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Views on Radical Islam: An interview with Dr. Sebastian Gorka, Deputy Assistant to the President

The Trump Administration spearhead of the ideological war against Radical Islamic Jihadism is Dr. Sebastian Gorka, Deputy Assistant to President Trump and member of the White House Strategic Initiatives Group. He has recently surfaced as spokesperson for the Administration on this and related issues and been the subject of a number of media reports. We had prior knowledge of his views on Radical Islamic jihadism from our New English Review book review and interviews prior to his involvement in the Trump transition team.  Subsequently, following the President’s election he was selected to serve in the Executive Office of the President.  We were afforded an opportunity to interview him on a wide range of current issues on Northwest Florida’s Talk Radio 1330 AMWEBY.  The program aired February 28, 2017.

Among the following national security and foreign policy issues addressed in the 1330amWEBY interview with Dr. Gorka were:

  1. Why the Trump Administration is concerned about the threat from radical Islamic Jihadism?
  2. Who are the ‘self-styled’ counterterrorism experts criticizing the Administration for exposing the ideology behind Radical Islamic Jihadism?
  3. The dangerous threat of Iran’s nuclear and missile development, state support for global terrorism and hegemonic aspirations in the Middle East.
  4. Importance of Israel, Jordan, Egypt as allies in support of US national security interests in the Middle East.
  5. Possible formation of a NATO-type regional military alliance composed of Sunni Arab Monarchies, Emirates and states with possible links to Israel.
  6. Administration views on Turkey and the Kurds in the war to defeat ISIS.
  7. Global spread of Radical Islamic Jihad especially in Sudan, Nigeria, Niger and Mali in Africa.

What follows is the interview with Dr. Gorka:

Mike Bates: Good afternoon welcome back to Your Turn. This is Mike Bates. With me in the studio Jerry Gordon is the Senior Editor of the New English Review and its blog The Iconoclast and joining us by telephone Dr. Sebastian Gorka, Deputy Assistant to the President in the strategic initiatives group. Dr. Gorka, welcome.

Dr. Sebastian Gorka: Thank you for having me.

Bates: Dr. Gorka, you have been criticized significantly by so-called counter-terrorism experts for concentrating on addressing the ideology behind radical Islamic terrorism. Is there any merit to that criticism at all?

Gorka: It’s quite ironic that the individuals that have written these recent critiques are in many cases the people who are responsible for the last eight years of Obama administration policies. That completely ignored the ideological component of groups like ISIS and Al Qaeda and simply resulted in the atrocious situation we have today with ISIS declaring a caliphate of remarkable affiliates across the globe and with attack after attack occurring not only in America but especially in Europe. So the fact is denying the reality of what your enemy believes makes it very difficult to stop them recruiting new terrorists in the future. That’s my bottom line.

Bates: So how are you advising the Trump administration concerning the threat from radical Islamic terrorism?

Gorka: The President, even before he became the Commander in Chief, was very clear on these issues so we are just continuing the work of the presidential campaign. If your listeners look at a very important speech that wasn’t paid adequate attention to it, the Presidents’ Youngstown speech which was very clear on the ideological components of this war. Then we have the inauguration which was very specific, his fifteen minute speech that talked about the radical Islamic terrorist threat the phrase of your former President denied and refused to use.  Then we had  last Friday his address to CPAC which was just as strenuous and talked about obliterating the threat and wiping them from the face of the earth.  Our belief is that this is a war against individual organizations like ISIS. However, in the long term it is really a counter-ideological fight that has to resolve finally in the delegtimization of the religious ideology that drives groups like ISIS.

Jerry Gorda: Dr. Gorka, speaking about obliterating ISIS what changes might we expect in administration policies towards the Kurds in the war to defeat ISIS and the resolution to the conflict in Syria?

Gorka: Unlike previous administrations we don’t give our playbook away in advance. We don’t talk about the specifics of our war plan. However, the President has been clear that whether it’s the Kurds or whether it’s others in the region America is not interested in invading other peoples’ countries; that’s un-American. Our nation was born in a rejection of imperialism not the colonization or occupation of other countries.  Whether it is the Kurds or local Sunnis or the forces of Iraq, we are interested in helping our partners in the region win their wars for themselves. It’s not about American troops being deployed in large numbers, it’s about helping those Muslim nations and forces in the Middle East who want to be our friends help them win their battles for themselves.

Bates: Well speaking about them winning the battles for themselves there have been some news reports about some administration discussions about the possible formation of a NATO type regional military alliance in the Middle East. Is there anything developing there?

Gorka: Again we are going to keep our powder dry and we are not going to give away our game plans in advance. The bottom line is not the labels or not what we wish to package things into. The issue is the local actors stepping up to the plate with our assistance to fight their backyard war.  I mean it’s not, Christians who have been decimated, Yazidis have been decimated but by far the largest number of victims of the jihadist groups are their fellow Muslims. They are not just the Shia who they deem to be heretics but in many parts of Iraq and Syria and elsewhere the ISIS forces, the related groups are killing other Sunnis that they disagree with.  Whatever the coalition it will be very different from the smoke and mirrors coalition that was created under the Obama years which really wasn’t a serious force.

Gordon: Dr. Gorka, how dangerous is the threat of Iran’s nuclear and missile development, state support for global terrorism and hegemonic aspirations in the Middle East?

 Gorka: That’s a question that could have a PhD dissertation level response. Let’s just talk about the facts. We know Iran according to the U.S. Government is a state-sponsored terrorism, the largest state-sponsor of terrorism. It is not doing this recently it has been doing this since 1979 whether it is from the Iranian hostage siege crisis all the way down.  This is a nation that I like to depict as an anti-status quo actor. This is a nation that doesn’t share basic interests with the normal values of the international community. They are not interested. If you are a theocratic regime that wishes to forcibly and subversively export  your theocratic vision around the world what is the common interest you could have with America or with any of our allies? That’s the false premise upon which U.S. Iran relations were based in the last eight years and the idea that a nation that has that destabilizing ideology wishes to acquire weapons of mass destruction including nuclear capability means that they do represent a threat to all nations that believe in a global stability.

Gordon: Dr. Gorka, how important is Israel as an ally in support of U.S. National Security interests in the Middle East versus resolution of the impasse with the Palestinians?

Gorka: There is no greater partner of the United States in the Middle East. We are very close and we help the Jordanians, Egypt, UAE  redressing and improving the very  negative relationship that was established between the White House under the Obama administration and Egyptian President Sisi’s government. Israel, as a beacon of democracy and stability in the Middle East, is our closest friend in the region and the President has been explicit in that again and again So it would be difficult  to overestimate just how important Israel is not only to America’s interest in the region but also to the broader stability of the Middle East.

Bates: And what kind of role do you foresee for Turkey?

Gorka: I think that is in many ways up to Ankara. Historically, after it’s accession to NATO, Turkey became one of the most important nations in the alliance. It had the largest army in Europe. As a result of its location it was highly important during the Cold War geo-strategically. Recent events with an emphasis to rising fundamentalist attitudes have questioned the future trajectory of Turkey. The administration and the President is clear that it wishes to be a friend to those who wish to be our friends.  I think you know any good relationship depends upon both parties willingness to work together. We would like to continue a fruitful relationship with Turkey but that depends upon the government in Ankara itself.

Gordon: Dr. Gorka, the Obama administration lifted sanctions against the Islamic Republic of the Sudan on the cusp of leaving office. This despite evidence that the regime of President Bashir is raising a terrorist army literally to foment jihad in the Sahel region of Africa. What remedies might the administration consider to combat this?

Gorka: Again you are trying to tease out very concrete policy prescriptions from us and I’m really not prepared to do that at this point. Remember we are in week six of the administration.  However, we do recognize and we are very serious about the fact that of what I call the global jihadi movement isn’t just an issue in the Middle East. We like to focus on the so-called five meter target. It was Al Qaeda for a decade then it morphed into the Islamic state or ISIS.  There are large swaths of territory in Africa that are unstable, are not sovereign in the sense that the local government exercises full control over them. The mere fact alone if you look at Nigeria, the Boko Haram, the black African jihadi group has sworn allegiance to ISIS and Ab? Bakr al-Baghdadi and has been incorporated into the Islamic state, changed its name to the West African Province of the Islamic state. That shows you just how serious the situation is.  Jihadism truly spreads from whether it’s Aleppo, whether it’s Raqqa, whether it’s Africa, Mali, Nigeria or to the streets of Brussels or San Bernardino. We fully appreciate just how global the threat is and that includes Africa as well.

Bates: Dr. Gorka, it obviously includes the United States as well.  One of President Trump’s very first executive orders had to do with the restriction of entry into the United States from people from seven countries. The administration was criticized by the Democrats and the media, my apologies for being redundant there.  However, if you look at the numbers of those seven affected countries, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Syria and Yemen,  have a combined population of  220 million people and there is a global Muslim population of 1.6 billion.  That means that 86 percent of Muslims in the world are not prevented from entering the United States and yet it was portrayed as a Muslim ban. How does the administration intend to come out with a revised plan that can avoid that criticism or do you think the criticism will come no matter what?

Gorka: The criticism will come no matter what because there is a fundamental disjuncture between the mainstream media, a perception of the world and the actual reality of how serious the threat is. These are the countries that either are state sponsors of terrorism or are the hotbeds of jihadist activity today be it Islamic State or Al Qaeda. This is a threat analysis we inherited from the Obama administration.  The idea that it is controversial is asinine and secondly you’re absolutely right. If this had been an Islamaphobically generated executive order then how is it the most populous Muslim nation in the world, Indonesia, was left off of the list? How is it the most populous Arab Muslim nation in the world  Egypt was left off the list? The challenge that was politically brought was that there was some ulterior motive behind the listing of these seven countries.  The fact is it is an unemotional cold analysis of the threat to America that was the reason for the drawing up of that moratorium of that list of seven nations.  But if you have a political agenda then of course you will spin things politically.

Bates: Another nation that’s not on that list is Saudi Arabia. Can you address the cooperation we are getting from the House of Saud regarding the overall global war on Islamic terrorism?

 Gorka: Again, it’s getting a little too specific.  However,  I will talk about some good things that have occurred. We know that there were issues with certain elements of Saudi society propagating or supporting the propagation of radical ideologies around the world. That attitude changed quite drastically in about ’05, ’06 when Al Qaeda started targeting Saudi officials on Saudi soil.  A nation that may have been problematic for several years has recently been reassessing its attitude to these international actors.  We expect to see even more positive things coming out of Saudi Arabia as we in the White House, especially the President and Secretary Tillerson start to rebuild the relationships with all our allies in the region that were so detrimentally affected by the treatment they received at the hands of the Obama White House.

Bates: Well if I may editorialize for just a moment, it is a relief to see an administration that is taking the threats seriously and is dealing with the world as it is and not as it wishes the world were. Dr. Sebastian Gorka, Deputy Assistant to the President in the strategic initiatives group, thank you so much for joining us this afternoon on Your Turn on 1330 AM WEBY.

LISTEN to the 1330 AM WEBY interview with Dr. Gorka.

RELATED ARTICLE: Swede Democrat leaders pen WSJ op-ed imploring Americans to avoid the mistakes Sweden made 

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

U.S. knew where girls kidnapped by Boko Haram were, did nothing to rescue them

Why not? Would rescuing them have been “Islamophobic”?

140512-boko-haram-girls-615a_95a5aaaabe54356e927c52230e8da198“Western governments KNEW where 80 Nigerian girls kidnapped by Boko Haram were – but no-one tried to rescue them,” by Keiligh Baker, MailOnline, March 20, 2016:

The US and British governments knew where at least 80 of the Nigerian girls kidnapped by Boko Haram were but failed to launch a rescue mission, it has been revealed.

Terrorists stormed a secondary boarding school in the remote town of Chibok in Borno state, northern Nigeria in April 2014, and seized 276 girls who were preparing for end-of-year exams.

Although 57 of the girls managed to escape the rest have remained missing and have not been heard from or seen since apart from in May that year, when 130 of them appeared in a Boko Haram video wearing hijabs and reciting the Koran.

Terrorists stormed a Government Secondary School in the remote town of Chibok in Borno state, northern Nigeria in April 2014, seizing 276 girls who were preparing for end-of-year exams.

Dr Andrew Pocock, the former British high commissioner to Nigeria, has now revealed that a large group of the missing girls were spotted by British and American surveillance officials shortly after their disappearance, but experts felt nothing could be done.

He told The Sunday Times that Western governments felt ‘powerless’ to help as any rescue attempt would have been too high risk – with Boko Haram terrorists using the girls as human shields.

Dr Pocock said: ‘A couple of months after the kidnapping, fly-bys and an American eye in the sky spotted a group of up to 80 girls in a particular spot in the Sambisa forest, around a very large tree, called locally the Tree of Life, along with evidence of vehicular movement and a large encampment.’

He said the girls were there for at least four weeks but authorities were ‘powerless’ to intervene – and the Nigerian government did not ask for help anyway.

He said: ‘A land-based attack would have been seen coming miles away and the girls killed, an air-based rescue, such as flying in helicopters or Hercules, would have required large numbers and meant a significant risk to the rescuers and even more so to the girls.’

He added: ‘You might have rescued a few but many would have been killed. My personal fear was always about the girls not in that encampment — 80 were there, but 250 were taken, so the bulk were not there. What would have happened to them? You were damned if you do and damned if you don’t.’

In an investigation by Christina Lamb for the Sunday Times Magazine, Dr Pocock said the information was passed to the Nigerians but they made no request for help.

The Magazine has also seen brutal rape videos which show schoolgirls are being used as sex slaves by the terrorists.

Ms Lamb reports: ‘They film schoolgirls being raped over and over again until their scream become silent Os.’

Some of the girls who managed to escape told Ms Lamb they were kept in ‘women’s prisons’ where they were taught about Islam. Boko Haram fighters would visit and pick their wives.

The girls were powerless to resist as even then the men would be heavily armed. They were shown videos of people being raped, tortured and killed as a threat of what would happen to them if they tried to run away….

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‘Sandboxing’ Islam: How to Protect America from Jihad Terrorism by Ralph Sidway

Enforcing the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) can give us the legal and tactical edge in countering the threat from Islamic supremacism.

Background

It should be obvious for anyone with eyes to see that Islam — its scriptures, the example of Muhammad, its doctrines, and its overall ideology — is behind the spread of most terrorism and unrest in the world today.

From the Islamic State (ISIS), Boko Haram, al-Nusra and al-Shabaab, to slightly older groups such as al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and the Muslim Brotherhood, to lesser known jihadi organizations throughout Central Asia, India, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Rim, and China, a survey of terrorist attacks reveals Muslim involvement throughout the entire world.

Here in the United States, we are seeing a dramatic rise in Muslim “lone wolf” jihad terrorist attacks (and, as some have described them, known wolves”). Further, from all points of the compass, we are seeing literally tens of thousands of Muslims flocking to the Middle East to join the Islamic State caliphate and support the jihad with their very lives.

The scenario gets worse. Some analysts argue that we are seriously underestimating the numbers of Western Muslims joining the Islamic State.

Here at home, we have a “ full blown insurgency.” The FBI has already arrested seventy IS-inspired Muslim terrorists, and has active investigations of IS-inspired jihad plots in all 56 of its field offices. NewsMax reports “the government’s terrorist watch list carries 700,000 to a million names.”

The Challenge: Jihad-Linked Mosques

This is all indisputable fact. The threat is real and growing. Even worse, the threat is specifically from devout, observant Muslims who attend mosque. Behind every lone-or-known-wolf jihadi and every Islamic State recruit there is a mosque where they are receiving instruction in Islam.

That should give us pause, as four separate studies in recent years show that 80% of mosques in the U.S. teach, preach or advocate for jihad and the imposition of sharia law in America. 

Confirming these mosque studies are proven links between mosques and terrorists.  For example, one of the two Mississippi Muslims recently arrested for trying to join the Islamic State is the son of the imam at the local mosque. Many terror-linked mosques have spawned multiple jihadis. The Phoenix mosque attended by the Garland TX jihadis is notorious for having two other members in federal prison on terrorism-related convictions. Perhaps most infamous is the Islamic Society of Boston, which was attended not only by the Boston Marathon Bombers, but by numerous other jihad-terror-linked Muslims. The list goes on and on.

For many people, especially in our political class and certainly among the 2016 field of presidential candidates, there seems to be no solution to this national security nightmare of terror-linked mosques and known wolf jihadis. To date, there is no coherent, principle-based policy to address Islamic terrorism in the United States.

The Solution: ‘Sandboxing’ Islam in America

This is where I believe the simple analogy of “Sandboxing” can help us.

You’ve probably heard the term, even if you’re not a computer geek. One tech source offers this definition:

A “sandbox” is a play area for young children: it is supposed to be safe for them (they cannot hurt themselves) and safe from them (it is sand, they cannot break it). In the context of IT security, “sandboxing” means isolating some piece of software in such a way that whatever it does, it will not spread havoc elsewhere.

If we think of America as being, ideally, a safe and free place for its citizens, within which we should be able to live, work, play, and, as the ubiquitous bumper sticker says, “Coexist,” then when it comes to Islam and Muslims, we need a solution analogous to the IT security process of “sandboxing.” We need to isolate malicious jihadi forces, “in such a way that whatever they do, they will not spread havoc elsewhere.”

What would “sandboxing” look like when it comes to Muslims in America? In practice, it could include the following policies:

  • A moratorium — a complete freeze — on Muslim immigration. Senator and presidential candidate Rand Paul expressed a similar policy concept following the Chattanooga jihad murders of five US servicemen, proposing a halt to immigration from Muslim countries with known jihad activity. Going one step further, Franklin Graham wrote at the same time that “We should stop all immigration of Muslims to the U.S. until this threat with Islam has been settled.
  • All mosques must be classified and treated as “agents of foreign power,” in accordance with the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), a U.S. law (22 U.S.C. § 611 et seq.) passed in 1938.

The law presciently allows for application in gray areas such as Islam presents, as it states that any entity with a “political or quasi-political capacity” disclose their relationship with the foreign government and information about related activities and finances. The purpose is to facilitate “evaluation by the government and the American people of the statements and activities of such persons.” [Source]

Islam certainly thinks and behaves like a foreign power, is guided in America by the Muslim Brotherhood, the Saudis and other foreign Islamic groups, and has a definite political dimension. (See also here.)

  • Any and all mosques associated with Muslim terrorists must be investigated, and if found to be advancing jihad doctrine, sharia law, and Islamic supremacism over the United States, they should be prosecuted and closed, in accordance with the FARA act referenced above.
  • Stop all foreign funding of mosques, whether by FARA, new legislation, or executive power. We already know that Saudi Arabia is providing extensive funding to advance its extremist Wahhabi strain of Islam worldwide, including of mosques in America, as is Turkey. There already exist covert lobbying groups for Muslim nations, including Iran.

These are just some starting points to aid in getting this conversation going. The American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) has an 18-point platform with similar policy proposals which may be considered as well.

We must have hope that, just as illegal immigration has become a major issue in the presidential race, so also we may be successful in elevating public awareness of the clear and present danger from Islam and Muslim jihad terrorists. This is a generational if not century-long struggle ahead of us, and should resonate with voters.

The concept of “sandboxing” is, I believe, the most helpful image in making our case to not only the American people, but also to the political elite and the 2016 candidates.

We must publicly challenge the Republican presidential candidates to take the initiative, and to fearlessly raise the issue of Islam up to the same level as Immigration. We must demand of them to be bold and daring when it comes to defeating jihad. The defense of our nation, our freedoms, and the lives of our fellow citizens and men-and-women in uniform should be paramount for whoever would be Commander-in-Chief. This issue will be topmost on that person’s desk in the Oval Office from Day One. Better to tackle it now with a strong and visionary policy, than to be knocked back on our heels by a surprise attack in 2017.

Now is the time to put misbehaving Muslims and their terror-linked-mosques on time-out. Islam is at war with us. More and more Muslims are heeding the summons from Islamic State and Al-Qaeda, taking up arms against us in this war, and killing American citizens right here at home. Denying the reality and threat of Islamic jihad is not a valid policy, it is civilizational suicide.

It is time to “sandbox” Islam in America, and use decisive, legal means to counter its threat to our freedoms and our way of life.

ABOUT RALPH SIDWAY

Ralph Sidway is an Orthodox Christian researcher and writer, and author of Facing Islam: What the Ancient Church has to say about the Religion of Muhammad. He operates the Facing Islam blog.

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Islamic State biggest threat to U.S. today

A rare true statement from the Secretary of State. And of course the threat of the Islamic State is increased by the fact that Kerry and his cohorts refuse to acknowledge the ideology, beliefs, motives and goals of the Islamic State, and instead pretend that they are all other than what they really are. This denial will only lead to disaster.

“John Kerry: Daesh biggest threat to US, not Russia,” Middle East Monitor, July 11, 2015 (thanks to Bradamante):

The top U.S. diplomat doesn’t agree that Russia poses the greatest threat to the U.S., a State Department spokesman said Friday.

“Certainly, we have disagreements with Russia and its activities along or within the region, but we don’t view it as an existential threat,” said Mark Toner.

“Secretary [John Kerry] doesn’t agree with the assessment that Russia is an existential threat to the United States, nor China, quite frankly.”

Toner’s comments were in response remarks by Joseph Dunford, nominee to become the next Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who said during his confirmation hearings that Russia presents the greatest threat to U.S. national security.

“What the secretary does consider an existential threat is the rapid growth of extremist groups like Daesh, particularly in ungoverned spaces,” Toner said.

The analysis of Russia comes amid one of the worst periods in Russian-U.S. relations since the Cold War concluded in 1991, prompted in large part by Russia’s annexation of the Crimean Peninsula and support for separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Daesh and al Qaeda’s “ability to attract foreign fighters” present “real and tangible threats” to the U.S., Toner said….

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Does anyone have a strategy for defeating ISIS besides me? [VIDEO]

As you know, the Obama administration completed its summit on countering violent extremism last week, and it didn’t take long for Islamic State to respond — you know, the group that’s not Islamic and doesn’t represent a religious pursuit.

As reported by Reuters, “Islamic State militants [i.e. terrorists/jihadists] have abducted at least 150 people from Assyrian Christian villages in northeastern Syria they had raided, Christian Syrian activists said on Tuesday.

A Syrian Christian group representing several NGO’s inside and outside the country said it had verified at least 150 people missing, including women, children, and elderly, who had been kidnapped by the militants [i.e. terrorists/jihadists].

“We have verified at least 150 people who have been adducted from sources on the ground,” Bassam Ishak, President of the Syriac National Council of Syria, whose family itself is from Hasaka, told Reuters from Amman. Earlier the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 90 were abducted when the militants [i.e. terrorists/jihadists] carried out dawn raids on rural villages inhabited by the ancient Christian minority west of Hasaka, a city mainly held by the Kurds.”

Now, how long will we continue this charade, trying to make ourselves believe that beheading Egyptian Coptic Christians and abducting Christians is not about religion or it is not about conducting a genocide, a purging.

How do we look at our own children and explain how this type of evil is allowed to exist in today’s world? And it’s not just one group. Another Nigerian girl – this one only seven years old — has been used as a suicide bomber by Boko Haram — affiliated with ISIS.

Yes, we do have reports about some minor successes against ISIS, such as Iraqi Army forces pushing against ISIS forces in the city of al-Baghdadi. And the Kurdish Peshmerga are making a solid stand, even without firm weapons support. However, we’ve also been watching the videos of ISIS parading caged Peshmerga fighters.

Reuters reports, “Many Assyrian Christians have emigrated in the nearly four-year-long conflict in which more than 200,000 have people have been killed. Before the arrival of Kurds and Arab nomadic tribes at the end of the 19th century, Christians formed the majority in Syria’s Jazeera area, which includes Hasaka. Sunday’s offensive by Kurdish YPG militia reached within five km (3 miles) of Tel Hamis, an Islamic State-controlled town southeast of Qamishli, the Observatory said. At least 14 IS fighters died in the offensive, in which Assyrians fought alongside Kurds, it added. Eight civilians were also killed in heavy shelling by the Kurdish side, which seized several Arab villages from Islamic State control.”

It is important to note the Assyrian Christian community is one of the world’s oldest — far predating the revelations of a murderous warlord named Mohammad. And this isn’t the first time the Assyrians have faced genocidal ambitions at the hands of Muslims. The last time was during the last Islamic caliphate, the Ottoman Empire circa 1914. Doggone, history just seems to repeat itself when we fail to acknowledge evil. But then again, I should get off my high horse.

Could it be that somehow, even without the dedicated support from the United States, this cacophony of groups may be finding success against the ISIS onslaught?

“Military experts said militants were trying to open a new front to relieve pressure on Islamic State after several losses since being driven from the Syrian town of Kobani near the border with Turkey. “Islamic State are losing in several areas so they want to wage an attack on a new area,” said retired Jordanian general Fayez Dwiri. Since driving IS from Kobani, Kurdish forces, backed by other Syrian armed groups, have pursued the group’s fighters as far as their provincial stronghold of Raqqa. A resident of Hasaka, jointly held by the Syrian government and the Kurds, said hundreds of families had arrived in recent days from surrounding Christian villages and Arab Bedouins were arriving from areas along the border.”

The question is, can ISIS be defeated without overwhelming combat power from a true coalition? And I’m not just talking about Iraq-Syria, but rather an effort that strikes at ISIS wherever its black flag flies — it dies.

This isn’t about a “whack-a-mole” campaign but rather a coordinated and well orchestrated operational endeavor that precludes any maneuvering of the enemy or shifting from one area to another.

I’m recommending a series of hammer/anvil type operations that denies the repositioning of Islamic terrorists. The time has come when we do not just focus on this group or that, but rather the defeat of this cancerous ideology — find the head of the Medusa and cut it off. This isn’t about grievances or hearts and minds. We have to find the heart of the hydra and cut it out. That means its support, financing, and motivation — while you are severing its multiple heads.

That is strategy, not telling the enemy what you are not going to do and for how long you’re not going to do it. And please, don’t give me the “all we are saying is give peace a chance” and “war is not the answer” lecture. If the grim reaper shows up at your door, you have two options — and my preference is to kill him before he gets out of the car.

We are bereft of a policy to contend with this enemy, despite their firm conviction to continue their barbaric savagery. We should not be reading reports about Christians — or anyone — being abducted, beheaded, raped, sold into slavery or any other archaic practice.

We should be reading about how many of the enemy we have destroyed.

4 Muslim groups responsible for 66% of all 17,958 terror killings in 2013

But, but, but, Tim McVeigh! “4 Sunni Muslim Groups Responsible for 66% of All 17,958 Terror Killings in 2013,” by Patrick Goodenough, CNS News, November 19, 2014 (thanks to Jerk Chicken):

(CNSNews.com) – The number of people killed by terrorists worldwide in 2013 rose by 60 percent compared to the previous year – from 11,133 to 17,958 – with four Sunni Muslim extremist groups responsible for two-thirds of all fatalities, according to a comprehensive annual study.

Eighty-two percent of fatalities occurred in just five countries – Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria and Syria, although the number of countries that experienced more than 50 terror-related deaths also rose – to 24, compared with 15 the previous year.

Among the many findings in the new Global Terrorism Index, a project of the nonprofit Institute for Economics and Peace, is one that calls into question claims that poverty is a key driver of terrorism.

“One of the most important findings in this report is that there is not a strong statistical link between poverty and terrorism,” it says. “Many people who join terrorist groups in wealthy countries are well educated and come from middle class families.”

“Other measures which didn’t correlate include life expectancy, mean years of schooling and economic factors such as GDP growth.”

Socio-economic, governance and attitudinal variables that showed the most significant correlation with terrorism were political stability, intergroup cohesion and legitimacy of the state.

The report also found that “religion” as a driving ideology for terrorism has jumped significantly in the last five years, and accounts for most of the terror activity in the Middle East and North Africa, South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.

As a driver for terrorist groups, religion far outstrips “politics,” which tends to dominate attacks in the Western Hemisphere and is responsible for about half of them in Europe; and “national separatist” ideology, which accounts for the vast majority of attacks in Russia and former Soviet Union areas, and about half of attacks in Europe and about one-third in the Asia-Pacific….

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