Kerry’s Folly: Obama’s Confusion

2015 01 02_1102It didn’t make much news the other day. It wasn’t on the front pages of the newspapers. It seems some extremists invaded some Christian towns in Syria and took a group of about 100 Christians into their custody. These extremists about ten days before seizing these Christians put on a show in Libya by beheading Christians on a beach. This extremist group will probably force the Christians to convert to their Extremism, sell the women and children, and behead or burn those who won’t convert.

One thing you can’t call these extremists is by the religion they profess is guiding them. Which seems strange since when they capture people as they did with the guy from New Hampshire James Foley they seem to give the guy a break, at least for a while before they cut off his head, if he converted, or pretended to convert, to their religion which we must not identify.

You see last week in Washington, D.C., because of the horror being perpetrated by these extremists a meeting of 60 nations took place to figure out what to do about them. There was no other extremist group that all these nations were worried about. It was only this one group. But it was agreed that no one from America would mention that this group was connected with a certain religion even though anyone who can read the name that the group calls itself would quickly be able to figure it out.

The rationale is that because others in this religion don’t agree or approve of what it is doing then we will pretend that they are not a part of that religion even though they say they are and they murder people who aren’t members of it just because of that fact.

Now the way I look at it is if an extremist group of Christians were going around beheading people in the name of Christianity and they called themselves the Christian State I’d not be reluctant to have them called Christian terrorists or Christian radicals or Christian monsters. I’m at a loss to see how that affects my Christianity. It seems it is better to properly identify the people who are the enemy so an effective plan can be made to defeat them rather than pretending they are part of some amorphous world wide body.

Which brings me to John Kerry, who happens to be our current Secretary of State. He had an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on February 19 discussing this matter. It was headlined: “Our Plan For Countering Violent Extremism.”  (It is behind a pay wall but if you don’t have access you must go to the library to read it. It is one of the most telling pieces of a confused policy ever put forth.)  After reading it I had no doubt our country’s foreign policy is in dire straights with him having anything to do with it.

He says in the opening paragraph: “Today we are asked to wage a new war against a new enemy.”   Following his next sentence he identifies it: “The rise of violent extremism represents the pre-eminent challenge of the young 21st Century.”  

What is confusing though, is a little bit later he writes:  “We’ve combated violent extremism before. We know there are tools that work.”  If we’ve done it before I’d like to know when. If we’ve done it before how is it now a new war? If we used tools before that were successful then what are they?  Kerry doesn’t answer. Rather, he gives an example of the world coming together to combat challenges by noting our success with Ebola. I wondered if this is how he plans to fight this extremist group by sending in medical help.

This violent extremist group has control over vast territory in two countries and as far as I can tell from history we have never fought such an evil force before. The brutality of Nazism comes close to it.

Kerry is clear in what this war doesn’t involve. He says: “There is no room for Islamophobia or anti-Semitism.”  I guest that leaves room for what is going on which is the slaughter of Christian? Is that all right? It sort of appalling that the murder of Christians done in the name of that religion that I can’t mention is ignored. Too bad this isn’t a Christian nation concerned with our fellow Christians.

Our secretary of state tells us “The most basic issue is good governance. It may not sound exciting but it is vital.” I’d say it doesn’t sound exciting. Identifying it as such sounds stupid.

The most basic issue is stopping the slaughter of Christians and others. They are being slaughtered on a daily basis by this extremist group and it has nothing to do with “good governance.” It has everything to do with a murderous ideology by a group of individuals who believe their religion compels them to act as barbarians.

Kerry says “We must identify zones of greatest vulnerability.”  I’d suggest we identify the zones where these terrorists are living and act against them.

Kerry says: “We have to transform the  environments that give birth to these movements.”  He doesn’t seem to see that the need is now. We started trying to transform the environment in Iraq and Afghanistan over ten years ago and are still failing.

Here’s how he ends his article full of platitudes. It shows how discombobulated his thought process is and how poorly America is being served. ‘The 20th Century was defined by the struggle to overcome depression, slavery, fascism and totalitarianism.” (I thought the slavery issue was decided in the 19th Century but I guess John knows better.)

He goes on: “Now it’s our turn.”   He says it is our turn but leaves it up in the air as to what we are to do. But let’s read on:

“The rise of violent extremism challenges every one of us, our communities, our nations and the global rule of law. But the extremist forces arrayed against us require that we charge forward in the name of decency, civility and reason.”  

That’s how he ended. Seriously. That’s our policy for fighting these radical terrorists who are beheading people in the name of a religion we cannot mention. Just imagine the general leading the Marines onto the island of Iwo Jima telling them “when we hit the beach charge forward in the name of decency, civility and reason.” If we were lead by people like Kerry back then I suggest we’d all be speaking Japanese.




  1. Sutloff was Jewish.

    There’s a rumor running around that IS wounded are being treated in Israel. No hard evidence has been produced to substantiate that rumor. Look to Iran for the source of this story. It has been running on Tehran’s flagship propaganda vehicle, Press TV, for some time.
    The mujahideen of IS are perfectly capable of fighting their own war. They have no need of Israeli, or, American, guidance. IS was born in the American run Iraqi prison system where interrogation/torture took place on an industrial scale. IS was originally put together like a prison gang. It is indicative of their organizational strength that as each of their shot-callers were picked-off, the mujahideen could quickly replace them. The whole outfit was put together right under the noses of American warders. Google “Col. James Steele/Iraq”

  2. I find it very interesting that ISIS/ISIL/whatever has never attacked Israeli interests. They have never beheaded one Jew. I wonder why that is? Could it be that ISIS/ISIL is actually an Israeli creation that is being used against the Asad government and Hezbollah. Everyone is now hysterical about a few beheadings. This is a real demonstration of the power of modern propaganda.

  3. I’m not defending Kerry. I’ve thought him a deplorable grand-stander since his performance at the Winter Soldier hearings. At the time, I said to myself, “Here is a clever fellow who wants to make his way in politics, at any cost.”

    If anyone is interested in understanding the “gray zone” concept, google “Dabiq 7. “Its an eighty-two page e-article, but, readers can skip to about p.40, for an articulation of the “gray zone” as it applies to contemporary Jihadi theory. Shrinking the “gray zone,” within which, modern, moderate, Muslims, psychologically reside, may not be a good thing.

  4. “Today we are asked to wage a new war against a new enemy.” No, it is not a new enemy. From the official hymn of the USMC:
    “From the Halls of Montezuma
    To the shores of Tripoli;”

    Those lyrics commemorates the 1805 Battle of Derne and the First Barbary War (1801-1805):

    Note there was also a Second Barbary War (1815):

    Aside from dealing with a organization that is not a nation-state, updated technology and the use of the staged execution of hostages as a propaganda method instead of using hostages as a source of revenue, not much has changed.

  5. Kerry has a problem, because he is not a Muslim, he cannot think like a Muslim. To his credit, the Secretary is aware of this shortcoming. His halting steps are a matter of caution.
    Muslim religious scholars, Ulema, examine the past to interpret the present.
    Islamic religious reasoning is analogical, rather than, dialectic. For the pious, especially the Salafis, every thought and action must conform to historical precedents set during the time of the Prophet (PBH), the Sahaba, (radi-alahu ahum), the Tabi, and the Tabiyyun (2nd, and, third generation, descendants). If a believer can trace his action to a precedent , he/she is absolved of all blame as they are doing what their religion enjoins.
    At the very beginning of the Muslim community’s struggle against the kufr Quaraish, the Prohet (PBH) ordred a raid on the Wells of Nakla, a caravan stop on the road to Mecca. Arab tribal law forbade violence during the three sacred truce months. All the Bedouin tribes adhered to the truce. It was the time when the tribes came to Mecca to propitiate their idols. After sacraficing at the Kaaba, where the idols were enshrined, the tribesmen would go to the markets to sell their goods. Their leaders would go to Quaraishi usurers to obtain funds to see their people through the year. The truce period was vital to the religious/economic life of the Arabs in the peninsula. When the Prophet ordered a military operation against the Qauraish during the annual truce period, he was breaking a sacred covenant. All who participated would be anathematized by the tribal Arabs. Muhammad, through his action, set the Muslims outside the norms of traditional behavior. The raid at Nakla put the Muslims beyond the pale. The Umma, composed of members of many Arab tribes, became its’ own tribe. This universal identity was forged by violating the sacred presuppositions of the previous tribal identity. There was no going back after Nakla.
    IS is forging its identity in the same way. By committing acts of terrible violence, the mujahideen are placing themselves beyond the bounds of modern behavior. There is an analogical connection between the raid on Nakla, and, the horrible atrocities of IS. Once a person beheads someone, or, participates in burning a human being alive, they are never coming back, he/she is fully committed to the organization’s vision.
    The the spectacular brutality of IS has a two-fold purpose: first, to shock and awe the crusaders, and, the tawaghit who serve them, second, to draw the Khalipha’s adherents deeper into the fold. IS wants to leave no “gray zone” where Muslims can “fence sit.” Anything Kerry says has the potential to shrink that “gray zone.” He has no choice, but, to carefully measure every word. If put to the question, no true Muslim would ever choose kufr over the Deen.

    • Khalid:

      As usual thanks for the informative post. You point to the problem with Kerry, he really has no idea what he is doing. It is time for there to be no gray zone. America has to make a choice: we recognize the IS brutality for what it is and do our best to destroy it or cede the field to IS and those Muslims who would prefer to straddle the fence. Only by calling IS what it is, a Muslim terrorist group, can we begin to properly decide how to destroy it. When you deal with the amorphous “extremists” you might as well blame the Inuit for what is happening in Syria.

    • Thank you very much for the insight. I am not a Muslim and it can sometimes be very difficult to see things from another’s perspective but believe I can do so better than Mr. Kerry. At least I try anyway. Still please continue to give us your insight.

  6. America should be supporting the only force protecting Christians and other minorities in the Middle East i. e. Syria. All the Yezidis, Christians and Shia in that country would be wiped out but for Assad’s forces. We should stop blindly supporting the Sunni regimes in the Gulf and develop a relationship with the Shia. The Shia are ready, willing and able to fight the Sunni terrorists groups ISIS, Al Quaeda. Al Nusra and Al Shabab. All the major terrorist attacks on the U.S. have come from Sunni terror groups not Shia. 2. ISIS is not an existential threat to the West. They are a regional problem that those who inhabit the area must confront. ISIS is similar to Taliban run Afghanistan. Widespread killing and cruelty to it’s political opponents. Intolerance of dissent and primitive treatment of women. But incapable of extending it’s reign. It can engage in foreign terror but can’t conquer any other territory. ISIS economic power is minimal and over time it’s political and military capacity will atrophy. Essentially the Somali pirates. It’s an overrated threat to the West. As Rand Paul has said we need boots on the ground. Arab boots. Not American. Paul and James Webb have supported a non interventionist policy in the Near East. Their approach seems vastly superior to the Bush, Kerry, McCain, Hillary and Obama efforts at nation building in Libya, Iraq and Yemen.