Fatah's message -Caroline Glick
A central pillar of the Obama administration's Middle East policy paradigm was shattered at the Fatah conference in Bethlehem - but don't expect the White House to notice.
In staking out extremist positions, both Fatah's old guard and its younger generation of leaders demonstrated that Fatah's goal today is the same as it has been since the its founding in 1959: Liberating Palestine (from the river to the sea) by wiping Israel off the map.
Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas remove[d] both his own mask and that of his organization...
For the Obama administration, Fatah was supposed to be the poster child for moderate terrorists. Fatah was supposed to be the prototype of the noble terrorist organization that really just wants respect. It was supposed to be the group that proved the central contention of the Obama White House's strategy for dealing with terror, namely, that all terrorists want is to be appeased.
As Abbas and his cronies were exposing their true nature in Bethlehem, Obama's counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan [pictured at right], was giving a speech in Washington where he demonstrated the administration's ideological inflexibility.
Speaking before the Center for Strategic and International Studies last Thursday, Brennan declared that appeasing terrorists and terror-supporting regimes and societies by bowing to their political demands is the central plank of the administration's counterterror strategy.
As he put it, "Even as we condemn and oppose the illegitimate tactics used by terrorists, we need to acknowledge and address the legitimate needs and grievances of ordinary people those terrorists claim to represent."
To this end, Brennan stressed that for the Obama administration, the now-discredited Fatah model of conferring political legitimacy and funding on terrorists in a bid to transform them into good citizens must be implemented for every terror group in the world except al-Qaida. In furtherance of this goal, the US government will no longer refer to America's fight against terror as a "war on terror" and it will no longer refer to the enemy it fights as "jihadists" or the cause for which these "violent extremists" fight a "jihad."
As Brennan explained it, referring to terrorists as terrorists is unacceptable because doing so sets the US against terror-supporting regimes that the Obama administration believes are all amenable to appeasement.
Brennan [also] indicated that the Obama administration believes that Hizbullah is well on its way to becoming a respectable political actor. As he sees it, simply by participating in Lebanon's political process, the Iranian proxy has earned the right to be viewed as a legitimate political force. Brennan cited the fact that in addition to active terrorist elements, Hizbullah members today include "members of parliament, in the cabinet; [and] there are lawyers, doctors, others who are part of the Hizbullah organization" as a reason to celebrate the group. He further claimed that Hizbullah members who are not actively involved in terrorism "are in fact renouncing that type of terrorism and violence and are trying to participate in the political process in a very legitimate fashion."
Brennan's analysis is factually wrong because at no point has any Hizbullah member ever condemned or in any way criticized its paramilitary or terror cadres. To the contrary, Hizbullah's nonmilitary personnel have gone on record repeatedly praising their terror brethren and have expressed disappointment that they are not among the movement's fighters.
Like Hamas - which Brennan in the past has expressed support for recognizing - Hizbullah entered Lebanese politics with the intention of taking over the country.
The White House continues to oppose placing additional sanctions on Iran. State Department officials said this week that they fear that additional sanctions would cause the Iranian public to rally around the regime. The fact that the Iranian public is in large part now begging Western countries to reject the legitimacy of the regime has made no impact on the Obama administration.
Appeasing terrorists and regimes that support them is the aim of US policy.
Counterterrorism in Obama's Washington -Daniel Pipes
Barack Obama's assistant for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, John O. Brennan, conveniently outlined the administration's present and future policy mistakes in a speech on August 6, "A New Approach for Safeguarding Americans."
Brennan calls for appeasing terrorists: "Even as we condemn and oppose the illegitimate tactics used by terrorists, we need to acknowledge and address the legitimate needs and grievances of ordinary people those terrorists claim to represent." Which legitimate needs and grievances, one wonders, does he think Al-Qaeda represents?
Nor can Brennan think straight. One example, requiring a lengthy quote:
"Poverty does not cause violence and terrorism. Lack of education does not cause terrorism. But just as there is no excuse for the wanton slaughter of innocents, there is no denying that when children have no hope for an education, when young people have no hope for a job and feel disconnected from the modern world, when governments fail to provide for the basic needs of their people, then people become more susceptible to ideologies of violence and death."
Summary: Poverty and a lack of education do not cause terrorism, but a lack of education and a job make people more susceptible to the ideas leading to terrorism. What is the distinction? Woe on us when the White House accepts illogic as analysis.
Implementation of the inept policies outlined by Brennan spells danger for Americans, American interests, and American allies. The bitter consequences of these mistakes soon enough will become apparent.
[Front Page Magazine]