Weekly Briefing – January 5-9, 2015

By Rachel Ehrenfeld
Monday, January 5th, 2015 @ 1:14AM

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The Mystery of the Islamic StateRachel Ehrenfeld — Over several months last year, in an effort to understand the Islamic State movement, Maj. Gen. Michael K. Nagata, commander of American Special Operations forces in the Middle East, sought the advice of Defense, intelligence and State experts, and academicians….the general told the group: “We do not understand the movement, and until we do, we are not going to defeat it…we have not defeated the idea. We do not even understand the idea.”  – Why not?  -The terrorist group’s name “ISLAMIC State” should have given at least a vague clue to understanding its ideology, Islam. “Islam does not mean peace but rather means submission to the commands of Allah alone” is constantly and adamantly repeated by all Islamists…. In his declaration of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi explained why his group’s name serves jihad better than say, al Qaeda or Hamas; it’s more reasonable, he argued, to unite all the jihadi groups under one umbrella. After all, they all seek the same result: fight the jihad to establish a global Islamic rule. The twentieth-century Muslim Brotherhood’s invention of “Political Islam” served Shiite and Sunni Islamists to deceive the West by suggesting a distinction between the religion of Islam and its politics..…It was reported that as a direct consequence of General Nagata’s advisory group, a group of business experts is now looking into ways to defeat the Islamic State’s “marketing and branding” strategies….they will also try to emphasize IS failure to govern. Such failure, however, is not unique to IS…In the past five years the United States has shown that you can rule without having a clue how to govern.more

The Paris AttackRachel Ehrenfeld — President Obama is wrong. Free expression and a free press are clearly not “universal values,” as he asserted in his condemnation of the attack on Charlie Hebdo’s office in Paris. The terrorist attack today was merely an enforcement of decades-long Islamist intimidation and terrorism campaigns against the West. The leading Islamist terrorist group, the PLO, has pioneered the use of libel suit as threats against those who exposed their terrorist agenda and corruption. In the early 1990s the threatened to sue the Wall Street Journal and me for publishing a detailed expose of Yassar Arrafat’s corruption. The National Review was threatened in the late 1980s, after publishing  my documentation of the terrorist nature of the Hamas affiliated Holy-land Foundation. But they could scare us. Al Qaeda’s 9/11 attacks on America, marked the increase of Islamist intimidation of free expression. At first, it was in the form of economic warfare, by filing expensive libel suits against those who exposed the funders of al Qaeda. London became the “libel Capital” of the world and the British Bar was paid well to abandon its pride. The riots following the Mohammed cartoons in 2005 marked the escalation into physical attacks and submission to financial restitution for imagined insults to the prophet or the religion of Islam. That strategy was defeated in the United States by the SPEECH Act, in 2010, that protects American writers, cartoonists and film makers from the enforcement of foreign libel judgment.  However, decades of financial and physical intimidation worked and political correction took hold in the West. The Obama administration’s aversion to identifying Islamist terrorism took this further by choosing phrases such as “violent extremism” committed by “militants”.…more

The Terrorist Attack on Charlie Hebdo – First Hand Account Claire Berlinski in Ricochet – If I sound incoherent, it’s because I am shaken. The reasons will be obvious. I had no intention of reporting on this from the scene of the Charlie-Hebdo massacre. I was walking up Boulevard Richard Lenoir to meet a friend who lives in the neighborhood. But the moment I saw what I did, I knew for sure what had happened. A decade in Turkey teaches you that. That many ambulances, that many cops, that many journalists, and those kinds of faces can mean only one thing: a massive terrorist attack. I also knew from the location just who’d been attacked: Charlie-Hebdo, the magazine known for many things, but, above all, for its fearlessness in publishing caricatures of Mohamed. They’d been firebombed for this in 2011, but their response — in effect — was the only one free men would ever consider: “As long as we’re alive, you’ll never shut us up.” They are no longer alive. They managed to shut them up. The only thing I didn’t immediately know was how many of them had died.…more

Afghanistan – Recent DevelopmentsJ. Millard Burr and Rachel Ehrenfeld – More than 100 days in office, Afgan President Ashraf Ghani has missed his promised deadline to announce the make-up of his cabinet. The election process to replace Ahmad Karzai for President of Afghanistan began in September 2013 with 27 candidates. By April 2014, after months of wrangling, eight candidates remained in the race, although only two, the World Bank executive and a professor at Johns Hopkins University and former Afghan finance minister – Ashraf Ghani, and the former Foreign Minister, the Pashtun Abdullah Abdullah, were given any chance of winning. It was noteworthy that even though Ghani had once called Uzbek Abdur Rashid Dostum “a known killer” he chose the warlord as his running mate. Dostum was known for his 2001 collaboration with the Central Intelligence Agency, and according to the New York Times was on its payroll. Dostum payments –  up to $100,000 a month in cash – were  channeled through Afghan President Hamid Karzai.…more

Is The Taliban–Pakistani Alliance on the Rocks?J. Millard Burr – The bloody attack on an army–run school in December 14, 2014, is considered the most vicious attack ever carried out by the Taliban Movement in Pakistan. Seven Taliban suicide bombers attacked an army-run school auditorium in Peshawar, where children were taking an exam, killing at least 132 children and nine adults.  The terrorists “turned a place of learning and community into a place where children as young as 12 were shot in the head, where corpses lined the halls and where a teacher was burned alive.” Tehreek-e-Taliban of Pakistan (TTP) jihadists carried out the attack — almost certainly with the assistance of the Haqqani network.  The Haqqani is centered in North Waziristan and it operates both there and in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). The attack is said to be in reprisal for Pakistan military operations intended to cleanse North Waziristan that has long been home to Islamist terrorists. The TTP was founded in December 2007 and is led by Maulana Fazlullah.  Its numbers are estimated to exceed 25,000 actives.…more

The U.S. Polity: A Wonky FitSol W. Sanders – The polls tell us that those Americans interested in politics are split almost evenly into two groups: those who approve of President Barak Hussein Obama’s leadership and those critical of it. Further analysis shows something quite basically different between the two groups — and disturbing for those of us who want a country rich in diversity but engaged in a constant healthy exchange of ideas. The President’s supporters are what my mom in her retirement among the elderly in Florida, with some envy, used to call “the alrightnicks”. They are members of an elite who either financially or politically — or both — have disproportionately profited from the system. They see themselves, and their nominal leader, Obama, as tapped by some unseen but knowing source to lead — especially to guide a rabble (excluding themselves, of course) which does not know its own interests and therefore what is best for them.…more

News & Analysis

Don’t pretend Paris terror attack has nothing to do with IslamBenny Avni

UN Seeks to Criminalize Free Speech, Citing “Human Rights”Alex Newman

The biggest threat to French free speech isn’t terrorism. It’s the government. The murders at Charlie Hebdo, while tragic, aren’t the problem. – Jonathan Turley

CAIR Hijacks Charlie Hebdo VigilJim Swift

Jihadists have declared war, world must respond: Canada’s HarperJulie Gordon,

Why Political Islam is Winning.  The international system is coming apart, opening the way to anti-democratic forces.Charles Hill

The Dream Palace of the Arab: The fantasy of a Palestinian state will always have an edge on the reality of Israel. – Bret Stephens

The U.S.-Iranian double game in nuclear talksDavid Ignatius

Estonian President Condemns Moscow for Moves Against Finno-Ugric Nations inside RussiaPaul Goble

How Cuban Dissidents Seek the Democratization of CubaRon Radosh

Kyrzbekistan Isn’t Funny Leonid Bershidsky

GPS III Command and Control Passes Key TestGPS World

Directions 2015: BeiDou Belongs to China, and to the World – Li Wang

Hacker demands money from Swiss bank BCGEReuters

Administration Speeches and Reports

“National Intelligence, North Korea, and the National Cyber Discussion,” International Conference on Cyber Security, Fordham UniversityJames Clapper, Director of National Intelligence

Evaluation of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Under the Reducing Over-Classification Act, Report Number INS-2014-002, 30 December 2014 – Office of Inspector General of the Intelligence Community

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