28 December 2016


It’s Christmas Eve, I apologize. I hope to write something uplifting and aspirational in the next few days. I wish there was better news on the terrorism front; but, the greatest migration and diaspora since WWII is unfolding across Europe, and is also reaching America’s shores, as militant jihadism seeks to find new adherents among these displaced refugees. Now comes word that Germany has 7,000 terrorist suspects at-large, and is finding it ‘almost impossible’ to monitor them, according ti the head of British Intelligence.

Richard Barrett, the former head of Counter-Terrorism at Britain’s Foreign Intelligence Directorate, MI6, told London’s the DailyMailOnline, that “German authorities were finding the number of ‘live’ cases — unmanageable.” “This grim assessment came, as German Security Services faces difficult questions following the Berlin Christmas Market massacre/ bombing,” James Tapfield wrote in the December 22, 2016 edition of the DailyMailOnline. Information obtained since the bombing show that the perpetrator, Tunisian Anis Armi, a life-long criminal, arrived in Germany in 2015, but should have been deported,” long before he carried out the Berlin Christmas market bombing/attack. It turns out that Armi had been arrested three times this year (2016); and, had his asylum application papers were rejected; but, deportation papers were never served, and Armis dropped off the radar screen and disappeared — no doubt into the refugee community in Germany. He was known as an Islamic State follower/sympathizer, and had received weapons training according to German authorities.

Are the time of the Christmas market bombing, Armi was “under investigation for planning a ‘serious act of violence against the state,’ but the Daily Mail notes that German authorities and their intelligence services might have lost track of him just within the past few weeks, when Armi went underground.”

German Law Enforcement & Intelligence Entities Are Confronting A Daunting Problem & Lack The Wherewithal To Adequately Surveil & Collect Information On All Those Potential Jihadis Who Pose a Threat To The Country

The noted British historian Max Hastings warned in a March 18, 2016 article in the DailyMailOnline, that the refugee crisis is “the worst humanitarian crisis since WWII,” and its side-effects could lead to war in Europe. “Even if war is avoided,” Mr. Hastings warned, “the tidal wave of migration to Europe from the Middle East and Africa, will continue, with consequences much greater, and graver than any national [European] leader has acknowledged.” Mr, Hastings is uneasy and knows that war on the European continent ‘before the middle of this century,’ is possible, if the influx of refugees is not deftly handled.

Mr. Hastings referred to a conversation he had about the time of his March article, with an “uncommonly well-informed man, who believes the earthquakes shaking the Middle East, together with the scale of economic migration from Africa — could undo all our comfortable assumptions about the stability of the society in which we live, including our confidence that Europe has turned its back on war forever.”

“The most obvious lesson from history,” Mr. Hastings wrote, “is that events and threats…..always take us by surprise.”

“Mass migration now poses the greatest threat to Europe’s tranquility and stability since the end of the Cold War, and arguably since 1945,” Mr. Hastings observed. “Unless it is checked, over the coming decades — it promises to change the character and make-up of all our societies on a scale to make past migration seem trivial.”

Mr Hastings observed that “Germany’s Chancellor Merkel appeared to be a towering figure until August, when she made her disastrous, unilateral commitment to open her country’s doors. Today, some European Union (EU) members, especially in the East, are striving to reverse the consequences of this policy; and, to stem the flow. They are achieving only limited success,” he wrote, “it is frightening to behold the number of newcomers pouring into Greece and Italy.”

Mr Hastings is a keen observer of how current events can morph into scenarios that we either choose to ignore, or fail to see. And, his assessment is based on realism, not idealism — that has plagued the Obama administration for the past eight years; and, roped in Germany’s Merkel along the way.

POTUS Obama’s naive and idealistic view of the world and the issues it confronts — especially militant Islam — has put America and her Western allies in greater danger of one or more 9/11 terrorist attacks on a scale much worse than what occurred in New York and Washington. There was a period of time in POTUS Obama’s first term to take out Syria’s ability to conduct air strikes on the rebels; and, work with Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, and so on — to set up ‘safe zones,’ for displaced refugees, and stem the flow of the displaced to Europe and America as well. But, POTUS Obama instead, focused inward, on Obamacare, climate change, and so on, while ‘Rome was burning.” His dangerous, misguided quest to close Guantanamo, and his encouragement to Germany’s Merkel, and to us here at home — to take in these conflict refugees, without a serious and thorough ‘extreme’ vetting process, is now bearing the fruits of that naive and dangerous approach.

Germany’s law enforcement and intelligence apparatus is overwhelmed, and incapable of conducting the kind of surveillance and intelligence collection needed, in order to ferret out and thwart terrorist operations before they happen. It is unfortunately, a situation playing out across the continent, and here at home as well. DNI Director Clapper and FBI Director Comey testified earlier this year that the U.S. did/does not have the resources and capability to conduct the kind of thorough vetting needed, to ensure we were not letting in militant jihadi sleeper agents/cells. And as a consequence, we are witnessing the unfortunate byproduct of that short-sighted and myopic policy.

It is hard to see how this picture gets much better in the short to mid-term. POTUS-elect Trump’s advocacy of putting a halt to accepting even more war-ravaged refugees into America, without having an extreme vetting process and mechanism in place is a welcome, and needed breath of adult supervision. Yes, it can be considered a bit harsh or cruel to those who view the world through an idealistic prism; but, the reality is what happened this week at a Christmas market in Berlin. Unfortunately, because of this reckless approach by POTUS Obama, Chancellor Merkel, and other European leaders, ‘winter is coming.’ 

A much more aggressive military campaign to kill all militant jihdists is a given. But, as I have written many times, it is ‘easy’ to kill a person. It is much harder to kill an idea. Short of a ‘reformation in the Islamic church,’ and the good guys winning — I believe a 21st century Nuremberg-style Crimes Against Humanity trial/s is needed to formally and officially condemn militant jihadism is required. Just as the world did with respect to Nazism at the end of World War II, the U.S. should lead an effort for the world to stand up and be counted — as was done at Nuremberg, and formally condemn militant jihadism as a pariah philosophy. Otherwise, we can and will kill many more militant jihadis, and yes — Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as well; but, their poisonous ideology will live on to fight another day.

American historian Barbara Tuchman once wrote that: “wooden-headedness, the source of self-deception, is a factor that plays a remarkably large role in government. It consists in assessing a situation in terms of preconceived fixed notions — while ignoring, or rejecting any contrary signs. It is acting according to wish; while, not allowing oneself to be deflected by the facts.” Seems to sum up POTUS Obama and his national security team pretty well — unfortunately. Hopefully, POTUS-elect Trump and his team, can finally begin to address these deficiencies in critical thinking and strategy to defeat and eradicate militant jihadis, and their poisonous philosophy. V/R, RCP

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