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How the President’s Summit Helped ISIS

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By allowing ideology to trump good national security practice, the administration’s recent summit on “Violent Extremism” has empowered America’s enemies.

Friday saw the close of the of the three-day international summit on violent extremism hosted by the White House.

Coming as it did just a just after the release of ISIS/Islamic State videos on the immolation of Lt Kassasbeh, the Jordanian Royal Air Force pilot, and the slaughter of 21 Egyptian Christians, and the reported death of another US hostage, the timing allowed it potentially to be a perfect platform for a muscular response to the barbarity of the Islamic State, for the announcement of actions akin to the attacks against ISIS launched by King Abdullah II of Jordan and President Sisi of Egypt.

Instead, the President spoke of the real grievances the Muslim world has had with the West, the danger of Islamophobia in the U.S., and the need for more community outreach. As the same time, Marie Harf of the State Department gave an interview in which she presented “more jobs” as the answer to the rise of global jihadist movements, and Eric Holder attacked FOX News for its obsession with discussing “radical Islam” and “Islamic extremism.” All this just after the President used the National Prayer Breakfast to compare ISIS atrocities today with Christians using violence in the name of Jesus centuries in the past. How these statements were meant to weaken our enemies is not clear.

That enemy, whether it is was Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, ISIS in Iraq, or the Tsarnaev brothers who bombed the Boston marathon, has a narrative, a story they tell to recruit new terrorists and justify the mass murders they commit daily.

That story is not one of America failing to provide jobs for the world’s needy, or the lack of community outreach in America. It is a story of Islam under attack by the West, a perpetual Holy War against the infidel until the House of Islam – Dar al Islaam – covers the world and all live under sharia in a new Caliphate.

When the Commander-in-Chief speaks of our crusades, he reinforces the message of the people who beheaded those 21 Christians. And ironically, when Marie Harf says all America has to do is solve the world’s problems, she too helps our enemies, unwittingly portraying America as an imperial nation that must become involved in everyone’s business and shape their futures whether or not we have been asked to do so or not.

Ignorance is a very dangerous thing. The mere fact that no one in a position of power in our government understands that the Islamic State beheaded the 21 Christians because they were infidels but immolated Lt Kassasbeh because he was an apostate, demonstrates just how little we know the enemy in this the 14th year of the war against the Global Jihadi Movement. Those two different horrific acts were religiously and theologically determined.

Faith matters to our foes. They have read the Koran. For them, Chapter 9 Verse 5, which reads:

And when the sacred months have passed, then kill the unbelievers wherever you find them, capture them and besiege them and lie in wait for them with every stratagem of war.

is not a remnant of a 7th century story but the eternal word of Allah.

The Attorney General said this week: “The terminology, it seems to me, has little to no impact on what ultimately we have to do.” Would he say the same of a doctor diagnosing him in hospital? If words have meaning, then what we call something matters. Cancer is not that same as the flu.

America and her allies are in a war with people who do what they do to please their God and obtain salvation by serving him as warriors. Washington summits and more community outreach will not stop the next attack against the Homeland. And quoting the Crusades to prove how relative all things really are will only embolden new recruits to rally under the flag of Jihad.

Sebastian Gorka Ph.D. is the Major General Matthew C. Horner Chair of Military Theory at Marine Corps University. ​Watch his lecture on Why ISIS is Far More Dangerous than Al Qaeda at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RC-rLzuq88c You can also follow him at Twitter: @SebGorka.


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