurate; no boys and perpetual ambient noise.  The muttering of hens and the murmurs of Matins are cell mates.

Alas, chastity is not necessarily voluntary – or a virtue. “No boys” does not equate to no joys. Some girls prefer girls if the night and the light is right. A neighbor kid put a GoPro camera in with the hens overnight; for social research purposes only mind you. Turns out the ladies do snuggle when the lights go out; more than a bit of a surprise when you see how they treat each other in daylight, in public, or at a pizza party.

There’s something to be said about hen hygiene too. When confined, and not squabbling over roosting boxes, the girls all sleep in a neat row, facing the same direction. Even the best of girlfriends know not to turn their backs in close quarters. Every morning there’s a bonus, a very tidy row of shovel-ready guano under the roosting pole, not unlike wedding cake gargoyles.

Indeed, the ladies seldom soil their nesting boxes, leaving only tasteful beige colored eggs in the ovulation bays.

Chickens are an endless source of amusement or jokes for the neighborhood kids too. My favorite so far in 2016 is about aviary ambition. Question: “What do you call a chicken that has gotten to the top of the pecking order?” Answer: “Attila the Hen.”

———————————-

The author is a sometime chicken wrangler who usually writes about the politics of national security.