PUTIN’S REAL SYRIA AGENDA


While Dems are crying about the unproven collusion between President Trump and the Russians to win Election-2016 AND ignoring Dem collusion with the Russians (which is better documented), Russia is quietly changing the balance of power in the Middle East by colluding with Iran for geopolitical regional power.

The Dems are either saps or more than willing to stealthily cooperate with the former Soviet Union whose President is a former uber-spy Vladimir Putin.

 

JRH 3/20/17

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PUTIN’S REAL SYRIA AGENDA [Summary/Intro]

 

By Genevieve Casagrande

Mar 20, 2017

Institute for the Study of War [ISW]

 

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s primary objective in Syria is to constrain U.S. freedom of action – not fight ISIS and al Qaeda. Russia’s military deployments at current levels will not enable the Iranian-penetrated Assad regime to secure Syria. Moscow’s deepening footprint in Syria threatens America’s ability to defend its interests across the Middle East and in the Mediterranean Sea. The next U.S. step in Syria must help regain leverage over Russia rather than further encourage Putin’s expansionism.

 

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) produced this report with the Critical Threats Project (CTP). The insights are part of an intensive multi-month exercise to frame, design, and evaluate potential courses of action that the United States could pursue to destroy the Islamic State in Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) and al Qaeda in Syria. The ISW-CTP team recently released “America’s Way Ahead in Syria,” which details the flaws in the current U.S. approach in Iraq and Syria and proposes the first phase of a strategic reset in the Middle East.

 

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Putin’s Real Syria Agenda

By Genevieve Casagrande and Kathleen Weinberger

March 2017

ISW – PDF

 

Russia’s intervention in Syria in September 2015 fundamentally altered the balance of the Syrian Civil War.1 Russia re-established momentum behind Syrian President Bashar al Assad and his Iranian allies at a moment when major victories by ISIS and Syrian rebels threatened to force the regime to contract into Syria’s central corridor.2 The capabilities Russia deployed were not limited to the airframes, artillery, and personnel needed to conduct a counter-terrorism or counterinsurgency mission, however. Russia deployed advanced air defense and ballistic missile systems, naval units, air superiority aircraft, and other capabilities in a display of major Russian force projection in the region. Russian President Vladimir Putin is altering the balance of power in Syria and the Eastern Mediterranean through sustained Russian military operations and additional deployments of high-end capabilities.

 

Russian Force Projection

 

Russia ultimately seeks to expand its permanent naval and air bases on the Syrian coast in order to further project force into the Mediterranean and Middle East. Russia’s establishment of an anti-access and area denial (A2/AD) exclusion zone from its bases at Latakia and Tartous allows Russia to create de-facto no fly zones in the Eastern Mediterranean as well as over most of Syria. These A2/AD zones constrain U.S. freedom of movement and ultimately raise the cost of U.S. involvement in Syria.3 Russia deployed the naval version of the S-300 to protect the airspace over Latakia airbase in Syria in November 2015.4 Russia also deployed the S-400 in late November 2015 shortly after the Turkish downing of a Russian jet.5 Russia has since deployed an additional seven S-300 systems in an effort to build in redundancies, advance the integration of its air defenses, and provide more comprehensive coverage.6 The S-300 and S-400 systems are road mobile and interoperable, increasing the difficulty of neutralizing the systems. [See Appendix I]

 

Putin wants to challenge the U.S. and its allies by increasing Russian military and political influence in the Middle East. Russia has rotated a wide range of naval vessels to participate in the conflict in order to demonstrate the capabilities of these units and Russia’s willingness to deploy them in the Mediterranean. Russia has deployed some of its most advanced non-nuclear naval capabilities to the Eastern Mediterranean.7 Russian subsurface and surface vessels successfully engaged ground targets in Syria after launching Kalibr cruise missiles from the Mediterranean and Caspian Seas.8 Russia has shown it can undertake precision strikes with the nuclear-capable Kalibr cruise missile at significant distance.

 

Russia also maintains anti-ship capabilities in the Mediterranean, including the Bastion-P coastal defense system. Russia demonstrated the land attack capabilities of the Bastion in November 2016.9 Russia has also deployed battle cruisers that bring advanced anti-ship and air defense capabilities off the Syrian coast. Russia’s deployment of its much-ridiculed aircraft carrier the Admiral Kuznetsov nevertheless showcased its force projection capabilities and intent to exhibit its naval presence in the Mediterranean.10 [See Appendix II]

 

Putin has deployed air defense and anti-ship systems to Syria in order to threaten the United States. Russia does not need these systems to support the counter-terrorism campaign it claims it is waging against anti-Assad opposition groups in Syria. Those groups do not operate aircraft or naval vessels. Russia also deployed the nuclear capable SS-26 ‘Iskander’ ballistic missiles to Syria and used the systems to attack opposition held terrain.11 The Iskander missiles provide no meaningful additional advantage against the opposition. The only conceivable target for these advanced systems is the U.S. and its allies. [See Appendix III]

 

Constrain U.S. Freedom of Action

 

Russia has used its deployment to constrain U.S. freedom of action and limit American policy options in Syria. Russia deployed the S-300 and S-400 air defense systems to deter the U.S. from direct military action against the Assad regime through the unilateral establishment of a no-fly zone. Russia has also forward deployed assets beyond its air and naval bases on the coast in order to further complicate the personnel are primarily concentrated in Latakia, Aleppo, and Tartous Provinces, but are also active in Hama, Homs, Damascus, and Hasakah and include a wide range of units including air assault, tank, medical, naval infantry, and special operations forces. [See Appendix IV]

 

Russia has intentionally removed potential U.S. partners within the armed opposition from the battlefield in Syria. Russian airstrikes from October 2015 to March 2017 have primarily targeted the mainstream Syrian opposition – not ISIS – in order to ensure the opposition’s defeat through its submission, destruction, or transformation. The Russian air campaign has driven what remains of the mainstream opposition closer to Salafi-jihadi groups, which are stronger and better able to defend against intensified pro-regime military operations. Russia is also exacerbating radicalization through its deliberate, illegal targeting of civilians. Russia has consistently targeted hospitals, schools, and other critical civilian infrastructure throughout the sixteen months of its air campaign.

 

Russian Testing Grounds

 

Russia has also used sustained use of transport aircraft in Syria to exercise the Russian military’s overall combat readiness and force projection capabilities. Expeditionary logistics and force projection is difficult for militaries to exercise, in general. Russia is exercising expeditionary logistics by air and sea in Syria.13 Russia is refining its ability to deploy its military personnel and equipment rapidly at a large scale in order to message its ability to threaten the U.S. and its NATO and European allies. Russia announced its intent to prioritize the development of naval equipment for troop transport on March 8 in order to increase the Russian Navy’s ability to provide logistical support in Syria and in other coastal zones.14 Russia also re-supplies and provides combat support for prospect of direct U.S. strikes against the Syrian regime for fear of inadvertently hitting Russian troops. Sources estimated that Russia maintains between 1,500 and 4,000 military personnel in Syria.12 These forces in Syria through frequent deliveries from Russian Il-76 and An-124 transport aircraft. As of October 2016, these transport aircraft were making multiple trips to Syria each month and it is likely that these aircraft continue to make regular trips to Syria. [See Appendix V]

 

Limitations of Russian Capabilities

 

Putin faces a number of economic and military constraints that limit the resources Russia can bring to bear in Syria. Russia’s economic crisis has forced Russia to balance limited resources across key theaters like Ukraine, the Baltics, the Middle East, and domestically in Russia. Putin has opted to pursue multiple, mutually reinforcing lines of effort using a diverse set of naval, air, missile, and ground capabilities in Syria. The overlap allows Russia to extract significant benefits with minimal cost. The Russian military has demonstrated its many shortcomings during its deployment to Syria, including frequent friendly fire incidents, losses of Russian aircraft, a poor performance by Russia’s aging aircraft carrier the Admiral Kuznetsov, and reports of mechanical failure of Russian equipment.15

 

The Russian deployment, at current levels, will be insufficient to grant Assad victory over the opposition, al Qaeda, or ISIS. Russia, Iran, and the regime have been unable to sustain significant simultaneous operations against ISIS and the Syrian opposition, despite Russia’s considerable airframe deployments. Russian airframes were unable to prevent ISIS’s recapture of Palmyra in December 2016 alongside a final pro-regime push to defeat the opposition in Aleppo, for example.16 Russia has instead used ‘cessation of hostilities’ agreements to drawdown its airstrikes against the opposition and surge its air campaign against ISIS for limited periods of time.17 Salafi-Jihadi groups have meanwhile begun to consolidate the opposition under more effective command-and-control structures, increasing rebels’ capabilities and resiliency.18 This dynamic will not only lead to a protracted and bloody civil war for the foreseeable future, but it ultimately raises the requirements for the U.S. to deal with the conflict.

 

Implications

 

Russia is both an unacceptable and ineffective partner against jihadists in Syria. The Russian deployment is inconsistent with Putin’s narrative that Russia intervened in Syria in order to combat terrorists. Many of its capabilities have no utility in the anti-ISIS fight. Putin instead seeks to use Russia’s deployment to subordinate U.S. military action and policies to Russian objectives in Syria. Russia’s aggressive deployment to Syria intends to deter the U.S. from intervening for fear of incurring significant costs. Russia has largely pursued its objectives in Syria with impunity. It has deprived the U.S. of freedom of maneuver, disrupted U.S. partnerships with key allies in the region, and facilitated Russia’s emergence as a geopolitical force in the region. Any potential partnership with Russia in Syria will further strengthen jihadists and force the U.S. to capitulate to a Russian vision for the broader Middle East that endangers America’s security interests.

 

Genevieve Casagrande is a Syria Analyst at the Institute for the Study of War. Kathleen Weinberger is a Russia and Ukraine Analyst at the Institute for the Study of War. Institute for the Study of War Twitter: @TheStudyofWar Critical Threats Twitter: @criticalthreats

 

[Blog Editor: From this point forward the rest of the report are the Appendices (i.e. charts) and Notes. The last section is actually longer than the report itself. To view the Appendices and Notes go to the PDF.]

 

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©2007 – 2017 THE INSTITUTE FOR THE STUDY OF WAR

 

Who is ISW

 

We are on the front lines of military thinking.

 

Our Mission

The Institute for the Study of War advances an informed understanding of military affairs through reliable research, trusted analysis, and innovative education. We are committed to improving the nation’s ability to execute military operations and respond to emerging threats in order to achieve U.S. strategic objectives. ISW is a non-partisan, non-profit, public policy research organization.

 

Our History

Dr. Kimberly Kagan founded ISW in May 2007, as U.S. forces undertook a daring new counterinsurgency strategy to reverse the grim security situation on the ground in Iraq. Frustrated with the prevailing lack of accurate information documenting developments on the ground in Iraq and the detrimental effect of biased reporting on policymakers, Dr. Kagan established ISW to provide real-time, independent, and open-source analysis of ongoing military operations and READ THE REST

 

Obama Military Conspiracy up to Lt. Clint Lorance


bho-purged-military-for-disagreeing

John R. Houk

© January 20, 2017

 

You should be aware that the Obama Administration has taken a hard line toward military servicemen from private to general for minor infractions, made-up infractions or policy direction opposite to the worst President in U.S. history.

 

Sgt. Gary Stein

 

The Marine sergeant facing discharge because of critical comments about President Obama says the board that recommended his dismissal ignored the law and instead relied on “personal opinion.”

 

 

Stein, 26, a nine-year veteran including deployment to Iraq, had been recommended for dismissal and an other-than-honorable discharge by his commander for comments posted on four Facebook pages.

 

In his postings, Stein called Obama a coward and an enemy, vowed not to salute him and called for his defeat in this year’s election. One of the websites was an Armed Forces Tea Party page on Facebook that was created by Stein. READ ENTIRETY (Marine who criticized Obama says hearing board ignored law; Posted by NewsEditor; USIF.net; 4/11/12)

 

Lt. Michael Behenna

 

On March 20th, 2009, Army Ranger 1st Lieutenant Michael Behenna was sentenced to 25 years in prison for killing Ali Mansur, a known Al Qaeda operative while serving in Iraq. Mansur was known to be a member of an Al Qaeda cell operating in the lieutenant’s area of operation and Army intelligence believed he organized an attack on Lt. Behenna’s platoon in April 2008 which killed two U.S. soldiers and injured two more. Army intelligence ordered the release of Mansur and Lt. Behenna was ordered to return the terrorist to his home.

 

During the return of Mansur, Lt. Behenna again questioned the Al Qaeda member for information about other members of the terrorist cell, and financial supporters. During this interrogation, Mansur attacked Lt. Behenna, who killed the terrorist in self-defense. The government subsequently prosecuted Lt. Behenna for premeditated murder.

 

Not only is this a miscarriage of justice on the behalf of Lt. Behenna, who was acting to prevent further loss of life in his platoon, it is demoralizing to the U.S. troops who continue to fight on behalf of the freedom and security of our nation. READ ENTIRETY (MILITARY PROSECUTORS WITHHOLD EVIDENCE; ARMY RANGER GOES TO PRISON FOR 25 YEARS FOR SHOOTING AL QAEDA OPERATIVE; DefendMichael.com)

 

Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal

 

McKiernan was succeeded by Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who was in turn assigned to undertake his own 60-day assessment. But when word spread that McChrystal intended to propose a substantial new increase in forces, which Pentagon gossip initially put as high as 80,000 additional troops, waves of dismay spread through the White House. In late September 2009, a copy of McChrystal’s assessment was leaked to the Washington Post. Its bottom line was clear: If the United States did not pour significant additional resources into Afghanistan, and fast, the likely result would be “mission failure.”

 

… Furious at the leak—which they blamed on the Pentagon—and reluctant to accept McChrystal’s grim conclusions, senior White House aides engaged in strategic counter-leaks. In their version, McChrystal and the Pentagon were trying to box in the president by pushing to deploy tens of thousands more troops and refusing to consider other approaches.

 

 

… And less than a year later, McChrystal was forced to resign after a Rolling Stone profile quoted his top military aides mocking several senior civilian officials, including Eikenberry and Vice President Joe Biden. READ ENTIRETY (Obama vs. the Generals; By ROSA BROOKS; POLITICO; 11/2013)

 

General David Petraeus

 

Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter is now thinking of retroactively taking away one or two of Petraeus’s four stars. The potential demotion in rank, opposed by the Army, is intended as further punishment for the misdemeanor to which he pleaded guilty last year. Petraeus accepted two years of probation and paid a $100,000 fine for allowing his mistress, Paula Broadwell, to read classified information for research on the biography she was writing about Petraeus.

Carter apparently wants to ensure that Petraeus is treated in the same fashion as other miscreant generals and admirals who have lost rank. Yet there is no evidence that Broadwell (who enjoyed a military security clearance of her own) ever shared the classified information with anyone or disclosed it in the biography.

That does not excuse the bad judgment of Petraeus. But it does invite an obvious comparison with former secretary of state Hillary Clinton. She not only sent classified information over her unsecured e-mail to several individuals but remains untruthful about that fact. READ ENTIRETY (The Obama Administration Needs to Abandon Its Petraeus Obsession; By VICTOR DAVIS HANSON; National Review; 1/28/16 12:00)

 

General James Mattis, USMC

 

… Mattis wanted to strike Iran in retaliation for killing U.S. troops in Iraq in 2011; however, President Obama refused to grant permission.

 

Iranian-supplied rockets killed as many as 15 U.S. troops per month in Iraq in the summer of 2011, and Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis had a plan to retaliate. I personally recall from my years of duty in Casualty Affairs at Dover Air Force Base during this same time period, that, along with the casualties from IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices with “shaped charges” provided by Iran that could penetrate our armored vehicles) the rockets killed many U.S. troops.  We were receiving the bodies of U.S. service members virtually every day, along with thousands of family members who came to Dover for the ceremonies honoring their loved ones.

 

Six U.S. soldiers were killed in a single such attack in early June of 2011, with another three killed days later. Mattis, then the commander of U.S. Central Command, had enough and decided the U.S. must retaliate before the Iranian rockets and IEDs caused further casualties. Coordinating with then Ambassador to Iraq James Jeffrey, Mattis proposed an attack inside Iran.

 

 

The White House received the strike proposal and subsequently denied it. President Barack Obama believed such a strike would infuriate the Iranians, possibly escalating the need for U.S. troops in Iraq, something he was trying so desperately to end. Some Administration insiders feared the plan would start a war with Iran, a country with which President Obama wanted to improve relations.

 

Of course, now we know President Obama had another reason to deny the strike request, though it was not publicly known.  At the time, the Obama Administration was secretly negotiating with Iran on its growing nuclear weapons program. READ ENTIRETY (What You Need to Know About General Mattis; By Wesley Smith; ACLJ; 1/12/17)

 

I haven’t found reliable confirmation, but some conspiracy site claim:

 

Was Fired After He Refused To Take Up Arms Against U.S. Citizens by Dave Gibson 02/17/2015. READ ENTIRETY (Obama purging top brass from the military; Posted by JS; Independence Day; 10/26/15)

 

Here is an article from FrontPageMag that lists several Generals and Admirals that paints a suspicious picture of an Obama purge of the military of Officers that may have found reasons to disagree with Obama’s military vision.

 

President Obama hasn’t just been hollowing out the military since taking office, he’s been gutting it, purging it of ideologically hostile personnel, and fundamentally transforming it into something other than a war-fighting force, military experts say.

 

Although few with military ties are willing to say it openly, it seems the administration is leading an orchestrated effort to seriously undermine the readiness of the military. Some reports indicate that Obama has purged 197 senior military officers since moving into the White House and that many of the retired officers have been harassed at their new civilian jobs for criticizing the president’s policies. The effects of these purges will be felt long after Obama leaves office. READ ENTIRETY (PURGING AND TRANSFORMING OUR MILITARY; By Matthew Vadum; FrontPageMag; 11/7/13)

 

Here is a list of the high-level Officers mentioned in the FrontPageMag article:

 

 

  • David McKiernan

 

  • Stanley McChrystal

 

  • David Petraeus

 

  • John Allen

 

  • Carter Ham

 

  • Admiral David Gaurette

 

  • Marine Gen. James Cartwright

 

  • Vice Admiral Tim Giardina

 

  • Major Gen. Michael Carey

 

The American Left will tell you these generals served their time and retired or were caught in unethical or illegal activities and were forced to resign or retire. The unethical/illegal dismissals appear suspicious to me because these guys became generals or admirals because of military smarts. This insinuates sophomoric actions that tarnishes credibility is way out of the ordinary, especially if their stars were earned in combat situations that led to command reliability. One general says this about the apparent Obama military purge:

 

Retired Army Maj. Gen. Patrick Brady told WND that President Obama has forced out so many military leaders who have doubts about his policies that the nation’s armed forces no longer feel prepared to fight or to try to win armed conflicts. (Ibid.)

 

By this point if I were you, I’d be wondering why I am thinking about the Obama purge story which has been around for most of Obama’s two terms of Office.

 

I received an email from the mother of a Lieutenant convicted of murder while on active duty in Afghanistan. The email is quite compelling and knowing how Obama has been ripping the military apart, my first thought was to jump on the sympathetic train.

lt-lorance-setenced-20-yrs-prison

Before I jumped on board, I decided to check some other sources to see the military’s case against the Lieutenant. AND WHOAH! There are two conflicting stories that makes the difference between truth and lies because those who testified against the Lieutenant were there and followed orders. And another issue for me is this. Perhaps the story told by the Lieutenant’s soldiers is accurate about the Lieutenant’s character and actions, BUT the military prosecutors obviously withheld exculpatory evidence that make the Lieutenant less of a murderer and more of a taking the enemy combatants out.

 

So, I am going to cross post the mother’s email and then at least an excerpt of the military’s case. And you can see what I mean.

 

JRH 1/20/16

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My Son Deserves his Freedom

By Mr. Anna Lorance

Sent 1/17/2017 7:44 AM

anna-lorance-mom-lt-clint-lorance

I know we have never met. But if you have children of your own, you’ll understand why I’m writing you today.

You see, the young handsome man in this photo is my son, Lt. Clint Lorance of the U.S. Army.

Like any mother, I was so scared that Clint would be hurt – or even killed – after he was deployed to Afghanistan.

Then on July 2, 2012, it almost happened.

Clint was sent to a “hot zone” on a dangerous mission to replace a lieutenant who had been injured when the Taliban attacked his platoon just days earlier.

He was warned to look for multiple riders on red motorcycles – known as “spotters” who alert the Taliban when they see U.S. troops. And every soldier was on edge. They all knew about the earlier ambush – and that just days before a U.S. soldier had been shot in the neck in this very village.

Suddenly a U.S. helicopter radioed in to Clint that a group of motorcycle riders was sitting outside of the village near a road that was used only by the Taliban.

As Clint confirmed a clear description of the enemy, a motorcycle charged toward the platoon so one of the soldiers asked permission to fire a warning shot. Clint said, “yes.”

But the riders did not stop. Instead, they continued riding and broke through the troop’s formation, jumped off the motorcycle, and headed right toward our troops. With only a split-second to make a decision, Clint ordered his marksman to fire. Two of the riders were killed. The other was captured in the village.

Meanwhile, two other Taliban members were killed by Clint’s platoon and a second man captured trying to leave the village.

When Clint and his men arrived back at base, Clint ordered both of the prisoners to be tested for explosives residue. BOTH tested positive for residue on their hands, confirming Clint’s suspicions that the motorcycle riders posed a threat.

Yet instead of imprisoning and interrogating these men, military intelligence at Brigade Headquarters released the men back into the wild.

Then they fired Clint as platoon leader.

And one year later, Clint was sitting in a military courtroom on trial for murder.

Five other members of Clint’s platoon were also charged, including the marksman who had actually shot and killed the terrorists.

But all five were promised immunity if they would agree to testify against Clint.

Every one of the statements from these five soldiers changed from their initial statements. That’s right, not one of their stories was the same as the account they gave on the day of the attack.

But Clint’s account did not change.

And when asked for his only statement during the trial, he looked into the eyes of the jury and said, “I totally take all responsibility for my actions. I gave the order because I was the leader on the ground and perceived a hostile intent.”

My friend, I’m proud that my son gave that order.

Because only weeks after the ambush on Clint’s platoon, a motorcycle with two riders rode into a village where U.S. soldiers were patrolling and detonated explosives strapped to their cycle. That leader did not react as my son did – and American soldiers died.

But none of this mattered to the military court. Even though Clint never fired his weapon, he was found “guilty” and sentenced to 20 years in Fort Leavenworth Prison.

As soon as the verdict was read, Clint turned to us. He told his brother, “Be strong and promise me that you will take care of my Momma and Dad.”

Then he took me by the shoulders and said, “Momma I can’t leave here without knowing that you are okay.”

It took every bit of strength I had to not cry. I did not want Clint to see me in tears as they took him from the courtroom. Instead I told him, “We will get through this. God loves to walk the dark hills with us.”

Now, over three years later, I’m seeing just how much God is walking with us through this terrible time thanks to Major Bill Donahue of the United American Patriots. UAP helps provide legal defenses for soldiers like Clint who have been unjustly accused of crimes for making split-second decisions in the heat of combat.

Maj. Donahue is a Marine who survived three tours of duty in Vietnam – so he knows what it’s like to make decisions behind enemy lines. And he knows you can’t second-guess our young soldiers who have been trained to defend themselves in combat.

UAP is fighting to help Clint mount an appeal, a motion for mistrial AND secure a presidential pardon. But it’s a costly process – and money our son doesn’t have.

Clint was stripped of all pay when he was indicted. He was forced to sell his house. And he lost all 10 years of his Army pension.

All we can do now is rely on UAP and the big hearts of American patriots like you who support them and their mission.

UAP is a non-profit organization. They don’t receive a dime of federal funding. And Maj. Donahue doesn’t even take a salary for his work. He just wants to help soldiers.

If you can help with a tax-deductible gift of any amount, won’t you please send it to UAP today to help them fight for my son?

While politically correct government officials are going to extreme measures to protect the “civil rights” of terrorists who want to destroy our country, soldiers like my son are sitting in prison for protecting our nation from these terrorists!

On behalf of every mother of a U.S. soldier, thank you for taking the time to read my letter and for whatever support you can send today.

Sincerely,
Mrs. Anna Lorance

P.S. During a break in the trial, I walked outside to catch some air. The last soldier who had testified against Clint was standing on the sidewalk with tears running down his face. When he looked up at me he quickly dropped his head in shame. Clearly, he knows he helped the Obama Administration send an innocent soldier to prison. Thank you for helping UAP fight to bring him home!

 

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Hero or murderer? Soldiers divided in 1LT Lorance case

By Michelle Tan

January 12, 2015

Army Times

 

Shortly after the soldiers from 4th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment set out on patrol from Strong Point Payenzai, Afghanistan, a motorcycle carrying three Afghan men came into view.

 

Pfc. James Skelton reported the sighting to 1st Lt. Clint Lorance, his new platoon leader.

 

“He told me to engage,” Skelton said, according to the transcript from Lorance’s court-martial.

 

Skelton fired two shots. He missed. The motorcycle came to a stop, the men climbed off and began walking towards the Afghan National Army soldiers who were at the front of the U.S.-Afghan patrol.

 

“The ANA started telling them to go back, waving to them to return towards the motorcycle, to stay away,” Skelton testified. “They turned around and went back towards the motorcycle.”

 

Within seconds, two of them were dead. The third man ran away.

 

A gun truck that was accompanying the soldiers on foot had opened fire with its M240B machine gun.

 

“He was told to engage by Lieutenant Lorance when they had a visual,” Skelton testified.

 

“Did he ask the vehicle what the men were doing?” the prosecutor asked.

 

“No,” Skelton said.

 

“He just told them to engage?” the prosecutor asked.

 

“Yes,” Skelton said.

 

One year after that fateful July 2, 2012, patrol, in a case that has been controversial from the start, Lorance was convicted of two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder.

 

Lorance, now 30, is serving a 19-year prison sentence at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, but his case is far from over. Across the nation, thousands are rallying in hopes the baby-faced soldier can regain his freedom. They see him as a patriot, unfairly punished for actions taken to protect his fellow soldiers.

 

His own soldiers, however, paint a much different picture: They claim their platoon leader was ignorant, overzealous and out of control. That he hated the Afghan people and that he had spent recent days tormenting the locals and issuing death threats.

 

 

But as the fight for the young officer’s freedom has gained traction online and on social media, Lorance’s own soldiers are pushing back, they say, to make sure their side of the story is told.

 

Two sides of Clint Lorance

 

“All these petitioners need to be shown what kind of man [Lorance] really is,” said a soldier who served as a team leader in Lorance’s platoon, who asked to speak on background because he is still on active duty. “This isn’t a soldier that went to war and gone done wrong. This is a soldier that had a taste for blood and wanted to have that fulfilled. And he did, but in the wrong way.”

 

Todd Fitzgerald, a former specialist and infantryman in Lorance’s platoon, said he felt betrayed by the lieutenant.

 

“I don’t believe that he really understood what he was getting into,” he said.

 

Fitzgerald testified during Lorance’s court-martial.

 

“Us testifying against him, it wasn’t a matter of not liking him, it wasn’t a matter of any type of grudge or coercion,” he said. “It was simply we knew that his actions, based on our experience, having operated in that area for months, were going to breed further insurgency. If you kill local citizens, they’re no longer willing to help you.”

 

Testimony from these solders is in stark contrast to how Lorance’s mother, Anna, describes her son.

 

 

Fight for a new trial

 

Maher said he is disappointed in Clarke’s decision regarding clemency. He also said his client has grounds for a new trial.

 

“The defense has now identified information linking five of seven Afghan military-aged males on the field that day with terror,” Maher said. “Because the government has always had that information and did not disclose it to the command or the trial defense counsel, examining 1st Lt. Lorance’s decision-making takes a back seat. We never get to that question.”

 

Basically, the government is obligated to disclose evidence that could negate guilt, reduce the degree of guilt or reduce the punishment for the accused, Maher said, citing the Rule for Courts-Martial.

 

“The first day at the Army JAG school, we’re taught you turn over everything,” said Maher, who also is a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve.

 

The government made a “serious legal error” by not turning over exonerating and/or mitigating evidence contained in government computer databases, Maher said.

 

“Before the government can take away any soldier’s liberty, freedom, career, income, retirement, educational benefits, and full ability to get a job, the government must follow the rules,” he said. “Here, it did not.”

 

If that information had been turned over, the defense might have taken a different approach, or the case may not even have made it to trial, said Maher, who points out Lorance never fired his weapon that day.

 

“Clint did not initiate this, nor did he engage anybody directly,” he said.

 

Though he didn’t fire the weapon, he was convicted of making the call. He was also convicted of threatening a local Afghan; firing an M14 rifle into a village and trying to have one of his soldiers lie about receiving incoming fire; and obstructing justice by making a false radio report after the two men on the motorcycle were killed.

 

 

“Over about a three-day period, Lieutenant Lorance … committed crimes of violence and crimes of dishonesty,” said Capt. Kirk Otto, who prosecuted the case for the government, according to a transcript of the court-martial.

 

First, on June 30, 2012, Lorance threatened to kill an Afghan man and his family, Otto said in his opening statement.

 

The man, a farmer, and his child, who was about 4 years old, were at the gate to talk to the Americans about the concertina wire that was blocking access to his farm field, Otto said.

 

“He said, ‘You move the c-wire, I’ll have somebody kill you,'” Spc. James Twist, who was at the scene, testified during the court-martial.

 

Lorance then tried to have the Afghan turn in IEDs to the Americans, Twist testified.

 

“He was like, ‘You bring us IEDs or we’ll have the ANA kill your family,'” Twist said. “And Lieutenant Lorance was like, ‘Well, if we ever come onto your land and we step on an IED or we find an IED, I’ll have the ANA come and kill your family.’ And he pointed to the kid and said, ‘Do you want to see your child grow up?'”

 

The next day, Lorance directed one of the platoon’s squad designated marksmen to fire his M14 rifle from one of the Strong Point’s guard towers into the neighboring village of Sarenzai, Otto said.

 

“He directs harassing fire — illegal harassing fire — at villagers,” Otto said.

 

Lorance directed his soldier to shoot near groups of people, as well as at walls and vehicles, he said. The soldier, Spc. Matthew Rush, refused to shoot when Lorance directed him to fire near a group of children, Otto said.

 

“These villagers were not doing anything,” Otto said. “There was no demonstrated hostile intent. No one heard incoming shots.”

 

The soldier who served as a team leader in the platoon, who spoke to Army Times on background, said he has pictures of Lorance on the rooftop.

 

“He was out of control,” the soldier said. “We told him, ‘Sir, I don’t think it’s a good idea.’ He was like, ‘Oh, it’s a great idea. We’re going to scare these guys so they actually attend our shura, and we won’t lose anymore guys.”

 

Lorance later tried to have Sgt. Daniel Williams, who was in the tactical operations center, falsely report that the Strong Point received incoming potshots, Otto said.

 

“He told me to report up that they had taken potshots from the village,” Williams testified. “I told him that I wouldn’t … because it’s a false report. At least I thought so, sir.”

 

Williams also testified that Lorance said “he didn’t really care about upsetting them too much because he f**king hated them.”

 

‘Why isn’t anybody firing yet?’

 

The next day, as the soldiers prepared to head out on a patrol, a small group of three or four Afghan men met them at the gate.

 

The men were upset. They wanted to know why the Americans shot into their village the day before.

 

Lorance told them that if they had a problem, they could attend the shura, or meeting, he planned to have later in the week, according to testimony. The Afghans refused to budge.

 

“He told them to get out of there,” Skelton said in his testimony. “He started very aggressively yelling at them, and he started counting, and he pulled back the charging handle on his weapon and chambered a round.”

 

As the soldiers’ interpreter “panicked,” one of the other soldiers testified, the Afghans turned away and left.

 

The Americans and a squad of Afghan National Army soldiers began walking out on their patrol.

 

Just moments into the patrol, Skelton opened fire on the motorcycle and then Pvt. David Shilo, operating the M240B machine gunon the truck, killed the two Afghans.

 

Fitzgerald, who left the Army in August, said he was standing near Lorance when the men on the motorcycle were hit.

 

“I remember him asking, ‘Why isn’t anybody firing yet?'” Fitzgerald said, adding that Lorance then took the radio and ordered the soldiers in the gun truck to open fire.

 

The men on the motorcycle stopped when Skelton first opened fire, Fitzgerald said.

 

“At that point, they were definitely not any type of threat,” he said. “They weren’t coming at us.”

 

The patrol then pushed on into the village, where the bodies were quickly surrounded by crying and upset villagers.

 

First, Lorance prevented Skelton, who’s trained to conduct battle damage assessments, including READ ENTIRETY

 

+++

The Case Of 1st Lt. Clint Lorance

December 8, 2016

Military Votes Count

 

 

The Case Against Clint Lorance –

 

His own men testified against him. They said the guys on the motorcycles were not a threat. At first, they refused to fire, but Clint ordered them to open fire. They also claimed that Lt. Lorance threatened a local farmer that he and his son would be killed if the Taliban planted an I.E.D. (improvised explosive device) on their farm land.

 

If your own troops testify against you, that has to be given heavy weight; however, that four of the six troops were granted immunity places shade on their testimony.

 

The Case In Favor of Clint Lorance –

 

Clint Lorance was sent into a heavy Taliban-invested area to replace another leuitent that had been wounded. At the trial the government may not have disclosed that the men who were killed were Taliban IED terrorists. Following the trial, this evidence came out (and here). Clint also had information that his troops did not from overhead surveillance which indicated Taliban were closing in on his position.

 

 

The Takeaway –

 

If the government withheld exculpatory evidence, then the military prosecutors should be charged. I don’t know that they did that, but if they did.

 

There are two versions of this story. In one version Clint is a blood thirsty 1st Lt. who is out of control, who is killing the very people our troops were sent there to protect. In the other version, the people he killed were the enemy, and the government knew they were the enemy. In this second version, 1st Lt. Clint Lorance had good reason to believe they were the enemy.

 

There is READ ENTIRETY

 

Supporters of Lt. Clint Lorance that send email alerts:

 

Lt. Col. Allen West

 

TruthRevolt.org

 

United American Patriots (UAP)

 

UAP Petition (to Obama – hopefully changing to President Trump)

 

UAP Donation for Lt. Clint Lorance

_______________

Obama Military Conspiracy up to Lt. Clint Lorance

John R. Houk

© January 20, 2017

_____________

My Son Deserves his Freedom

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Hero or murderer? Soldiers divided in 1LT Lorance case

 

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The Case Of 1st Lt. Clint Lorance

 

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Disputing Muslim Persecution of Christians


 

London 1940

John R. Houk

© January 19, 2017

 

On January 8th, I posted a Shamim Mahmood submission. Shamim’s submission was a slim rundown on his advocacy as a journalist and Rights activist for his fellow Christians in Pakistan. The rundown is to demonstrate Shamim is a worthy cause to support. Pakistanis don’t make a lot of cash and Pakistani-Christians by the majority earn even less.

 

By the way, Shamim is still worthy of Western aid that is best sent via Western Union.

dresden-1945

First contact Shamim in case he has found an easy way to donate. I like to use Western Union sending money with this LINK to the destination of Islamabad (Contact Shamim in case he has changed cities). Shamim’s email is shamimpakistan@gmail.com, Western Union may ask for Shamim’s phone – +92-300-642-4560

 

A well-meaning Muslim gal left a comment to that Shamim submission politely claiming the persecution of Christians and other non-Sunni Muslims was a myth used to get money of donors under false pretenses.

 

Below is that discussion back and forth between me and Aisha. Then follows a query by me to Shamim about Aisha’s perception. Which is followed by Shamim’s email response.

 

Aisha Khan

1/8/17

 

this is a blatant lie just to raise money, in fact there are Christians in my area and they are very safe and happy with their families. We have good relations with each other, we share our happy and sad moments with each other, we eat together and celebrate together.
This is a failed try to snatch money from people.

John Houk

1/15/17 (1/9/17 @ 9:10 AM & 9:58 AM on SlantRight 2.0)

 

+Aisha Khan Aisha I am guessing you are a Muslim. If my guess is correct, I can make a couple of assumptions from your comment:

1) You are a deluded Muslim with your head in the sand.

2) You are a Muslim Propagandist spreading deceit about the actual brutality of Sunni Muslims against all Pakistani minorities not just Christians (Ironically Pakistani Sunnis also are brutal toward Pakistani Shias & Ahmadiyyas – both of which consider themselves Muslims).

 

Aisha, this blog is full of reports about Muslim brutality against Christians not only in Pakistan but also in other Muslim dominated nations. To allude anything else is the actual lie.

Indeed Aisha, here is a link of the most recent use of the Pakistan Blasphemy Law that is obviously a FALSE allegation against a Christian man:

 

http://www.assistnews.net/index.php/component/k2/item/2524-pakistan-illiterate-christian-man-from-lahore-accused-of-blasphemy.

Using the Blasphemy Law as a vendetta is legalized terrorism, because the accused is imprisoned under horrendous conditions awaiting a death sentence or is suspiciously and mysteriously murdered awaiting the execution of a death sentence.

Aisha Khan

1/16/17

 

+John Houk Absolutely I’m a Muslimah and I’m telling you the truth, there are many Christian families in my area and they are quite safe and happy with their families. They are doing Jobs in various Govt. institutions and also their private jobs. What you are telling me is a different situation and can happen in any country. For example we all know about the wave of terrorism in Pakistan. A large number of Muslims were killed, injured in various bomb blasts and other terrorist attacks. But we can’t blame other sects for this act.

 
We also know that America a Christian country is killing thousands of innocent people including women and children in Iraq, Afghanistan and many other countries. In the name of peace they are waging war on Muslims but we are not blaming Christians for this act of terror.

 
I also know there are black sheep in every community, there may be some misguided Muslims who are involved in such wrong acts but we can’t blame the whole Sunni Muslims for personal act of any individual or a group of people.

 
Also, we have to respect each other’s faith. No one has the right to insult or humiliate other people’s faith. We must avoid such provoking acts which leads to an anarchy and crises like situation.

 
I think this is much worse to use a few events and get emotional sympathies of people to snatch some money.

 
I think this more worse than the act committed by some ignorant individuals.

 
I condemn both of them.

++++

Dear Shamim

 

I have been having a G+ discussion with one Aisha Khan about the last submission you sent to me entitled “Keep Shamim Reporting”. The conversation has been quite polite, but she (I assume “she” in case I am mistaken)  claims your position of Sunni-Muslims persecuting religious minorities in Pakistan is a lie. And quote:

 

this is a blatant lie just to raise money, in fact there are Christians in my area and they very safe and happy with their families.”

 

I read reports from other sources other than just yours; hence, I conclude there is a huge persecution problem in Pakistan. Nonetheless, she seems quite sincere in her belief. Below is the entire discussion between me and her to date on the G+ Community Anti-Islam:

 

 

My knee-jerk reaction is that Aisha is calling you and me a liar. An American colloquialism describes my emotion to being called a liar; viz., “That chaps my hide.” So, I am going to cool off about a day and blog this interaction with some further thoughts from myself. If you have any thoughts between now and the time I begin to construct an edited post, you are more than welcome to provide your perspective

 

+++

Shamim Mahmood

RE: Aisha Khan – Pakistani Muslim

1/16/2017 8:14 PM

 

Dear Brother John

 

I think the World is witness to it that how much Christians and other religious minorities are safe [tongue-in-cheek sarcasm] in Pakistan. The level of persecution is clearly reported and it’s not only me, others have reported as well.

 

Seven members of [one] family in Gojra and a Christian couple in Kot Radha Kishan were burnt alive on false blasphemy accusations.

 

Joseph Colony Lahore where more than 70 houses, including two Churches, were set ablaze.

 

Even today, Christians are treated as second-class citizens and in the [Pakistan] Constitution discrimination is clearly seen.

 

John, she is right that in many areas Christians and Muslims are living together and share their happiness and sorrows, but when it comes to a matter of religion these – Muslims – do not hesitate for a second to kill or persecute minorities.  And especially this kind of (Aisha) people become more aggressive and hit first.

 

Yes, there are broad minded and liberal Muslims but they are very few.

 

I’ve visited her G+ that clearly gives a message of her openness. Secondly brother, you know how much money I have raised, but issues Christians are facing [result in] day by day persecution.

 

Thanks now I’m going to take tea.

 

God bless you,

 

Shamim

+++

A Few Thoughts to Aisha’s 1/16/17

January 19, 2017

John R. Houk

 

Aisha wrote:

 

We also know that America a Christian country is killing thousands of innocent people including women and children in Iraq, Afghanistan and many other countries. In the name of peace they are waging war on Muslims but we are not blaming Christians for this act of terror.

 

Aisha consider the facts behind these quotes:

 

Thirty civilians have been killed in northern Afghanistan during an Afghan special forces mission supported by Nato, an Afghan spokesman says.

 

Provincial officials say many of the deaths were caused by Nato air strikes.

 

The air support was called in after troops were surrounded by Taliban militants, who took shelter in civilian homes, the spokesman said.

 

 

“US forces conducted strikes in Kunduz to defend friendly forces. All civilian casualty claims will be investigated,” the Nato-led Resolute Support mission said.

 

 

A further 25 civilians were wounded in the operation in Kunduz, Mr Danish said, and 26 Taliban fighters were killed, including two commanders. The Taliban say only three of their fighters were killed.

 

US soldiers killed

 

The US military said its soldiers died after coming under fire during a mission to clear a Taliban position.

 

Two other US soldiers were wounded, it said. General John Nicholson said the soldiers’ loss was “heartbreaking”.

 

Taliban fighters came close to overrunning Kunduz city last month and the security situation in the area remains febrile. The insurgents control large areas of the province around the city.

 

US combat operations against the Taliban officially ended in 2014 but special forces have continued to provide support to Afghan troops.

 

Afghan forces have suffered thousands of casualties, with more than 5,500 killed in the first eight months of 2016. READ ENTIRETY (Afghanistan Nato: ’30 civilians killed’ during Taliban fighting; By Reuters; BBC; 11/3/16)

 

And more …

 

The war in Afghanistan continues destroying lives, due to the direct consequences of violence and the war-induced breakdown of public health, security, and infrastructure. Civilians have been killed by crossfire, improvised explosive devices (IEDs), assassinations, bombings, and night raids into houses of suspected insurgents. Even in the absence of fighting, unexploded ordnance from previous wars and United States cluster bombs continue to kill.

 

 

About 104,000 people have been killed in the Afghanistan war since 2001. More than 31,000 of those killed have been civilians. An additional 41,000 civilians have been injured since 2001. READ ENTIRETY (AFGHAN CIVILIANS; WATSON INSTITUTE FOR INTERNATIONAL AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS)

 

And more …

 

ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN — A joint military operation in northern Afghanistan in early November killed 33 Afghan civilians and wounded 27, the U.S. military said Thursday in releasing details of its investigation into the incident.

 

The attack in Boz village in restive Kunduz province flattened dozens of houses, residents and Taliban insurgents said. The joint operation was conducted to capture Taliban leaders who were plotting to seize the provincial capital of Kunduz, Afghan and U.S. military officials said.

 

“To defend themselves and Afghan forces, U.S. forces returned fire in self-defense at Taliban who were using civilian houses as firing positions,” U.S. military officials said.

 

 

Afghan special forces had planned the raid against the Taliban hideout in Kunduz with the help of a small group of American military advisers. But the insurgents swiftly engaged them, opening fire from multiple civilian buildings, the U.S. military said in its investigation. [Blog Editor: Emphasis Mine]

 

“U.S. and Afghan forces were forced to request aerial fire support from U.S. platforms in self-defense. Aerial fires were also used to suppress Taliban who were firing on U.S. medical evacuation assets as the dead and wounded were evacuated,” it said. READ ENTIRETY (US Confirms Airstrike Killed 33 Afghan Civilians in Kunduz; By Ayaz Gul; VOA; Last Updated 1/12/17 7:29 PM)

 

In Iraq …

 

Another person said: “Before blaming Muslims for Isis, remember that Isis terrorist attacks is targeting more Muslims than any other groups.”

 

Many people were sharing an image bearing the slogan: “Isis is bombing Muslims in Muslim countries in the holy month of Ramadan. And you still say Isis represents Islam?”

 

 

Like in other recent attacks, Isis’ initial propaganda claim said it targeted a “gathering of the Popular Mobilisation” Committees – predominantly Shia armed groups fighting its militants alongside Iraqi security forces.

 

But authorities say there were many women and children among the civilian victims, and a later statement from the organisation made it clear religion was the target, saying: “The raids of the mujahedeen [holy warriors] against the Rafidha [Shia] apostates will not stop.”

 

 

Shias were also the main victims of Isis’ deadliest ever attack in Iraq, when militants massacred 670 prisoners in a raid in Badush in June 2014.

 

A handful of survivors recounted jihadists separating Shias and other religious minorities, driving them into the desert and lining them up on the edge of a ravine before opening fire with machine guns.

 

There are no definitive figures on the number of Muslims or other religious denominations killed by Isis but the huge number of Iraqi victims, where 99 per cent of the population is Muslim, suggests that the religion makes up by far the largest proportion of the dead. READ ENTIRETY (Baghdad bombing: Iraqis remind world that most of Isis’ victims are Muslims after more than 160 killed; By Lizzie Dearden; Independent; 7/5/16)

 

American involvement in Iraq …

 

 

The rate of Iraqi civilian deaths caused by US-led coalition forces has declined steadily from 2009, while the rate caused by Iraqi state forces has increased, with deaths resulting directly from actions involving US-led coalition forces falling to their smallest number ever, at a total of 19 reported by year end (down from 32 in 2010), and deaths involving Iraqi forces rising from 98 in 2010 to 147 in 2011.

 

 

Total deaths with combatants, combining IBC and official records:

 

Combining IBC civilian data with official Iraqi and US combatant death figures and data from the Iraq War Logs released by WikiLeaks, we estimate the documented death toll across all categories since March 2003 to be 162,000, of whom 79% were civilians.

 

Most deadly period of violence:

 

Iraq’s violence peaked in late 2006 but was sustained at high levels until the second half of 2008 – nearly 90% of the deaths occurred by 2009.

 

Weapons claiming the most victims:

graph-weapons-claiming-the-most-victims

 

Civilians killed by Gunfire Explosives Air attacks 2003 – 2011 by quarter Download data

 

64,575 of the civilian dead were reported killed by small arms gunfire; 39,273 by explosive weapons (such as IEDs, suicide attacks, and aerial bombardment); and 5,820by airstrikes (including cannon-fire, bombs and missiles).

 

Children killed:

 

Of the 45,779 victims for whom IBC was able to obtain age data, 3,911 (8.54%) were children under age 18.

 

Most-targeted group:

 

Police forces have been a major target, with 9,609 deaths reported – by far the largest toll of any professional group.

 

 

Civilians killed by US-led coalition

 

US forces killed far more Iraqi civilians than any other members of the US-led coalition, including various Iraqi military forces acting with or independently of them.3 The data on US forces killings show:

 

Total deaths from coalition forces:

 

15,141 (13%) of all documented civilian deaths were reported as being directly caused by the US-led coalition.

 

Children killed by coalition forces:

 

Of the 4,040 civilian victims of US-led coalition forces for whom age data was available, 1,201 (29%) were children.

 

 

  • Iraq Body Count 2003-2011 — 114,212

 

  • Iraq War Logs new ‘Civilian’ and comparable ‘Host Nation’ remaining – central estimate — 13,750

 

  • Iraq War Logs ‘Host Nation’ combatant – central estimate — 5,575

 

  • Iraq War Logs ‘Enemy’ (minus IBC overlaps) – central estimate — 20,499

 

  • Insurgents killed June-December 2003 — 597

 

  • Insurgents killed May 2004 — 652

 

  • Insurgents & Iraqi soldiers killed March 2009 — 59

 

  • Insurgents & Iraqi soldiers killed 2010–2011 – 2,187

 

  • TOTAL IRAQI — 157,531

 

  • US & Coalition military killed 2003–2011 — 4,802

 

  • TOTAL — 162,333

 

Official statistics

 

Official figures released monthly by Iraqi ministries continue to be lower than IBC’s, as in previous years, and this year more so than last. 7 However, longer-term official figures released in 2009 by the Iraqi Ministry of Human Rights show somewhat higher totals than IBC for 2004-6. This indicates, as does the WikiLeaks-published US military database, that a full accounting for the entire period from 2003 will be above, not below, IBC’s present count. Unfortunately official Iraqi data is presented in aggregate form, whereas IBC’s numbers are obtained from incidents individually listed on its website. This not only makes them open to public scrutiny for verification or amendment, but would allow item-by-item cross-referencing against other, similarly detailed sources.

 

READ ENTIRETY (Iraqi deaths from violence 2003–2011; Iraq Body Count; First published 1/2/12)

 

Aisha the reality about war is this: WAR IS HELL.

 

The history of war demonstrates civilians – innocent and not so innocent sympathizers to the enemy – is an inevitable reality. When you say Americans kill civilian men, women and children, it is a true statement. BUT it is also true that not only have Muslims killed Christians and other religious minorities in in Muslim dominated populations, they have killed themselves.

 

One thing to consider in Aisha’s concerns about civilian deaths by American hands IS THIS: The United States of America would not have invaded Afghanistan if the Taliban government had not stood by Usama bin Laden and al Qaeda after about 3,000 (plus) civilians on American soil with hijacked jet airliners on September 11, 2001 (WE call that cowardly infamous day “911”). If that attack had never occurred on American soil, our military would never have invaded Afghanistan. And if we never invaded Afghanistan, it is unlikely the U.S. would have invaded Iraq based on rumors of Weapons of Mass Destruction being manufactured by Saddam Hussein.

 

Aisha on a personal note I have to ask: What makes you think Christians and Jews can live continuously in peace side by side? Are you not aware that your prophet Muhammad’s last words in the Quran was to kill Christians and Jews? According Islamic theology, Muhammad’s last words abrogate any previous words of peace toward those he called the People of the Book.

 

Do you hear without cringing the Church bells ringing calling Christians to assemble and worship God openly and with loud reverence? How many Jewish Synagogues operate openly in Pakistan or any Muslim dominated society? What happens in Pakistan if a Christian publicly announces Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the only path to Salvation from a Satan dominated world? You have to realize a Christian not brainwashed by centuries of Islamic Supremicism would tell a Muslim that Muhammad was a false prophet for claiming Jesus was not the Son of God?

 

If you want more trust from Americans that consider themselves Christians and/or Jews, Muslim must reform their theology to not condemn others for blaspheming Islam. Just as Christians in America not knowing just how intolerant Islam is, are more than willing to accept a Mosque, Synagogue, Buddhist Temple or even a brainwashing religious cult to be on the same street as a Church. Christians may not like the idea and perhaps protest such a building that denies Christ as the Son of God, but Christians would not riot en masse over the situation resulting assault, property damage or murder.

 

Something to think about Aisha next time your news tells your peaceful Muslim/Christian community that Christians were slaughtered because they may have offended the Quran, Islam, Allah or Muhammad.

 

JRH 1/19/17

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House Lawmakers to Nix Obama Admin-Backed Sale of U.S. Planes to Iran


bho-rouhani-famous-last-words-toon

Dear God in Heaven, did Obama actually believe he could sell planes to Iran and Congress would do nothing about it? Is it really too late to impeach him for treason?

 

JRH 11/16/16

Please Support NCCR

***************

House Lawmakers to Nix Obama Admin-Backed Sale of U.S. Planes to Iran

Iran angling to rebuild war fleet with American planes

 

By Adam Kredo

November 16, 2016 5:00 am

Washington Free Beacon

 

Lawmakers in the House are expected to overwhelmingly pass new legislation on Wednesday that would prohibit the Obama administration from facilitating the sale of U.S. aircraft to Iran, according to senior congressional sources who told the Washington Free Beacon that Iran is likely to use American-made planes to rebuild its aging air force.

 

The legislation is viewed as an early test for the incoming Trump administration, which has broadly opposed last year’s comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran and intimated that it would be more confrontational with the Islamic Republic.

 

Senior congressional sources told the Free Beacon that House leaders scheduled the vote on this bill immediately following the election to signal that lawmakers are frustrated with the Obama administration’s ongoing diplomacy with Tehran.

 

If approved, the new bill would bar the Obama administration from granting legal exemptions to corporations such as Boeing, which is working to finalize a multi-billion dollar landmark deal with Iran. The Obama administration has already vowed to veto the legislation.

 

“The American people gave us a mandate to fight radical Islamic terrorism. Preventing aircraft sales to the world’s leading terror state is a pretty good start,” said one senior GOP aide familiar with the legislation. “Clearly this is a top priority for House Republicans—we are making this the first bill we put on the floor after the election. The Boeing-Iran sale is a great opportunity for President-elect Trump to claim an early national security win.”

 

Rep. Peter Roskam (R., Ill.), a vocal critic of the nuclear deal and Iran’s continued military buildup, told the Free Beacon that Republican House lawmakers will easily pass the legislation.

 

“It’s no secret I’ve been a vocal critic of the Iran deal—it was a horrible idea at the time and it has proven even worse as we’ve learned about secret side deals and more unilateral concessions to the Mullahs,” Roskam said. “But even those who supported the [nuclear deal] should support this bill. Nothing in the Iran deal obligates the U.S. to allow American banks to finance the Islamic Republic’s efforts to rebuilt its air fleet.”

 

The Obama administration said in a statement late Monday that the legislation would interfere with the United States’ ability to uphold its end of the nuclear deal, which includes guarantees that Iran would be able to access the U.S. marketplace for commercial aircraft.

 

“The bill would undermine the ability of the United States to meet our JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] commitments by effectively prohibiting the United States from licensing the sale of commercial passenger aircraft to Iran for exclusively civil end uses, as we committed to do in the JCPOA, and seeking to deter companies from pursuing permissible business with Iran,” the White House said in a statement.

 

Critics of the administration’s position have pointed to evidence that Iran has a history of converting civilian planes for use in its air force and military.

 

The Free Beacon in October disclosed several instances in which U.S.-made airplanes purchased by Iran in the 1970s had been used by Iran’s military.

 

Roskam told the Free Beacon at the time that there was reason to expect Iran would make similar use of any new planes it purchased from Boeing, which did not respond to a request for comment on the new legislation.

 

“We should not be surprised to see Iran’s latest military demonstrations feature Boeing 747s,” Roskam said. “It is incredibly irresponsible for any American company to sell products to the Islamic Republic that can easily be used for military purposes.”

 

“This is not hypothetical,” Roskam said. “We know the military has requisitioned Boeing planes from Iran Air in the past. Boeing is literally enhancing the military capabilities of the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.”

_________________

Adam Kredo   Email Adam Full Bio

 

Adam Kredo is senior writer for the Washington Free Beacon. Formerly an award-winning political reporter for the Washington Jewish Week, where he frequently broke national news, Kredo’s work has been featured in outlets such as the Jerusalem Post, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, and Politico, among others. He lives in Maryland with his comic books. His Twitter handle is @Kredo0. His email address is kredo@freebeacon.com.

 

©2016 All Rights Reserved

 

About Washington Free Beacon

 

“How stands the city on this winter night? More prosperous, more secure, and happier than it was eight years ago. But more than that: After 200 years, two centuries, she still stands strong and true on the granite ridge, and her glow has held steady no matter what storm. And she’s still a beacon, still a magnet for all who must have freedom, for all the pilgrims from all the lost places who are hurtling through the darkness, toward home.”

—Ronald Reagan, Farewell Address, January 11, 1989

 

The Washington Free Beacon is a privately owned, for-profit online newspaper that began publication on February 7, 2012. Dedicated to uncovering the stories that the powers that be hope will never see the light of day, the Free Beacon produces in-depth investigative reporting on a wide range of issues, including public policy, government affairs, international security, and media. Whether it’s exposing cronyism, finding out just who is shaping our domestic and foreign policy and why, or highlighting the threats to American security and peace in a dangerous world, the Free Beacon is committed to serving the public interest by reporting news and information that is not being fully covered by other news organizations.

 

The Beacon’s chairman is Michael Goldfarb. Its editor in chief is Matthew Continetti. Sonny Bunch is the executive editor. Bill Gertz is senior editor.

 

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Rising Threat: The Islamic State’s Militarization of Children


isis-child-soldiers

The Threat Knowledge Group has produced a special report on how the Islamic terrorist organization ISIS is militarizing kids. ONE: That is morally reprehensible! TWO: Another reason to give pause to bringing Muslim kids into the USA as refugees.

 

JRH 9/25/16

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****************

Rising Threat: The Islamic State’s Militarization of Children

 

By Dr. Sebastian L. Gorka, Katharine C. Gorka & Claire Herzog

September 2016

Threat Knowledge Group Special Report

 

Dr. Sebastian L. Gorka serves as the Vice President and Professor of Strategy and Irregular Warfare at the Institute of World Politics in Washington, DC. Previously, he was the Major General Matthew C. Horner Distinguished Chair of Military Theory at Marine Corps University where he provided courses and lectures on Irregular Warfare. Before that, he was Associate Dean of Congressional Affairs and Relations to the Special Operations Community at National Defense University. He is also Associate Fellow with SOCOM’s Joint Special Operations University, a regular instructor with the Special Warfare Center and School in Fort Bragg and for the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division. Dr. Gorka served as an adviser to the Department of Defense in the renewal of its Irregular Warfare Joint Operating Concept and is the author of the New York Times besteller, Defeating Jihad: The Winnable War. Dr. Gorka is the Chairman of the Threat Knowledge Group.

 

Katharine C. Gorka is the President of the Threat Knowledge Group as well as the Council on Global Security. From 2009 to 2014 she served as the Executive Director of the Westminster Institute, based in McLean, Virginia. A recognized expert in the field of democratic transition in post-dictatorial nations, Katharine spent nearly two decades working in Central Europe. She was the regional head of the USAID-funded Democracy Network program, run by the National Forum Foundation. Gorka is the co-editor of Fighting the Ideological War: Winning Strategies from Communism to Islamism and the author of the White Paper, The Flawed Science Behind America’s Counter-Terrorism Strategy, and an article in The Journal of International Security Affairs, The war between Al Qaeda and ISIS–and what it means for America.

 

Claire Herzog is a counterterrorism and national security researcher and program manager at the Threat Knowledge Group. Ms. Herzog has worked with the War Studies Department at King’s College London, where her efforts focused on extreme event preparedness and the radicalization of terrorists. Prior to that, she interned with Congressman Peter King’s office, where she prepared briefs covering topics ranging from Boko Haram and the ongoing threat from al Qaeda to the effects of Hurricane Sandy and Operation Fast and Furious. She is a recent graduate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Peace, War and Defense with a minor in History.

 

I n the opening scene of American Sniper, a sniper on the roof of a building is providing cover for a U.S. Marine convoy during the 2003 Iraq War. One of the snipers spots a woman and child exiting a building. The woman hands what looks like a grenade to the child, who starts running at the convoy. The sniper has to make a split-second decision without knowing for certain that it is, in fact, a grenade: shoot the young boy or risk letting the convoy get blown up. He shoots the child, and the undetonated grenade falls to the ground. The sniper made the right decision, but he had endured a nearly impossible moment. Not only did he very nearly make the wrong call, exposing his fellow warfighters to deadly force, but he will now have to live with the knowledge that he killed a child, even if it was the right and necessary decision.

 

These are the new contours of the battle against the Islamic State. A growing body of evidence makes clear that the Islamic State (IS) is actively exploiting children on the battlefield in order to gain the upper hand against stronger and better armed adversaries. Most recently, on August 20th, 54 people were killed and 66 injured at a wedding in Turkey, and the alleged perpetrator was a 12 to 14-year-old boy wearing a suicide vest. Five days later, the Islamic State released a video (right) [Blog Editor: To view video go to TKG post] of five young boys dressed in desert camouflage executing at point-blank range five Kurdish fighters.

 

The rate at which the Islamic State is recruiting, training, and exploiting children presents a new set of challenges for U.S. warfighters and law enforcement. Not only do we risk over-looking the threat posed by children, assuming their innocence, but we also run the risk of moral injury and increased rates of PTSD to those who must confront this threat. This paper looks at how the Islamic State is militarizing children in order to better prepare the United States to face this new and rising threat.

 

The Use of Children in Conflict

 

The use of children in war is not an innovation of the 21st century. Rather, it dates back hundreds of years to when children acted as squires and drummer boys on the battle-fields of Europe and as powder monkeys on British Royal Navy ships.1 The past seven-ty-five years have seen a proliferation of child soldiers: as Hitler Youth in Germany, as members of the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda toting AK-47s, and planting land-mines for Colombia’s FARC. The Council on Foreign Relations has reported that there are approximately 300,000 child combatants worldwide and that forty percent of the world’s armed organizations feature children in their ranks.2

 

This issue does not exclusively beleaguer the nations where such conflicts occur; rather, it is one the United States has directly confronted time and again, especially since 9/11. The first U.S. soldier killed in combat in the War on Terror, Sergeant 1st Class Nathan Chapman, was shot in 2002 by a 14-year old sniper.3 Three teens, ages 13 to 15, were captured while fighting U.S. troops in Afghanistan in 2003 and sent to Guantanamo Bay.4 In 2006, Shiite militias in Iraq urged children to throw rocks and gasoline bombs at American convoys to provoke U.S. retaliation.5

 

The Historical Role of Children in Terrorism

 

While the exploitation of children for military purposes has a long history, in the past 25 years its prevalence has grown, particularly in terrorist operations. For example, in the 1993 Battle of Mogadishu, U.S. Army Rangers and Delta Force operators were am-bushed by Somali men, women and “children armed with automatic weapons and rock-et-propelled grenades.”6 According to Ambassador Robert Oakley, women and children were not only used as shields but were themselves firing weapons.

 

The conflict in the Palestinian territories has seen the rise of the cult of martyrdom among youth, one which continues to be perpetuated: recently Hamas in Palestine put on a play in which a Muslim girl stabs an Israeli and is then “martyred” by Israeli soldiers. The children appearing in the play ranged from four to eight years old.7 In Nigeria, one out of five Boko Haram suicide attacks have been conducted by children, and 75% of those children used by Boko Haram are girls.8

 

But even within this growing trend of the exploitation of children for military purposes, the Islamic State stands out for the manner and degree to which it is recruiting, training and deploying children. Unlike many of the child soldiers seen in Africa—in Uganda, Liberia, and Democratic Republic of the Congo—who were utilized as untrained cannon fodder, the Islamic State is investing significant resources, time, and effort to groom an “unquestioning and ideologically pure” Islamist army for the future.9 They do not simply strap a suicide vest to a child and send them to blow up an Iraqi military target. They actively recruit them, psychologically and ideologically indoctrinate them, teach them how to fight and use weapons, and then put them in the ranks alongside men twice their age. These are not “mindless drones,” but willing and able jihadi equivalents of the Hitler Youth.

 

While terrorist organizations have regularly relied on children in different supporting roles, one can see a dramatic difference from al Qaeda to ISIS. Osama bin Laden’s Declaration of Jihad on Americans, dated September 2, 1996, encouraged the participation of young men in jihad:

 

“There is nothing strange about this: Muhammad’s companions were young men. And the young men of today are the successor of the early ones.”10

 

However, this position was later contradicted by the al Qaeda Training Manual discovered in 2000, which states:

 

“The requirements of military work are numerous, and a minor cannot perform them. The nature of hard and continuous work in dangerous conditions requires a great deal of psychological, mental, and intellectual fitness, which are not usually found in a minor.”11

 

This did not stop al Qaeda from using abducted children to retrieve weapons from the battlefield, get through checkpoints, and act as suicide bombers; but, they did not as a rule recruit and specifically train child fighters. The Islamic State, however, has developed a complete system for grooming, recruiting and training minors as jihadists.

 

ISIS’s Use of Children: Reasoning

 

The eighth issue of Dabiq, the Islamic State’s propaganda magazine, features an article titled “The Lions of Tomorrow.” Although brief, it introduces the Cubs of the Caliphate and explains their importance to the Islamic State:

 

The Islamic State has taken it upon itself to fulfill the Ummah’s duty to-wards this generation in preparing it to face the crusaders and their allies in defense of Islam and to raise high the word of Allah in every land. It has established institutes for these ashbal (lion cubs) to train and hone their military skills, and to teach them the book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). It is these young lions to whom the Islamic State recently handed over two agents caught spying for Russian Intelligence and an agent caught spying for the Israeli Mossad, to be executed and displayed as an example to anyone else thinking of infiltrating the mujahidin.12

 

 

 

the-lions-of-tomorrow-dabiqThe ISIS magazine, Dabiq, features an article entitled “The Lions of Tomorrow” about the special role of youth in ISIS

 

ISIS is using the teachings of Mohammed to justify exploiting its children inside the Caliphate to become the jihadis of tomorrow.

 

The Islamic State justifies their use of child fighters, by saying,

 

“And just as the children of the Sahabah stained their swords with the blood of yesterday’s taghut (idolator)…so too will the children of the Khilafah stain their bullets with the blood of today’s tawaghit (idolaters).”13

 

ISIS has and is continuing to prime its children inside the Caliphate to become the jihadis of tomorrow, and they are using the teachings of Mohammed to justify these actions.

 

ISIS’s Use of Children: By the Numbers

 

Children are being recruited or abducted by the Islamic State at alarming rates. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, ISIS targeted schools and mosques to recruit 400 children in 2015 alone.14 In addition to those recruited, the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq estimated in June 2015 that ISIS had abducted between 800 and 900 children between nine and fifteen years old.15 Of grave concern are the estimated 700,000 refugee children out of school at the end of September 2015 as a result of the Syrian Civil War. That is a large and vulnerable population that the Islamic State is likely tapping into, providing services and education that the children otherwise would not receive and in turn recruiting countless more Lion Cubs. One expert estimated that the Caliphate has at least 1,500 children in its ranks.16

 

From January 2015 to January 2016, 89 children were eulogized. In the last six months, ISIS propaganda has featured at least twelve child executioners and one child participating in a public execution.17 By using children as soldiers, suicide bombers, and executioners, the Islamic State is scoring a major win in the propaganda wars. According to one group of analysts, ISIS is able to “gain the psychological upper hand against their opponents because their videos of children performing brutal acts break increasing global fear of the ‘caliphate’.”18

 

ISIS’s exploitation of children is on the rise. On April 29, ISIS’s media wing, al-Hayat, released a French-language video chant calling for revenge against the “crusader” coalition for the massacres and destruction caused by allied airstrikes. Unlike previous videos, however, the soldiers singing this nasheed were children—the Lion Cubs of the Caliphate. This is not the first time al-Hayat has included child soldiers in their videos, but this video, which makes children both the voices and the faces of the Islamic State, is one of the most significant depictions of children in ISIS media. As images of children training with handguns, Kalashnikovs, and RPG launchers fill the screen, they sing, “Beware, your end is already planned. Our warriors are everywhere, ready to sacrifice themselves. Beware, our orphans are growing. They feed their thirst for revenge in rage.”19

 

The Islamic State’s Indoctrination Operations

 

Since its declaration of the caliphate on June 29, 2014, the Islamic State has employed children in many different roles, ranging from recruiters to spies, guards to frontline soldiers, suicide bombers to executioners. In order to raise devoted and obedient Cubs, ISIS has turned much of its focus to the education of children. They run as many as 24 schools in Raqqa and many in Mosul, where ISIS abolished its education system the day they entered the city, in addition to at least eight schools and religious seminaries in faraway Nangarhar, Afghanistan.20 According to the PBS Frontline documentary “ISIS in Afghanistan,” the Islamic State is educating and training all local children in one Afghan village from the age of three so that “each generation will learn and teach in turn” the ways of jihad and ISIS’s brand of Islam.21 By June 2014, ISIS had, by one count, 22 sharia institutes in Aleppo alone. These religious schools are paired with physical training camps, where children are taught fighting and weapons skills. Some were even made to decapitate blond-haired dolls as practice for real life executions.22 The Islamic State is not only using these schools to recruit fighters, but also as a means of investing in children so that their “radical message endures beyond the group itself.”23

 

As summarized in the Washington Institute’s report, “Inside the Caliphate’s Classroom,” the Islamic State finished its “intimidation campaign” in 2013 and made bureaucratic reforms in 2014 that paved the way for the “indoctrination campaign” taking place right now.24 As part of this campaign, ISIS has written or re-written dozens of textbooks on varying topics: English, history, physics, mathematics, faith, physical activity, and Islamic law, among others. While some of the book covers are quite ordinary, others feature jihadi-oriented images. For example, one shows an image of a decapitated Statue of Liberty with an ISIS flag replacing her head.

 

In order to raise devoted and obedient Cubs, ISIS has turned much of its focus to the education of children.

 

The physical activity textbook is covered with images of soldiers training with weapons. Finally, a textbook on Mohammed’s teaching depicts gun-wielding soldiers serving un-der the Islamic State flag.25

 

These textbooks are “the instruments of a systematic indoctrination strategy,” used to justify Islamic State beliefs and teachings “in a style and forum through which children in all societies today are molded into adults.”26 ISIS’s apocalyptic and violent narrative of Islam pervades even the most innocent of teachings. For example, the Arabic literature textbook features out lines of guns at the bot-tom of each chapter.27 In their more explicitly violent books, such as on physical prepared-ness, the Islamic State includes a diagram showing how to assemble and use a variety of weapons.28 Through these teachings, ISIS has created and validated their worldview among its supporters, while simultaneously invalidating any contrary narratives or viewpoints.

 

However, the current youth population being raised in the Islamic State is not the only group we have to worry about. According to a report from the Quilliam Foundation published in March 2016, there are currently 31,000 pregnant women living within the Caliphate. These women were largely recruited as “baby factories,” not only to populate the new state, but also to create the next generation of jihadis born and raised exclusively within the Islamic State, predisposed to violence and terror.29 Even once the Islamic State is defeated, this new generation may haunt us. Unlike children who were brought to ISIS territory by their parents or who chose to travel there themselves, the children born within the Islamic State know nothing but what ISIS teaches them and believe that “violence is a way of life.”30 This will render any sort of de-radicalization program very difficult and guarantee a continued jihadi threat much past the Islamic State’s demise.

 

Precedents in the History of Islam

 

Although the Islamic State’s extensive exploitation of children is unique in today’s world, there are other precedents for this in Islamic history. For example, ISIS at least partially mirrors the Mamluks of Egypt—soldiers enslaved by the Muslim Egyptian army in their youth. After being purchased, each boy was, “cut off from his land of origin, his country is [now] Egypt; his father the master who purchased him; and his brothers: his companions in arms.”31 This sounds eerily similar to what ISIS is doing with the children who willingly travel to the Caliphate: they are made to burn their passports and accept the Caliphate as their nation, abandon their families if they do not support the Islamic State, and accept their fellow soldiers as their brothers. The 14th century Muslim historian Ibn Khaldun even ascribes the success and wealth of the early Islamic empire to the Mamluks:

 

“Thus one group of Mamluks follows another and generation succeeds generation and Islam rejoices in the wealth…which is acquired by eons of them and the boughs of the kingdom are luxuriant with the freshness and verdure of youth.”32

 

Today ISIS has taken and created a class of highly indoctrinated child warriors similar to the Mamluks.

 

More recently, Saddam Hussein also exploited children for military purposes. His Youth Vanguard movement recruited children as young as twelve to receive military training and placed them into military units to be used during the Iran-Iraq War.33 More important than the Youth Vanguard, though, were the Ashbal Saddam, or Saddam Lion Cubs. The Ashbal Saddam recruited boys ages ten to fifteen and sent them to military camps for indoctrination and military training for as much as fourteen hours a day.34

 

These boys were not simply cannon fodder but rather were seen as the future of the regime, similar to the Islamic State’s vision of a future population of “pure” jihadists. After toppling Saddam’s regime in Iraq in 2003, the transitional government initiated a de-Ba’athification process that left “over 100,000 Iraqis unemployed, angry, and armed.”35 Many of these former Ba’athist officers and officials ended up joining the Islamic State, often at the highest levels, bringing with them knowledge, lessons, and skills from Saddam’s reign.36 The training and use of children in battle and in carrying out acts of terrorism is one way that the legacy of Saddam Hussein runs through the veins of ISIS.

 

Many former Ba’athist officers and officials ended up joining the Islamic State, often at the highest levels, bringing with them knowledge, lessons, and skills from Saddam’s reign.

 

ISIS Youth Supporters in the United States

 

The Islamic State has not limited its recruitment or use of children to within its borders. The United States is experiencing a deadly combination of increased levels of youth recruitment and training in Islamic State-held territory paired with high numbers of youth radicalized by ISIS on U.S. soil. Both internationally and domestically, ISIS is targeting a much younger audience through social media platforms, the utilization of popular hashtags, and their own apps, such as Library of Zeal’s “Alphabet” app. The vocabulary and images used throughout the app include tanks, guns, rockets, and specifically jihadist terminology.

 

isis-youth-problem-arrests-by-age

ISIS Youth Problem- Arrests by Age

 

isissupporters-in-us-ages-15-25

ISIS Supporters in US- Ages 15-25

 

Since March 2014, 110 ISIS supporters have been interdicted in the U.S. Of those, nearly 60 percent were between the ages of 15 and 25 years old. Even more concerning, 41 of those interdictions were potential or attempted domestic attackers, with 54 percent of those domestic attackers falling between 15 and 25 years of age.

 

A prime example of this is Justin Sullivan, a 19-year old from Morganton, N.C., arrested on June 19, 2015. Shortly before his 20th birthday, Sullivan allegedly robbed and murdered a neighbor for money to buy an assault rifle, tried to hire someone to murder his parents, and plotted a massacre inspired by ISIS. He is the first American ISIS supporter to face the death penalty.37 As a domestic plotter, Justin Sullivan represents a third of the sup-porters ages 15 to 25.

 

Representing nearly 57 percent of that age group, three Colorado girls, ages 15, 16, and 17, attempted to travel to the Islamic State in October 2014, but were stopped at the Frankfurt airport. Unbeknownst to their families, the three girls were sharing militant recruitment videos, one of which featured Anwar al-Awlaki, following and interacting with online jihadists, and tweeting their support for jihad and the Islamic State thousands of times. Their attempted trip to join ISIS has been called a significant case study, as “the process they underwent—from use of social media, radicalization, recruitment online, even through the actual travel route to join the Islamic State—all follow the exact same pattern shared by several hundred Westerners.”38

 

On August 28, 2015, 17-year-old Ali Shukri Amin of Manassas, Virginia, was sentenced to more than eleven years in prison followed by a lifetime supervised release and monitoring of his internet activities for providing material support to ISIS.39 Using the Twitter handle @Amreekiwitness, Amin instructed his followers to use Bitcoin to send money to ISIS and facilitated supporters seeking to travel to the Islamic State. He tweeted more than 7,000 times to more than 4,000 followers, espousing his pro-ISIS beliefs to many other vulnerable individuals. These ISIS convictions provide a snapshot of the current domestic situation that law enforcement can study to better understand and prepare for future cases.

 

Threat to Our Warfighters

 

The engagement of child soldiers both abroad and domestically in support of or inspired by the Islamic State will greatly challenge American warfighters and law enforcement officers. Abroad, our warfighters face strategic limitations when facing insurgencies and terrorist organizations in the form of our rules of engagement. Generally, American ROE “give American soldiers the option of

 

using force only in the face of a ‘hostile act’ or ‘hostile intent,’ or when an enemy fighter has been ‘positively identified.’”40 Once the enemy is engaged, ROE dictate which, how, and where weapons can be used, and indicate the command chain that can authorize the use of each weapon. The self-imposed U.S. rules of engagement are so stringent and restrictive, going far beyond the requirements of the law of armed conflict, that they often tie the hands of American warfighters engaged in perilous situations. Furthermore, “American forces play by the rules while our enemies exploit those same rules” to their advantage and our detriment, which has resulted in unnecessary deaths of both American soldiers and local civilian populations.41

 

The constraints imposed by our ROE are magnified when facing child combatants. Our rules state that children are civilians, not combatants, and we are mandated to avoid any attack where civilians are present. In America’s airstrike campaign against ISIS, it is re-ported that the Obama Administration has repeatedly made the decision to leave known military targets intact so as to avoid any civilian casualties.42 The Islamic State not only flagrantly disregards the laws of war—using child soldiers, killing civilians, and enslaving enemies—but they also “launch international propaganda campaigns when our pains-taking targeting proves to be the least bit imprecise.”43 If American soldiers are forced to engage children on the battlefield against the Islamic State, the propaganda value gained by ISIS will be significant—not only will American morale take a dive, but ISIS will undoubtedly gain countless recruits as a result.

 

Finally, it is important to consider the moral hazard associated with facing children on the battlefield. The Islamic State has assumed the risk of using children—alienating potential supporters and inciting stronger retaliation from its opponents—because the U.S. is forced to assume the costs—upholding the law of armed conflict and rules of engagement, increasing American opposition at home, and alienating any potential allies in the region—which outweigh those risks. Not only would this challenge our ROE, but it could also cause severe psychological and moral injury to our troops, who are taught to protect and value the life of a child. This will be extremely important to consider if the U.S. decides to put boots on the ground in a direct combat role in the future.

 

If American soldiers are forced to engage children on the battlefield against the Islamic State, the propaganda value gained by ISIS will be significant—not only will American morale take a dive, but ISIS will undoubtedly gain countless recruits as a result.

 

Threat to Our Law Enforcement Officers

 

The Islamic State’s employment of children in their ranks not only threatens our warfighters abroad but also endangers our law enforcement officers at home. Of the 22 domestic ISIS plotters age 15 to 25 interdicted in the U.S., seven targeted law enforcement officers and seven targeted members of the military or military installations in America. In addition to this direct threat, there is also a domestic weak spot of concern.

 

According to our Transportation Security Administration, children under eighteen are not required to have ID to travel domestically. That makes tracking or halting the movements of jihadis who are minors extremely difficult. Furthermore, children twelve and un-der are allowed to leave their shoes, light jackets, and headwear on during screening.44 With increased wait times and longer lines at airport security checkpoints, this threat could prove to be an increasingly attractive soft target for ISIS supporters, both children radicalized by the group and adult supporters using children to avoid arousing suspicion.

 

According to a U.S. Southern Command intelligence report, Sunni extremists are already utilizing Latin American smuggling routes to cross the border into the United States.45 There is a very good chance that ISIS will not only turn to these smugglers, but also that they will focus on smuggling children, who are naturally less suspicious, into the U.S. The surges of unaccompanied alien children (UAC) in 2014 and 2016 paired with the U.S. pol-icy to accommodate such children that make it to America together create an additional vulnerability that the Islamic State and its supporters could exploit to infiltrate and attack America. These are but a few threats American law enforcement could face from children who support or are inspired by ISIS, and they must be taken seriously before we suffer another massacre at home.

 

The Islamic State has warned us:

 

“Beware, we have what we need to defend ourselves: well-armed soldiers are ready to kill you…Your blood will flow for your heinous crimes… Beware, we are ready to fight back. Our swords are sharpened to slice necks… Beware, men are ready to blow themselves up, ready to respond to the evil you have brought. Beware, your roads will soon be rigged with mines by well-trained and determined brothers. Beware, your end is al-ready planned. Our warriors are everywhere, ready to sacrifice them-selves. Beware, our orphans are growing. They feed their thirst for revenge in rage.”

 

The United States should heed this threat before today’s Cubs of the Caliphate become tomorrow’s Army of Jihadis waging war on American soil.

 

The Threat Knowledge Group is dedicated to providing strategic analysis, and national security training on today’s most pressing threats to those who secure America in

 

the Military, Intelligence, Law Enforcement and Homeland Security communities. TKG provides strategic-level analytic and expert support to the US Special Operations Command, US Army Special Forces Command, Fort Bragg and others. We utilize leading practitioners, academics and other recognized national security experts to deliver courses and operationally relevant threat analysis and training to help ensure the security of the United States and American citizens.

 

++

Notes

 

1  “Children in War,” UNICEF, 1995; and “The State of the World’s Children 1996” (UNICEF, December 11, 1995).

 

2  Eben Kaplan, “Child Soldiers Around the World.” (New York: Council on Foreign Relations, 2005). 3  Ibid.

 

4  “Teens Held in Guantanamo,” BBC News, April 23, 2003.

 

5  “Latest Challenge to U.S. Troops Abroad: Children,” NBC News. The Associated Press, September 20, 2006.

 

6  “Ambush in Mogadishu.” PBS Frontline. PBS, September 29, 1998.

 

7  Chris Tomlinson, “Children of Jihad: ISIS Training 70 Dutch Children,” Breitbart, May 3, 2016.

 

8  “Boko Haram Crisis: ‘Huge Rise’ in Child Suicide Bombers,” BBC News. British Broadcasting Corporation, April 12, 2016.

 

9  Jamie Doran and Najibullah Quraishi, “ISIS in Afghanistan.” PBS Frontline. PBS, aired November 17, 2015.

 

10  “Compilation of Usama Bin Laden Statements: 1994 – January 2004,” Foreign Broadcast Information Service, January 2004, p. 21.

 

11  “The Al Qaeda Manual.” U.S. Department of Justice. https://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/ag/leg-acy/2002/10/08/manualpart1_1.pdf

 

12  “The Lions of Tomorrow,” Dabiq: Shari’ah Alone Will Rule Africa. Issue 8 (2015): 20-21. Accessed at The Clarion Project http://media.clarionproject.org/files/islamic-state/isis-isil-islamic-state-magazine-is-sue+8-sharia-alone-will-rule-africa.pdf

 

13  “The Lions of Tomorrow,” Dabiq.

 

14  “Islamic State Recruits 400 Children since January: Syria Monitor,” Reuters. Thomson Reuters, March 24, 2015.

 

15  Noman Benotman and Nikita Malik, “The Children of Islamic State,” Quilliam Foundation. March 2016. 16  Erin McLaughlin, “How ISIS Recruits Children, Then Kills Them,” CNN. Cable News Network, February 22, 2016.

 

17  Benotman and Malik. “The Children of Islamic State.”

 

18  Ibid. p. 27.

 

19  S.J. Prince, “WATCH: New ISIS English Language Video Features Child Terrorists.” Heavy. Heavy, Inc., May 1, 2016.

 

20  Rikkar Hissein, Sirwan Kajjo, and Noor Zahid, “With Its Caliphate Faltering, Islamic State Rushes to Indoctrinate Children.” Voice of America. June 20, 2016.

 

21  Doran and Quraishi. “ISIS in Afghanistan.”

 

22  Jacob Olidort, “Inside the Caliphate’s Classroom: Textbooks, Guidance Literature, and Indoctrination Methods of the Islamic State.” The Washington Institute for Near East Policy (2016): August 2016. Pg. 3.

 

23  Hissein, Kajjo, and Zahid. “With Its Caliphate Faltering, Islamic State Rushes to Indoctrinate Children.”

 

24  Olidort. Pg. 7.

 

25  Casey Tolan, “These Are the Textbooks Supposedly Used by the Islamic State.” Fusion. Fusion Media Network, LLC. October 28, 2015.

 

26  Olidort. Pg. 24. 27  Ibid. Pg. 17. 28  Ibid.

 

29  Alistair Bell, “Islamic State Attracts Female Jihadis from U.S. Heartland.” Reuters. (Thomson Reuters, September 14, 2014).

 

30  “Islamic State Recruiting Children for Battle in Syria, Iraq.” The Denver Post. The Associated Press, November 23, 2014.

 

31  Salah Ziemech, “The Mamluks in History.” Foundation for Science, Technology, and Civilisation. June 2004. Pg. 2.

 

32  Ibid. Pg. 3.

 

33  Benotman and Malik. “The Children of Islamic State.” Pg. 25.

 

34  Peter W. Singer, “Facing Saddam’s Child Soldiers.” Brookings. The Brookings Institution, January 14, 2003.

 

35  Benotman and Malik. “The Children of Islamic State.”

 

36  Ibid.

 

37  Michael Gordon, “First American ISIS Convert in Custody, Justin Sullivan, to Face the Death Penalty.” The Charlotte Observer. March 18, 2016.

 

38  Maria Vultaggio, “ISIS Online Recruitment: 3 Colorado Teenage Girls A Textbook Case.” International Business Times. IBT Media, Inc., November 11, 2014.

 

39  “Virginia Man Sentenced to More Than 11 Years for Providing Material Support to ISIL.” U.S. Department of Justice. August 28, 2015.

 

40  David French, “How Our Overly Restrictive Rules of Engagement Keep Us from Winning Wars.” National Review. December 21, 2015.

 

41  Ibid.

 

42  Ibid.

 

43  Ibid.

 

44  Bob Burns, “The TSA Blog: Traveling With Kids.” The TSA Blog. Transportation Security Administration, June 1, 2010.

 

45  Bill Gertz, “Southern Command Warns Sunni Extremists Infiltrating From South.” Washington Free Beacon. August 22, 2016.

 

_________________

Blog Editor: Many TKG photos were not used in this blog cross post.

 

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A hard rain is going to fall


road-2-wwiii

Undoubtedly the gloom and doom prediction of an imminent explosion of WWIII (or WWIV – depending on who you read) is about to bust out. I came across a Victor Davis Hanson essay on the subject that the Jewish World Review correctly calls thought provoking.

 

JRH 9/22/16

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A hard rain is going to fall

By Victor Davis Hanson

Sept. 22, 2016

Jewish World Review

 

This summer, President Obama was often golfing. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were promising to let the world be. The end of summer seemed sleepy, the world relatively calm.

 

The summer of 1914 in Europe also seemed quiet. But on July 28, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was assassinated in Sarajevo by Gavrilo Princip with help from his accomplices, fellow Serbian separatists. That isolated act sparked World War I.

 

In the summer of 1939, most observers thought Adolf Hitler was finally through with his serial bullying. Appeasement supposedly had satiated his once enormous territorial appetites. But on Sept. 1, Nazi Germany unexpectedly invaded Poland and touched off World War II, which consumed some 60 million lives.

 

Wars often seem to come out of nowhere, as unlikely events ignite long-simmering disputes into global conflagrations.

 

The instigators often are weaker attackers who foolishly assume that more powerful nations wish peace at any cost, and so will not react to opportunistic aggression.

 

Unfortunately, our late-summer calm of 2016 has masked a lot of festering tensions that are now coming to a head — largely due to disengagement by a supposedly tired United States.

 

In contrast, war, unlike individual states, does not sleep.

 

Russia has been massing troops on its border with Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin apparently believes that Europe is in utter disarray and assumes that President Obama remains most interested in apologizing to foreigners for the past evils of the United States. Putin is wagering that no tired Western power could or would stop his reabsorption of Ukraine — or the Baltic states next. Who in hip Amsterdam cares what happens to faraway Kiev?

 

Iran swapped American hostages for cash. An Iranian missile narrowly missed a U.S. aircraft carrier not long ago. Iranians hijacked an American boat and buzzed our warships in the Persian Gulf. There are frequent promises from Tehran to destroy either Israel, America or both. So much for the peace dividend of the “Iran deal.”

 

North Korea is more than just delusional. Recent nuclear tests and missile launches toward Japan suggest that North Korean strongman Kim Jong-un actually believes that he could win a war — and thereby gain even larger concessions from the West and from his Asian neighbors.

 

Radical Islamists likewise seem emboldened to try more attacks on the premise that Western nations will hardly respond with overwhelming power. The past weekend brought pipe bombings in Manhattan and New Jersey as well as a mass stabbing in a Minnesota mall — and American frustration.

 

Europe and the United States have been bewildered by huge numbers of largely young male migrants from the war-torn Middle East. Political correctness has paralyzed Western leaders from even articulating the threat, much less replying to it.

 

Instead, the American government appears more concerned with shutting down the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, ensuring that no administration official utters the words “Islamic terror,” and issuing warnings to Americans not to lash out due to their supposedly innate prejudices.

 

Aggressors are also encouraged by vast cutbacks in the U.S. defense budget. The lame-duck Obama presidency, lead-from-behind policies and a culturally and racially divided America reflect voter weariness with overseas commitments.

 

It would be a mistake to assume that war is impossible because it logically benefits no one, or is outdated in our sophisticated 21st century, or would be insane in a world of nuclear weapons.

 

Human nature is unchanging and remains irrational. Evil is eternal. Unfortunately, appeasement is often seen by thugs not as magnanimity to be reciprocated but as timidity to be exploited.

 

Someone soon will have to tell the North Koreans that a stable world order cannot endure its frequent missile launches and nuclear detonations.

 

Someone could remind Putin that the former Soviet republics have a right to self-determination.

 

Someone might inform the Chinese that no one can plop down artificial islands and military bases to control commercial sea lanes.

 

Someone might make it clear to radical Islamic terrorists that there is a limit to Western patience with their chronic bombing, murdering and destruction.

 

The problem is that there is no other “someone” (especially not the United Nations or the European Union) with the requisite power and authority except the United States. But for a long time America has done more than its fair share of international policing — and its people are tired of costly dragon-slaying abroad.

 

The result is that at this late date, the tough medicine of restoring long-term deterrence is as almost as dangerous as the disease of continual short-term appeasement.

 

Obama apparently assumes he can leave office as a peacemaker before his appeased chickens come home to roost in violent fashion. He has assured us that the world has never been calmer and quieter.

 

Others said the same thing in the last calm summer weeks of 1914 and 1939.

 

War clouds are gathering. A hard rain is soon going to fall.

___________________

Victor Davis Hanson, a classicist and military historian, is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a recipient of the 2007 National Humanities Medal.

© 2016 by the Board of Trustees of Leland Stanford Junior University

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VIDEO of My AFA Speech, “Islam, Mindslaughter, and the Catastrophic ‘Lewis Doctrine’”


Islam- Sword not Pacifism

Andrew Bostom is one of my favorite Counterjihad authors. So when I discovered from the Counter Jihad Report that a Bostom speech was posted on his website a few days ago I was quite pleased to watch it. Below is the entire post from Bostom’s blog which includes the text of the speech.

Bostom talks of the failure of the Bush Administration’s concept of bringing Western democratic principles to overthrown dictatorships and hostile Muslim leadership. In hindsight, Bostom is correct to criticize this Bush Agenda; however, the concept was correct. History has shown that bringing democracy to repressive regimes (e.g. conquered Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan at the end of WWII) was and is highly successful. Not only have the citizens flourished when despotism was removed but once repressive regimes have chosen a path of peaceful dialogue and trade with their conquerors. UNFORTUNATELY, the nation-building paradigm does not work in a culture under the domination of a millennia of Islamic cultural brainwashing.

 

JRH 9/1/16

Please Support NCCR

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VIDEO of My AFA Speech, “Islam, Mindslaughter, and the Catastrophic ‘Lewis Doctrine’”

By Andrew Bostom

August 28, 2016 1:46 PM

Uncreated, Uncreative Words

Many thanks to Scott Jacobs for uploading the video of my speech last Sunday 8/21/16 at the American Freedom Alliance conference in Los Angeles entitled,Islam and Western Civilization: Can They Co-Exist?”

The text in its entirety was posted at PJ Media last Monday 8/22/16, with the title, “Islam, Mindslaughter, and the Catastrophic ‘Lewis Doctrine’.” I was able to present about ~70% of the full text provided below the embedded video.

VIDEO: Andrew Bostom at the AFA Conference: “Islam, Mindslaughter, & the Catastrophic “Lewis Doctrine'”

Posted by Democracy Broadcasting

Published on Aug 28, 2016

http://DemocracyBroadcasting.com Dr. Andrew Bostom at the AFA Conference: “Islam, Mindslaughter, and the Catastrophic ‘The Lewis Doctrine’.” Dr. Andrew Bostom examines Dr. Bernard Lewis’ legacy at American Freedom Alliance’s “Islam and Western Civilization Conference” in Los Angeles, 8/21/16.
See: https://pjmedia.com/blog/islam-mindslaughter-and-the-catastrophic-lewis-doctrine/

Islam, Mindslaughter, and the Catastrophic “Lewis Doctrine”

Andrew Bostom

Text of a speech delivered Sunday, August 21, 2016 at the American Freedom Alliance conference in Los Angeles entitled, “Islam and Western Civilization: Can They Co-Exist?”

**

Col. Douglas MacGregor is a respected military strategist, who was a heroic tank commander during the 1991 Iraq war. As the Gen McChrystal scandal broke in 2010, Col MacGregor, who attended West Point with McChrystal, and was angered by the US military’s disastrous Iraq and Afghanistan “nation building” efforts, commented accurately,

The idea that we are going to spend a trillion dollars to reshape the culture of the Islamic world is utter nonsense

Successful lobbying for that miserably failed utopianism was accomplished by bowdlerizing Islam—indeed mindslaughtering it, a powerful term I will introduce. My discussion will identify the ultimate source of “gravitas” for that bowdlerization process, and key elements of the Islam—not “Islamism,” or “radical Islam”—bowdlerized.

**

Tuesday August 2nd, (2016) Khizr Khan, who achieved notoriety for his condemnation of Donald Trump at the Democratic National Convention, had the temerity to tell Anderson Cooper “I do not stand for any Sharia Law because there is no such thing.” Except when he, Khan, notes it does exist, as in his 1983 essay published in the Houston Journal of International Law, “JURISTIC CLASSIFICATION OF ISLAMIC LAW”, which used the word “Sharia” 8X, including this usage:

“All other juridical works which have been written during more than thirteen centuries are very rich and indispensable, but they must always be subordinated to the Shari’ah…”

CNN’s Anderson Cooper did not even challenge Khan’s mendacious, self-contradictory assertion let alone follow-up on Khan’s effusive written praise of two prominent, modern global Sharia promoting ideologues, Said Ramadan, and A.K. Brohi, making plain Khan’s support for so-called “Sharia-based human rights.” The Khan-Cooper exchange illustrates, starkly, the contemporary equivalent of what the great chronicler of Soviet Communist mass murder, Robert Conquest, appositely characterized as MINDSLAUGHTER—a brilliantly evocative term for delusive Western apologetics regarding the ideology of Communism, and the tangible horrors its Communist votaries inflicted. Conquest decried those numerous “Western intellectuals or near intellectuals” of the 1930s through the 1950s whose willful delusions about the Soviet Union, “will be incredible to later students of mental aberration.” He observed,

“One role of the democratic media is, of course, to criticize their own govern­ments, and draw attention to the faults and failings of their own country. But when this results in a transfer of loyalties to a far worse and thoroughly inim­ical culture, or at least to a largely uncritical favoring of such a culture, it becomes a morbid affliction—involving, often enough, the uncritical accep­tance of that culture’s own standards”

His critique of Western media highlights a cultural self-loathing tendency which has persisted and intensified over the intervening decades, and is now manifest in the bowdlerized public discussion of Islam. Tragically, such MINDSLAUGHTERED Islamic discourse extends to an iconic figure in conservative punditry on Islam, while the impact of this doyen’s policymaking advice has been disastrous.

Samuel Huntington acknowledged his indebtedness to Bernard Lewis’s 1990 essay, “The Roots of Muslim Rage,” for Huntington’s book title, “The Clash of Civilizations.” Lewis, as Huntington notes (on p. 213), in 1990, had pronounced,

This is no less than a clash of civilizations—that perhaps irrational, but surely historic reaction of an ancient rival against our Judeo-Christian heritage, our secular present, and the worldwide expansion of both.

 Oracle-like font of Islamic wisdom to a large swath of conservative policymaking elites, Bernard Lewis added this caveat:

 It is crucially important that we on our side should not be provoked into an equally historic but also equally irrational reaction against that rival.

Despite his own morally equivocating advice, Lewis himself convinced the Bush 2 administration to pursue what became known, aptly, as “The Lewis Doctrine,” which was not only an irrational, but a catastrophic response to the eminently rational Islamic doctrine of jihad.

 Peter Waldman’s methodical, well-sourced Feb 3, 2004 WSJ investigative report (“A Historian’s Take on Islam Steers U.S. in Terrorism Fight  Bernard Lewis’s Blueprint—Sowing Arab Democracy—Is Facing a Test in Iraq”) stands as important confirmation of the overarching ideology which spurred the March, 2003 Iraq invasion. Waldman meticulously documented how Lewis exerted profound influence in shaping the Bush II administration’s “Islamic democracy agenda”—invading Iraq being the sine qua non manifestation of this “Lewis Doctrine.” Lewis, as Waldman notes, began evangelizing his “Doctrine” to the highest level Bush II administration officials just over a week after 9/11, accompanied, significantly, by the late Ahmad Chalabi, a likely “vector” of Iranian influence.

Eight days after the Sept. 11 [2001] attacks, with the Pentagon still smoldering, Mr. Lewis addressed the U.S. Defense Policy Board. Mr. Lewis and a friend, Iraqi exile leader Ahmad Chalabi –now [circa 2/2004] a member of the interim Iraqi Governing Council—argued for a military takeover of Iraq to avert still-worse terrorism in the future

Call it the Lewis Doctrine.  ..Mr. Lewis’s diagnosis of the Muslim world’s malaise, and his call for a U.S. military invasion to seed democracy in the Mideast… As mentor and informal adviser to some top U.S. officials, Mr. Lewis has helped coax the White House to shed decades of thinking about Arab regimes and the use of military power. Gone is the notion that U.S. policy in the oil-rich region should promote stability above all, even if it means taking tyrants as friends. Also gone is the corollary notion that fostering democratic values in these lands risks destabilizing them. Instead, the Lewis Doctrine says fostering Mideast democracy is not only wise but imperative.

Waldman also demonstrated how Lewis successfully indoctrinated the ultimate Bush II administration leadership to pursue his utopian design: President George W. Bush, Vice-President Dick Cheney, and most likely, National Security adviser (and later Secretary of State), Condoleezza Rice, as well.

I contend, after careful review, that the miserably failed “Lewis Doctrine” was a sham castle of dangerous, MINDSLAUGHTERED misrepresentations built upon four pillars: dhimmitude denial; Islamic Jew-hatred denial; Sharia obfuscation; and Lewis’s own inexplicable volte face on his gimlet-eyed 1950s assessments of Islamic totalitarianism, and “hurriyya,” the Islamic antithesis of Western freedom.

Regarding the imposition of the dhimma, Islam’s humiliating pact of submission for non-Muslims, per Koran 9:29, and the alleged absence of theological Jew-hatred in Islam, Lewis made these oracular, if vacuous and counterfactual, summary pronouncements, across three decades:

[1974] The dhimma on the whole worked well. The non-Muslims managed to thrive under Muslim rule, and even to make significant contributions to Islamic civilization. The restrictions were not onerous, and were usually less severe in practice than in theory. As long as the non-Muslim communities accepted and conformed to the status of tolerated subordination assigned to them, they were not troubled.

[1984] In Islamic society hostility to the Jew is non-theological. It is not related to any specific Islamic doctrine, nor to any specific circumstance in Islamic history. For Muslims it is not part of the birth-pangs of their religion, as it is for Christians.

[2006] “dhimmi”-tude [derisively hyphenated] subservience and persecution and ill treatment of Jews… [is a] myth.

Shlomo Dov [S. D.] Goitein (d. 1985), unlike Lewis, was a historian, who specialized in the study of Muslim, non-Muslim relations. Goitein, whose seminal research findings were widely published, most notably in the monumental five-volume work A Mediterranean Society: The Jewish Communities of the Arab World as Portrayed in the Documents of the Cairo Geniza (1967–1993), was Professor Emeritus of the Hebrew University, and a Lewis colleague while at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. The New York Times obituary for Professor Goitein (published on February 10, 1985) noted, correctly, that his prolific writings on Islamic culture, and Muslim-non-Muslim relations, were “standard works for scholars in both fields.” Contra Lewis’s uninformed, whitewashed drivel, here is what Goitein wrote on the subject of non-Muslim dhimmis under Muslim rule, that is, “the dhimma covenant,” circa 1970:

[T]he Muslim state was quite the opposite of the ideals propagated by…the principles embedded in the constitution of the United States. An Islamic state was part of or coincided with dar al-Islam, the House of Islam. Its trea­sury was mal al-muslumin, the money of the Muslims. Christians and Jews were not citizens of the state, not even second class citizens. They were outsiders under the protection of the Muslim state, a status characterized by the term dhimma, for which protection they had to pay a poll tax specific to them. They were also exposed to a great number of discriminatory and humiliating laws. . . . As it lies in the very nature of such restrictions, soon additional humiliations were added, and before the second century of Islam was out, a complete body of legislation in this matter was in existence. . . . In times and places in which they became too oppressive they lead to the dwindling or even complete extinction of the minorities

“The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism,” my own exhaustive treatise, included voluminous materials Lewis never bothered to compile, let alone analyze with comparable intellectual honesty. My careful analyses demonstrated, irrefragably, that the Koran, its classical and modern exegeses by Islam’s greatest commentators, and the traditions of Muhammad, and the nascent Muslim community, are rife with virulent, conspiratorial Jew-hating motifs that have been acted upon by Muslims, vis-à-vis Jews, across space and time, from the advent of Islam, till now.

The Koran’s overall discussion of the Jews is marked by a litany of their sins and punishments, as if part of a divine indictment, conviction, and punishment process. Presently, Al Azhar Koranic litanies of 20 to 25 verses describing fixed negative traits of the Jews are popular, widely disseminated, and endorsed in the writings and public statements of this Vatican of Sunni Islam’s last two Papal equivalents, the late Grand Imam Tantawi, and current Grand Imam al-Tayeb. Such Jew-hating Koranic “highlights” include: Jews as prophet killers, updated in the hadith to include Muhammad himself—allegedly poisoned to death by a Jewess, in a Jewish conspiracy, while the Shiite hadith further hold the Jews responsible for the deaths of Ali, and his son Hussein—meriting permanent debasement and humiliation (Koran 2:61/3:112); Jews as apes, or apes and pigs (Koran 2:65; 5:60, 7:166)—a Koranic epithet Muhammad personally directed at the Jews according to the sira before the Muslims subdued, and he personally slaughtered, by beheading, all the post-pubescent males, some 700-900, of the Jewish tribe Banu Qurayza; Jews as inveterate conspirators against Islam (the ancient Koranic antecedent of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, Koran 5:64), who harbor the greatest enmity towards the Muslim creed (Koran 5:82). The Jews’ ultimate sin and punishment are made clear in the Koran: they are the devil’s minions (4:51/60) cursed by Allah, their faces will be obliterated (4:47), and if they do not accept the true faith of Islam—the Jews who understand their faith become Muslims (3:113)—they will be made into apes (2:65/ 7:166), or apes and pigs (5:60), and burn in the Hellfires (4:55, 5:29, 98:6, and 58:14-19).

A brilliant, scrupulously documented 72pp/202 ref 1937 essay in French by rabbi, and Islamic scholar Georges Vajda on the hadith (which Lewis never analyzed, but I felt privileged to have fully translated into English for the first time, and included in The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism), demonstrated that stubborn malevolence is the Jews defining worldly characteristic in these traditions. Rejecting Muhammad and refusing to convert to Islam out of jealousy, envy and even selfish personal interest, lead them to acts of treachery, in keeping with their inveterate nature: “…sorcery, poisoning, assassination held no scruples for them.” These archetypes sanction Muslim hatred towards the Jews, and the admonition to at best, “subject [the Jews] to Muslim domination,” as dhimmis, treated “with contempt,” under certain “humiliating arrangements.” Vajda’s research on the hadith further illustrates how Sunni Muslim eschatology emphasizes the Jews supreme hostility toward Islam. Jews are described as adherents of the Dajjâl—the Muslim equivalent of the Antichrist— and, per other traditions, the Dajjâl is in fact Jewish. When the Dajjâl is defeated, his Jewish companions will be slaughtered—everything will deliver them up except for the so-called gharkad tree. Thus, according to several canonical hadith, Muhammad himself reportedly declared if a Jew seeks refuge under a tree or a stone, these objects will be able to speak to tell a Muslim: “There is a Jew behind me; come and kill him!” Vajda also emphasizes how the notion of jihad war “ransom” extends even into Islamic eschatology:

Not only are the Jews vanquished in the eschatological war, but they will serve as ransom for the Muslims in the fires of hell. The sins of certain Muslims will weigh on them like mountains, but on the day of resurrection, these sins will be lifted and laid upon the Jews.

Lastly, a profound anti-Jewish, and racist motif, put forth in early Muslim Sunni historiography, as well as the Shiite hadith literature, is most assuredly, contra Lewis, a part of “the birth pangs” of Islam: the story of Abd Allah b. Saba, an alleged renegade Yemenite Jew, and, per Sunnis founder of the heterodox Shi’ite sect. Sunnis held him responsible—identified as a black (i.e., a racist motif, as well!) Jew—for promoting the Shi’ite heresy and fomenting the rebellion and internal strife associated with this primary breach in Islam’s “political innocence”, culminating in the assassination of the third Rightly Guided Caliph Uthman, and the bitter, lasting legacy of Sunni-Shi’ite sectarian strife. Authoritative Shiite authors claimed this identifiably black Jew was guilty of perverting and warping the message of Caliph Ali’s true (Shiite) followers. Mainstream Shiites thus designated Abdullah Ibn Saba an avatar of extreme, heretical beliefs, for which Caliph Ali purportedly had Ibn Saba burned alive, as described in Shiite hadith.

The entirety of this ugly Islamic doctrine—shared, with minimal variation, by Sunni and Shiite Islam alike—begot chronic, grinding oppression, interspersed with paroxysms of violence, including sporadic, mass murderous pogroms, which affected Jewish communities in Palestine, Yemen, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Morocco, and even mythically tolerant Muslim Spain, to the west, as well as Turkey, to the north, and Iraq and Iran, to the east. Modern Zionism, culminating in the re-establishment of Israel, governed by Jews fully liberated from 13 centuries of jihad-imposed dhimmitude in their ancestral homeland, has re-invigorated Islam’s annihilationist strains of Jew-hatred.

During a Pew Forum interview April 27, 2006 Bernard Lewis opined rather defensively about Islam’s religio-political “law,” the Sharia:

“[W]hen we talk of Muslim law, I would remind you that we are talking about law. Sharia is a system of law and adjudication, not of lynching and terror. It is a law that lays down rules, rules for evidence, for indictment, for defense and the rest of it, quite a different matter from what has been happening recently.”

But Lewis doesn’t elaborate on those “rules,” or any of the elements of Sharia which make it so noxious! I will. Briefly.

The Sharia, Islam’s canon law is traceable to Koranic verses and edicts (45:18, 42:13, 42:21, 5:48; 4:34, 5:33-34, 5:38, 8:12-14; 9:5, 9:29, 24:2-4), as further elaborated in the “hadith,” or traditions of Islam’s prophet Muhammad and the earliest Muslim community, and codified into formal “legal” rulings by Islam’s greatest classical legists. Sharia is a retrogressive development compared with the evolution of clear distinctions between “ritual, the law, moral doctrine, good customs in society, etc.,” within Western European Christendom, and it is utterly incompatible with the conceptions of human rights enshrined in the US Bill of Rights. Liberty-crushing, and dehumanizing, Sharia sanctions: open-ended jihadism to subjugate the world to a totalitarian Islamic order; rejection of bedrock Western liberties — including freedom of conscience and speech — enforced by imprisonment, beating, or death; discriminatory relegation of non-Muslims to outcast, vulnerable pariahs, and even Muslim women to subservient chattel; and barbaric punishments which violate human dignity, such as amputation for theft, stoning to death for adultery, and lashing for alcohol consumption. Compounding these fundamental freedom and dignity-abrogating iniquities, “matters of procedure” under Islamic law are antithetical to Western conceptions of the rule of law: “evidentiary proof,” is non-existent by Western legal standards, and the Sharia doctrine of siyasa (“government” or “administration”), grants wide latitude to the ruling elites, rendering permissible arbitrary threats, beatings, and imprisonments of defendants to extract “confessions,” particularly from “dubious” suspects. Clearly, Sharia “standards,” which do not even seek evidentiary legal truth, and allow threats, imprisonment, and beatings of defendants to obtain “confessions,” while sanctioning explicit, blatant legal discrimination against women and non-Muslims, are intellectually and morally inferior to the antithetical concepts which underpin Western law.

In light of the still raging 2006 Danish cartoons controversy, regarding the “crime” of blaspheming Islam’s prophet, specifically, thus spake Lewis, the Islamic Yoda of our generation, circa April, 2006:

“The jurists on the whole tend to take a rather mild view of this offense.”

Really? Carl Brockelmann (d.1956), the renowned scholar of Semitic languages, and arguably the foremost Orientalist of his generation, made these candid observations in 1939 about the Sharia’s injunctions pertaining to penal law in general, and so-called “blasphemy and apostasy,” specifically—Islamic Law being “valid” eternally, and all too widely applied in Brockelmann’s era, through the present.

“The penal code of Islam has remained on a rather primitive level…Blasphemy with respect to Allah, the Prophet, and his predecessors is punished by death, as is defection from Islam, if the culprit persists in his disbelief.”

Consider the modern views on blasphemy articulated by the late Ayatollah Montazeri (d. Dec 2009), gushingly championed by fervent Lewis acolytes Michael Ledeen and Reuel Gerecht, and deemed the enlightened spiritual godfather of the so-called Iranian Green Movement. The good Ayatollah adhered rigorously to the traditionalist Shiite dogma on “sabb,” or blasphemy, i.e., instant, lethal punishment of the offender, declaring,

“In cases of sabb al-Nabi [blasphemy against a prophet, in particular, Muhammad]if the witness does not have fear of his or her life it is obligatory for him or her to kill the insulter.”

“Rising Restrictions on Religion,” a report by the Pew Research Center issued August 9, 2011, examined the issue of “defamation” of religion, tracking countries where various penalties are enforced for apostasy, blasphemy or criticism of religions. “While such laws are sometimes promoted as a way to protect religion, in practice they often serve to punish religious minorities whose beliefs are deemed unorthodox or heretical,” the report noted. The Pew report, consistent with Brockelmann’s assessment from 1939, found that application of the Sharia at present resulted in a disproportionate number of Muslim countries, 21—Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Brunei, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Maldives, Morocco, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Western Sahara and Yemen—registering the highest (i.e., worst) persecution scores on their scale. Furthermore, the Pew investigators observed,

Eight-in-ten countries in the Middle East-North Africa region have laws against blasphemy, apostasy or defamation of religion, the highest share of any region. These penalties are enforced in 60% of the countries in the region.

As a predictable consequence of this Sharia-based application of apostasy and blasphemy laws by Islamic governments, the Pew report also documented that,

…the share of national governments that showed hostility toward minority religions involving physical violence was much higher in countries where laws against blasphemy, apostasy or defamation of religion are actively enforced

Bernard Lewis’s April 2006 apologetic on the Sharia was complemented by the stunning claim he made during a lecture delivered July 16, 2006 about the transferability of Western democracy to despotic Muslim societies, such as Iraq. He concluded with the statement, “Either we bring them freedom, or they destroy us,” which was published as, “Bring Them Freedom Or They Destroy Us,” and disseminated widely. Yet Lewis never elucidated the yawning gap between Western and Islamic conceptions of freedom—hurriyya in Arabic. This omission was striking given his contribution to the official Encyclopedia of Islam entry on hurriyya. Lewis egregiously omitted not only his earlier writings on hurriyya but what he had also termed the “authoritarian or even totalitarian” essence of Islamic societies.

Hurriyya, “freedom,” is—as Ibn Arabi (d. 1240) the lionized “Greatest Sufi Master,” expressed it  “perfect slavery,” and following Islamic law slavishly throughout one’s life was paramount to hurriyya. Bernard Lewis, in his Encyclopedia of Islam analysis of hurriyya, discusses this concept in the latter phases of the Ottoman Empire, through the contemporary era. Lewis maintained,

…there is still no idea that the subjects have any right to share in the formation or conduct of government-to political freedom, or citizenship, in the sense which underlies the development of political thought in the West.

Lewis also makes the important point that Western colonialism transiently ameliorated this chronic situation:

During the period of British and French domination, individual freedom was never much of an issueThough often limited and sometimes suspended, it was on the whole more extensive and better protected than either before or after.

And Lewis concludes his entry by observing that Islamic societies forsook even their inchoate democratic experiments,

In the final revulsion against the West, Western democracy too was rejected as a fraud and a delusion, of no value to Muslims.

Lewis, viewed the immediate post-World War II era of democratic experimentation by Muslim societies as an objective failure , rooted in Islamic totalitarianism, which he compared directly to Communist totalitarianism, in his 1954 essay, “Communism and Islam,” noting their “uncomfortable resemblances” with some apprehension. Lewis characterized the political history of Islam,” as “one of almost unrelieved autocracy.” He added,

“[I]t was authoritarian, often arbitrary, sometimes tyrannical. There are no parliaments or representative assemblies of any kind…in the history of Islam; nothing but the sovereign power, to which the subject owed complete and unwavering obedience as a religious duty imposed by the Holy Law”

Directly comparing Islam and Communism, Lewis observed:

“Both offer an exhilarating feeling of mission, of purpose, of being engaged in a collective adventure to accelerate the historically inevitable victory of the true faith over the infidel evil-doers. The traditional Islamic division of the world into the House of Islam and the House of War, two necessarily opposed groups, of which-the first has the collective obligation of perpetual struggle against the second, also has obvious parallels in the Communist view of world affairs. There again, the content of belief is utterly different, but the aggressive fanaticism of the believer is the same…The call to a Communist Jihad, a Holy War for the faith-a new faith, but against the self-same Western Christian enemy — might well strike a responsive note.”

Consistent with Bernard Lewis’s admonition, “Bring Them Freedom Or They Destroy Us,” the US military, at an enormous cost of blood and treasure, liberated Afghanistan and Iraq from despotic regimes. However, as facilitated by the Sharia-based Afghan and Iraqi constitutions the US military occupation helped midwife—which formally negated freedom of conscience, and promoted the persecution of non-Muslim religious minorities—they,” i.e., the Muslim denizens of Afghanistan and Iraq have chosen to reject the opportunity for Western freedom we provided them, and transmogrified it into “hurriyya.” With sad predictability, Lewis, in an April 2, 2011 Wall Street Journal interview, managed to reject his own 1950s characterizations of Islam as authoritarian, even totalitarian, while burbling his subsequent oft repeated pieties about the putative tolerant, anti-authoritarian “tradition” of Islam, to cast a hopeful light on the Arab Spring:

The whole Islamic tradition is very clearly against autocratic and irresponsible rule.. We have a much better chance of establishing…some sort of open, tolerant society, if it’s done within their systems, according to their traditions.

Finally, in May, 2012, George W. Bush appeared to have learned nothing from the Iraq democratization debacle, and how it repudiated his blind adherence to the “Lewis Doctrine.” Mr. Bush hectored critics who did not share his ebullient cognitive dissonance about the then unfolding so-called Arab Spring phenomenon, declaring

Some look at the risks inherent in democratic change, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa, and find the dangers too great. America, they argue, should be content with supporting the flawed leaders they know, in the name of stability.

Bush II even made the outrageous claim that the, de facto Springtime for Sharia in Araby was tantamount to “the broadest challenge to authoritarian rule since the collapse of Soviet Communism.”

Far more important than mere hypocrisy—a ubiquitous human trait—is the catastrophic legacy of his own Islamic negationism Bernard Lewis has bequeathed to Western policymaking elites.

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Andrew Bostom About / Contact

Andrew G. Bostom is the author of The Legacy of Jihad (Prometheus, 2005) and The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism ” (Prometheus, November, 2008)

You can contact Dr. Bostom at info@andrewbostom.org

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