Terrorism

JV president critiques terrorist JV

Featured image President Obama famously disparaged ISIS as a terrorist junior varsity squad. Without conceding error, Obama has come to rue the characterization so much that he baldly lies about it. According to Obama, he wasn’t singling out ISIS when he referred to the terrorist “jv” in his interview with the apostle David Remnick of the New Yorker. It is a misjudgment that rebounds on Obama himself to mark him as the »

Islamist sympathizing advisor finally gets the boot from DHS

Featured image In 2010, the Obama administration appointed Mohamed Elibiary to DHS’ Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC). It reappointed him in 2013 with the upgraded title of senior fellow. Last week, however, DHS let Elibiary go. Given Elibiary’s record, I would like to think that his sacking was over-determined. But given the Obama administration’s affinity for Elibiary’s bizarre views about Islamic radicals, we’re probably lucky that Elibiary won’t be staying on. The »

Is ISIS really a threat to U.S. security?

Featured image Two articles in the Washington Post raise a question worth considering: how much of a threat does ISIS actually pose to the U.S.? The question has two components. First, how threatening is ISIS by virtue of what it can do in the Middle East; second, how much of a threat is ISIS by virtue of what it can do within the U.S. homeland? As to the first question, Ramzy Mardini »

In Gaza, the work continues

Featured image Palestinian Islamic Jihad is one of the genocidal terrorist groups operating out of Gaza. I forgot to mention last week, consistent with the teaching of Imam Obama, that — along with the Islamic State, the Islamic Republic of Iran, and Hamas — they are not Islamic. The invaluable MEMRI has posted the video “Palestinian Islamic Jihad Digs New Tunnels in Gaza” as featured on Qatar’s Al-Jazeera TV this past September »

ISIS beheads British aid worker

Featured image ISIS has released a video of the execution of British aid worker David Haines. The video shows Haines in the now familiar orange jump-suit kneeling beside a terrorist who speaks with the same London accent as the executioner of James Foley and Steven Sotloff. The executioner tells British Prime Minister David Cameron that the killing is retribution for his “evil alliance with America, which continues to strike the Muslims of »

We Have Always Been at War With ISIL!

Featured image Could the administration be in any more disarray? After carefully avoiding any use of the word “war” in connection with its proposed operation against ISIL, and apparently having received more ridicule than it bargained for, administration spokesmen are now reversing course: it is a war after all! And, for good measure, we have been at war with al Qaeda all the while. White House spokesman Josh Earnest explains: So apparently »

Netanyahu on 9/11

Featured image Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke yesterday at the 14th annual International Conference on Counter-Terrorism in Herzliya, Israel. He speaks as both a student of terrorism and a the leader of a country on the front line against the perpetrators of terrorism, so as always his remarks have a special interest. The text is posted here. The video is below. In his introductory remarks, Netanyahu addressed himself to United States Ambassador Dan »

Jihadist Serial Killer? Ho Hum!

Featured image If a jihadist were going around the United States committing random murders, you might think it would be a significant news story. But apparently not: until this morning, I had never heard of Ali Muhammad Brown, a “devout Muslim” who murdered at least four random American men as an act of Islamic jihad. The story has actually been around for a while; this article from a local paper in New »

Obama’s legal justification for asserting the power to attack ISIS: ironic and weak

Featured image President Obama initially justified air strikes against ISIS on the legal theory that, as commander-in-chief, he has a responsibility to protect U.S. citizens and facilities. However, as Eli Lake points out, Obama’s battle against ISIS quickly expanded into an effort to protect Iraqi infrastructure. And now it has expanded into an effort (how serious we don’t know) to “degrade and destroy” ISIS. By what legal theory does Obama justify this »

Gallup: GOP Has Giant Lead on Terrorism

Featured image Opinion is divided on whether 2014 will be a good year for the GOP, or a tsunami. I have inclined toward the former view, mostly because I don’t think Republican candidates have done a good enough job of explaining the ideological basis for the Democrats’ many failures, and why Republicans/conservatives have better ideas. Still, events have a force of their own. Today Gallup finds that Republicans have a stunning 23-point »

Dartmouth’s 9/11

Featured image Following 9/11 the New York Times ran Portraits of Grief profiling many of those lost in the 9/11 attacks. We can’t capture the magnitude of the loss, or the meaning of who and what we lost, but the Times’s focus on individuals made a contribution. Taking just one small slice, I want to retrieve from the series the Times’s portraits of Dartmouth alumni who lost their lives on 9/11. With »

A day to be proud…

Featured image I first wrote about Rick Rescorla in 2003 after finishing James Stewart’s Heart of a Soldier, the book based on Stewart’s New Yorker article “The real heroes are dead.” (“The real heroes are dead” is what Rescorla would say in response to recognition of his heroism on the battlefield in Vietnam.) The book is good, not great, but it touches on profound themes in a thought-provoking way: life and death, »

The JV president

Featured image In his interview with Chuck Todd on Meet the Press this past Sunday (transcript here), President Obama responded to a question regarding his notorious characterization of ISIS as the terrorist JV (i.e., junior varsity): CHUCK TODD: Long way, long way from when you described them as a JV team. PRES. OBAMA: Well, I– CHUCK TODD: Was that bad intelligence or your misjudgment? PRES. OBAMA: Keep– keep– keep in mind I »

Surviving an ISIS massacre

Featured image The New York Times produced the video below with credits to Mike Shum, Greg Campbell, Adam B. Ellick and Mona El-Naggar earlier this week. They report: “ISIS massacred hundreds of Iraqi military recruits in June. Ali Hussein Kadhim survived. This is his improbable story.” They add the warning: “Includes graphic images.” The related Times story on the events depicted is Tim Arango’s “Escaping death in northern Iraq.” I thought readers »

Tom Cotton’s courage

Featured image Earlier today, Scott quoted from an editorial in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette which contrasted Tom Cotton’s courage to the “go along to get along” mindset of his opponent, Mark Pryor. The editorial stated that, given Tom’s character, “it’s easy to imagine his sticking with principle even if the whole state went crazy again.” Yes it is. Indeed, even though Tom has been in Congress for less than two years, we have »

Is Snowden Helping ISIS?

Featured image In the Washington Times, Rowan Scarborough canvases former security officials on the question whether Edward Snowden’s NSA disclosures are now aiding ISIS. The verdict is unanimous: A former top official at the National Security Agency says the Islamic State terrorist group has “clearly” capitalized on the voluminous leaks from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and is exploiting the top-secret disclosures to evade U.S. intelligence. Bottom line: Islamic State killers are »

In another about face, the Republican Party turns hawkish

Featured image The Washington Post observes that the rise of ISIS has caused Republicans to strike a more hawkish tone on foreign policy. The Washington Post is correct. Until very recently, few Republicans found much to criticize in President Obama’s retreat from the Middle East and, indeed, from the world at large. An anti-interventionist mood had made significant headway among Republicans and, indeed, seemed to prevail in the ranks. There were honorable »