For your daily dose of politics not making any sense and adversely affecting policy — this time foreign and national security — I bring you this story.
As reported by CNS News, “A global effort to counter claims by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS/ISIL) that it is acting in the name of Islam must include a counter-narrative that highlights “our profound respect” for the religion, the administration’s point man in the anti-ISIS coalition said this week.”
“Retired Marine Corps Gen. John Allen was speaking in Kuwait, where representatives of more than a dozen Islamic and Western countries met to discuss using public communications to combat ISIS (also known as Da’esh – an acronym for the Arabic rendering of the group’s name, ad-Dawlah al-Islamiyah fil-Iraq wa ash-Sham). “As we seek to expose Da’esh’s true nature,” Allen told the gathering on Monday, “we must also tell a positive story, one that highlights our respect – our profound respect for Islam’s proud traditions, its rich history, and celebration of scholarship and family and community.”
First, let me point out that General Allen is retired and for some reason has been appointed by the Obama administration as special presidential envoy for the anti-ISIS coalition, and has Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Brett McGurk, an Iraq specialist, is serving as his deputy. The problem here is that the Obama administration has circumvented the established chain of command and inserted someone above the uniformed Combatant Commander responsible for this geographic area of responsibility (AOR) — General Lloyd Austin, who is on active duty.
Furthermore, retired General Allen seems to have a position that supersedes that of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, who by the law established in the Goldwater-Nichols Act, is the preeminent advisor to the president on military matters. And furthermore, where is the National Security Advisor, Susan Rice, on this matter? It is unconscionable that the Commander-in-Chief has placed a retired general in a position of making foreign policy declarations — seemingly with a political agenda.
And just so you all don’t go trying to call out the Bush Derangement Syndrome card — it was not proper for President Bush to appoint civilians in Iraq either, while it was still an active combat zone, over an ongoing military operation. That is what you have an operational level commander in place to do.
And along the lines of “Let me be very clear, ISIS is not Islamic,” the perception is that we are attempting to institute a policy of appeasement in order to placate others in dealing with the ISIS threat. If the goal is to try and relegate ISIS as some anomaly and outlier, that’s not good policy. As a matter of fact, it is completely wishing away a greater issue with Islamo-fascism, jihadism, and terrorism.
If the message is that there are tolerable levels of Islamic totalitarianism and that ISIS breaches the threshold, this is a dangerous “political” game. So then, what differentiates ISIS from Hamas? From al-Qaida? From the Taliban? From Jabhat al-Nusra? From Hezbollah? From the Muslim Brotherhood? And how do we separate state sponsors of Islamic terrorism and redefine them — such as Iran, Qatar, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and even Kuwait where this conference was held?
General Allen stated, “We must work with clerics and scholars and teachers and parents to tell the story of how we celebrate Islam, even as we show that Da’esh perverts it.”
This is how the efforts of Muslim Brotherhood front groups operating in America can influence policy. It is not the strategic security imperative of the United States of America to “tell the story of how we celebrate Islam” — unless those are specific orders given to the president’s special envoy on the matter of confronting ISIS.
If we continue to dismiss the ideology — as it fuels jihadism — then we will find ourselves unsuccessful in degrading, defeating and ever destroying Islamo-fascism. And statements such as this by General Allen cause more “moderate” Muslims from stepping up against the overall ideological conflagration against Islamic totalitarians.
CNS News says, “Da’esh’s online messengers present themselves as the true and victorious representatives of Islam. They seek to portray themselves as winners, true leaders worthy of financial support that attracts and radicalizes foreign fighters,” General Allen said. “I believe every coalition partner, every one, has a unique and a vital role to play in striking down this image – this image within the context of our respective cultural, religious, and national norms.”
“Allen noted that leading religious figures in the region have spoken out against ISIS on religious grounds. Last August, the grand mufti of Saudi Arabia declared that ISIS’ ideas and violent conduct made it “enemy number one of Islam.” The same month, Egypt’s grand mufti launched an Internet-based campaign to discredit ISIS, and urged media to stop using any name for the group that incorporates the word “Islamic.”
One would presume that the best way to defeat ISIS is not by trying to redefine them in terms appeasing to those who already practice intolerance — but rather to have these Islamic countries take up arms and defeat ISIS themselves — certainly not something we’ve seen from Turkey — and Iraq’s Army is disintegrating before our eyes.
Sure, ISIS is the kid who’s gone off the farm — but the parents are all the same — and they have brothers who believe likewise, as demonstrated by Jabhat al-Nusra’s alliance in attacking the Free Syrian Army forces.
This political position does not bode well in the “supposed” fight to defeat ISIS — it actually just gives cover to their cousins and those responsible for creating the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria — changing the name means nothing. And our advocacy in doing so while whitewashing the truth resembles the piece of paper waved by Sir Neville Chamberlain — as signed by Herr Hitler.