Former FBI special agent John Guandolo has written a strong and sobering essay at his website, UnderstandingTheThreat, called “Unfit for Duty.” It argues that two senior Trump administration officials, H. R. McMaster and Sebastian Gorka, are “catastrophically wrong” in their assessment of Islam as publicly stated and that this is “leading America down a disastrous road towards defeat.”
I agree. However, the problem is much, much larger than that.
It is true that the statements (excerpted below) of both men serve to sever the logical, in fact, blatant connections between Islam and what I will call Hot Jihad (terrorism, war) and Cold Jihad (the imposition of Islamic law and customs through migration into Western democracies, also Hot Jihad). Both are components of the age-old design of Islamic conquest. With regard to Sebastian Gorka, a friend and strong supporter of American Betrayal back in the day, it grieves me to have to say so, but I have to say so.
It is also true that this catastrophically wrong assessment of Islam is by no means unique to these two men. I wish it were. I know of no one in the US government or military who has a realistic view of Islam — that is, a view derived from the study of authoritative Islamic texts and centuries of jihad and dhimmitude. None. Donald Trump the candidate actually came the closest, but, as president, he appears to be enveloped by the “establishment,” which actually thinks Al Qaeda, or AQI, or AQIM, or AQAP, or the Taliban or ISIS or the next regrouping thousands of miles and oceans and deserts away is the main threat to these United States — not the government’s outsourcing of our understanding of Islam to jihad-affiliates; not the incursion of sharia into US finance; not the tranches of Islamic money subverting US education; not the seeding of mosques, generously funded by Islamic governments, throughout America to establish the sharia (Islamic law) for still-burgeoning Muslim immigrant and refugee populations. Houses of worship, only? Then why do more than 80 percent of mosques in America disseminate violent materials?
But I digress.
I haven’t been writing as much about Islam of late — I’ve written it all so many times over. It’s not rocket science. Still, for old times’ sake, I will mention again something that I think is pretty key: even Donald Trump’s big, bad term, “radical Islamic terrorism,” is but a riff on the old “tiny band of extremists” routine — and, worse, a not-too-distant cousin of the “violent extremism” non-sense.
How can that be? All three terms, even as they seem to originate on three different points of the political spectrum, depend on the exact same fantasy: that there exists some non-radical, non-extreme,
This. Is. Not. True.
“Violent extremism” divorces jihad violence from Islam entirely, which is non-sense.
“Tiny band of extremists” divorces jihad violence from an imaginary Islam that is non-extreme.
“Radical Islamic terrorism” does exactly the same thing: If terrorism is the product of “radical” Islam then there must be some plain-Jane and non-radical-Islam that is perfectly ok.
But it doesn’t exist! Islam is radical. Islam is extreme. So be it.
As Turkey’s Erdogan so memorably put it, “Islam is Islam and that’s it.”
Donald Trump the candidate appeared to have an innate understanding of the dangerous radicalism of Islam itself, as well as the threat to our liberties posed by the import of Islamic violence and, more dangerous, sharia culture. He discussed this on the hustings. I can only hope he falls back on his own instincts again and seeks new knowledgable and experienced experts. I will gladly provide a list — starting with veteran intelligence officer Stephen C. Coughlin, and former DHS official/whistleblower Philip Haney.
Meanwhile, here are some relevant excerpts from John Guandolo’s essay.
The New York Times, Guardian, and CNN all report Lt General McMaster told members of the National Security Council Thursday he felt “radical Islamic terrorism” was an unhelpful way to describe terrorism because becoming a terrorist is actually “un-Islamic” in the first place.
In a talk he gave at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in May 2016, Lt Gen McMaster said, “There is a cycle going on where groups like ISIL, who use this irreligious ideology, you know, this perverted interpretation of religion to justify violence, they depend on ignorance and the ability to recruit vulnerable segments of populations to foment hatred, then use that hatred to justify violence against innocents.”
Following his refutation of these statements, which have zero basis in any authoritative Islamic sources, follows, Guandolo concludes:
He [McMaster] is doing exactly what our enemy wants him to do – creating an imaginary target for us to chase while our real enemy prepares to defeat us.
The President’s Counterterrorism advisor, Sebastian Gorka, is “over the moon” [about] LtGen McMaster is the new National Security Advisor. …
Speaking at CPAC this past weekend, Gorka stated: “Zuhdi (Jasser) knows it better than anybody because he understands that this isn’t about poverty or lack of education. It’s about people who are fighting for the soul of Islam – not a war with Islam, but a war inside Islam; as King Abdullah, as General Sisi has said, for which version is going to win.”
Utter nonsense. There is one version of Islam and one Sharia. To say otherwise is to be factually wrong, but also dangerous when national strategies are being built off that utter nonsense.
Several years ago at a town hall presentation hosted by Washington, D.C. radio station WMAL, Sebastian Gorka stated “99.9% of muslims do not support terrorism (jihad)” despite a mountain of evidence and polling data proving this comment untrue, and the fact the entire purpose of Islam is to wage jihad until the world is dominated by Islamic rule (sharia).
Dr. Gorka also writes in his book, Defeating Jihad, we are not at war with Islam (p.129) but our enemy is “the ideology of takfiri jihad” (p.123).
No muslim jihadi who fought on the battlefields of Afghanistan, Iraq or anywhere else, nor any of the jihadis who have died in Europe in the United States attacking us nor the jihadis we have arrested have said they are “takfiri jihadis.” They have said they are “Muslims” waging “Jihad in the cause of Allah” to “establish a caliphate under sharia.”
This is what Islamic doctrine commands them to do.
On page 144 of his book, Gorka ends with the call for the United States to spend billions of dollars supporting “Muslim reformers” in their “ideological war to delegitimize the message of holy war against the infidel and bolster modern interpretations of Islam.”
This demonstrates Sebastian Gorka is either completely free of any clue of Islamic doctrine or is intentionally lying about what Islam actually teaches.
Since these ideas and strategies to use “moderate Muslims” to ensure the “other version” of Islam wins are based in fantasy not reality, these policies will necessarily fail – and have failed the United States for 15 years.
Guandolo rachets it up to the next step, asking some very tough questions.
Is that Dr. Gorka’s intention? Does he not know that strategies to win a war must be based in the reality of who the enemy is? Why would Sebastian Gorka put forth such and idea when he knows what he is saying is untrue?
Is it possible Dr. Gorka has remained strategically incoherent for 15 years during this global war? Is he working on behalf of some outside entity to intentionally mislead the President of the United States, or is he is simply putting his paycheck ahead of the American people and his duty.
The United States will lose this war against global jihadism if we do not clearly define the enemy and target the enemy. We cannot hit a target we do not identify and cannot defeat an enemy we do not target.
Our warfighting doctrine calls for an analysis of our enemy based on how the enemy defines itself. We begin our analysis there. Something we have not done since 9/11/01. If we did, our entire national security apparatus, including our military, would have been studying and teaching authoritative sharia and more of our soldiers, Marines, sailors, and airmen would be alive today because of it.
That is indisputable. Certainly, it is a reasonable, fact-based argument that senior White House and Pentagon officials should be presenting to the Commander-in-Chief. Over fifteen years after 9/11 and two disatrous wars later, it’s way overdue. Only President Trump has the power, and, seemingly, the will to make it happen — but he will have to overrule his inner circle and top administration officials to do so. Let’s hope this happens sooner rather than later.