Today the news cycle will be saturated and fully focused on the testimony of former FBI Director James Comey. This truly has little or no meaning for those who reside outside the beltway. But the sensationalized media will be like a dog hearing the word “squirrel,” and run off chasing that furry little rascal. If you read the pre-released seven-page opening statement from Comey, there is no there, there. However, it wouldn’t surprise me if this drags on for hours upon hours upon hours…with no substantial revelations. Then the media spin masters will opine way into the night creating something out of nothing.The other interesting news event for today, which will probably end up being nothing, is the UK elections. I have no belief that the far left candidate, Jeremy Corbin, who has offered kind words for Hamas and Hezbollah, has a chance to win. Then again, we could all be wrong like our own media and pollsters in the November 2016 elections. But, at this time when the UK has been hit with three Islamic terror attacks in the past 10 weeks, an Islamist sympathizer is not a viable alternative. Well, let’s pray the UK doesn’t borrow a page from us when we elected an Islamist sympathizer, twice.
So, I won’t waste time commenting on these stories, trust me, there will be more than enough coverage today. I would however like to focus on two major strategic actions from yesterday.First, as reported by Fox News, “The Islamic State group claimed responsibility Wednesday for a pair of stunning attacks on Iran’s parliament and the tomb of its revolutionary leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, which killed at least 12 people and wounded more than 40.
Reza Seifollahi, an official in the country’s Supreme National Security Council, was quoted by the independent Shargh daily as saying that the perpetrators of the attacks were Iranian nationals. He did not elaborate.
The bloodshed shocked the country and came as emboldened Sunni Arab states — backed by U.S. President Donald Trump — are hardening their stance against Shiite-ruled Iran. The White House released a statement from Trump condemning the terrorist attacks in Tehran and offering condolences, but also implying that Iran is itself a sponsor of terrorism. “We grieve and pray for the innocent victims of the terrorist attacks in Iran, and for the Iranian people, who are going through such challenging times,” the statement said. “We underscore that states that sponsor terrorism risk falling victim to the evil they promote.”I must admit, this was a bold strategic move by the Islamic State. ISIS is losing territory and facing two onslaughts in Mosul and Raqqa. It was necessary for ISIS to conduct an audacious operation that would reignite their relevance and regain some sense of momentum. And nothing better than for this vile Sunni Islamic jihadist movement to take the assault right to its ideological adversary, Shia Iran.
The Sunni-Shiite schism goes back to the 8th century Battle of Karbala. Sunni Islam believes that Muslim leaders must be descendants from Mohammed, while Shiites believe any devout Muslim can rise to be the leader, the Caliph. Sunni Islam is the dominant strain and sees Shia Islam as heresy, and the massacre at Karbala, located in present-day Iraq is the historic evidence of the manifested hatred of today.
As well, the Islamic State is being confronted by Shiite militias in Iraq, namely Mosul, which is in the heart of the Sunni triangle. Also, ISIS is facing a resurgent Syrian military allied to Iran, who has unleashed its terrorist proxy army, Hezbollah. Coming off the brazen move by members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), led by Saudi Arabia, all Sunni, to isolate Qatar for their support to terrorism, but mostly Iran, ISIS saw an opportunity. What the Islamic State seeks to do now is rally the Sunni Muslim world to their cause…even though they are reprehensible and barbaric. The cause is a stand against Shia Iran.What the Trump administration must be careful of doing is not appear to congratulate ISIS. We must make it very clear, Islamic jihadism/terrorism, in any way shape or form will not be tolerated. And actually if you do an analysis you’ll find the preponderance of Islamic jihadist groups are Sunni. Yes, Iran is the number one state sponsor of Islamic terrorism, but their focus is mainly towards Hamas and Hezbollah.
The origin of the modern day Islamist movement stems from Sayyid Qutb and Hasan al-Bana, the Muslim Brotherhood, which is Sunni, and began in Egypt. We must keep the pressure on those who support terrorism, regardless of Sunni or Shia. The message must be loud and clear that we will seek out Islamists wherever they seek sanctuary. And we must do that which is necessary to deny civilizational jihad to find root in our western liberal democratic states.
Quickly, the other major occurrence that has major strategic ramifications and consequences, comes from the Korean peninsula, where the US is getting pushback from our longstanding ally in South Korea.As reported by Military.com, “The further deployment of a controversial U.S. anti-missile battery should be suspended pending an environmental impact assessment that could take more than a year, South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s office said Wednesday. Concerns about the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system are a key issue threatening to put the new South Korean administration at odds with its longstanding U.S. ally. The presidency stressed it wasn’t calling for the withdrawal of two launchers and other equipment already positioned on a designated site in a remote southeastern area. “But those that have yet to be deployed will have to wait,” a senior administration official told reporters, according to the Yonhap news agency.”
South Korea’s President Moon is a far left politician, and just as judicial activists in America are doing, he’s putting his ideological political agenda ahead of national security. I truly believe President Moon is cut from the same cloth as Barack Obama in believing that you can just talk to despots and dictators. This decision is a win not just for Kim Jung Un, but also for China. China doesn’t have to take any action now to rein in the little fat guy with the bad haircut. South Korea’s president has done a fairly good job in isolating the United States from having a credible military deterrent.
The angle President Trump must present is that the United States has troops and assets on the ground in South Korea in harm’s way. My recommendation is for President Trump to meet with the leaders of Australia, South Korea, Japan, the Philippines, and Vietnam. And just to tweak the Chinese, I’d place a call to Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen.
I implore y’all not to fall prey to the media sensationalism but keep an eye on these key events. There are some major shifts in foreign affairs and I know some of you may welcome an isolationist view, but there’s a great opportunity for the United States to take a major leadership role. And fighting the weather using American taxpayer dollars isn’t leadership; it’s folly.
[Learn more about Allen West’s vision for this nation in his book Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Faith, Family and Freedom]