America’s inconsistent response to the current Islamic State atrocities indicates that we are failing to understand, or deliberately ignoring, the facts that drive the terrorist organization’s ideology.
Such misunderstanding has been facilitated by the Obama administration’s embrace of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is now institutionalized in all government agencies, including the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security and the White House. This penetration is similar to what the communists were able to accomplish in the 1930s, ‘40s and ‘50s. As a result, our warfighters and law enforcement agencies have been denied critical information on combating the Islamic jihadists we are fighting today.
How did this happen? In one example, 57 Muslim signatories wrote a letter Oct. 19, 2011, to President Obama’s national security adviser for terrorism, John. O. Brennan, now our CIA director, complaining about “bigoted trainers and material” that was being used to describe the threat of Islamic terrorism and the Islamic ideology that the terrorists use to justify their acts.
As a result, all such material and training manuals were “purged” to remove anything that portrayed Islam as a religion of violence. Furthermore, an advisory board that reportedly included Muslim Brotherhood operators was established to review and sanction all revised training material to be used for our military, FBI and other law enforcement agencies down to the local level. This means is that our entire national security community has now been effectively neutralized on understanding the threat of Islam.
The Muslim Brotherhood penetration goes well beyond training materials. Their influence is most likely reflected in the restricted Rules of Engagement under which our military is forced to fight. This has caused the unnecessary loss of life and debilitating injuries for thousands of our military personnel. The Muslim Brotherhood has been so emboldened that it now has the audacity to demand the “brainwashing” of all our previous trainers. Mao and Stalin would be proud.
According to an article by terrorism expert Clare Lopez, on Aug. 14, another letter with 75 signatories was written to Lisa O. Monaco, homeland security counterterrorism adviser to the National Security Council, urged the Obama administration to “implement a mandatory retrainer program” for all federal, state and local law enforcement officers who have previously been “exposed” to anti-Muslim training. Much like the previous letter sent to Mr. Brennan, the signatories represent many of the leading Muslim organizations in the United States, e.g., the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Muslim Public Affairs Council and the Muslim Alliance in North America. It should be noted that many of those signatories represent organizations that were designated in federal court as unindicted co-conspirators from the 1998 Holy Land Foundation Hamas terrorism-funding trial in Richardson, Texas.
What prompted this latest letter may have been the fear that America might wake up and connect the current Islamic State atrocities to the ideology of Islam. The silence from the so-called moderate Muslim Brotherhood front organizations on these atrocities should tell you everything you need to know. Likewise, all those hundreds of millions of so-called moderate Muslims remain silent.
Alexis de Tocqueville wrote in 1838, noted by Bruce Thornton on Aug. 18, “Jihad, holy war is an obligation for all believers … . The state of war is the natural state with regard to infidels . These doctrines of which the practical outcome is obvious are found on every page and in almost every word of the Koran … . The violent tendencies of the Koran are so striking that I cannot understand how any man with good sense could miss them.” We must face facts: Islam never was, nor can it be, a religion of peace, regardless of what we are told by our current and past leaders.
Islamic ideology clearly provides the theological justifications stemming from the time of Muhammad through 1,300 hundred years of its history to justify the current jihadist movement and atrocities. Islam has not been hijacked by radicals. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said it best: “Islam is Islam.”
There is no question that the current Islamic State movement must be destroyed. Iran’s alleged offer to help get rid of it in Iraq, provided we lift all sanctions, should be totally rejected (if indeed made as reported). Pressure must be maintained on Iran to prevent it from achieving a nuclear-weapons capability. It must never be forgotten that there are no differences among the Islamic State, al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran when it comes to their objective of destroying the United States and Israel.
The attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, could not have happened without Iran’s support for al Qaeda.
The Islamic State is the wealthiest terrorist organization in the world (after the Iranian regime), and must be relentlessly pursued in Iraq and Syria until it is effectively destroyed as a symbol of Islam’s resurgence. This will require a sustained air campaign coordinated with our special forces, and hopefully, our allies. We must assume the Islamic State, al Qaeda and others have established sleeper cells in the United States. Accordingly, our readiness posture must be significantly increased. In that context, our military and law enforcement agencies must be retrained so that they can effectively recognize and defeat the threat.
Congress must take the lead and prevent any further drawdown of our strategic and conventional forces. They must also take the lead in purging all Muslim Brotherhood front organizations from our government agencies. Regrettably, based on past performance, we should be under no illusion that this administration will aggressively implement these urgent actions.
James A. Lyons, a U.S. Navy retired admiral, was commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet and senior U.S. military representative to the United Nations.