Taking Sides in the Muslim Civil War
If domestic policy is about buying votes; foreign policy is about buying a legacy.
Alas, most Americans couldn’t find Baghdad or Mosul on a map. And as long as volunteers do the dying, it’s difficult for politicians or Facebook drones to see the downside. So President Obama changed his relationship status the other night, he declared “war” on the Islamic State (aka ISIS), which now includes swaths of Iraq and Syria. Other people’s money and other people’s kids, and feckless American leadership; why should America worry?
The declaration of hostilities is accompanied by the usual Obama era boilerplate: no war on Islam, no boots on the ground, no price tag, and no end in sight. Count this as World War III for Iraq, the “war of choice” that Obama pledged to end six years ago. Unfortunately, Mister Obama’s default setting in the Ummah is Sunni, the very sect that is double dealing, beheading, and winning. The Obama national security crew seems to be gluttons for failure, humiliation, and blowback.
How does Europe and America keep making the same mistakes, taking sides in the Muslim world, and expect different outcomes?
The president doesn’t have a clue about foreign policy or strategy. But not having a strategy is not the same as not having a worldview. And it is Barack Hussein’s vision, or lack of, that makes the president the baron of blowback
Chicago and John Brennan appear to be the wellsprings of Obama’s worldview.
First, let’s clear something up. In spite of his father and namesake, Barack “Hussein” is not a Muslim. Obama might be a bit Islamic in the same sense that Muhammad Ali is a bit Irish. But the closest that Barack ever came to Mohammed of Mecca was Elijah Muhammad of Chicago. Hard as it might be to believe, Obama did not go up in, or come down from, the Nation of Islam’s (NOI) mothership either.
Obama’s original worldview was shaped by the Windy City hustle: bad-assed Protestants and liberation theology Catholics, the likes of the Rev. Jerimiah Wright and Father Michael Pfleger. Loopy Chicago Christians and NOI space cadet Islamists, not surprisingly, share the same constituents -- victims. Indeed, the odd coalition on Lake Michigan ministers to the poor, felonious, addicted, alcoholic, dependent, dispossessed, aged, and uneducated -- collectively a decisive liberal voting bloc in Illinois and elsewhere.
Such are Obama’s “vanquished.”
In Chicago, as in New York and San Francisco, ignorant shouldn’t be confused with unschooled, either. Indeed, President Obama may have slept through Islamic history classes at Columbia as well as preacher Wright’s bible class in Chicago.
Obama came from Chicago culture, arguably the most corrupt if not criminal, burg in North America. After an undistinguished spell in the US Senate, Mister Obama became the new face of the Left in Washington, DC, a Beltway culture populated by the likes of John Brennan; big city Irish Catholic -- and like Pflegler, a product of progressive Jesuit schools, too. The progressive worldview is informed by a theory of Orientalism, the shop-worn notion that race and exploitation are the unitary explanations for First World (pale) success and Third World (brown) failure.
A good part of the black American minority in America and the Sunni global Islamic majority share a victim’s outlook: false pride, dependency, an inferiority complex, and generational rage. The hostility isn’t justified so much as perpetuated at the expense of social reform. A key narrative of both cultures is “victim,” a meme where persistent social pathology is blamed on racism and a host of undifferentiated dead white guys.
Before the Obama administration, John Brennan was a relatively obscure Intelligence apparatchik specializing in the Middle East. Apparently he returned from a tour in Sunni Arabia with a viral case of Stockholm syndrome.
No surprise then that Brennan caught the brass ring as a Clinton era CIA briefer to the White House, a “talking dog” in Company jargon. Talking dogs in the Intelligence Community don’t need to know anything, but they do need wear a tie, stay on message, and stick with the script. Early in the Bush Jr. era, after the Sunni Arab/ Muslim attack on New York, given his vitae, Brennan was in the catbird’s seat.
By the time Obama came to town, and before you could say “allahu akbar” twice, Brennan was at the White House as the eminence grise on all things Islamic. John is now Director of CIA where he has absolute control over National Intelligence Estimates and any analysis of Islamic imperialism, Sunnis, or any other Muslim proclivities.
In Obama’s first term, Brennan insisted that Islamic terror was “criminal” activity, a minor phenomenon unrelated to the larger “moderate” Islamic world. Indeed, Brennan purged unflattering language like “Islamist, Islamic imperialism, and Islamofascism” from all discussions of the Muslim Wars. A fawning Media hastily complied. Mister Brennan’s latest contribution to the politically correct world of national security analysis was the assertion that the Islamic State (aka ISIS) was a “feckless delusion.”
Small wonder then that the president thinks Sunni ISIS is a “junior varsity” of threats. Clearly, Brennan sees his life’s work as the absolution of Sunni Islam. His influence on the untutored Barack Obama is probably without rival.
More recently, Mr. Obama revealed the depth of Oval Office fatuity in an interview with Meet the Press. Obama admitted on national television that his White House had come down on the side of the Sunni -- at the expense of, we can only assume, all other possibilities of Muslim “partner.” The Brennan/Obama brain trust likely chose the Sunni sect because of numbers and oil. We shouldn’t rule out masochism either at this point. (Thank God now for legal pot. If you must listen to Obama discuss security matters, it helps to have a large stash, a roll of papers, and a bowl of munchies.)
So let’s review the bidding on the best known Islamic sects.
The Sufi see themselves as mediators, a sensible bridge between the ever-warring Sunni and Shia. And who doesn’t love a whirling dervish?
The Baha’i are even more pacific, a kind of Islamic Quaker.
The Kurds, only slightly sectarian, are the traditional enemy of the Turks. Need we review the bidding on the Sunni Turkish bent for carnage followed by Holocaust denial? Allied with the West for a precarious moment, Kurds are surrounded by fragile history and hostile neighbors. If the battle for the Levant goes as badly as recent wars with the Sunni, Kurdistan (like Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Afghanistan) will be fed to the wolves.
There are a few other lesser sects, but none hold a candle to the Sunni majority, an intolerant global franchise best known for bigotry, beheading, imperialism, political fascism, terrorism, misogyny, slavery, child trafficking, hijabs, and burkhas. Did we forget consanguinity? A Shia autocrat will marry outside of the family, a Sunni Arab sheik usually draws on a harem pool of first cousins.
In the past half-century of Muslim wars, the overwhelming majority of atrocities originate in Arab and/or Sunni communities. Nearly every terror shooter/bomber and their state sponsors -- from Fatah, to the Muslim Brotherhood, to al Qaeda, to Boko Haram, to ISIS is Sunni. In contrast, Shia Persia, Hezb’allah notwithstanding, is a comparatively civilized culture.
If you annoy a Shite or a Persian, he might behave like a figurative cut-throat, let’s say sell you an overpriced rug or lukewarm uranium. Better still, when you dream of Jeannie, you are fantasizing about a Persian genie.
An angry Arab or Sunni on the other hand will literally cut your throat for harboring a BLT, a bikini, a bible, a jigger of gin, or rosary beads. And the Arabs now have enough money to hire an Englishman or German to do any incidental wet work like summary executions. If you are an infidel or apostate, you do not want to be caught in a Sunni neighborhood after dark -- or after Friday prayers. Ask any hostage journalist, any Buddhist, any Jew, any Mosul Christian -- or any gal like Lara Logan.
The West, especially progressives, seems to abhor the Shia because the ayatollahs bitch-slapped Jimmy Carter in 1979 and Persians continue to humiliate the likes of Barack Obama and David Cameron today. You have to give the Shia their props. They know a chump when they see one.
Nuclear proliferation you say? Muslims already have the bomb. The Islamic bomb is hiding in plain sight in Pakistan. And it’s a Sunni bomb! Ignoring Sunni nuclear weapons is a little like ignoring razor blades in a kindergarten. Pakistan is one IED away from Iraq-style anarchy.
There you have it; the wages of taking sides in the Muslim mélange. We might also point out at this point, that many Sunnis (literally) and Shia (figuratively) would like to see Barack Hussein Obama’s head on a pike.
With Jack Brennan and Barry Obama, America wins the incoherent trifecta: the wrong side of Islam, the wrong side of civilization, and the wrong side of history. And it doesn’t make any difference what you call all those Muslim wars these days. Whatever!
America and Europe are losing all of them.
The author was a “talking dog,” or CJCS briefer, at the Defense Intelligence Agency.