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Michael Scheuer

Mr. Trump: Here is a Worthy, Perhaps Final Opportunity to Put America First

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Although Obama’s effort to help Hillary Clinton’s campaign by taking Mosul on the eve of the election failed, there is a good chance that Mosul will fall to the heterogeneous coalition that is attacking it. Be that event in six weeks, six months, or a year, the United States and its allies will rejoice over the event as if it is the death knell of the Islamic State (IS). They will be wrong to do so, showing again how deeply ignorant they are of the Islamist enemy and the religious war it is waging against them.

IS has lost in Palmyra, Anbar, Ramadi, and other territories, and yet its troops are putting up their hardest fight yet in Mosul. Why? Two reasons: (a) IS leaders prematurely declared the caliphate, ignoring Osama bin Laden’s guidance that the lasting re-creation of caliphate was impossible until the United States was driven from the Arab World; if he was alive, he would probably add Russia to that guidance; and (b) because in the minds of IS leaders, fighters, and their supporters, everything, good or bad, comes from Allah; victory is from Allah, and defeat is a trial sent by Allah to test His followers’ faith and perseverance. While far from irrelevant, IS’s defeats in 2016, in Islamist minds, are in part a consequence of a IS leadership mistakes, but overwhelmingly because Allah did not grant them victory at this time.
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Mr. Trump, Explain Why America First Must Mean Ending Foreign Aid and Foreign Military Assistance

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Now that Mr. Trump has vowed that the concept of “America First” will be at the core of his administration’s foreign and domestic policies, he should begin to tell Americans what he intends to do make that pledge a reality and why it needs to be done. He should do this before his enemies — and America’s — can turn the phrase against him. On MSNBC this week, for example, Mr. Chris Matthews asked if Trump “was trying to make us mad” by using the term “America First”. Mr. Matthews said that the term refers to Americans who wanted no war with Germany in 1939-1941; he did not mention Japan, probably because it would blur the damning parallel he intended to draw between Mr. Trump, the America First movement of 1939-1941 and the Nazi Germany’s treatment of Jews.

Mr. Matthews, like all on the left, is a historical ignoramus. He demonstrates that status, in this case, by not knowing that the great majority of all Americans in 1939-1941 opposed getting into a European or Asian war that did not concern our vital national interests, and would not until Imperial Japan attacked us at Pearl Harbor and Germany declared war on us later in December, 1941. After those events, most America First members fully supported both wars and participated in the war efforts to defend America.

Even Colonel Charles A. Lindbergh – whose reputation and historical importance were ruined, then, by Roosevelt and his coterie, the British, and the Jewish-American elite, and, now, by Israel First and those it intimidates and bribes – risked his life in the war as a test pilot for new US military aircraft, and as a volunteer guinea pig for testing new means of protecting pilots and aircrew from the debilitating impact of high-altitude flight.
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Islamic State is Winning, America Must Soon Use Its One Remaining Option

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Three of the US national government’s self-imposed and surely lethal handicaps in dealing with the Islamist threat are (a) a fixation on looking at the problem in a state-by-state manner; that is, what do we do in Iraq? what do we do in Afghanistan? what do we do in Libya? etc.; (b) an enduring but long-disproved assumption that in its war with Islam the West has time its side; and (c) an addiction to an unwise, unnecessary, and bankrupting interventionism that is the main motivator of the international Islamist movement, a phenomenon which was fathered and is still nurtured by the West’s so-called “allies and friends,” Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, etc.

By forming and implementing interventionist policies for each nation-state where an Islamist threat is identified as needing to be addressed, Washington and its NATO allies miss the point that their main Islamist enemies — the Islamic State (IS) and al-Qaeda, and especially the former – think in a regional manner and then design and execute policies meant to establish bases from which they can further expand in a way that advances their ultimate goal of driving the West from the Muslim world and creating an unitary and worldwide Islamic state or caliphate. Whether or not such a state can be created is an open question, but for the time being the subject can be left for academics to endlessly, theoretically, and inconclusively debate, thereby leaving the sane to try to defend the United States.

What is important, at the moment, lies in the quite inexplicable inability of US and NATO policymakers to see what the Islamic State is up to in terms of its regional planning, or how that planning is not only immune to but fueled by the relentless, seriatim intervention of the West in each Muslim country that displeases it – excepting, of course, the Muslim tyrannies the West fawns over, protects, and is bribed by. (NB: This is not to argue that a multi-Muslim-nation intervention by US-NATO forces is needed.
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ISIS Makes the British Lion a De-Clawed and Shabby Cat

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The recent and rapid successes of the Islamic State (IS) in seizing Palmyra in Syria and Ramadi in Iraq, together with its three successful same-day strikes on 26 June 2015 in Kuwait, France, and Tunisia seem to have left British Prime Minister David Cameron rather panicky — like a twitchy kitten experiencing its first thunder-and lightning storm.

In response to these events, Cameron has come somewhat unglued. The leader of a once mighty, respected, and feared nation has responded to IS’s offensive operations by (a) calling on the UK Muslim leaders to perform a miracle and control the thoughts, sympathies, and actions of all members of the Muslim community; (b) predicting that IS was on the verge of “terrible” attacks in Britain, without offering any sign of the backbone needed to credibly warn IS of “terrible” British retribution if its forces attack in the UK; and (c) demanding that the BBC stop identifying the Islamic State as the Islamic State and instead call it “ISIL” because it is “death cult” and has nothing to do with Islam. On the latter point, Cameron sounds like an Oxford-educated version of Barack Obama.
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Insanity’s Definition is Sending More US Ground Troops to Iraq

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There seems to be great Republican resistance to the idea that their interventions in Iraq and the Muslim world are the main cause of both the mess in Iraq and the growing and increasingly powerful worldwide Islamist movement. To the extent that Hillary Clinton and other Democratic senators and congressmen joined the Republicans in illegally delegating the war-declaring power to George W. Bush there is a point to the Republicans’ resistance. The correct formulation of the statement is that both parties are equally responsible for the mess in Iraq and for the formidable Islamist foe that now exists. Also a correct statement is that the bulk of both parties now want the United States to become an even stronger motivator of and recruiter for the Islamists by expanding the military re-intervention in Iraq that began in the summer of 2014. Before that occurs it would be best to review a few facts:

The 2003 invasion of Iraq was approved by both parties and driven by the Neoconservatives in both parties. There was no need for a war in Iraq. Even if Saddam Hussein had WMD he was not a threat to the United States, and because we have none but parasitic allies in the Middle East, we needed to let them fend for themselves. (NB: We need to do this now.)

Saddam Hussein was our best ally in the war against the Sunni Islamists, an ally that we did not have to cajole, pay, or urge to act against the Sunni militants. That he diddled around with and funded the Palestinian fighters is true, but he was reliably lethal — for his government’s own interests — when it came to killing mujahedin trying to transit or set up shop in Iraq. Without Saddam to hold the center of the Arab world and block the insurgents’ easy east-west movement, we now have a mujahedin theater of operations that extends from Morocco on the Atlantic, to Jakarta in the Pacific, and from the North Caucasus in the north, to Nigeria in the south.
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Garland’s Lesson? Democrats, Republicans, and Neocons Bring The Jihad to America

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Since 9/11, Americans have been treated to an ongoing tutorial by the self-professed best-and brightest from America’s universities, media, Christian clergy, and national government explaining how American Muslims become radicalized into Islamist militants. These Muslims, say the country’s brains-trust, are discriminated against by other US citizens; are disenfranchised by poverty; have a hard time transitioning to US society from the Muslim culture they lived in abroad; hate all non-Muslims, or are brain-washed by cynical Islamist leaders and so learn to hate America and become eager to waste their lives in attacking it.

These same explanations have been spewed forth by the aforementioned elites ever since the second plane hit the World Trade Center, and now fourteen years they later they are again being served up to explain to the citizenry — really, to mislead the citizenry — what radicalized the Garland, Texas, attackers.
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General Dempsey Errs by Telling The Truth, But Quickly Recants

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During his term as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey has shown a decided inability to differentiate between truth and falsehood when talking to Americans and their congressional representatives, more often than not erring on the side of the latter. Those paying attention, for example, will recall General Dempsey repeatedly telling the media, the citizenry, and the Congress that the US military’s training of the Afghan National Army (ANA) had gone splendidly and the ANA would be ready to operate on its own when President Obama’s withdrawal date arrived. 

Now, we see that Obama’s deadline has been extended and the stay-behind force increased. General Dempsey, unless he has learned nothing in a long taxpayer-funded military career or is plainly brain dead, knew that what he was saying about the ANA was an absurd lie, but he tugged his forelock and lied for the administration.

This month, however, General Dempsey let slip a snippet of truth and then had to scramble to re-establish the lie that — sooner or later — all parents of America’s military personnel will have to accept, cope with, and, perhaps, avenge. In reaction to the Islamic State’s (IS) advance toward the city of Ramadi in Iraq’s Anbar Province, General Dempsey said that he was not worried about IS taking the city because it was of little importance to the overall war that is occurring in Iraq.
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Obama, Democrats, Republicans, and NATO: Still Playing the Islamists’ Foil

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Listening to President Obama speak of Iraq on 18 August 2014 underscores the point made above by Polybius, and it also validates the brilliant diplomat George F. Kennan’s argument that America is virtually incapable of conducting an effective foreign policy because of our leaders’ minimal knowledge of how the world works and the dominance of domestic considerations on the policies they pursue overseas. In Obama’s short statement on Iraq both of these negative factors were clearly evident.

Obama — as well as his lieutenants, the leaders of both parties, and much of the media — continue to call the Sunni Islamic State (IS) organization a “terrorist group.” In the 25-plus years since al-Qaeda initiated what has become a worldwide armed Islamist movement, U.S. leaders have never once tried to explain to Americans that we are fighting a growing international insurgency that can never be defeated by using counter-terrorism tactics such as Special Forces raids, drone and aircraft strikes, and capture and interrogation operations. 

If you use these tools to kill the insurgents one at a time you end up where we are today; that is, with a nice and well-publicized body count but also with an enormously bigger threat than we faced in 2001. Indeed, Americans ought to be told that there are indications that the IS insurgents are evolving into what the great guerrilla-war theorist Mao Tse Tung called the final stage of insurgency, the point at which elements of the insurgent forces begin to transition into units that are battle-hardened, well trained and led, well armed, and resemble conventional force units.
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Western Democracy-Mongers Prefer War To Admitting a Mistake on Ukraine

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Once again Americans are watching their government involve itself in an issue in which the United States has nothing at stake economically and no genuine national security interest at risk. Ukraine is a place that is worth neither a single American dollar nor more than a brief scan of the headlines by US citizens. And yet Obama and his fellow European interveners and democracy mongers are conducting themselves in a bellicose manner that could lead to some kind of military conflict in eastern Europe. Indeed, they already are conducting warfare against Russia via economic sanctions, a punitive exercise they promise to make more severe in the next few weeks.

And for what? When all is said and done Obama and Team Democracy appear to prefer a war to publicly admitting that it was their democracy crusading last winter in Kiev that brought on this worrying and sharpening confrontation. Into an increasingly bitter political battle between the Kiev regime and its domestic opponents, the EU as an organization and individual European governments sent a steady flow of diplomats, officials, and money to help the Ukrainian opposition prevail over the Kiev regime.

This foreign intervention in a purely internal domestic dispute was clearly designed to overthrow the legitimate Ukrainian government. It is the kind of imperialist exercise that the UN was created to condemn and stop, but that organization’s recent history shows that it now exists solely to support unjustified -- and usually unjustifiable -- US and Western political and military interventions.
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For America, Perhaps Now is The Time For Neutrality

Among the most striking aspects of the current debate over U.S. foreign policy is the almost complete lack of perception among Americans about their country’s actual economic and military capabilities and its international influence. Whether it is Ukraine and Russia, the intensifying Islamist offensive on several continents, or the blatantly Potemkin Middle East peace talks, U.S. political leaders, academics, pundits, and most of the media speak as if today’s America is the America of 1945, 1984, or 1991, times when the United States was a nation of almost unlimited military and economic power and telling international influence.

Today, we are barely a shadow of that powerful nation. Indeed, while Washington under either party speaks as if it is the world’s voice of power and all-knowing authority, we are really the very picture of an overused, late-middle age Madam who eagerly displays her sagging wares but doesn’t seem to realize that she has lost her looks, allure, and persuasiveness, and is much more laughed at than lusted over.
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