Former FBI Counterterrorism Center instructor Kim Jensen looked at the horrific jihadi knife murder of a Paris police officer and his wife on Tuesday’s Breitbart News Daily with host Stephen K. Bannon.
“One of the first things that I try to do, what I try to explain to anyone that I’m teaching, to expose people to, is that we as the U.S. government, and myself specifically, we have got to seize this narrative,” said Jensen. “The problem is that the U.S. government, and most everyone embroiled in this war against terrorism, we are being led by a narrative. We have to seize that narrative. We have to control the narrative. We can’t be subject to someone else’s narrative. In other words, we can’t be subject to their definitions of what we’re up against. We have to define the enemy.”
By this, he meant switching from a “defensive posture to an offensive posture,” and “understanding what we’re up against.”
“Specifically, in July of 2014, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi established the Islamic State,” Jensen explained. “That has really become a harbinger event, and that has really changed the landscape of terrorism for the entire world. It’s been the single most significant event, I would say, in the last 80 or 90 years, since the 1920s.”
“By establishing the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has changed the landscape of extremism and terrorism,” he stressed. “What we’re witnessing, and what we’re confronting, is a result of the establishment of the Islamic State in July of 2014. Unfortunately, the Islamic State continues to exist – and every day the Islamic State continues to exist, it legitimizes the Islamic State, and it acts kind of like a light to moths, and it grows exponentially.”
Jensen said that “light to moths” emanates from a “very specific ideology,” which existed long before the Islamic State was established. For example, he argued that Mullah Omar of the Taliban in Afghanistan could be viewed as al-Baghdadi’s predecessor.
“Mullah Omar declared himself, and was endorsed by Osama bin Laden in the 1990s. He declared an Islamic state in Afghanistan, and declared himself the title, the 1,400-year-old title, of ‘Commander of the Faithful.’”
Jensen portrayed the “Religion of Peace” idea, pushed energetically by both the Bush and Obama Administrations, as an “incorrect narrative.”
“Islam, or Muslim, does not mean ‘Religion of Peace.’ What it means is ‘submission,’” he pointed out. “That’s why it’s so important to understand what we’re confronting — because, if you don’t, you subject yourself to being controlled by a narrative which they’re promoting. And that is a horrible thing to do. What you’ve got to do is completely understand what you’re confronting, so that you can control the narrative. That comes about by understanding what this situation is.”
Jensen believes it is necessary to understand the magnitude of the Islamic State problem to begin reclaiming control of the narrative — a difficult task, given that it would involve reversing nearly everything President Obama and his Administration have ever said about ISIS, dating back to Obama’s casual dismissal of them as the “junior varsity team” of terrorism.
“There’s two ways you have to look at this,” he said. “You have to deal with it, Number One, kinetically, which is the way our Army does. We have got the best army in the world. As a matter of fact, I don’t think we’ve ever lost a battle, in Iraq or Afghanistan. Kinetically, we are really, really good.”
“Unfortunately, though, we can win every single battle and still lose the war,” he cautioned. “Because the war is defeating ideology. That’s what the war is. The battles, really, are kinetic, and the battles that we’re addressing, they’re against specific groups — like, for example, the Taliban, or Boko Haram, or Shabaab, or the Islamic State. Those are the kinetic battles that we’ve got to engage in. In doing that, we’ve got to kinetically engage those groups, those personalities and individuals, that we’re fighting against. And that’s where the battle rages.”
However, he called for ideological combat as well, pointing out that “during the Revolutionary War, we only won a couple of battles, but we won the war.”
He now fears that strategy could be turned back against us: “We’re going to win every single battle, but we’re in jeopardy of losing the war. Because the war is not a kinetic war, the battles are. The war is against a specific ideology, and you have to understand that ideology backwards, forwards, and upside down, so that you can win the war.”
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