April 21, 2014
April 18, 2014
Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology
The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious
: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain
April 14, 2014
Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time
: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic
: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships
: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin
: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate
: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure
April 11, 2014
Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden
: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does
: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer
: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You
April 9, 2014
Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?
Samuel G. Freedman
: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau
: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau
: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease
April 8, 2014
Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease
Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear
April 4, 2014
A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children
Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet
Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds
Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves
April 2, 2014
Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?
Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities
It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene
Jewish World Review
Jan. 5, 2010
/ 19 Teves 5770
Where does the buck stop?
Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.
Harry Truman kept on his desk a sign that read "The Buck Stops Here." As President Obama gathers with his national security team Tuesday to ensure that, as he put it last week, "there is accountability at every level" for the latest in a rising tide of terrorist attacks inside the United States, Mr. Truman's successor must accept responsibility for his own role in the growing danger.
I am not suggesting that Mr. Obama was directly complicit in the failure to keep Umar Farouk Abdulmuttalab and his explosive-laden underwear off Northwest 253 on Christmas Day. As is often the case with these things, there were lots of red flags "in the system" about this would-be terrorist that should have kept him off that plane. Such "dots" are easily connected with hindsight, after the attack is launched. The trick is for people well south of the President to act on them beforehand.
The fact that the trick was not performed in this instance or, for that matter, in connection with the penultimate attack - the one perpetrated by Major Nidal Malik Hasan at Fort Hood last November - does indeed constitute, in President Obama's words, a "systemic failure." It is entirely appropriate to try to find out who dropped which ball, less to assign blame than in the hope of preventing a repeat.
One thing is already obvious, though. What Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano famously called "the system" has been trying with increasing difficulty to prevent terrorism here at home within impossible policy and programmatic constraints. Mr. Obama must take a measure of responsibility for those constraints.
The most important of these has been the systematic and deliberate dumbing down of U.S. government efforts to understand, characterize and, therefore, act against the enemy. For example, terms like "man-caused disasters," "oversees contingency operations," "isolated extremists" have been coined to obscure, rather than illuminate, the fact that we are under assault by Muslims who adhere to the supremacist program and ideology that authoritative Islam calls Shariah.
Adherents to Shariah are explicitly obliged to engage in holy war, or "jihad." Mohammed showed that the preferred way to wage jihad is through terrifying violence. Only where violent jihad would be impracticable or counter-productive, does Shariah grant its followers the latitude to engage in jihad in non-violent and stealthy ways.
While the tactics may differ, the goal, however, is absolutely the same: the submission of the non-Muslim world to Islam and, ultimately, the triumph of a global Islamic theocracy.
The "systemic failure" of Christmas Day and before that at Ft. Hood arose because, at least until now, government personnel have been effectively proscribed from addressing the threat in these terms. They have not been allowed to call it what it is or to give prioritized attention (read "profiling") to those who adhere to this seditious program. Needless to say, with few exceptions, officials have been discouraged from resisting demands for various accommodations and preferential treatment for the Shariah faithful, let alone from trying to shut down the latters' operations in America (Shariah-adherent mosques, penetration of Wall Street, Muslim Brotherhood front organizations and even jihadist training camps).
Moreover, few in the military, intelligence or law enforcement communities have missed what has happened under this administration (and, in fairness, under the previous one) to patriots like the Joint Chiefs of Staff's erstwhile Shariah specialist, Steven Coughlin, or an FBI special agent with deep expertise in counter-terrorism and jihad, John Guandolo. For courageously challenging the official orthodoxy on the ideological wellspring of the threats we face, namely Shariah, they lost their jobs.
Not surprisingly, those who have, in Mr. Coughlin's words, "a professional duty to know" the nature of the enemy and its threat doctrine have generally been unwilling to jeopardize their careers and reputations by accurately understanding and depicting such things. As long as our protectors rightly fear being treated as "racists," "bigots" and "Islamophobes" - not just by the Muslim Brotherhood types, but by their own government - we are assuredly condemned to more systemic failures.
If Mr. Obama really means to hold "every level accountable," then he must make clear that he is prepared to fix the contributing factors for which he has been responsible. The best way to proceed may be to take a page from the playbook of two other of his predecessors. During the presidency of Gerald Ford, the then-Director of Central Intelligence (and future President) George H.W. Bush was bedeviled by concerns that "the system" was not accurately understanding the magnitude of the threat posed by the last great totalitarian ideology: Soviet communism.
Mr. Bush took the unprecedented step of commissioning an outside group of highly skilled and known skeptics to provide him with a second opinion informed by full access to all the relevant classified data and analyses. This so-called "Team B" provided a far more accurate assessment, one that ultimately informed the measures President Ronald Reagan took to destroy the Soviet Union.
Unfortunately, we don't have several decades to find and fix the systemic failures afflicting American policy towards today's ideological menace, Shariah. Convening and heeding a Team B made up of the likes of Messrs. Coughlin and Guandolo would give President Obama a chance to defeat today's enemies - and avoid the buck that will otherwise ultimately and unavoidably stop at his desk: the needless loss of large numbers of American lives at the hands of jihadists bent on our destruction.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
JWR contributor Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear Forces and Arms Control Policy in the Reagan Administration, heads the Center for Security Policy. Comments by clicking here.
BUY FRANK'S LATEST
"War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World"
America has been at war for years, but until now, it has not been clear with whom or precisely for what. And we have not been using the full resources we need to win.
With the publication of War Footing, lead-authored by Frank Gaffney, it not only becomes clear who the enemy is and how high the stakes are, but also exactly how we can prevail.
War Footing shows that we are engaged in nothing less than a War for the Free World. This is a fight to the death with Islamofascists, Muslim extremists driven by a totalitarian political ideology that, like Nazism or Communism before it, is determined to destroy freedom and the people who love it. Sales help fund JWR.
© 2006, Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.