How Is Hope and Change Working Out?

Things You Wouldn’t Have Believed About President Obama and the 2014 Election

Think back six years to the day President Obama was elected. Tens of thousands gathered in Grant Park in Chicago. There was cheering in the streets across the country. Commentators were breathless and tearful. The president-elect gave an excellent speech. Most Americans exulted at Hope and Change.

Imagine if someone had told you that night that within six years, the man just elected president would have:

Pivoted from a campaign theme of unity to a habit of insinuating Americans who opposed his policies were racists, sexists, classists, or bigots.

Run one of the most divisive reelection campaigns in recent memory on a theme of class warfare.

Lost the Massachusetts Senate seat formerly held by Ted Kennedy to a Republican with health care as the issue.

Driven approval of the Democratic Party to its lowest point in 30 years, with Republicans on the verge of their largest majority in the House in more than half a century.

Allowed western Iraq, then a story of hard-earned recovery, to fall into the hands of a terrorist organization more extreme than Al Qaeda that would declare it had reestablished the caliphate.

Allowed Vladimir Putin to invade and annex a large territory of a major European country.

Done nothing when Russian militants shot down a civilian airliner flying over Europe.

Declared as a “red line” the use of chemical weapons in Syria and then done nothing when it was crossed.

Abandoned several longstanding U.S. allies in the Middle East in favor of Islamist agitators–allowing Egypt, a tourist destination in 2009, to fall into the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood and Libya to fall into the hands of terrorists.

Entered negotiations with Iran that did not require Iran to halt its nuclear weapons program.

Caused a humanitarian crisis with a flood of immigrant children on our border, who came here because the President promised not to send them home and declared his intention to grant amnesty by executive order.

Told the American people a Soviet-style lie about this crisis, saying the children on the border suddenly came to the U.S. because of violence which had been going on in Central America for years (a lie which the media accepted with barely a comment).

Signed a law reorganizing the country’s health care system despite the fact that neither he nor a single person who voted for it had read it.

Passed his health care law supposedly to achieve universal coverage, only to have roughly as many people uninsured 5 years later.

Caused millions of Americans to have their health insurance plans canceled, after promising repeatedly they could keep them.

Caused premiums to increase by 100% in Delaware, 90% in New Hampshire, 54% in Indiana, 53% in California — the list goes on.

Spent $2 billion on a health care website that became a national embarrassment.

Assured Americans Ebola would not spread to the United States, weeks before it did.

Insisted all employers provide free contraception to their employees, even over their religious objections.

Won the Nobel Peace Prize while waging two wars and killing hundreds of civilians a year with drones.

Allowed the U.S. to spend four years (and counting) without the capability to send its astronauts into space, forcing us to rely on Putin’s Russia for access to space.

Characterized supporting a traditional definition of marriage (as he did when he was elected) as divisive and discriminatory.

Spent weeks misleadingly characterizing a premeditated terrorist attack that killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya as a spontaneous protest, apparently for political reasons.

Brushed off extensive evidence that senior IRS officials targeted his political opponents, calling it the work of “two dilberts in Cincinnati” which involved “not a smidgen of corruption.”

Overseen an IRS that mysteriously lost the hard drives and backups of up to 20 IRS employees at the center of the targeting scandal.

Tolerated damaging national security leaks that cast him in a favorable light.

Placed a respected Fox News reporter under criminal investigation for his story about North Korean nuclear tests.

Employed for years an Attorney General who was held in contempt of Congress for refusing turn over evidence about his knowledge of a program that resulted in the death of a border patrol agent, and who lied under oath about the DOJ snooping on phone records of AP reporters.

If someone had looked into a crystal ball and made any one of these predictions in isolation, you probably would not have believed it. If you had been read the entire list, you would have concluded that President Obama turned out to be the exact opposite of what Candidate Obama promised–and you would have understood why Democrats would be in such a precarious position heading into election day 2014.

Your Friend,
Newt

Newt Gingrich: Houston Pastor Subpoenas Part of a ‘Radical Agenda’

In a recent article posted by Newt Gingrich, he writes a compelling article about the Houston Hodown. See below!

Houston Mayor Annise Parker’s decision to issue subpoenas for sermons from the city’s Christian pastors was for “much larger political and constitutional stakes” than just to coerce disclosure from the ministers, says Newt Gingrich in a post on his blog.

“The Mayor of Houston’s recent subpoena of sermons by Christian pastors in the country’s fourth largest city is a shocking violation of First Amendment rights to free speech and free exercise of religion,” says Gingrich in a post co-written with Vince Haley. “There is no clearer violation of First Amendment freedoms than for government officials to attempt to censor religious speech.”

Parker earlier this month had the city subpoena a group of pastors to demand sermons they wrote about her that would cover the subjects of homosexuality, gender identity, or mention Parker herself, as the city’s first openly lesbian mayor.

The subpoenas were issued after the pastors protested the city’s new non-discrimination ordinance that the city council passed in June which, among other clauses related to sexuality and gender identity, would allow men to use the women’s room and vice versa in an effort to protect transgender rights.

Opponents gathered 50,000 signatures for a repeal measure that was eventually thrown out. They sued the city, but ironically, the five pastors subpoenaed are not part of the lawsuit, says Gingrich.

He notes that the pastors’ attorneys were ready to sue to quash the subpoenas and would have succeeded, but Parker decided to withdraw the demands following protests.

The so-called “bathroom bill,” passed in May, is Parker’s signature initiative and still is being threatened by threats to repeal it through a referendum vote, says Gingrich, calling it part of Parker’s “radical agenda.”

“In politics, if politicians are not succeeding in their arguments, they change the subject,” he writes. “Mayor Parker apparently is not succeeding in her defense of a law that opponents claim creates a right, among other newly created sexual and gender identity rights, for anyone to use public bathrooms of the opposite sex in the name of gender rights equality.”

So since Parker is losing her argument, she’s refocusing her argument, he continues.

“If you’re a liberal mayor trying to create new sexual and gender identity rights, there’s apparently no better object on which to refocus the public than the Christian pastors and their beliefs on gender and sexuality,” he contends.

And as such, Parker is “trying to shift the debate from a fight over the merits of her sexual and gender identity agenda to a fight over the Christian world view of sexual ethics.”

She thought her effort would be effective, explains Gingrich, as she believed that even if the subpoenas were withdrawn, the city’s pastors would think again before criticizing her or the bill.

Further, he says, Parker is “clearly aware that there is a provision of U.S. tax law that already tends to chill the speech of some pastors from the pulpit.”

The law, the “Johnson Amendment” was authored by then-Sen. Lyndon B. Johnson and states that tax-exempt organizations like churches may not “participate in, or intervene in…any political campaign on behalf of…any candidate for public office.”

And while the amendment, penned in 1954, is “brazenly in conflict with the free speech and free exercise protections of the First Amendment,” Parker was threatening the tax-exempt status of the churches by attacking pastors who challenge her, says Gingrich,

Congress should repeal the amendment, Gingrich adds, noting that North Carolina Republican Rep. Walter Jones has a bill prepared for that.

And last, there is an established strategy to paint protecting traditional moral values and “opposition to newly-invented sexual and gender identity rights” as being malicious, says Gingrich. This was recently backed by the 2013 Supreme Court decision that invalidates the definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman.
Special: Does Obama Belong to This Secret Society? (Shocking)

“Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion that the only purpose of those who supported this traditional definition of marriage was to ‘disparage,’ ‘injure,’ ‘degrade,’ ‘demean,’ and ‘humiliate’ certain groups of fellow citizens, says Gingrich.

Parker can answer two questions to clear the assumption, he continues: Does she believe that everyone who does not support her bathroom bill is a hateful bigot? And, does she support a citywide referendum on her bathroom bill?

The right response to the Kennedys and Parkers of this country is “faithfulness on the part of Christians and a political awakening on the part of all citizens,” he concludes.

FRANKLIN GRAHAM: OBAMA DOESN’T UNDERSTAND ISLAM

‘Followers of a peaceful religion do not cut off the heads of innocent people’

Franklin Graham, the son of Rev. Billy Graham, the chief of Samaritan’s Purse and an evangelist for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, says President Obama, like President Bush before him, just doesn’t understand Islam.

Graham noted Obama’s recent comments on the conflict in the Middle East, when the president called for a global effort against terrorism.

“In his speech, the president made this baffling comment about Islam: ‘Islam teaches peace. Muslims all over the world aspire to live with dignity and a sense of justice. And when it comes to America and Islam, there is no us and them – there is only us, because millions of Muslim Americans are part of the fabric of our country,’” Graham wrote in a recent commentary for Decision magazine.

But he said that just doesn’t line up with the facts that people see.

Obama, he said doesn’t understand Islam.

“Even President Bush in the previous administration called Islam a peaceful religion. Both men have done a great disservice to the American public by not understanding Islam and its teaching in the Quran,” Graham wrote.

He noted he recently was in Lafayette Square, across the street from the White House, to pray for Pastor Saeed Abedini, an Iranian-American jailed already for two years in Iran, “simply because of his Christian faith.”

“Islamic terrorists are indiscriminately and brutally killing all who stand in their way, as evidenced by the gruesome, demonic images of recent beheadings of American and British journalists. For Muslims, peace comes only through submission to Islam. When they speak of peace, they mean submission to their religion,” he said.

“This is why, as we prayed for the release of Saeed and persecuted Christians, I spoke to the president via the media and loudspeakers,” he said.

His message was simple: “Mr. President – followers of a peaceful religion do not cut off the heads of innocent people in barbaric fashion… Mr. President – believers in a peaceful religion do not kidnap 300 young schoolgirls as Boko Haram did in northeastern Nigeria in April and reportedly [sell] them to men to be sex slaves … Mr. President – men who practice a peaceful religion do not detonate bombs on an American street during a marathon race to kill and maim innocent people … Mr. President – no one who belongs to a peaceful religion would even consider hijacking airlines and flying them into buildings occupied by thousands of innocent people beginning their workday … Mr. President – no peaceful religion would tolerate, let alone practice, female circumcision, require a women to have her husband’s permission to leave her home and take up employment, and restrict her ability to receive justice…”

Graham continued, “Mr. President – a peaceful religion would not condone and allow a father to drown a daughter in a swimming pool in front of the family in the name of family honor because she might have stayed out late in the evening with her boyfriend.”

And pointedly, he noted, “Mr. President – why haven’t the 3.5 million Muslims in North American rejected this gross, barbaric and despicable behavior by their fellow Muslims on American soil?”

In his commentary, headlined “Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?” in the November Decision edition, he cited Obama’s claim al-Qaida and Boko Haram are guided by an ideology that will “simply wilt and die if it is consistently exposed, confronted and refuted in the light of day.”

No, he wrote.

“That simply is not the case. Islam … is a false religion [that is] guided and characterized by treacherous deceit.”

A commenter on the Decision magazine page, writing under the name eke chikwere, said it “is not that Obama and others don’t know the fact[s], they only want to be politically correct. Thank[s] for your bluntness Bro Frank. The devil is using his followers to perpetrate evil but God is sure turni[n]g these to the advantage of the gospel as a clear line is drawn between the true and false religion.”

Obama, in fact, spent several years in Indonesia while he was growing up, and attended Islamic schools during those years. His extended family, in Kenya, follows Islam. And he once said in an interview that the call to Muslim prayer was the most beautiful sound on earth.

Franklin Graham sparked a controversy two years ago when he was responding to questions about Obama’s faith.

In a report in the Christian Post, he described how Obama responded to a question of how he came to faith in Christ by explaining he was working as a community organizers, and people asked him where he went to church. He said he didn’t, they told him he needed to, and he ended up at Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s congregation in Chicago.

Graham said he accepts Obama’s statement that he is Christian, but noted, “Islam sees him as a son of Islam because his father was a Muslim, his grandfather was a Muslim. All I know is under Obama, President Obama, the Muslims of the world, he seems to be more concerned about them than the Christians that are being murdered in the Muslim countries.”

Pressed about Obama’s faith, Graham said, “I think you have to ask President Obama. You can ask me do I believe if you’re a Christian but I think the best thing for a person is to ask you directly. He’s come out saying he’s a Christian so I think the question is what is a Christian?”

Graham said he could not and would not support Obama as a candidate because of Obama’s positions on abortion and traditional marriage, and that his faith “has nothing to do with my consideration of him as a candidate.”

That same year, according to a CBN report, Graham said Obama was defying God by supporting “gay marriage.”

“President Obama has, in my view, shaken his fist at the same God who created and defined marriage,” he said. “It grieves me that our president would affirm same-sex marriage, though I believe it grieves God even more.”

A CNS report also noted that Graham said some people in the Obama administration are “hostile to Christians” to the point they “are anti-Christ in what they say and in what they do.”

His comments came as part of an interview about the religious persecution in the U.S. armed forces.

5 Key Implications if Baghdad Falls to ISIS

Dear Dan,

Here is the latest excellent analysis from national security and terrorism expert Patrick Poole. The Obama administration’s failing strategies and tactics to battle ISIS are putting America and the entire world in peril…This post recently sent by ACT! for America

5 Key Implications if Baghdad Falls to ISIS
By Patrick Poole

Reports that ISIS has surrounded Baghdad and is quickly closing in on the Baghdad International Airport (armed with MANPADS, no less) are troubling. Baghdad itself has been rocked by a series of VBIED attacks in the past 24 hours by ISIS, indicating that the battle for Baghdad has begun.

The possible fall of Baghdad could be the most significant development in the War on Terror since 9/11. And yet many among the D.C. foreign policy “smart set” were not long ago mocking such a scenario.

So what happens if such a situation comes to pass? Here are five key implications (by no means limited to these) if Baghdad falls to ISIS:

1) ISIS will not be claiming to the be the Islamic State, they will BE the Islamic State

Symbolism doesn’t matter much to your average post-modern Westerner, but it still does in the Islamic world, and the capture of Baghdad will hold enormous value. For 500 years Baghdad was the seat of the Abbasid caliphate, and its fall to ISIS would allow the terrorist group to reclaim that mantle. Such an event will electrify the Middle East and beyond, with many Muslims holding firmly to the belief that the abolition of the Ottoman caliphate in 1924 by Ataturk was one of the key contributing factors in the decline of the Muslim world over the past century. No amount of State Department hashtags or tweets, or pronouncements by Sheikh Barack Obama and Imam John Kerry that there is nothing Islamic about the Islamic State, will be able to negate any claims by ISIS to be the revived caliphate.

2) The Great Reconciliation between jihadist groups will begin

Much of the Obama administration’s anti-ISIS efforts have been trying to leverage other “vetted moderate” groups in Syria against ISIS, with some “smart set” thinkers even advocating engaging “moderate Al-Qaeda” to that end. We are already seeing jihadist groups gravitating towards ISIS, such as the announcement this week by Pakistani Taliban leaders pledging their allegiance to the Islamic State. Other groups of younger jihadis are breaking away from Al-Qaeda franchises in North Africa and defecting to ISIS. Despite bitter rivalries between ISIS and other jihadist groups in Syria, namely Al-Qaeda’s official Syrian affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra, these other groups will be hard-pressed to deny ISIS’ caliphate claims if they do take Baghdad. In that part of the world, nothing succeeds like success. If Baghdad falls, jihadist groups, some of whom have been openly hostile or remained neutral, will quickly align behind ISIS. And the horrid sound coming out of Washington, D.C., will be of foreign policy paradigms imploding.

3) What of U.S. personnel in Iraq?

The US Embassy in Baghdad is the largest embassy on the planet. And after Obama sent 350 more U.S. military personnel to guard the U.S. Embassy last month, there are now more than 1,100 US service members in Baghdad protecting the embassy and the airport. That doesn’t include embassy personnel, American aid workers, and reporters also in Baghdad. ISIS doesn’t have to capture the airport to prevent flights from taking off there (remember Hamas rockets from Gaza prompting the temporary closure of Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport this past summer). If flights can’t get out of Baghdad, how will the State Department and Pentagon evacuate U.S. personnel? An image like the last helicopter out of Saigon would be of considerable propaganda value to ISIS and other jihadist groups. Former CNN reporter Peter Arnett, who witnessed the fall of Saigon in April 1975, raised this possibility back in June. It’s not like the U.S. has prestige to spare internationally, and the fall of Baghdad will mark the beginning of the end of American influence in the Middle East, much like the case in Southest Asia in 1975.

4) If ISIS captures Baghdad, it will be with weapons provided by the U.S. to the Iraqi army and “vetted moderate” Syrian rebel groups

Since their push back into Iraq this summer, ISIS has regularly paraded captured weapons and vehicles that have been provided by the U.S. to the Iraqi army, which rapidly collapsed in the face of the ISIS advance. ISIS has subsequently used these U.S.-provided weapons to repel attacks by Iraqi forces. A report published last month by the UK-based Conflict Armament Research documented the use of U.S.-provided Humvees, armored personnel carriers, and firearms by ISIS. In addition, ISIS has at least 52 U.S.-made M198 howitzers with GPS aiming systems that have a 20 mile range that will undoubtedly be used in their assault on Baghdad. Yesterday, Charles Lister of the Brookings Institute tweeted out recent images of ISIS fighters equipped with M79 Osa anti-tank weapons that had been provided by Saudi Arabia to the “vetted moderate” Free Syrian Army. The potential propaganda value of ISIS capturing Baghdad with U.S. weapons will be enormous.

5) The fall of Baghdad will herald an unparalleled sectarian war in the Middle East and widescale regional instability

The fighting in Syria and Iraq has been part of the regional sectarian competition of Sunni Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states against Shia Iran and its allies in Iraq, the Assad regime in Syria and Hezbollah. ISIS and Sunni Syrian rebel groups have been proxies in this fight. If Baghdad falls to ISIS, it will be all-hands-on-deck across the entire Middle East, with a sectarian war not seen since the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s and sectarian/ethnic cleansing not seen since the Balkan wars. We are already seeing Shiite militias killing Sunnis indiscriminately in Iraq and widespread ethnic and religious cleansing by ISIS in Northern Syria and Iraq. Meanwhile, our NATO ally Turkey is now bombing the same Kurds who are fighting ISIS. Because of these sectarian attacks millions of refugees have already flooded to Syria’s neighboring states, destablizing countries like Lebanon and Jordan. The ISIS push in Anbar province in Iraq has caused 180,000 more to flee, according to the UN. The potential humanitarian disaster from the dislocation of millions in the region could be without parallel.

If, in fact, Baghdad falls to ISIS and the Sunni-Shia sectarian war in Syria and Iraq metastasizes across the Middle East and North Africa, the U.S. will likely find itself an ancillary player. War-weary Americans have no appetite for boots on the ground (fueled in no small measure by the Obama administration’s stoking anti-Iraq war sentiments as part of their political strategy).

And yet one remarkable feature I personally witnessed last month while in Washington, D.C., briefing members of Congress on the proposal to fund more training and weapons for Syrian rebels, is the absence of any acknowledgement by the political and media elite that we lost the Iraq war. The fact is that we left, and ISIS stayed. Our options are increasingly limited in Iraq and the region, and most of those options are horrible options. We don’t even have lesser-of-two-evils options because of our reckless bipartisan foreign policy. The U.S. will also face a dilemma: at the very same time this administration has been sidling up to Iran and trying to strike a deal over its nuclear weapons program, we very well may be faced with calls from our longtime allies in the region, almost all Sunni, for assistance. And then we have Turkey, which, as a NATO partner, we have treaty obligations to honor.

And faced with a nuclear Iran amidst a growing sectarian war, many Sunni countries will start their own crash nuclear programs in response, leading to the regional proliferation of nuclear weapons. No sane person would contend that a nuclear arms race in the Middle East would be a benefit to our own national security (though undoubtedly there will be some D.C. foreign policy “experts” who will dismiss its importance).

The coming days and weeks in the fight for Baghdad are fraught with enormous implications for the U.S. And yet our ability to influence those events is rapidly waning.

http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2014/10/14/5-key-implications-if-baghdad-falls-to-isis/

Patrick Poole is a national security and terrorism correspondent for PJMedia.

Ben Affleck Curses Jesus While Defending Islam

When talking about Islam, Ben Affleck is like a duck trying to board a spaceship to prove he can make the journey because he has wings. Affleck like so many in Hollywood who have realized a measure of success by reading a script and then acting often come to believe that they have the last word on the great issues of our time. Affleck certainly has the right to his opinion but that right does not prove he is right. His ignorance on the subject of Islam is apparent in this interview with Bill Marr, and his emotional theatrics and shouting does not strengthen his argument. On Wednesday, September 8, Ron Cantor posted the following piece on CharismaNews.

Ben Affleck argues aabout Islam on "Real Time with Bill Maher." (YouTube)

Ben Affleck argues aabout Islam on “Real Time with Bill Maher.” (YouTube)

Ben Affleck seems so amiable in his movies. However, on the set of Bill Maher’s liberal TV show (I don’t even know the name), he was seething. Yes, seething mad that someone might think, just because Muslims are chopping off heads, raping young girls and committing honor killings, that there might be a problem within the doctrines of Islam.

Even Maher, an avowed atheist and super liberal, seems to get it right when it comes to Islam. However, Hollywood A-lister Affleck (who is so famous his name gets spell-checked in Word!) disagrees. He thinks any criticism of Islam is Islamaphobic (a word that Word does not recognize). In fact, he thinks, “It’s gross. It’s racist.”

Affleck ascribes to a belief system based on fairy tales that radical Islamists are a small minority and in no way reflect the belief of the overwhelming majority of peace-loving Muslims. He and his ilk like to say silly things such as, “Only 7 percent of Muslims are radicalized.”

That sounds so reassuring until you do the math and realize that 7 percent is roughly 100 million people! One-hundred million Islamic fanatics willing to rape, murder and pillage for the sake of their religious beliefs. Yes, at least one in every 70 people on Earth believes it is OK to kidnap, rape and maim unbelievers. And that doesn’t even include “moderate” Islamic leaders and their regimes like Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the PLO or the king of Saudi Arabia, who have no problem killing for political gain.

However, I don’t need to combat Affleck on these issues. Maher and Sam Harris, his debating partner, do a fine job (if Affleck would just let them talk) using facts to dispel Affleck’s emotion-driven myths. My issue is Affleck’s utter hypocrisy.

While claiming that, as a good liberal, he must be kind and tolerant of Muslims, he uses the name of Jesus as a curse word. About 2:18 into the clip (see below), after Mr. Harris refers to Islam as the mother lode of bad ideas, Affleck mutters the Name above every name, and in a way he would never use the name of Muhammad—as a curse.

He took the name of Jesus, and inserted it in place of a four-letter curse word—all the while, defending Islam. I am sure he didn’t even notice it.

What is clear is that liberals like Affleck defend Islam in a way they would never defend Christianity. Does he think that moderate Islam is pro-choice? Pro-gay? Pro-equal rights for women? Pro-nudity in films like Affleck’s most recent movie (I am told)?

Harris calmly points out to the agitated actor that nearly 80 percent of the U.K.’s Muslim community felt the Danish cartoonist who drew Muhammad should have been prosecuted. Maher points out that 90 percent of Egyptians believe death is the appropriate response for leaving Islam.

A careful study of moderate Islam would reveal that they are only moderate compared to people who rape and behead. There are numerous cases of non-militant Muslims supporting terror, committing honor killings, being racists and frankly, hating people like Affleck—Western liberals.

But again, I digress. These Hollywood elites will defend Islam, while holding Christianity in disdain. That is my point. Curse Jesus while defending Muhammad and pretend you are genuinely tolerant. It is open season on believers in the New Testament, but don’t you dare draw a picture of Muhammad.

Click below to watch the clip on Real Time with Bill Maher. Warning: There is some profanity.

http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/45683-ben-affleck-curses-jesus-while-defending-islam

Ron Cantor is the director of Messiah’s Mandate International in Israel, a Messianic ministry dedicated to taking the message of Jesus from Israel to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). Cantor also travels internationally teaching on the Jewish roots of the New Testament. He serves on the pastoral team of Tiferet Yeshua, a Hebrew-speaking congregation in Tel Aviv. His newest book is Identity Theft. Follow him at @RonSCantor on Twitter.

The Khorosan Group Does Not Exist

For years now, the false narrative from the Obama administration has been that Al Qaeda is “on the run” or “decimated.” Therefore, when it was discovered that Al Qaeda was plotting from Syria and Iraq to carry out a terrorist attack in the United States, Team Obama decided to make up a new name for the Al Qaeda cell responsible. This shameless maneuver amounts to national security malpractice…

SEPTEMBER 27, 2014 4:00 AM
The Khorosan Group Does Not Exist
It’s a fictitious name the Obama administration invented to deceive us.
By Andrew C. McCarthy

We’re being had. Again.

For six years, President Obama has endeavored to will the country into accepting two pillars of his alternative national-security reality. First, he claims to have dealt decisively with the terrorist threat, rendering it a disparate series of ragtag jayvees. Second, he asserts that the threat is unrelated to Islam, which is innately peaceful, moderate, and opposed to the wanton “violent extremists” who purport to act in its name.

Now, the president has been compelled to act against a jihad that has neither ended nor been “decimated.” The jihad, in fact, has inevitably intensified under his counterfactual worldview, which holds that empowering Islāmic supremacists is the path to security and stability. Yet even as war intensifies in Iraq and Syria — even as jihadists continue advancing, continue killing and capturing hapless opposition forces on the ground despite Obama’s futile air raids — the president won’t let go of the charade.

Hence, Obama gives us the Khorosan Group.

The who?

There is a reason that no one had heard of such a group until a nanosecond ago, when the “Khorosan Group” suddenly went from anonymity to the “imminent threat” that became the rationale for an emergency air war there was supposedly no time to ask Congress to authorize.

You haven’t heard of the Khorosan Group because there isn’t one. It is a name the administration came up with, calculating that Khorosan — the –Iranian– Afghan border region — had sufficient connection to jihadist lore that no one would call the president on it.

The “Khorosan Group” is al-Qaeda. It is simply a faction within the global terror network’s Syrian franchise, “Jabhat al-Nusra.” Its leader, Mushin al-Fadhli (believed to have been killed in this week’s U.S.-led air strikes), was an intimate of Ayman al-Zawahiri, the emir of al-Qaeda who dispatched him to the jihad in Syria. Except that if you listen to administration officials long enough, you come away thinking that Zawahiri is not really al-Qaeda, either. Instead, he’s something the administration is at pains to call “core al-Qaeda.”

“Core al-Qaeda,” you are to understand, is different from “Jabhat al-Nusra,” which in turn is distinct from “al-Qaeda in Iraq” (formerly “al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia,” now the “Islāmic State” al-Qaeda spin-off that is, itself, formerly “al-Qaeda in Iraq and al-Sham” or “al-Qaeda in Iraq and the Levant”). That al-Qaeda, don’t you know, is a different outfit from al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula . . . which, of course, should never be mistaken for “al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb,” “Boko Haram,” “Ansar al-Sharia,” or the latest entry, “al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent.”

Coming soon, “al-Qaeda on Hollywood and Vine.” In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if, come 2015, Obama issued an executive order decreeing twelve new jihad jayvees stretching from al-Qaeda in January through al-Qaeda in December.

Except you’ll hear only about the jayvees, not the jihad. You see, there is a purpose behind this dizzying proliferation of names assigned to what, in reality, is a global network with multiple tentacles and occasional internecine rivalries.

As these columns have long contended, Obama has not quelled our enemies; he has miniaturized them. The jihad and the sharia supremacism that fuels it form the glue that unites the parts into a whole — a worldwide, ideologically connected movement rooted in Islāmic scripture that can project power on the scale of a nation-state and that seeks to conquer the West. The president does not want us to see the threat this way.

For a product of the radical Left like Obama, terrorism is a regrettable but understandable consequence of American arrogance. That it happens to involve Muslims is just the coincidental fallout of Western imperialism in the Middle East, not the doctrinal command of a belief system that perceives itself as engaged in an inter-civilizational conflict. For the Left, America has to be the culprit. Despite its inbred pathologies, which we had no role in cultivating, Islam must be the victim, not the cause. As you’ll hear from Obama’s Islamist allies, who often double as Democrat activists, the problem is “Islamophobia,” not Muslim terrorism.

This is a gross distortion of reality, so the Left has to do some very heavy lifting to pull it off. Since the Islāmic-supremacist ideology that unites the jihadists won’t disappear, it has to be denied and purged. The “real” jihad becomes the “internal struggle to become a better person.” The scriptural and scholarly underpinnings of Islamic suprematism must be bleached out of the materials used to train our national-security agents, and the instructors who resist going along with the program must be ostracized. The global terror network must be atomized into discrete, disconnected cells moved to violence by parochial political or territorial disputes, with no overarching unity or hegemonic ambition. That way, they can be limned as a manageable law-enforcement problem fit for the courts to address, not a national-security challenge requiring the armed forces.

The president has been telling us for years that he handled al-Qaeda by killing bin Laden. He has been telling us for weeks that the Islāmic State — an al-Qaeda renegade that will soon reconcile with the mother ship for the greater good of unity in the anti-American jihad — is a regional nuisance that posed no threat to the United States. In recent days, however, reality intruded on this fiction. Suddenly, tens of thousands of terrorists, armed to the teeth, were demolishing American-trained armies, beheading American journalists, and threatening American targets.

Obama is not the manner of man who can say, “I was wrong: It turns out that al-Qaeda is actually on the rise, its Islamic State faction is overwhelming the region, and American interests — perhaps even American territory — are profoundly threatened.” So instead . . . you got “the Khorosan Group.”

You also got a smiley-face story about five Arab states joining the United States in a coalition to confront the terrorists. Finally, the story goes, Sunni governments were acting decisively to take Islam back from the “un-Islamic” elements that falsely commit “violent extremism” under Islam’s banner.

Sounds uplifting … until you read the fine print. You’ve got to dig deep to find it. It begins, for example, 42 paragraphs into the Wall Street Journal’s report on the start of the bombing campaign. After the business about our glorious alliance with “moderate” allies like Saudi Arabia and Qatar who so despise terrorism, we learn:

Only the U.S. — not Arab allies — struck sites associated with the Khorasan group, officials said. Khorasan group members were in the final stages of preparations for an attack on U.S. and Western interests, a defense official said. Khorasan was planning an attack on international airliners, officials have said. . . . Rebels and activists contacted inside Syria said they had never heard of Khorasan and that the U.S. struck several bases and an ammunition warehouse belonging to the main al Qaeda-linked group fighting in Syria, Nusra Front. While U.S. officials have drawn a distinction between the two groups, they acknowledge their membership is intertwined and their goals are similar.

Oops. So it turns out that our moderate Islamist partners have no interest in fighting Syria’s al-Qaeda affiliate. Yes, they reluctantly, and to a very limited extent, joined U.S. forces in the strikes against the Islāmic State renegades. But that’s not because the Islāmic State is jihadist while they are moderate. It is because the Islāmic State has made mincemeat of Iraq’s forces, is a realistic threat to topple Assad, and has our partners fretting that they are next on the menu.

Meantime, though, the Saudis and Qatar want no trouble with the rest of al-Qaeda, particularly with al-Nusra. After all, al-Qaeda’s Syrian branch is tightly allied with the “moderate opposition” that these “moderate” Gulf states have been funding, arming, and training for the jihad against Assad.

Oh, and what about those other “moderates” Obama has spent his presidency courting, the Muslim Brotherhood? It turns out they are not only all for al-Qaeda, they even condemn what one of their top sharia jurists, Wagdy Ghoneim, has labeled “the Crusader war against the Islāmic State.”

“The Crusaders in America, Europe, and elsewhere are our enemies,” Ghoneim tells Muslims. For good measure he adds, “We shall never forget the terrorism of criminal America, which threw the body of the martyred heroic mujahid, Bin Laden, into the sea.”

Obama has his story and he’s sticking to it. But the same can be said for our enemies.

— Andrew C. McCarthy is a policy fellow at the National Review Institute. His latest book is Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment.