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The west accepted Salafist “refugees” for decades, now it’s paying the price

There is no greater structural threat to a secular Muslim-majority country than Salafists, which is why the West welcomed those “fleeing” from the “political and religious repression” in their homelands in order to weaponize them for future Hybrid War use.

Andrew Korybko

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Brits have been struggling to figure out how their government dropped the ball and failed to prevent the Manchester suicide bombing when the attacker was already on their radar, but what many people are overlooking is the “politically incorrect” fact that it should have been obvious from the first day that the bomber’s family set foot in the UK that they’d end up being trouble. Lost amidst the flurry of media reports about this tragic incident is that the attacker’s family arrived on British soil as Libyan “refugees” decades before the 2011 NATO war devastated their country. It’s rather peculiar that they’d seek “refuge” from Libya because the Jamahiriya had the highest living standards in all of Africa during the time that they “fled” and hadn’t fought a conflict within its borders since World War II.

This means that his family didn’t leave because of any desperate material or military conditions, but because of socio-political ones which they disagreed with, namely that Libya was a secular socialist state that forbade Salafism. To bring the reader up to speed in case they’re not already aware, Salafism (colloquially called “Islamism” by many Westerners) is the school of thought which preaches that Muslims must live by an ultra-conservative interpretation of the Quran. Not only must they abide by strict socio-cultural and political standards, but Salafists also believe that it is their God-given duty to proselytize their way of life all across the world, even in the foreign civilizations which host them as migrants. This is the mindset of the bomber’s family, and true to kind, they raised their son the same way. The Manchester suicide bomber wasn’t radicalized on the internet or by Wahhabi imams, he was indoctrinated by his family since birth.

Liberal Double Standards

An individual’s religious beliefs are a personal affair, just like what a migrant does in their homeland, but when permanently relocating to and living in a totally different society than what they’re used to, people should abide by the socio-cultural standards of their hosts. Salafists, for example, should keep to themselves and respect that Westerners don’t want them to enforce civilizationally dissimilar practices onto the locals, as doing so will only prompt socio-cultural strife within the country which will inevitably lead to political tensions. This should all be common sense for everyone, but it’s unfortunately not followed by Salafist migrants because Western governments refuse to dissuade them from their public practices.

In line with the precepts of “multiculturalism”, the reason for this can be attributed to one of the many liberal double standards which have been employed the West for years, whereby foreigners (whether legal or illegal) are granted the freedom of religion to practice their beliefs however they see fit (especially if it’s Islam), but locals practicing traditional religions such as Christianity are pressured to respect everyone else’s freedom from religion in keeping the external display of their faith (ex: crosses) out of public sight. This particular double standard leads to a dysfunctional society which is either destined for full-scale Salafism or serious civil conflict, the latter scenario of which can only arise if the locals aren’t successfully guilt-tripped into thinking that any peaceful resistance against the imposition of foreign socio-cultural practices is “racist”, “fascist”, or “white supremacist”.

The state of affairs described above is very dangerous and the cause for heated debate within Western society right now, but a devil’s advocate would say that the said governments had no way to test the religious zeal of the Muslim migrants that they were allowing into their countries, which is factually true no matter if certain indicators could have obviously suggested the true level of their personal convictions. Therefore, as some leftist-liberal critics claim, it’s not fair to fault Western governments for who they let into their countries because they “might not have known any better”, and if anything, there’s nothing wrong – they say – with the large-scale influx of foreigners who refuse to assimilate and integrate into the host society. After all, Western society is all about “freedom”, so everyone’s “free” to do as they want, right?

Well, not necessarily, but that’s a different discussion for a different day.

The Hybrid War Weaponization Of Salafist “Refugees”

This article deals with those individuals who were without a doubt Salafists by virtue of them “fleeing” from secular and socialist Arab states in order to apply for “political/religious refugee” status in Western countries, the governments of which have no excuse in pretending that they didn’t know the level of these migrants’ religious zeal. I’m not inferring that all Salafists, Salafist migrants, or Salafist “political/religious refugees” from secular and socialist Arab states are terrorists, but just that the primary terrorist threat afflicting Western countries nowadays comes from people who fit one of these three descriptions. The irony, then, is that Western governments knowingly allowed these Salafists to come to their societies in the first place, especially in the case of “political/religious refugees” from secular and socialist Arab states, but there’s a cynical reason behind the short-sighted strategy leading to their civilizational demise apart from the “multicultural” explanation.

Salafists are the natural enemy of secularists, and this therefore makes them a strategic weapon to be wielded by the geopolitical opponents of former Libyan leader Gaddafi and Syrian President Assad, for example, both of whom were (and in the case of the latter, still are) opposed to the West. There is no greater structural threat to a secular Muslim-majority country than Salafists, which is why the West welcomed those “fleeing” from the “political and religious repression” in their homelands in order to weaponize them for future Hybrid War use. The Salafists couldn’t proselytize their interpretation of Islam inside of Libya or Syria because those governments didn’t tolerate even the slightest expression of it, though the liberal West had no such compunctions about their lifestyle owing to the double standard associated with granting foreigners (especially Muslim ones) the freedom of religion while hypocritically enforcing the locals’ freedom from religion when it comes to displays of their traditional Christian faith.

Libyan and other Salafist “political/religious refugees” quickly became even more comfortable in their new homes than in their old homelands because Western governments actually encouraged them to practice their strict lifestyle and proselytize as much as they wanted, though some of these people still longed to transform their countries of origin into the “Salafist paradise” that they constructed in what usually turned out to be Western ghettos. Remember, these people left their homelands precisely because they couldn’t set up a Salafist emirate there, and they know that there are certain limits to what they can do in expanding their “religious paradise” out of the ghetto and throughout the rest of their new country before they encounter heavy opposition. Therefore, it’s their dream to return back to Libya or wherever else they came from and overthrow their “dictators” so that everyone else can be “freed” from the “evils of secularism” and have a chance to finally build the Salafist state which the “pro-democracy fighters” always fantasized about.

Naturally, this aligns with Western geopolitical objectives, which is why these ideological individuals were allowed into their societies to begin with.

Turning A Blind Eye Always Backfires

It’s important at this point to understand that all Western governments could have stopped the Salafization of their Muslim ghettos but intentionally decided against it, though not all of them declined solely because they were scared of transgressing some sort of unstated but “sacred” liberal belief in permitting civilizationally dissimilar newcomers to aggressively practice their freedom of religion at the locals’ expense. Some, like the US and especially the UK, allowed this process to continue unabated because it was thought to provide valuable administrative training for the “political/religious refugees” who they planned to recruit as Hybrid War vanguards. These fighters would one day run their own nationwide caliphates, it was believed, so the experience in doing so on a smaller level inside of their Western neighborhoods could come in handy for the “victors” sometime in the future, as well as potentially ensure that they remain friendly to their former Western patrons who gave them the “freedom” to build a prototype of their desired society after they first “fled” from their homelands.

This also explains why so many terrorists nowadays were known to Western intelligence before they “went rogue” and attacked their handlers instead of their intended targets abroad. Take the Manchester suicide bomber, for example. His family reportedly returned back to Libya after the brutal public assassination of Gaddafi, ostensibly to take the Salafist administrative lessons that they perfected in their British neighborhood back to their original Libyan one in helping to build the “paradise” that they and their co-ideologists so desired. The attacker, however, stayed behind in Britain and eventually turned against his family’s one-time host and the land of his birth. It’s not unexpected that this would happen, which is why the article previously described the strategy of intentionally accepting Salafist “political/religious refugees” from secular and socialist Arab states as short-sighted. As President Assad wisely warned, “terrorists cannot be used as a political card, you cannot put it in your pocket, because it’s like a scorpion; it will bite you someday.”

Britain tragically found that out the hard way earlier this week.

The policy of actively encouraging Salafist immigration to the West backfired in another way aside from the expected terrorist blowback that’s been incurred, since it also contributed to the rise of Islamophobia among a broad segment of the native population. Many Westerners don’t have an objective understanding of what Islam is because their perception of the religion is distorted by the Salafist newcomers who came to their country across the past couple of decades. This shouldn’t be taken to mean that Salafists are the majority of Muslims, most Mideast-originating immigrants, or the bulk of Muslims living in the West for generations, but just that this particular group’s obnoxious public proselytizing disproportionately inflated their presence in the Western consciousness and led people to wrongly conflate them and their practices with all Muslims.

The average Muslim woman doesn’t necessarily wear a niqab, burka, or hijab, just as not all Muslim men have long beards and wear robes, though many Westerners probably wouldn’t believe this because the experience that they have within their own countries testifies to the opposite, or so they believe because of their perception (whether real, inaccurate, or manipulated). It’s doubtful that Westerners seriously care about whatever thoughts a stranger has in their head or holds in their heart, but they don’t want others acting on them in a way which disrupts the social standard that they’ve become accustomed to. Dressing in an Islamic style is the personal choice of an individual and doesn’t automatically make anyone a Salafist, though it’s reasonable that host countries should have the sovereign right to regulate this for legitimate security reasons if they so choose (e.g. making women take off the niqab for their ID pictures). What’s not acceptable to the vast majority of people, however, is an aggressive minority of a minority (the Salafists within the Muslim community) enforcing their religious culture on the local majority and intimidating them.

Sharing The Blame

Unfortunately, the Salafists are largely responsible for why ordinary Westerns might hold a suspicious view about Muslims. That’s not at all to excuse those who are genuine Islamophobes and harbor nothing but fascist hatred for all Muslims, but to explain that the public and media aura which has been built around Western-based Salafists has created the perception – whether intentional or not, though nonetheless totally inaccurate – that all Muslims are cut from this same ideological cloth, and therefore a pressing security threat in the sense that they might resort to violence or even terrorism to enforce their strict socio-cultural standards on the majority non-Muslim population. It doesn’t matter if these Muslims are citizens born in a Western country or recent arrivals from overseas, what disturbs the masses and feeds into actual Islamophobia is that Salafist standards have become commonplace in some Muslim communities, and their co-confessionals aren’t doing enough to keep the aggressive proselytizers at bay.

Ultimately, however, the blame needs to be broadened from passive believers who turn a blind eye to the more radical elements of their communities and to the “multicultural”-brainwashed host governments themselves that actively recruited Salafist “political/religious refugees” from secular and socialist Arab states with the partial intent of one day dispatching them back to their homelands as Hybrid War weapons. It’s not a coincidence that it almost always turns out to be the case that Western intelligence knew about a terrorist before they “went rogue” and carried out an attack in Europe or North America, since these very same agencies usually worked with those individuals at one time or another, whether while training them in “freedom fighter” militancy or receiving briefings from them when they either (re)entered the country or informed on their co-confessionalists. It’s not suggested that the “deep state” tasked each and every one of them with carrying out their eventual attacks as false flags, but just that the permanent bureaucracy can’t control all of the Salafists within their country and lost track of monitoring the most dangerous ones as closely as they should have.

The unfortunate outcome of this decades-long failed policy is Salafist terrorism and Islamophobia, two evils which feed off of one another and further the “Clash of Civilizations” narrative within Western society. The public prominence of Salafists adds fuel to the Islamophobes’ exploitation of the populist zeitgeist favoring state sovereignty and a return to border-immigration controls within the EU, redirecting it towards actual hate speech and sabotaging its noble political goals. Relatedly, the Salafists exploit these minority viewpoints to paint all non-Muslims opposed to open borders and unregulated immigration as “racists”, “fascists”, “white supremacists”, and “Islamophobes”, which riles up the otherwise peaceful non-Salafist Muslim community. All in all, extremists from both the Muslim and non-Muslim camps try to hijack control of their respective communities’ narrative in order to militarize them against the other, thereby contributing to the self-perpetuating cycle of violence that’s broken out within Western society as of late.

Is There A Solution?

It’s difficult to prescribe the perfect solution for dealing with these interconnected problems because of how far they’ve already progressed, and there’s not much that the guilty governments can do in making up for the damage that their decades-long policies have wrought in instigating the “Clash of Civilizations” which is wreaking so much havoc within their societies. No peaceful minority group should ever be discriminated against or made to feel uncomfortable, but nor should any peaceful member of the majority either. Salafists shouldn’t infringe on the rights of their majority non-Muslim hosts, just as the latter shouldn’t take out their Salafist-inspired stress on regular Muslims.

Ideally, the most effective and sustainable way to deal with the existing tension which has built up over the years is for the state to promulgate and enforce legislation mandating strict anti-Salafist migration controls and ending the policy of offering “political/religious asylum” to those “fleeing” from the remaining secular Arab states of Algeria, Egypt, and Syria. The state also needs to crack down on Salafist hate speech, including within mosques. Just as equally, however, the government needs to keep an eye on the rising fascist sentiment within society and make moves to mitigate its growth and counteract its hateful narratives. However, this shouldn’t be abused to suppress pro-sovereignty populism and the peaceful expression of free speech.

Controlling fascism is just as important as controlling Salafism because each contributes to the spread of the other and foments a larger conflict which inevitably harms many more innocent people than it does any of its culprits. It’s naïve to pin all of one’s hope in the state, however, since time and again this has proven to be misplaced. Western governments either ignore both of these problems or selectively target troublemakers from each camp and never deal with the real underlying issues at hand, so the most realistic solution to the rising Salafism in the Western Muslim community and the reactionary trend of outright fascist Islamophobia in its populist counterpart is for both of their core constituencies to band together in “policing their own” and purging the ideological riffraff from their ranks.

Even so, it will probably still take a generation or two to successfully remove these destructive strains of thought from their communities, though the recent rise of reactionary fascism will probably be comparatively easier to contain than its primary trigger cause of Salafism, which has been strengthened over the decades and ironically aided by the very same host governments that are now threatened by it. If there’s a lesson to be learned from the Manchester suicide bombing, then it’s that the pro-Salafist immigration and “refugee” policies practiced by Western governments for years have utterly failed in their stated “multiculturalist” goals and clandestine Hybrid War ones, and that the resultant change of perception that many locals now have about the Muslim community at large is feeding into the rise of fascism and the literal “Clash of Civilizations” that’s unfolding across Europe.

 

DISCLAIMER: The author writes for this publication in a private capacity which is unrepresentative of anyone or any organization except for his own personal views. Nothing written by the author should ever be conflated with the editorial views or official positions of any other media outlet or institution. 

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BuzzFeed pushes fake Michael Cohen news, as real news breaks on HUGE conspiracy against Trump at FBI and DOJ (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 169.

Alex Christoforou

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According to Zerohedge, in an almost unprecedented event – having rarely commented on stories related to the special counsel’s investigation – Robert S. Mueller III’s office put out a statement firmly disputing the reporting of the news site BuzzFeed reported that the president instructed his personal attorney to lie to Congress about his push for a Moscow real estate project

BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the Special Counsel’s Office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen’s Congressional testimony are not accurate,” the special counsel’s office said.

As The Hill reports, BuzzFeed had released a statement earlier Friday defending the reporters behind the story and saying that it “stands by this story 100%,” and for his part, Cohen adviser Lanny Davis refused to confirm or deny the report during an interview with MSNBC on Friday afternoon.

President Trump retweeted a few social media reactions…

And then made his own views clear:

Meanwhile the real election collusion bombshell had nothing to do with Russia, Moscow hotels, or Michael Cohen, and everything to do with bullet proof evidence that DOJ official, Bruce Ohr, warned all the higher-ups at the FBI and DOJ (Comey, Rosenstein, McCabe, etc…) that the Steele dossier was connected to Hillary Clinton, and was extremely biased against Donald Trump.

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss how BuzzFeed pushed out a clear, fake propaganda story on Trump, Cohen, and more stupidity about Moscow hotel deals, as real reporter, John Solomon broke a massive story, with solid evidence and facts, that show the FBI and DOJ knew that the Steele dossier was a complete work of fiction, and knowingly hide that fact from FISA courts.

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Authored by John Solomon, via The Hill

When the annals of mistakes and abuses in the FBI’s Russia investigation are finally written, Bruce Ohr almost certainly will be the No. 1 witness, according to my sources.

The then-senior Department of Justice (DOJ) official briefed both senior FBI and DOJ officials in summer 2016 about Christopher Steele’s Russia dossier, explicitly cautioning that the British intelligence operative’s work was opposition research connected to Hillary Clinton’s campaign and might be biased.

Ohr’s briefings, in July and August 2016, included the deputy director of the FBI, a top lawyer for then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch and a Justice official who later would become the top deputy to special counsel Robert Mueller.

At the time, Ohr was the associate deputy attorney general. Yet his warnings about political bias were pointedly omitted weeks later from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant that the FBI obtainedfrom a federal court, granting it permission to spy on whether the Trump campaign was colluding with Russia to hijack the 2016 presidential election.

Ohr’s activities, chronicled in handwritten notes and congressional testimony I gleaned from sources, provide the most damning evidence to date that FBI and DOJ officials may have misled federal judges in October 2016 in their zeal to obtain the warrant targeting Trump adviser Carter Page just weeks before Election Day.

They also contradict a key argument that House Democrats have made in their formal intelligence conclusions about the Russia case.

Since it was disclosed last year that Steele’s dossier formed a central piece of evidence supporting the FISA warrant, Justice and FBI officials have been vague about exactly when they learned that Steele’s work was paid for by the law firm representing the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

A redacted version of the FISA application released last year shows the FBI did not mention any connection to the DNC or Clinton. Rather, it referred to Steele as a reliable source in past criminal investigations who was hired by a person working for a U.S. law firm to conduct research on Trump and Russia.

The FBI claimed it was “unaware of any derogatory information” about Steele, that Steele was “never advised … as to the motivation behind the research” but that the FBI  “speculates” that those who hired Steele were “likely looking for information to discredit” Trump’s campaign.

Yet, in testimony last summer to congressional investigators, Ohr revealed the FBI and Justice lawyers had no need to speculate: He explicitly warned them in a series of contacts, beginning July 31, 2016, that Steele expressed biased against Trump and was working on a project connected to the Clinton campaign.

Ohr had firsthand knowledge about the motive and the client: He had just met with Steele on July 30, 2016, and Ohr’s wife, Nellie, worked for Fusion GPS, the same firm employing Steele.

“I certainly told the FBI that Fusion GPS was working with, doing opposition research on Donald Trump,” Ohr told congressional investigators, adding that he warned the FBI that Steele expressed bias during their conversations.

“I provided information to the FBI when I thought Christopher Steele was, as I said, desperate that Trump not be elected,” he added. “So, yes, of course I provided that to the FBI.”

When pressed why he would offer that information to the FBI, Ohr answered: “In case there might be any kind of bias or anything like that.” He added later, “So when I provided it to the FBI, I tried to be clear that this is source information, I don’t know how reliable it is. You’re going to have to check it out and be aware.”

Ohr went further, saying he disclosed to FBI agents that his wife and Steele were working for the same firm and that it was conducting the Trump-Russia research project at the behest of Trump’s Democratic rival, the Clinton campaign.

“These guys were hired by somebody relating to, who’s related to the Clinton campaign and be aware,” Ohr told Congress, explaining what he warned the bureau.

Perkins Coie, the law firm that represented both the DNC and the Clinton campaign during the 2016 election, belatedly admitted it paid Fusion GPS for Steele’s work on behalf of the candidate and party and disguised the payments as legal bills when, in fact, it was opposition research.

When asked if he knew of any connection between the Steele dossier and the DNC, Ohr responded that he believed the project was really connected to the Clinton campaign.

“I didn’t know they were employed by the DNC but I certainly said yes that they were working for, you know, they were somehow working, associated with the Clinton campaign,” he answered.

“I also told the FBI that my wife worked for Fusion GPS or was a contractor for GPS, Fusion GPS.”

Ohr divulged his first contact with the FBI was on July 31, 2016, when he reached out to then-Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and FBI attorney Lisa Page. He then was referred to the agents working Russia counterintelligence, including Peter Strzok, the now-fired agent who played a central role in starting the Trump collusion probe.

But Ohr’s contacts about the Steele dossier weren’t limited to the FBI. He said in August 2016 — nearly two months before the FISA warrant was issued — that he was asked to conduct a briefing for senior Justice officials.

Those he briefed included Andrew Weissmann, then the head of DOJ’s fraud section; Bruce Swartz, longtime head of DOJ’s international operations, and Zainab Ahmad, an accomplished terrorism prosecutor who, at the time, was assigned to work with Lynch as a senior counselor.

Ahmad and Weissmann would go on to work for Mueller, the special prosecutor overseeing the Russia probe.

Ohr’s extensive testimony also undercuts one argument that House Democrats sought to make last year.

When Republicans, in early 2018, first questioned Ohr’s connections to Steele, Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee sought to minimize the connection, insisting he only worked as an informer for the FBI after Steele was fired by the FBI in November 2016.

The memo from Rep. Adam Schiff’s (D-Calif.) team claimed that Ohr’s contacts with the FBI only began “weeks after the election and more than a month after the Court approved the initial FISA application.”

But Ohr’s testimony now debunks that claim, making clear he started talking to FBI and DOJ officials well before the FISA warrant or election had occurred.

And his detailed answers provide a damning rebuttal to the FBI’s portrayal of the Steele material.

In fact, the FBI did have derogatory information on Steele: Ohr explicitly told the FBI that Steele was desperate to defeat the man he was investigating and was biased.

And the FBI knew the motive of the client and did not have to speculate: Ohr told agents the Democratic nominee’s campaign was connected to the research designed to harm Trump’s election chances.

Such omissions are, by definition, an abuse of the FISA system.

Don’t take my word for it. Fired FBI Director James Comey acknowledged it himself when he testified last month that the FISA court relies on an honor system, in which the FBI is expected to divulge exculpatory evidence to the judges.

“We certainly consider it our obligation, because of our trust relationship with federal judges, to present evidence that would paint a materially different picture of what we’re presenting,” Comey testified on Dec. 7, 2018. “You want to present to the judge reviewing your application a complete picture of the evidence, both its flaws and its strengths.”

Comey claims he didn’t know about Ohr’s contacts with Steele, even though his top deputy, McCabe, got the first contact.

But none of that absolves his FBI, or the DOJ for that matter, from failing to divulge essential and exculpatory information from Ohr to the FISA court.

John Solomon is an award-winning investigative journalist whose work over the years has exposed U.S. and FBI intelligence failures before the Sept. 11 attacks, federal scientists’ misuse of foster children and veterans in drug experiments, and numerous cases of political corruption. He is The Hill’s executive vice president for video.

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At Age 70, Time To Rethink NATO

The architect of Cold War containment, Dr. George Kennan, warned that moving NATO into Eastern Europe and former Soviet republics would prove a “fateful error.”

Patrick J. Buchanan

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Authored by Patrick Buchanan via The Unz Review:


“Treaties are like roses and young girls. They last while they last.”

So said President Charles De Gaulle, who in 1966 ordered NATO to vacate its Paris headquarters and get out of France.

NATO this year celebrates a major birthday. The young girl of 1966 is no longer young. The alliance is 70 years old.

And under this aging NATO today, the U.S. is committed to treat an attack on any one of 28 nations from Estonia to Montenegro to Romania to Albania as an attack on the United States.

The time is ripe for a strategic review of these war guarantees to fight a nuclear-armed Russia in defense of countries across the length of Europe that few could find on a map.

Apparently, President Donald Trump, on trips to Europe, raised questions as to whether these war guarantees comport with vital U.S. interests and whether they could pass a rigorous cost-benefit analysis.

The shock of our establishment that Trump even raised this issue in front of Europeans suggests that the establishment, frozen in the realities of yesterday, ought to be made to justify these sweeping war guarantees.

Celebrated as “the most successful alliance in history,” NATO has had two histories. Some of us can yet recall its beginnings.

In 1948, Soviet troops, occupying eastern Germany all the way to the Elbe and surrounding Berlin, imposed a blockade on the city.

The regime in Prague was overthrown in a Communist coup. Foreign minister Jan Masaryk fell, or was thrown, from a third-story window to his death. In 1949, Stalin exploded an atomic bomb.

As the U.S. Army had gone home after V-E Day, the U.S. formed a new alliance to protect the crucial European powers — West Germany, France, Britain, Italy. Twelve nations agreed that an attack on one would be treated as an attack on them all.

Cross the Elbe and you are at war with us, including the U.S. with its nuclear arsenal, Stalin was, in effect, told. Hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops returned to Europe to send the message that America was serious.

Crucial to the alliance was the Yalta line dividing Europe agreed to by Stalin, FDR and Churchill at the 1945 Crimean summit on the Black Sea.

U.S. presidents, even when monstrous outrages were committed in Soviet-occupied Europe, did not cross this line into the Soviet sphere.

Truman did not send armored units up the highway to Berlin. He launched an airlift to break the Berlin blockade. Ike did not intervene to save the Hungarian rebels in 1956. JFK confined his rage at the building of the Berlin Wall to the rhetorical: “Ich bin ein Berliner.”

LBJ did nothing to help the Czechs when, before the Democratic convention in 1968, Leonid Brezhnev sent Warsaw Pact tank armies to crush the Prague Spring.

When the Solidarity movement of Lech Walesa was crushed in Gdansk, Reagan sent copy and printing machines. At the Berlin Wall in 1988, he called on Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down this wall.”

Reagan never threatened to tear it down himself.

But beginning in 1989, the Wall was torn down, Germany was united, the Red Army went home, the Warsaw Pact dissolved, the USSR broke apart into 15 nations, and Leninism expired in its birthplace.

As the threat that had led to NATO disappeared, many argued that the alliance created to deal with that threat should be allowed to fade away, and a free and prosperous Europe should now provide for its own defense.

It was not to be. The architect of Cold War containment, Dr. George Kennan, warned that moving NATO into Eastern Europe and former Soviet republics would prove a “fateful error.”

This, said Kennan, would “inflame the nationalistic and militaristic tendencies in Russian opinion” and “restore the atmosphere of the cold war in East-West relations.” Kennan was proven right.

America is now burdened with the duty to defend Europe from the Atlantic to the Baltic, even as we face a far greater threat in China, with an economy and population 10 times that of Russia.

And we must do this with a defense budget that is not half the share of the federal budget or the GDP that Eisenhower and Kennedy had.

Trump is president today because the American people concluded that our foreign policy elite, with their endless interventions where no vital U.S. interest was imperiled, had bled and virtually bankrupted us, while kicking away all of the fruits of our Cold War victory.

Halfway into Trump’s term, the question is whether he is going to just talk about halting Cold War II with Russia, about demanding that Europe pay for its own defense, and about bringing the troops home — or whether he is going to act upon his convictions.

Our foreign policy establishment is determined to prevent Trump from carrying out his mandate. And if he means to carry out his agenda, he had best get on with it.

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The ISIS attack in Syria appears to have failed in its real mission

ISIS probably tried to get Mr. Trump to keep troops in Syria, but in reality this attack shows no compelling reason to remain there.

Seraphim Hanisch

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ISIS is one of the bloodiest, most brutal organizations to ever exist in modern history. During its meteoric rise, the “Caliphate” struck with death and fear across the deserts of Iraq and the wastes of Syria, seducing a seemingly increasing number of recruits from the West, developing its own currency and financing abilities, all the while remaining a death cult, in the conviction that their eventual destruction would trigger a far greater Islamic uprising.

But something changed for them starting in about 2013. While ISIS got quietly aided and abetted by President Obama’s (perhaps not unwitting) support through neglect and then even quieter collaboration (Obama thought ISIS could be “managed” in the effort to oust Bashar Al-Assad from Syria), its power and reach extended through much of Syria.

But then came Russia. Russia didn’t think ISIS should be managed. Russia determined that ISIS should be destroyed. And in 2015, invited by Syria, the Russians came and went to work. They did most of the heavy lifting in terms of driving ISIS back, while (inconveniently for the US and West) also carefully taking back Syrian territory from antigovernment groups that were supported by the US and its coalition of forces operating in the country, including Al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra, and all the names it took on afterwards. This was quietly carried out because the Americans also had face to save, owing to Obama’s clumsy decision to send American forces into the country, which gradually grew and metastasized into a significantly sized fighting force.

With an extremely complicated group of alliances and enemies, the American forces were forced to quietly abandon their mission of removing Bashar al-Assad from power and to pivot to actually destroying ISIS. President Trump does deserve some credit for his part in helping this to happen. He also deserves a lot of credit for his recent decision to pull American troops out of Syria.

This move was severely condemned by the US hawks, resulting in the resignation / firing / retirement of former Secretary of Defense James Mattis, and, in an amusing show of hypocrisy, the pundits from the Anti-Trump crowd at CNN and other news outlets characterized this decision as the US President proving once and for all that he is a Putin operative, a real-life Manchurian President.

ISIS evidently wanted the US not to leave either, so it conducted an attack on Wednesday, January 16th, tragically killing 19 people, with four Americans among the dead. The New York Times was lightning-fast to jump into the fray to carry out what was probably ISIS’ real mission with this attack: to sow seeds of doubt among the US authorities, and to keep American forces in the region (emphasis added).

Four Americans were among 19 people killed in Syria on Wednesday in a suicide bombing that was claimed by the Islamic State, just weeks after President Trump ordered the withdrawal of United States forces and declared that the extremist group had been defeated.

The attack targeted an American military convoy in the northern city of Manbij while troops were inside the Palace of the Princes, a restaurant where they often stopped to eat during patrols, residents said. While the Americans were inside, a nearby suicide attacker wearing an explosive vest blew himself up.

The bombing raised new questions about Mr. Trump’s surprise decision last month to end the American ground war in Syria. Critics of the president’s plans, including members of his own party, said Mr. Trump’s claim of victory over the Islamic State may have emboldened its fighters and encouraged Wednesday’s strike… Mr. Trump’s withdrawal announcement, made over the objections of his top national security officials, “set in motion enthusiasm by the enemy we’re fighting,” said Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina and a prominent Trump ally who has nonetheless criticized the military drawdown.

“I saw this in Iraq. And I’m now seeing it in Syria,” Mr. Graham said at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday.

The rest of the article, of course, had the Trump Administration defending itself, with Vice President Mike Pence as the spokesman of that defense.

However, already only two days later, the noise about this seems to have faded. There is no ongoing media fury about the President’s decision to remove troops. In fact, aside from the ongoing investigation to confirm that ISIS indeed did carry out this attack, there is no indication of a change in the troop withdrawal process.

If this situation remains as it is, it is a very good sign for these reasons:

  1. President Trump is showing his resolve and confidence in a decision he knows to be right (to withdraw) and not to accede to the War Party wishes.
  2. ISIS is losing its reputation as a significant fighting force as far as the US population is concerned, as it probably should. With the US gone, Russia can prosecute this war full force without risk of creating more serious incidents with the Americans.
  3. The possibility exists that this attack, already heinous in what we know, could have been a false flag, designed specifically to provoke the US troop withdrawal to stop and be reversed.

This last scenario has oddly not been visibly mentioned, but it should be, because it probably happened in April 2018 and earlier. The Duran covered this quite extensively, and while the “official” (Western) investigation has come up curiously silent on the alleged chemical weapons attack last April in Ghouta, the overwhelming body of reports from the region suggested that the “gas” attack was nothing at all but drama to keep the US ensnared in the region. Remember, President Trump at that time also expressed the intention of withdrawing US troops from the area, and this event caused a reversal for a time.

ISIS tried to become a nation. It operates on terror and theater, but it considers itself free to kill people along the way as it creates its pageantry. For the souls of all those innocent people who perished in this attack, we must pray and not forget.

But ISIS is substantially done, and what is left will be dealt with by Russian and Syrian forces.

For once, the definition of “American courage” might be not to fight. President Trump’s decision to remove the troops remains one of the most significant achievements of his presidency, and one of the most important in terms of restoring balance to the United States that it deserves to have.

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