Tag: Al Qaeda

Join Jim and Greg as Jim sizes up Pres. Biden’s latest COVID strategy as “same as the old one only louder.” They also shudder at the weakness the U.S. is projecting around the world, most recently through the painfully pathetic statements of Defense Sec. Lloyd Austin and Sec. of State Antony Blinken. And they hammer Biden for refusing to relax his European travel ban.

The Biden Speech I Would Have Drafted


President Biden finally found his way back to the White House this afternoon to deliver a speech about his failure in Afghanistan. If he were a real president, in full control of his mental faculties and looking to earn respect from his constituents, here’s what he should have delivered. You can read his miserable, finger-pointing, “not my fault” remarks as delivered here.

Note: I’m a former speechwriter. I have written speeches for a Cabinet Secretary in the Bush 41 Administration, a leading United States Senator, and on occasion, a couple of Fortune 250 corporate CEOs.

Here’s the speech I would have written and he would never have given, considering his lack of integrity, failure of leadership, his diminished mental state, and his awful staff. And I would have resigned before being fired. These are incompetent and deluded people, from the top down. This is the first draft, so forgive the errors.

Ayaan speaks with Yasmine Mohammed about her marriage and escape from a man in Al-Qaeda.

Yasmine Mohammed is a Canadian human rights activist who fights for the rights of women living within Muslim-majority countries, as well as those who struggle under religious fundamentalism, in general.

Wrap up this crazy, eventful week with the Friday Three Martini Lunch. Jim and Greg start with a quick cheer for the January jobs report before moving on to the three main discussions of the day. First, they get a kick out of Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono telling CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that President Trump wasn’t really acquitted and Blitzer pointing out in detail that, in fact,  Trump really was found not guilty. They also celebrate the intelligence and military precision that combined to target and kill Qassim al-Rimi, the leader of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. And Jim unleashes a devastating rant against now former Republican presidential candidate Joe Walsh, who has now flip-flopped to the point where he vows to vote for whoever wins the Democratic nomination, even if it’s an avowed socialist.

Omar’s Comments Need Context


Whenever you quote someone, it is important to provide context. For instance, assume someone says, “I wish Germany would have won.” Are they talking about a soccer game or World War II? Knowing that context matters.

Many Democrats are coming to the defense of Rep. Ilhan Omar’s recent comments by claiming she was taken out of context. So let’s look at the context on some of her recent comments.

Michael Ledeen on the Potential Collapse of Iran’s Khomeinist Regime


For this week’s Big Ideas with Ben Weingarten podcast, I had historian, Freedom Scholar at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, former Special Advisor to the Secretary of State and consultant to the National Security Council during the Reagan administration, author of 38 books and most pertinent to today, Iran expert, Michael Ledeen on the podcast to discuss among other things:

  • The impending collapse of the Khomeinist regime and what the U.S. can do to accelerate it
  • The false narrative about alternatives for Iran being either appeasement or war
  • The history of U.S. intelligence failures in Iran
  • How secular and liberal Iran’s dissidents actually are
  • Whether there is a wedge that can be exploited between Iran and Russia
  • What will become of Hezbollah if the Iranian regime collapses
  • The allegedly political witch hunt against Iran hawk and Israel supporter Larry Franklin as an illustration of historic anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism in the foreign policy and national security establishment
  • Ledeen’s theory that Gen. Michael Flynn — with whom Ledeen co-authored the book, The Field of Fight — falsely pled guilty, and the real reason why Gen. Flynn was targeted in the first place

You can find the episode on iTunes, everywhere else podcasts are found, download the episode directly here or read the transcript here.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America very warily approach the reports of North Korea supposedly being willing to scrap its nuclear program in exchange for security guarantees.  While fully aware that Kim Jong-Un may only be looking to bait us or stall for time, they are hopeful that the tougher approach from the Trump administration is starting to pay off.  They also wince as Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri emerges in a new video urging jihadists to stop fighting with each other and focus on a common enemy.  And they react with bemusement and concern as former Trump campaign official Sam Nunberg appears on several cable news shows to announce he is defying the subpoena from Special Counsel Robert Mueller, only to later admit he will probably cooperate.

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Next on Thinking It Through with Jerome Danner:  I invited a writer and thinker who is influencing me more and more after I heard him on the Eric Metaxas Show.  Dr. John Zmirak is a writer for The Stream and he was a great guest to talk to about President Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office. https://jeromedanner.net/2017/04/15/episode-32-jzmirak-of-streamdotorg-on-trumps-first-100-days-john-zmirak-of-the-stream/ Preview […]

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Syria Can’t Wait Until 2017


Charles Lister, a senior fellow at the Middle East Institute and the author of “The Syrian Jihad,” has written an article in the Daily Beast warning that the growth of al Qaeda in Syria is a problem that can’t wait for the next administration. “The principal benefactor of Assad’s survival is not Assad, nor Russia, Iran, Hezbollah or even ISIS,” he writes. “[I]t is Al Qaeda.” Lister has been warning for some time now that Jabhat al-Nusra, which is an affiliate of al-Qaida, will be more difficult to uproot than ISIS. Even if Americans aren’t paying much attention, the United States and its allies are now in an urgent battle for influence with Nusra, which is the most effective and successful al Qaeda affiliate to date.

On Wednesday, Putin and Obama agreed to a proposal for coordinated action against al Qaeda in Syria, involving enhanced intelligence sharing about its positions. Lister believes this is exactly the wrong approach — the polar opposite of the right approach. “Jabhat al-Nusra’s entire modus operandi has been designed to insure itself and ultimately benefit from just such a scenario,” he writes.

From the Editors’ Desk: Friends and Enemies In Syria


220px-Flag_of_the_Al-Nusra_Front.svgFrom the Daily Beast:

U.S. strikes against the self-proclaimed Islamic State have had an unintended beneficiary: al Qaeda. Al Qaeda has exploited the strikes and gained strength, and that has created a growing rift within U.S. national security circles about where the coalition should aim its strikes. Some American intelligence and defense officials and counterterrorism experts are worried that the intense focus on defeating ISIS has blinded the U.S. to the resurgence of al Qaeda, whose growing potency has become more apparent as ISIS becomes weaker.

The American air campaign has notably not targeted al Qaeda in Syria, known as Jabhat al Nusra. With its foe, ISIS, under daily coalition bombardment, al Qaeda has been thriving, continuing to re-align itself with local forces, and re-emerging as the world’s enduring terror group.

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A friend sent me an AEI article positing a needed strategy for combating the Daesh and al Qaeda. The article is A Global Strategy for Combating al Qaeda and the Islamic State, and it can be seen here. What follows is my top-level critique of the piece; I’m deliberately eliding the likelihood of seeing it […]

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Politico is reporting on an interview with former CIA Director George Tenant, in which Tenant apparently puts a lot of blame on George W. Bush’s administration for ignoring “specific” warnings about an al-Qaeda attack in 2001.  I know a lot of this has been hashed out before, and I can’t tell how much of this […]

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When Hope n’ Change reflects on the anniversary of 9/11,  we think of the New York skyline and are overwhelmed by the emptiness. Empty not just of the souls and structures which were once there, but a new and growing emptiness of resolve, national unity, and moral courage. Over fifty of our nation’s top intelligence […]

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Aw Shucks, A Drone!


Senator Lindsey Graham is running for president — or close enough to count — and was among the speakers at the Iowa Republican Party’s Lincoln Dinner this past Saturday (as were Rand Paul, Carly Fiorina, Scott Walker, Rick Perry, and Bobby Jindal). Judging from what I’ve seen of the videos, this was a light-hearted event where the candidates were expected to be self-deprecating and folksy. Graham started his speech as such, but then… well, I’ll let him speak for himself:

I’ve been a lawyer in the military for 33 years. If I don’t get court-martialed, I’m going to retire at the end of the month and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. I’ve 6 1/2 years on active duty. I’ve been in the Guard, Reserves, and it’s been a lot of fun. I’ve been a military judge, I’ve been a defense attorney, and I’ve been a prosecutor.

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By now, you might have read that there is an “imminent” terrorist threat originating from the Texas-Mexico border. It was first reported by Judicial Watch and then confirmed (and yet an “exclusive”) by Breitbart. (h/t Cornelius) Is it ISIS or Al Qaeda? Same garbage, different day. (h/t Annika) Preview Open

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Decisions and Consequences in Iraq


Following the apparent capture of Mosul, rumor has it that the Iraqi government is quietly asking for American air support against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Rumor further has it that President Obama has denied this request.

I don’t know what we should do about Iraq’s apparent slide into al-Qaeda-dominated anarchy (I lean toward doing nothing, but am open to persuasion). In their different ways, all the options seem terrible, be they leaving the Iraqis to their fate or re-involving ourselves in their country. There’s likely no good solution, only a series of bad ones, some of which may be marginally less awful than others.