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Falling Down On The Job

Walid Phares says even Obama has admitted that we're falling down on the job when it comes to fighting the war on terror.

In 2002, one would-be shoe bomber forced millions of travelers to take off their shoes.  In 1996, terrorists planned to bring down aircraft on transatlantic flights by smuggling liquid explosives onto plane.  They were thwarted but they succeeded in preventing passengers from bringing liquids into airline terminals.

Lesson number one: In this terror war, the jihadists have the upper hand.  THEY are in charge.  THEY are the ones who choose to use a new weapon and they are also the ones who -- by using simple logic -- have refrained from using the same terror weapons more than once.  In fact, since September 2001, Al Qaeda’s henchmen have avoided rushing into the cockpit of an airliner with box cutters.  Does this mean we were successful in deterring the terrorists?  Of course: as long as we can prevent them from using the 9/11 methods, they won't be naïve enough or foolish enough to repeat the same strategy.  So are we winning the fight with Al Qaeda by using these measures?  No, we are simply protecting our population until we win the war.  But winning is not measured by surviving potential copycat attacks.

Instead, this war will be won by striking at the mechanism that produces the jihadists.  And on that level, we haven’t won this war either under the previous administration nor under the incumbent one.  For, as Obama admitted late last month after a near-terror attack on Northwest Flight 253, there is a "systemic failure" in our defense against the jihadi terrorists.

In my analysis, it has to do with the refusal by our leaders -- based on the opinion of their own experts -- to attack the factory that produces terrorists and instead to wait passively until the jihadists show up at our country's ports of entries.

We have been fighting this war inside our own trenches and often behind our own lines of defense.  Preventing Al Qaeda’s zombies from killing our airline pilots and flight attendants by securing cabin doors with steel and installing machines to detect liquid, creams and potential explosives is like fighting an invading army inside our own trenches and neighborhoods with bayonets.  If anything, it means that our strategists have no way to remotely detect this threat and they can't even decide what is and isn't a threat until it actually strikes us or is a few inches from us.  It is a pretty ironic situation when the grand narrative of our government is that we are fighting terrorists or extremists (pick your word, it has the same conclusion) in Waziristan, Afghanistan, and beyond, so that our defense perimeters are thousands of miles away.

So are we wrong to institute any of the security measures?  No, we need to take all possible measures to secure the population, but we also need to take them in the framework of a grand strategy to defeat the threat.  And in this regard we do not have one.  The jihadists are monitoring our actions, our measures and I do assume also are comfortably spying on us and looking into the deepest of our security mechanisms.  After the Nada Prouty and Nidal Hasan penetration cases no one can convince me that neither Hezbollah nor Al Qaeda haven’t deployed more agents throughout our national security apparatus.  The enemy knows our defense strategy, and some would argue that they are already inside our walls.  As we’re learning -- constantly and dramatically -- the so-called "isolated extremists" are not that isolated and those believed to be "lone wolves" are in fact part of a much greater, well-camouflaged packs.  The jihadists are way ahead of our security measures -- even though we need to apply them nevertheless.

In the wake of the Abdulmutalib terror act the Obama administration announced that any travelers flying into the United States from foreign countries will receive tightened random screening, and all passengers from "terrorism-prone countries" will be patted down and have their carry-on baggage searched before boarding U.S.-bound flights.  The list includes Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria as well as those travelling from Nigeria, Pakistan and Yemen.  But here is the problem: In the jihadi war room, this was duly noted.  Thus, the next human missiles will be selected from the "other" countries, and there are many countries where combat Salafis are indoctrinated and readied: Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, and Indonesia to name a few, by the way all U.S. allies.  Even better, the jihadi strategists could task recruits with German, British, French as well as Australian and Canadian passports to wreck havoc in our cities.  The past year has shown us that the jihadis can also emerge from North Carolina, Illinois, New York and other states all across the land.  Most likely the "emirs" of Al Qaeda will recommend dumping the use of powder to blow up planes, and soon another Zawahiri tape will rail at us for spending millions on a path they won’t use for a while.

As we move to implement our mammoth security measures, the swift men of jihadism are already mapping out the endlessly open areas of our underbellies.  In strategic terms we’re not going even going anywhere near that direction, it is a dead end.  The Al Qaeda jihadists will keep coming, each time from a different direction, background, with a new tactic.  And they will surprise us.  Unfortunately, that is the price of a national security policy that identifies terrorism as a "manmade disaster" and jihadism as form of yoga.

Dr. Walid Phares is the Director of the Future Terrorism Project at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and the author of The Confrontation: Winning the War against Future Jihad
Terror Attacks Raise Tension Between Obama And GOP
Byron York says that while the White House celebrates the capture of accused Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad, some of the people most involved in fighting terrorism in the United States are very, very worried.

On Wednesday, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs rejected the suggestion that Shahzad's ability to travel to and from Pakistan, train with the Taliban, and place a car bomb in the heart of New York City represented a "systemic failure" of the nation's security agencies.  (That's what President Obama said happened in the case of Crotch Bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.)

Far from seeing failure, Gibbs saw reason for celebration.  Shahzad was found quickly, he pointed out, with federal, state and local authorities working together.  "So in many ways, we want to celebrate the success of, rightly so, of what law enforcement was able to do," Gibbs said.

Tell that to Rep. Peter Hoekstra, the ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee.  "These guys continue to be in denial," Hoekstra says of the White House.  "We're just a couple of smart people away from having 300, 400, 500 Americans killed.  We have to express our appreciation to the FBI and the New York Police Department for capturing this guy, but our focus should be on how he got to Times Square and almost blew up an SUV loaded with explosives.  That's not success in my book.  Success would have been identifying this guy and making sure he didn't get to Times Square."

Particularly troubling to Hoekstra and other committee Republicans is the confusion over what U.S. authorities did or did not know about Shahzad before the bombing attempt.  The New York Times reported that in 2004, after Shahzad sold a condominium, agents from the government's Joint Terrorism Task Force questioned the buyer about Shahzad.  There have also been reports that Shahzad was in e-mail contact with radical Islamists abroad and was on a Department of Homeland Security travel watch list.  But still other reports say American officials knew nothing about him.

What's the truth?  "It's hard to believe that with this guy's profile, he didn't leave some kind of footprints in Pakistan that you would hope that we picked up somewhere along the line," Hoekstra says.

In other recent terrorist incidents, we learned from post-attack investigations that U.S. officials knew about the perpetrators beforehand.  In the case of the Fort Hood shooting that left 13 people dead, officials knew Maj. Nidal Hasan had exchanged e-mails with radical Yemeni cleric Anwar al Awlaki, had written Internet postings justifying Muslim suicide bombings and had made troubling statements to co-workers.  Yet even after Hasan went on his murderous rampage, Obama was slow to publicly recognize the attack as Islamist violence and the Pentagon later tried to whitewash the story in its official report.

After the Christmas Day airline bombing attempt, we learned that U.S. officials had received a tip from Abdulmutallab's father about his son's extremist views, that Abdulmutallab's name had been in a terrorist database and that U.S. officials knew he had been trained in Yemen.

Now there is Shahzad.  While the White House suggests that Americans "celebrate" his capture, Hoekstra and fellow Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee are growing increasingly frustrated about what they see as the administration's refusal to tell Congress what's going on.  On Wednesday, all nine Republican members sent a letter to Obama protesting what they called the White House's deliberate withholding of critical national security information.

"A clear pattern has emerged," the GOP lawmakers wrote, "of the administration refusing to provide requested briefings or information or to engage with us despite repeated requests on issues such as Guantanamo, the Fort Hood attack, the Christmas Day attack, Yemen, critical issues involving the [foreign intelligence surveillance court], and now the Times Square attack."

Obama has made a new approach to terrorism one of the key features of his presidency.  He no longer calls the nation's anti-terror effort the War on Terror.  He has reached out to the Muslim world.  He has banned what the Bush administration called "enhanced interrogation techniques."  He has vowed to close Guantanamo and supports granting full American constitutional rights to foreign terrorists.

Yet the attacks and attempted attacks continue.  And everyone knows it was luck, and not anti-terror work, that prevented American deaths on Christmas Day and in Times Square.  Republicans want to know what went wrong and are becoming increasingly angry at a White House that is keeping details of the case to itself.

And the author forgets to mention the Little Rock and Bronx Bombers jihadis.  The jihadi attacks and conspiracies are occurring at a rate of one per month.  Sooner or later Americans are going to die -- and Obama will be directly responsible.
Barack Obama Chamberlain
Allen Hunt says that in the words of Dr. Phil, "How's that working out for you?"  Someone in Obama's inner circle of advisors needs to ask the president that question and soon.  In the wake of a new immigration policy debacle, and yet another homeland security collapse, how's that policy of appeasement of Islam working out for you?  In Barack Obama, we are witnessing the second coming, not of Christ, but of Neville Chamberlain himself, the embodiment of appeasement.

In the 1930's, Neville Chamberlain earned great praise from his own party and from large numbers of the British people for his earnest willingness to avoid war by believing Adolf Hitler.  Each time Hitler proclaimed like a child before a plate of Oreo cookies that one more piece of land would sate his appetite, Chamberlain accepted Hitler at his word and patted himself on the back for avoiding armed conflict.  As Hitler moved in to seize Austria, Chamberlain, the Prime Minister of England, acquiesced.  As Hitler set his sights on the Sudetenland, Chamberlain negotiated a worthless settlement that he presented as a basis for "peace in our time."

Unfortunately, Chamberlain's appeasement policy left England weak and unprepared for war, thereby making Churchill's task of waging war against Hitler all the more difficult.  Crafting foreign policy, combating tyranny, and staring down evil are not for the faint-hearted.  Wishing away a problem rarely works; ask any addict.  Relying solely on one's supernatural powers of persuasion usually leads to delusion, failure, or worse, collapse.  In fact, this tall task of confronting evil requires a strategy of strength rather than a policy of appeasement.  Regrettably, the latter seems to be the bailiwick of Obama.

We have now witnessed a supposed "re-booting of America's image" in the Muslim world as inaugurated by Obama's much ballyhooed Cairo speech.  He and the First Lady have treated us to Muslim celebrations and declarations in the White House for Ramadan.  Obama has hosted an "Entrepreneur Summit" for Muslim leaders.  He has issued paeans on the inspiring splendors of Islam, "one of the world's great religions."  Obama has even gone to great lengths to praise an Islamic cartoonist for creating pretend superheroes skilled in the art of collaboration and peace, skills supposedly rooted in the Koran.  Meanwhile, American cartoonists at South Park live in fear of actual violence and censorship as Comedy Central quivers at the mere threat of terrorist loons like and Faisal Shahzad.  Perhaps Mr. Obama could help inspire cartoonists in his own country not to fear telling the truth about Islam rather than encouraging a Kuwaiti cartoonist.

Thus far, it looks very much like Barack Obama is channeling his inner Neville Chamberlain.  Appease and wish the problem away.  So far, not so good.

In the past six months, to name just a few examples, America has experienced:

•  A full-frontal terrorist assault on one of our own military bases by Major Nidal Hasan.  This attack occurred in spite of the numerous red flags over the past decade as Hasan made his way through American government-provided education and military training.

•  A near disastrous airline terror attack by Umar the Crotch Bomber on Christmas as his plane prepared to land in Detroit.  The savior from that attack was a Dutchman who dove across the aisle of the plane to smother Umar and his flaming underwear.  Never mind that Umar had purchased a one-way ticket with cash, carried no luggage, and had spent time in terrorist training.  Secretary Napolitano's team somehow had allowed him on a plane and never given it a second thought -- "the system worked.".

•  The planting of a car bomb in Times Square by a man who had been on our watch list for ten years, had received citizenship from our immigration bureaucracy, had recently spent five months in Pakistan, and had trained with terrorist groups.  Somehow, Napolitano's excellent leadership allowed the team at JFK airport to screen thousands of passengers on a day while failing to detain Faisal Shahzad, a wanted terrorist who walked right through security and onto a plane to head home to the Middle East.

So what Obama and his team bring to national security and the struggle against Islamic terror is a combination that spells danger.  First, an executive leader who naively thinks the problem of terror can be wished away by summits and speeches.  Second, a government bureaucracy that is always modifying its policies AFTER each security failure.  A deadly cocktail.

What an odd nation we are as we pursue our mindless quest for PCness when what we need is an education and a dose of critical thinking.  We can thank God that the Islamists thus far have sent Barney Fife and Gomer Pyle to attack us.  Ineptitude has been our primary savior: bombers who do not know what they are doing -- only matched by our own ineptitude at naming the problem (radical Islam's inability to adapt to Western mores) and dealing with it (with real immigration policies and strong security strategies).
James White says Al-Qaeda fanatics may be planning a horrific "Frankenbomber" suicide attack by implanting explosives into a human body.

Defense analysts logged conversations between users of a online forum in which Muslim extremists debate terrorism methods which could beat new US aviation security checks.

The alarming posts included one by a user who claimed to be a surgeon, promising a "new kind of terrorism."  It called on bomb makers and doctors to create the perfect solution to murder "larger numbers of unbelievers and apostates."

The post said: "What is your opinion about surgeries through which I can implant the bomb... inside the operative's body?  I am waiting for the interaction of the experienced brothers to connect the two sciences together and produce a new kind of terrorism, Allah willing."

Monitoring of the site by the SITE Intelligence Group also revealed that stitching a bomb into the abdominal cavity made of plastic or liquid explosives -- such as Semtex or PETN -- was judged the best method.

"It must be planted near the surface of the body, because the human body absorbs shocks," advised one terrorist.

The forum discussion comes as US passengers reacted angrily to "intrusive body searches" involve pat-downs and scanners in a security crackdown.

Such searches would not detect a "Frankenbomber" implanted with explosives, it is believed.

Mark Rossini, a former senior FBI counter-terror expert told the New York Daily News: "In the same way that drug smugglers have placed bags of narcotics in the body cavities of animals and had people ingest condoms filled with drugs, it would not be out of the realm of Al Qaeda operational planners to conceive of such a technique.  No technique is off-limits to Al Qaeda to achieve its destructive goals."

In August last year, Saudi Prince Mohammed Bin Nayef was injured when a suicide bomber with explosives carried inside his body managed to breach security and detonate the device.
Do You Believe The People Running This Country?
Zip has a video of an Obama Regime Official saying, "We Actually Expected" released Gitmo detainees would return to fighting Jihad.
On the recently announced soaring recidivism rate for Gitmo detainees returning to terror, Soros' lackey and State Department spokesman, P. J. Crowley, said on Fox News that "we actually expected this to happen."

I watch this guy and Janet Napolitano doing interviews on TV and I just have to shake my head.

Jihad is forever.  Obama and his crowd won't even admit there is a jihad.  They refuse to use the word.  They have to let terrorists go or admit their view of jihad is absurd.
U. S. In Direct Talks With Taliban
AFP is reporting the Obama administration has entered into direct, secret talks with senior Afghan Taliban officials, The New Yorker magazine reports.

The talks were characterized in the story as an attempt by the Obama administration "to assess which figures in the Taliban's leadership, if any, might be willing to engage in formal Afghan peace negotiations, and under what conditions".

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Steve Coll wrote that several sources, which were not identified in the story, briefed him about the talks.

Earlier on Friday, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that only a political solution will end the war in Afghanistan.

"We will never kill enough insurgents to end this war outright," Ms. Clinton said during a speech in New York, and voiced hope for splitting off rank-and-file Taliban from al-Qaeda extremists in Afghanistan.

She said the surge in US-led troops over the past year was part of a strategy to "split the weakened Taliban off from al-Qaeda and reconcile those who will renounce violence and accept the Afghan constitution".

The late Richard Holbrooke, who served as Washington's special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, was a leading advocate for a political settlement.  Holbrooke died December 13.

And it was notions that you can split the rank-and-file jihadists from the college-educated jihadists that killed him.

Evidently our State Department forgets that the Taliban were as 7th century as it gets long before we went to Afghanistan.
The Silent Moderates
An American Expat in Southeast Asia says that while the initial reaction to Osama Bin Laden's death throughout Southeast Asia was surprisingly muted with many expressing disbelief on his demise, the general mood is disturbingly changing.  Yesterday afternoon the mosques were packed full from Indonesia and Malaysia to the Philippines with thousands of Al Qaeda supporters and sympathizers taking to the streets afterwards protesting and marching on the respective United States embassies.

The show of sympathy for Al Qaeda's leader was stunning with many shocked at the large number of supporters who came out.  To those in America and Europe who still think that Al Qaeda's virulent strain of Islam had but a few supporters, yesterday was an eye-opener.  Manila's Golden Mosque which normally attracts only around 500 worshipers for Friday prayers was filled to the brim with over 5000 worshipers yesterday afternoon.  In Malaysia, Al Qaeda's sympathizers took to the streets and in Indonesia posters were put up denouncing Obama as a terrorist and Osama as a mujahid.

In provocative displays of religious chauvinism Islam's fieriest orators took this unique opportunity to stoke the flames of recrudescent radicalism from a vast new contingent of self-radicalized moderates, by denouncing the West and praising Osama Bin Laden.  It is this new contingent, the "silent moderates" who will seek no rapprochement and offer no quarter with the West.  Emboldened by the West's appeasement, deference and lack of resolve, they number in the millions and range from bomb-makers to home-makers but each one shares a common goal and that is absolute victory.

While our adversaries overseas are plotting to one day soon deliver the nuclear coup de grâce -- our TSA agents are back home are either busy groping preteens in the nation's airports or attending Muslim sensitivity classes.  Time is not on our side and neither will be victory if we don't pull our heads out of the sand.

To paraphrase Churchill, the West has been offered a choice between war and shame.  She has chosen shame and will get war.
Obama's Cultural Sensitivity
Judicial Watch says that in the Obama Administration’s shameless effort to appease Muslims, an FBI raid on a south Florida mosque with terrorist ties was conducted under new rules of engagement to assure cultural sensitivity towards Islam.

The culturally sensitive raid led to the arrest of a Pakistani imam (Hafiz Muhammed Sher Ali Khan) at a Miami mosque and five others, including his sons, daughter and grandson.  All were charged with providing financial and material support for the Pakistani Taliban.  The terrorist organization is associated with Al-Qaeda and has claimed responsibility for numerous attacks against American interests, including a 2009 suicide bombing at a U.S. military base in Afghanistan.

Khan founded an Islamic school that supports the Taliban’s jihad while living in Pakistan and continued controlling and funding it as an imam in Miami, according to the federal indictment.  He used the school to provide shelter and support for Taliban soldiers and to train children how to kill Americans in Afghanistan, the indictment says.  The rest of the family helped create a network that flowed money from the U.S. to Pakistan to purchase guns for the Taliban, according to the feds.

Considering the seriousness of the charges it’s inconceivable that federal agents made cultural sensitivity a priority during arrests.  The unbelievable details of how the "kindler, gentler arrests" went down are featured in a local newspaper that reports federal agents actually waited for prayer service to end before moving in out of respect for Muslims.  They also took their shoes off before entering the mosque as per Islamic tradition.

The Obama-appointed federal prosecutor in charge of the area, U.S. Attorney Wilfredo Ferrer, went out of his way to assure that the case has been handled under the administration’s new rules of engagement to show more sensitivity toward religious practices.  He stressed that most Muslims are "as American as apple pie" and should not be branded by the alleged terrorist actions of just a few.

As part of its nationwide outreach efforts, the Obama Administration has conducted a series of meetings with Muslim groups throughout Florida, including training workshops to help law enforcement officers become more sensitive about Arab, Muslim and Sikh communities.  Ferrer, who prosecutes federal crimes in the entire region, says Muslims shouldn’t feel isolated because he’s their U.S. Attorney too.

While reading this, the lack of "cultural sensitivity" shown in the Branch Davidians raid came to mind.
Lawmakers Resist Obama's $2B To Egypt
Fox News is reporting that Obama's call for $2 billion in loan assistance to Egypt has left many political figures scratching their heads as they try to figure out why a debt-ridden U.S. would commit that much money to a country whose new government may not end up friendly to America.

In Thursday's sweeping address on the uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa, Obama said he wants the U.S. to forgive roughly $1 billion in debt owed by Egypt and to provide another $1 billion in loan guarantees to free up money for job-creation efforts there.

But with the U.S. grappling with more than $14 trillion in debt and lawmakers fighting over the terms for increasing the nation's own ability to borrow money, Obama's call to help Egypt has face resistance in Congress.

"Considering our own national debt, we cannot afford to forgive up to $1 billion of Egypt's debt," said Rep. Elena Ros-Lehtinen, the chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

"I am deeply concerned that the president did not rule out providing aid to Egypt if the Muslim Brotherhood is part of the government," she said.  "The U.S. should only provide assistance to Egypt after we know that Egypt's new government will not include the Muslim Brotherhood and will be democratic, pro-American and committed to abiding by peace agreements with Israel."

Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, who is running for president, posted this message on his Twitter account: "Pres. Obama: $2B in loan guarantees for Egypt'.  Guaranteed with WHAT??  We're broke.  Who will guarantee our guarantee??"

Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla, had a similar reaction.

"Where are we going to get $1 billion?" he said to Dow Jones News Service.  "If we give them $1 billion, we're going to borrow $400 million from the Chinese."

Even Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, which would have to allocate the funds, told Dow Jones News Service, "I don't know where this money is going to come from.  Two billion dollars, when everything is getting cut to the bone, is going to be difficult."
Obama's Servile Negotiations With The Taliban
Tara Servatius says most Americans don’t realize how far Obama has bowed down to the Taliban -- and how he is potentially setting them up to rule Afghanistan.

While the fact that we are negotiating with the Taliban has been fleetingly covered here in America, a search using LexisNexis shows that the rest of the story about the concessions we have offered them has been virtually blacked out by the mainstream media in the U.S.  Things are so bad that we now aren’t even requiring that they renounce their ties to al-Qaeda before we negotiate with them.

You’d have to read British newspapers to learn that, and about how they have humiliated our Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron on the national stage in negotiations.

The Obama administration is so desperate to appease the Islamic savages and cut a peace deal with them that U.S. negotiators no longer require preconditions of Taliban fighters we negotiate with -- like that they halt the killing of innocent civilians and our troops or break with al-Qaeda, the Telegraph of London reported.

Apparently, terrorist attacks on U.S. soil aren’t off-limits either.  Incredibly, these "negotiations" with the Taliban began last fall, just five months after the attempted Times Square bombing attack by Faisal Shahzad, which was funded by the Taliban.

U.S. negotiators and their British counterparts aren’t even requiring that the Taliban embrace the Afghan constitution that our troops and many Afghans paid for with blood.  Worse yet, they are aiming to turn control of the county at least partly over to the Taliban in a "shared power" deal, essentially throwing the Afghan people to the wolves.

Meanwhile our troops take bullets enforcing the Afghan constitution and continue to die fighting for what the Obama administration is giving away at the negotiating table.  The Taliban killed four U.S. soldiers and 42 innocent civilians in bombings at hospital and construction sites this month, and was recently caught attempting to smuggle suicide bombers as young as 9 years old into the country.

If the American public got the full story on this, they’d be outraged.  The Taliban is so emboldened that it has even demanded we release 20 prisoners from the Guantanamo Bay holding facility as part of negotiations, one of the few details of these talks that has actually been reported by the U.S. press.

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