Sleepless in Seattle; Clueless in DC and New York

Dr. Michael Widlanski is the author of  Battle for Our Minds: Western Elites and the Terror Threat  published by Threshold/Simon and Schuster. He was Strategic Affairs Advisor in Israel's Ministry of Public Security, and he will be a visiting professor at University of California, Irvine.


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It is hard for the average American to answer tough questions about terrorism or Mideast politics.  It is natural, then, to rely on “experts” in government, the press and academia to give responses to the following queries:

* Is Islamic extremism a growing force inside the United States?

* What chances are there to develop more peace and stability from the political upheavals that have been called “Arab Spring”?

* How can we work with the Syrian government or against the Syrian government to end the bloodshed in that country?

* Is Iran making atomic bombs? What does that mean? Could we try to stop it?

* Can we employ Islamist Turkey to negotiate with Iran, and are the Turks more useful in fighting terror than Israel?

* Is the Muslim Brotherhood a moderate organization, and does it make sense to help them gain control of Egypt?

* Would solving the Israeli-Palestinian problem help the rest  of the Mideast, and should the US press Israel to find a “two-state solution” with the PLO?

These are all good questions, but anyone who tracks the responses and the results over the last two years will see that many of our most highly regarded experts have been calamitously wrong time after time.

President Barack Obama directed his homeland security people and the US military to stop using the terms Islamic extremism and Islamic terrorism, even though there are clear signs such phenomena are real and rising. The New York Police Department alone foiled more than a dozen Islamic terror plots recently, but it was the Associated Press that won a Pulitzer Prize for a series attacking the NYPD for supposedly harassing Muslims.

Like AP and the New York Times, Obama worries more about staining an entire segment of the population—Muslims—than protecting the non-Muslim majority. A 60-page US Senate report shows that the Fort Hood terror attack (where 13 were murdered) could easily have been prevented, had US officials acted on warnings, instead of brushing them aside as politically incorrect.

Islamic terror attacks have risen in the US during Obama’s term, but the Obama team—particularly Attorney General Eric Holder—has moved to stop prosecutions and investigations of Muslim groups that are believed to help finance the Brotherhood. A set of indictments—the second round of the Holy Land Foundation case—that were pending in Texas was set aside.

Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton feel an “Arab Spring” is in the air, bringing democracy to the Mideast. They pulled the rug out from under President Husni Mubarak. Obama-Clinton and many media “experts” were sure Mubarak would be succeeded by modern democrats. Instead, the Muslim Brotherhood took over.

Key Obama aides pretend that the Brotherhood is really moderate. Muhammad Morsi, a Brotherhood leader who is Egypt’s president, says he wants to build a caliphate—an Islamic empire—whose capital is Jerusalem. He just opened Egypt’s border with Gaza, allowing Hamas and other terror groups to move freely in and out of the Sinai Peninsula bordering Israel.

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  • Ain't No Dhimmi

    Tom Friedman and Fareed Zakaria are drinking from the same Islamic/Globalist punch bowl.

  • dmw

    Hmmm. The gang that can't shoot straight? Or just a gang. Or maybe the Maxwell Smart gang vs. the CHAOS gang.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    Thomas Friedman "total land concessions will bring peace"……and he does mean total, every square
    inch of Israel should be given over to the faux Palestinians. I would consider Friedman an imbecile
    but consider he is bought and paid for by Islamists and is a true leftist subversive. Israeli security
    must put Egypt and all it's threats down soon and not wait until they gain in more sophisticated
    weaponry. Israel will never receive concessions and justice from Islamist governments, if Israel
    wants justice they must impose it, Israel must take all of it's historical lands………………William

  • Ghostwriter

    Sadly,President Obama isn't living in the real world,he's living in Fantasy Land. I've said it before and I'll continue to say it,we need leader who live in the real world,not Fantasy Land.

  • DES

    Clueless? Or doing what can be done to fundamentally change America? Politics makes strange bedfellows and war makes even stranger allies. By word and deed, Obama and his administration, domestically and in foreign affairs seem to have an over all consistency to the agenda: is it inimical to America and the interest of the United states? DO IT! des

  • http://www.facebook.com/mike.villano.71 Mike Villano

    How much do you want to bet Paul Pillar can't even function in Arabic?
    Whenever you hear the term "Best and Brightest" from the AP sellouts or the voices of Leftism touting the virtues of central planning and appeasement, you need to immediately think "worse and Dimmest. "