Who is applauding the appointment of H. R. McMaster as national security adviser? Leading the applause are mainstream counterterror analysts whose policy recommendations are based on false premises and have failed time and time again. But even as the world is in flames because of their wrongheadedness, they still keep pushing the same failed analyses again and again.
Cheerleading for McMaster’s denial and willful ignorance in Politico today is Will McCants of the Brookings Institution. The Brookings Institution is heavily funded by Qatar, one of the world’s chief financiers of jihad terror. That funding has turned Brookings into an apologist for jihad, giving a platform to Muslim Brotherhood cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who has praised Hitler and endorsed jihad suicide attacks, and Hamas-linked CAIR’s Nihad Awad, among others.
McCants himself is the establishment counter-terror “expert” who was involved with the Obama State Department’s laughable Think Again Turn Away social media initiative to try to shame jihadis into leaving the jihad based on beliefs and values that the jihadis didn’t hold in the first place. McCants has waved away the term “radical Islam” thusly: “Every bit of that phrase is analytically unhelpful…Is this the wine-drinking Islam of the poets? The court Islam of the caliph? What kind of Islam are you even talking about?”
Well, Will, how about the Islam of the Qur’an and Sunnah? It’s really very simple: it involves taking the people who say they’re motivated by Islamic texts and teachings at their word, rather than condescendingly telling them, “No, you’re actually motivated by poverty and lack of economic opportunity, here, we’ll give you some cash and build you a school and we’ll be pals then, right?”
McCants has also claimed that the Islamic State was not following Islamic rules of warfare, in the process demonstrating only that he has a hazy idea, at best, of what those rules of warfare really are.
Most ominously of all, he recommended in January 2014 that the U.S. “befriend” the al-Qaeda-linked jihad group Ahrar al-Sham. This was the kind of thinking that led to Obama’s disastrous policies of arming and training al-Qaeda groups, including Ahrar al-Sham, in Syria.
As Will McCants himself might put it, his analyses again and again are “crazy pants.” But he is very happy about McMaster as NSA, because McMaster, like McCants, doesn’t dare identify the jihadis’ motivating ideology. Note his use in this article of the word “Islamophobes,” a propaganda term cynically employed by Muslim Brotherhood-linked groups in the U.S. to intimidate people into fearing to oppose jihad terror.
McCants says: “The Islamophobes are not wrong to sense that McMaster will be hostile to their worldview, according to those who know him best. McMaster spent much of his career fighting and winning wars in the Middle East, which required him to know the local cultures and treat Muslims like humans rather than scripturally programmed robots.” He is implying that my colleagues and I think all Muslims behave in exact accord with the Qur’an and Sunnah, which is of course straw man nonsense. What we insist upon, and what Will McCants and his colleagues are determined to obscure, explain away, or ignore outright, is that Islamic texts and teachings are the key element of the motivating ideology of the jihad terrorists, as they themselves insist, and that we can only understand and counter them effectively if we understand those texts and teachings.
Instead, we get the puerile and silly McCants cheering on the unfortunate appointment of another purveyor of the denial that was all-pervasive during the Obama administration. We can only hope that McMaster was just echoing the party line, and will be prepared to be more realistic as a member of President Trump’s team.
“McMaster Has the Islamophobes Worried. Good.,” by William McCants, Politico, February 23, 2017:
When America’s most influential Islamophobes are upset, you know the president made a good choice. “Score one [for] the swamp,” whined Robert Spencer upon hearing the news that Donald Trump appointed Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster to be his national security adviser. Spencer makes a living scaring Americans about the dangers of Muslim soccer moms.
Yeah, soccer moms like Tashfeen Malik.
“John Bolton lost out to this guy?” sputtered his frequent partner in whine, Pamela Geller, who scoffed at the general for saying, “Every time you disrespect an Iraqi, you’re working for the enemy.”
The Islamophobes are not wrong to sense that McMaster will be hostile to their worldview, according to those who know him best. McMaster spent much of his career fighting and winning wars in the Middle East, which required him to know the local cultures and treat Muslims like humans rather than scripturally programmed robots. “He absolutely does not view Islam as the enemy,” said Pete Mansoor, who served with McMaster in Iraq. “He understands that the world is not one dimensional, that the Muslim world is not one dimensional,” said John Nagl, who also served with McMaster. In other words, the complicated causes of terrorism require complicated solutions.
McMaster’s nuanced views will likely be at odds with those of the president’s chief political strategist, Steve Bannon, and the other members of Bannon’s so-called Strategic Initiatives Group, a policymaking body he co-leads with the president’s son-in-law and chief of staff. Bannon believes the teachings of Islam and a supine West are primarily to blame for jihadist terrorism…