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Counterterror experts warn Obama administration

Ignore the role of Islamic extremism at the peril of the country:

The Obama administration's recent move to drop references to Islamic radicalism is drawing fire in a new report warning the decision ignores the role religion can play in motivating terrorists.

Several prominent counterterror experts are challenging the administration's shift in its recently unveiled National Security Strategy, saying the terror threat should be defined in order to fight it.


In the report, scheduled to be released this week, counterterrorism experts from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy argue that the U.S. could clearly articulate the threat from radical Islamic extremists "without denigrating the Islamic religion in any way."

President Barack Obama has argued that words matter, and administration officials have said that the use of inflammatory descriptions linking Islam to the terror threat feed the enemy's propaganda and may alienate moderate Muslims in the U.S.

In the report, which was obtained by The Associated Press, the analysts warn that U.S. diplomacy must sharpen the distinction between the Muslim faith and violent Islamist extremism, identify radicalizers within Islamic communities and empower voices that can contest the radical teachings.

Militant Islamic propaganda has reportedly been a factor in a spate of recent terror attacks and foiled attempts within the U.S. Maj. Nidal Hasan, the suspect in the Fort Hood, Texas, mass shootings last year, is believed to have been inspired by the Internet postings of violent Islamic extremists, as was Faisal Shahzad, who tried to detonate a powerful car bomb last May in New York's Times Square.



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Comments (32)

Typical liberal ostrich syn... (Below threshold)

Typical liberal ostrich syndrome. Stick your head in the sand and the bag guys will go away and not bother you.

Liberals won't wake up till the WH and Capital are smoldering ruins from a muslim WMD.

A more truthful perspective... (Below threshold)

A more truthful perspective:

"... the use of inflammatory descriptions linking the Tea Party movement to racism and domestic terrorism ... may alienate moderate voters in the U.S.

I think we're seeing that scenario play out right now, before our very eyes.

The fact that the Obama administration and the Democrats seem completely oblivious to the fact that they are sabotaging their own chances at re-election by attacking the American mainstream while ignoring the real terrorists speaks volumes about, well, why they have no business being re-elected.

It is possible and indeed d... (Below threshold)
James H:

It is possible and indeed desirable, I think, to report that most Muslims are not terrorists trying to attack the United States, but most terrorists trying to attack the United States are Muslim.

James H,And your p... (Below threshold)
jim m:

James H,

And your point is?

Yes most muslims are not actively engaged in terrorist activities. It is a debatable question as to how many may actively or tacitly support such activities.

However, it is quite another thing to decree that talking or even naming the problem is off limits. There is little room for debate that one of the most significant problems facing the world today is terrorism that is motivated by islamic beliefs. To deny that is childish and short sighted. THAT is what is the issue here.

Pointing out that not all muslims are terrorists is beside the point and only serves to distract from the issue. In fact it becomes a form of denial regarding this issue. Some people become obsessed with making some point about how many muslims are supporters of terrorism and refuse to deal with the fact that islamic terrorism killed 3000 Americans in 2001 and is still seeking to kill more of us.

Quit playing the denial game James H.

Do you mean that I should h... (Below threshold)

Do you mean that I should have understood that published challenges, to the members of the Westboro Baptist Church picket funerals with their vitriolic message, were in fact a challenge to all of Christianity ? ... that future challenges should remove all references to Christ and Baptists ?

Intelligent actions has not... (Below threshold)

Intelligent actions has not been a hallmark of the current administration. Advertised as 'the best and brightest', they've been found to be petty, corrupt and stupid.

Just more of Barry's bendi... (Below threshold)

Just more of Barry's bending over for the muslim world. His true calling.

Jim M:Get a grip. ... (Below threshold)
James H:

Jim M:

Get a grip. I was signaling agreeement by echoing the assessment offered by experts quoted in the blog entry.

To quote:

In the report, scheduled to be released this week, counterterrorism experts from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy argue that the U.S. could clearly articulate the threat from radical Islamic extremists "without denigrating the Islamic religion in any way."


[T]he analysts warn that U.S. diplomacy must sharpen the distinction between the Muslim faith and violent Islamist extremism, identify radicalizers within Islamic communities and empower voices that can contest the radical teachings.

It's called targeting your attacks, Jim M. It's called not giving the terrorists what they want. You see, folks like Osama bin Laden have this fantasy of a war between the Christian nation and the Muslim nation. They do their best to stir things up, figuring that if they get their war, it'll unite Islam under one banner, etc., etc. Classify every Muslim as either a terrorist or a terrorist sympathizer, and you give bin Laden exactly what he wants.

President George W. Bush recognized that distinction. From his address at the Islamic Center of Washington in 2007:

The greatest challenge facing people of conscience is to help the forces of moderation win the great struggle against extremism that is now playing out across the broader Middle East. We've seen the expansion of the concept of religious freedom and individual rights in every region of the world -- except one. In the Middle East, we have seen instead the rise of a group of extremists who seek to use religion as a path to power and a means of domination.

These self-appointed vanguard -- this self-appointed vanguard presumes to speak for Muslims. They do not. They call all Muslims who do not believe in their harsh and hateful ideology "infidels" and "betrayers" of the true Muslim faith. This enemy falsely claims that America is at war with Muslims and the Muslim faith, when in fact it is these radicals who are Islam's true enemy.

Do you disagree?

James H,Fair enoug... (Below threshold)
jim m:

James H,

Fair enough. I don't see the point in placing such heavy emphasis on the obvious. I do not see the necessity to continually qualify all remarks with some disclaimer that demonstrates that we are not lumping all people into the same category.

If you are not a terrorist or a terrorist sympathizer then you don't have to consider yourself included in my remarks. The fact that I refer to islamic terrorism should be sufficient for people to understand that it is a subset of both islam and terrorism. This idea that you have to apologize to everyone who might willfully misunderstand you is BS.

You don't have to apologize... (Below threshold)
James H:

You don't have to apologize to people, no. That's clearly ridiculous. But the war on terrorism is as much a war of propaganda as it is a war of bombs. And US propaganda, IMO, should make make as much effort as realistically possible to make that distinction, if only as an effort to isolate the Muslim terrorists from their support network.

Yes that makes sense when y... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Yes that makes sense when you are making public statements for the government as Bush did. However, the intent seems to be to require that every individual establish themselves as some stereotypically tolerant and enlightened person, correctly divining who is and is not the enemy.

I guess it is the lefts continual kowtowing to muslims to ensure that they are not offended that sets my teeth on edge. Extremists should be criticized and attacked. Non-extremists should not be concerned about that.

The comment above regarding the Westboro Baptist church is right on the money. I do not worry about being mistaken for one of those idiots. Nor do I demand that anyone criticizing them make a statement clarifying that they mean that group specifically and not all Christians or Baptists in general. The left seems to feel that everyone else is not intelligent enough to figure that out.

Lastly, I think it would be good for muslims to stop being coddled and for them to start standing up against these people too. We should not be the ones making it clear that all muslims are not terrorists, they should be. There are plenty of Christians who have come forward and criticized the Westboro Baptist church. Time for them to stand up and be counted.

Jim M:Here's where... (Below threshold)
James H:

Jim M:

Here's where we run into trouble, though. Individual Americans need to recognize on some level that not all Muslims are out to get them. This becomes important when you look at such controversies as the Islamic Center's expansion in Murfreesboro, Tenn. Some people there have convinced themselves that the local Islamic Center is all about terrorism and imposing Sharia. Meanwhile, the Islamic Center says it just wants space to better serve around (I think) 200 Muslim families who make their homes in the area.

James H,Given that... (Below threshold)
jim m:

James H,

Given that many mosques have been funded by Saudi Arabia to promote radical Wahabism theology and mosques have proven to be centers for recruitment and funding of terrorism it is reasonable to be concerned and any mosque seeking to be built or expand should not feel offended when asked to show that it is not such a place.

If you want to be an accepted part of the community then start being part of that community. Part of that is showing that you mean to get along and allaying the concerns of others. When you want to do something it is incumbent on you to show that your actions will not bring harm to that community.

To riposte, Jim M, you have... (Below threshold)
James H:

To riposte, Jim M, you have it wrong. Remember "innocent until proven guilty?" Seems to me that if you oppose a mosque in your community, you need to show that those Muslims are responsible for such. It should not be incumbent on people to prove their innocence to some arbitrary standard just so they can exercise their freedom to worship. I encourage you to check out the Murfreesboro story.

"Classify every Muslim a... (Below threshold)

"Classify every Muslim as either a terrorist or a terrorist sympathizer, and you give bin Laden exactly what he wants."

We're not doing that. We haven't done that. And I would offer that it doesn't matter what we say. They (meaning bin Laden and every other radical cleric and warlord out there) will simply lie about what was said.

Obama has bowed, scraped and flattered and bowed some more they're still bad-mouthing him over there. Even the so-called "moderates".

James H,I am not a... (Below threshold)
jim m:

James H,

I am not a court of law. I do not have to adhere to any such standard. There is a difference.

This is the kind of crap that I am sick of hearing from the left. They have no problem what-so-ever in banning oil exploration in the gulf because there is an oil spill on one rig and yet they scream about due process when some minority group they favor is asked a question. There are over 800 oil rigs in the gulf with one spill. The left wants to suspend operations of all he others without any reason to suggest that there is a problem. That's OK to them. It smacks of hypocrisy to me.

At least in that case the other operators have been in the gulf without such problems. With the mosque you are asking to establish something new. It will attract people from all over. To ask the question about what kind of things will be taught is quite valid since the funding for these places in New York and London has paid for radical anti-western imams to preach terrorism. It is not untoward to call for them to disclose their funding or their theological bent. The first amendment may protect their rights to build a mosque, but at least I will know what they are about.

"innocent until proven gui... (Below threshold)

"innocent until proven guilty?"

I prefer "better safe than sorry." Over seeing a neighborhood shopping mall blown to bits.

Jim M:You aren't a... (Below threshold)
James H:

Jim M:

You aren't a court of law, and I'm not the political left. I'm just a guy who takes the First Amendment seriously.

We're not doing th... (Below threshold)
James H:
We're not doing that. We haven't done that. And I would offer that it doesn't matter what we say.

Officially? No. But there are people in this country who take exactly that stance.

Asking for full disclosure ... (Below threshold)

Asking for full disclosure on funding for a mosque and getting it would be like Holder at the DOJ actually doing his job or Barry's background details known before the election ( or after ) for that matter.

Aint gonna happen.

James H,I take the... (Below threshold)
jim m:

James H,

I take the first amendment seriously too. There is nothing in it that forbids the questions of where funding comes from or what their beliefs are.

Further more, there is nothing in the First Amendment that says that anyone's religious beliefs have to be respected and honored by everyone else. As a Christian I see my faith debased and criticized in he media constantly. Muslims demand that they be free from any such slights. Tough. It's time they stand up and be counted. The problem is that they don't think they should have to so they get counted in the wrong category. That isn't anyone's fault but their own.

If you want to question sou... (Below threshold)
James H:

If you want to question sources of funding, fine. But if you are going to raise an allegation of that sort to, say, your local planning commission, you need to provide more than mere questions if you want them to, say, reject plans for a mosque to expand in your community.

Morning James,"To ... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

Morning James,

"To riposte, Jim M, you have it wrong. Remember 'innocent until proven guilty?' Seems to me that if you oppose a mosque in your community, you need to show that those Muslims are responsible for such. It should not be incumbent on people to prove their innocence...

James H"

I don't think any of these circumstances are analogous to the legal process. These are interpersonal relationships having some commonality with people moving into a new neighborhood. But mostly they have commonality with what they are; just like churches, synagogues, clubs, and businesses.

All such organizations, if they are wise, engage in an active p.r. campaign to make their entry into the new location go a little more smoothly, to find acceptance and establish community with those who will become their new neighbors.

Yes, in some places a new mosque represents a perceived threat to some of the people in that general location. Outreach on that mosque's part would be a wise course of action. And we need to discuss case by case to be doing more than just blowing intellectual smoke rings here.

UOG: There's such a contro... (Below threshold)
James H:

UOG: There's such a controversy currently under way in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

Yeah, I can see why a 52,00... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Yeah, I can see why a 52,000 square foot edifice is necessary to meet the worship needs of 200 families. I'm surprised that they wouldn't find it rather cramped.

Who's to say Obama doesn't ... (Below threshold)
Caesar Augustus:

Who's to say Obama doesn't want a mass casualties terror attack?

Keep in mind the man has a visceral hatred of America, and politically speaking such an event would distract the public from his disasterous domestic policies.

The terrorists know our sys... (Below threshold)

The terrorists know our systems better then most citizens of this country. The Muslim Terrorists rally around the amendments and dare anyone to come against them. The Muslim Terrorists want to build a huge mosque across from ground zero, where Muslim Terrorists murdered, in cold blood, thousands of our citizens who were guilty of going to work, paying their taxes and living the American dream. I have checked many times since 9/11 and did not ever see a huge parade of Muslims gathered to denouce the act. In fact, not one gathering for that purpose. I do remember Muslims in other countries cheering and jumping for joy as our countrymen burned to death.

What some are trying to do is intellectualize this as if it is an excercise in relationships when it is in fact a very dirty, war. I have always been a supporter of the troops on the ground, but I want them home now, because our commander and chief is using the war as a political ploy. That is unfair to the troops. Ask Vietnam veterans. We as a nation know what we need to do in Afghanistan to win, but our leaders lack the fortitude to do it.

Oh Yeah! Jim H., I agree with you that this is a religious war, or Holy War, but our leaders refuse to say that. Why? ww

James and Jim, I thi... (Below threshold)

James and Jim,
I think it falls on the Muslim community to point out that not all Muslims are terrorists while they are denouncing those who are.

Maddox,That was my... (Below threshold)
jim m:


That was my point too.

"Who's to say Obama doesn't... (Below threshold)
jim m:

"Who's to say Obama doesn't want a mass casualties terror attack?"

No doubt. Never let a good crisis go to waste. Judging from the Gulf oil spill disaster the corolary to that is never prevent a good crisis from happening.

This is "NEWSPEAK", pure an... (Below threshold)

This is "NEWSPEAK", pure and simple.
If THAT reference escapes you, God Help Us All!

OBAMA AVOIDS... (Below threshold)


Here are some Bible verses that Pres. Obama avoids:
Proverbs 19:10 (NIV): "It is not fitting for a fool to live in luxury - how much worse for a slave to rule over princes!"
Also Proverbs 30:22 (NIV) which says that the earth cannot bear up under "a servant who becomes king."
And Ecclesiastes 5:2-3 (KJV) advises: "let thy words be few...a fool's voice is known by multitude of words."
Although Obama is not descended from slaves, he may feel that he's destined to become a black-slavery avenger.
Or maybe an enslaver of all free citizens!

[just ran into this on the web]






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