Get PJ Media on your Apple

Belmont Club

Hippocritic Oath: Above All Do No Haram

May 10th, 2014 - 1:52 pm

Churchill said it himself, “to jaw-jaw is always better than to war-war.” War, if it comes, should recognized by its unavoidability. But in the matter of negotiations there’s jaw and there’s jaw. For example, the lower form of jaw consists in talking to one’s adversaries, while a higher form of jaw consists in sanctioning and pressuring them. Both are part of the continuum of diplomacy.  This distinction is expressed in the varying levels of status with which foreign groups are regarded.

Recently the Daily Beast noted that Hillary Clinton’s state department resisted labeling the Boko Haram a terrorist organization for years. “Under Hillary Clinton, the State Department repeatedly declined to fully go after the terror group responsible for kidnapping hundreds of girls.”

The State Department under Hillary Clinton fought hard against placing the al Qaeda-linked militant group Boko Haram on its official list of foreign terrorist organizations for two years. And now, lawmakers and former U.S. officials are saying that the decision may have hampered the American government’s ability to confront the Nigerian group that shocked the world by abducting hundreds of innocent girls.

In truth there were a lot of people in Boko Haram’s corner, not just Hillary, though they’ll now deny it. For example, had a now deleted petition not to declare Boko Haram a terrorist organization. The petition read in part:

Petition to to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Attorney General Eric Holder, President Barack Obama and Members of Congress.

We urge you not to support the formal designation of Boko Haram in Nigeria as a “Foreign Terrorist Organization” (FTO). Such a move would be a counterproductive mistake with far-reaching negative consequences for both Americans and Nigerians.”

One cannot think MoveOn deleted the petition because they were proud of it.  But in fairness, they were not alone in their support of Boko either. The existence of a pressure group that saw the Boko Haram as a group you could negotiate with is not in doubt. Think Progress in this apologia for Hillary admits it.

But there were multiple valid reasons for the State Department to disagree with the Justice Department and other agencies dealing with counterterrorism — such as the FBI and CIA — who urged State to place Boko Haram on the Foreign Terrorists Organization (FTO) list. “Designation is an important tool, it’s not the only tool,” a former State Department official told the Beast. “There are a lot of other things you can do in counterterrorism that doesn’t require a designation.” This includes boosting development aid to undercut the causes of unrest and deploying the FBI to assist in tracking down Boko Haram, both of which the U.S. actually did.

In addition, Clinton didn’t act in a vacuum to determine not to designate Boko Haram back in 2011. Scholars on Twitter who focus on the region, terrorism broadly, and Islamist groups in particular were quick to point out that not only were there few benefits and many possible costs to designation, many of them had argued against listing Boko Haram several years ago. In a letter to the State Department dated May 2012, twenty prominent African studies scholars wrote Clinton to implore her to hold off on placing Boko Haram on the FTO list. Acknowledging the violence Boko Haram had perpetrated, the academics argued that “an FTO designation would internationalize Boko Haram, legitimize abuses by Nigeria’s security services, limit the State Department’s latitude in shaping a long term strategy, and undermine the U.S. Government’s ability to receive effective independent analysis from the region.”

Note that “the Justice Department and other agencies dealing with counterterrorism — such as the FBI and CIA — … urged State to place Boko Haram on the Foreign Terrorists Organization (FTO) list”, but State didn’t listen, preferring to hearken to “scholars on Twitter” and “African studies” experts.

Even today Boko Haram is not without its defenders. The Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia “the top religious authority in the birthplace of Islam, has condemned Nigeria’s Boko Haram as a group ‘set up to smear the image of Islam’ and condemned its kidnapping of over 200 schoolgirls.”

“This is a group that has been set up to smear the image of Islam and must be offered advice, shown their wrong path and be made to reject it,” he told the Arabic-language newspaper al-Hayat in an interview published on Friday.

“These groups are not on the right path because Islam is against kidnapping, killing and aggression,” he said. “Marrying kidnapped girls is not permitted.”

The mounting hideousness of Boko Haram eventually drove the State Deparment to declare it a terror organization  in November of 2013, after John Kerry took over.

When is jaw-jaw, or a particular form of jaw-jaw, better than war-war?  The test is usually empirical. Negotiations are fruitful for as long as they lead to some palpable result. Like medication, you should discontinue it when it makes you sicker. Negotiations can wind up paying bad guys to stay bad. Would you talk to them if they were good guys? The West’s obsession with social mores can subsidize social morays. But the since Boko Haram was actually growing in power from armaments obtained from post-Khadaffy Libya why on earth should Hillary think it would become more amenable to jaw-jaw in the face of its growing virulence?

It is scarcely credible to think Hillary was persuaded by these Twitter and African studies scholars in the face of objections from the counter-terror folks. The persuasion was not intellectual. The probable reason she opted for softly-softly is that jaw-jaw is good business.

Negotiating confers two political benefits. The negotiators are perceived to be doing something, even if that something hardly amounts to anything and it gives everyone at the table access to a great big pile of cash. Money — or the denial of money — is the engine of the jaw-jaw process, which really ought to be called the “kaching-kaching” process.

The numbers of consultants, hired experts and rapporteurs grow almost as rapidly as the “confidence building measures” they push. Show me a disaster and I’ll show you a bonanza. When the Tamil Tigers were surrounded by the Sri Lankan military and on the verge of annihilation one Western diplomat reportedly warned Colombo: “if you defeat them, then who will you negotiate with?”

Good point. Once the negotiations stop so does the gravy train.  Look at Palestine. It’s been bad for the Palestinians but entire generations of UN bureaucrats have made a career of out of it.

The Boko Haram remained, in spite of its almost comic book brutality, one of America’s viable “partners for peace”. So it remained until its actions became so reprehensible that there was no other viable political course than to call them what they were: a low-down dirty bunch of terrorist murderers. Think Progress’ apologia for Hillary Clinton only succeeds in documenting who pushed the Boko in the face of clear objections from law enforcement and counter-terror organizations.

If Clinton’s exercise of authority has consequences then her choices on Boko had consequences. Hillary endorsed “reset” with Russa; refused to name Boko Haram a terror organization and believed a video was responsible for the attack on a US Consulate in Benghazi.  Do we dismiss these all as a case of ‘so what’?  With great power comes great responsibility. You can’t say, while nations break up and things burn and people die: “what difference, at this point, does it make?”

Recent purchases by Belmont readers based on Amazon click-throughs.

Islam’s Black Slaves: The Other Black Diaspora

Mark Steyn’s Passing Parade: Obituaries & Appreciations expanded edition

Monrovia Mon Amour: A Visit to Liberia

1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed (Turning Points in Ancient History)

Twilight of Abundance: Why Life in the 21st Century Will Be Nasty, Brutish, and Short

Did you know that you can purchase some of these books and pamphlets by Richard Fernandez and share them with you friends? They will receive a link in their email and it will automatically give them access to a Kindle reader on their smartphone, computer or even as a web-readable document.

The War of the Words for $3.99, Understanding the crisis of the early 21st century in terms of information corruption in the financial, security and political spheres

Rebranding Christianity for $3.99, or why the truth shall make you free

The Three Conjectures at Amazon Kindle for $1.99, reflections on terrorism and the nuclear age

Storming the Castle at Amazon Kindle for $3.99, why government should get small

No Way In at Amazon Kindle $8.95, print $9.99. Fiction. A flight into peril, flashbacks to underground action.

Storm Over the South China Sea $0.99, how China is restarting history in the Pacific

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
This cabal will not tell the truth about their Muslim Brotherhood protection racket.

And those schoolgirls were just little Christians.

Radical atheist in a protection racket partnership with radical Islam, not only doesn't care about a few hundred Christian schoolgirls, they believe Christians " started it". That radical Islam is "triggered" into atrocities

The Woodstock Totalitarians will lie and dissemble away ANY guilt from the Monsters of Mohammed.

And, we sit by and allow the world's followers of Christ to be thrown to The Lyin's.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
You cannot say,“what difference, at this point, does it make?” but Hillary can. That is the point.

Things sound better in Latin.
Vestibulum pretium sit amet pretium.
"Process is money and money is process."

The phenomena is not confines to global trough feeders, government or NGO. Domestic charities face the same pressure to keep the cow milking. When a cure was found for polio the March of Dimes faced an existential crisis. They saved themselves by finding an incurable condition, birth defects, to raise money on. Now polio may be crawling back from dark corners. Will the MOD have a role to play or have they moved on?

The long list of people who it is acceptable to designate as beyond the pale, such as are preemptively denied immigration to America includes the remaining nazis and polygamists, including Barack Obama's presumed father, and for the broader international intelligentsia and political class the designation as unfit to talk to includes zionists. Everyone else is given a seat at the table. As legalzoom points out given the recent changes in the legal status of homosexual behavior we can expect challenges to immigration restrictions based on marital conduct.

Has anyone done a study as to how much the Perpetual Conflict Management Industry costs? Tripling the size of the armed forces and ending conflicts may be cheaper.

The arguments for the League of Nations, and the profusion of organizations that followed were two. First that war happened by accident because nations had no place to meet and talk things over. Apparently all the diplomats in their fancy clothes were sitting around completely baffled in August 1914, or they had all gone on vacation. The telegraph didn't solve the problem but I have faith in these new fangled contraptions called telephones, and there are some even better toys I believe out there to solve those problems. People can learn what is going on and communicate.

The second argument for relying on NGOs Institutes Rapporteurs and Diplomatic Conferences to identify and deal with problems is a cultural aversion to the marketplace. The favored system of relying on the State Department and the 20 scholars and the UN General Assembly to decide who deserves what is deeply authoritarian. It deserves terms like Feudal or even Fascist. It is a rejection of allowing the free flow of people goods and ideas, backed by the swift sure application of force to maintain the peace, to solve problems. If Nigerians could only get a meal by making their Christian neighbors happy customers then there would be no conflict. If Palestinians knew that there was no gravy train then they would be building greenhouses instead of burning them down.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
The problem is that terror organizations have no credibility to ask law breaking groups to act with morality. The same is true of thugocracies who literally terrorize their own citizens, steal trillions in wealth for their oligarchic friends, then preach fairness to the impoverished middle class all of whom are their victims. The administration is a terror group with nuclear weapons and any military or law enforcement agency that obeys them are no better than their terror masters.

How many babies has the administration murdered in the past few months? It is easier to get a permit to kill babies than it is to start an auto shop. Doctor, heal thyself.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (67)
All Comments   (67)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
On two occasions I have met Hillary Clinton. The effect is a limbic brain hair raising on the back of the neck knowledge that something is wrong. When the voice in the TV says "Get out" then get out.

David theLast,
You liked that quote from Robespierre? Good.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
I didn't "like" the quote, but I looked for something that Robespierre had said, because he worshipped the idea of terror as a tool of statecraft. What we are seeing is nothing new. Whether it was the Red Terror of the Russian Civil War, the Cultural Revolution in China, Year Zero in Cambodia, or now with the competing iterations of Shia and Sunni terrorism.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment

I can forgive him his racism, billionaire status, and etc, but Lawyer?
That's beyond the pale:

"Sterling, an 80-year-old married lawyer and billionaire real-estate investor, hasn't spoken publicly about the accusations since celebrity gossip website TMZ posted a 10-minute audio recording of him that drew widespread condemnation from fans, players and the league."
...what caught my attention were the water glasses.
I say outlaw the environmental trendys and their plastic water bottles!
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hillary Clinton was and is a monster, perhaps no worse than many others who haunt the halls of Washington D.C., but nevertheless a monster. The whole Secretary of State gig was nothing more than a resume padder for her for her anticipated post-Obama run for the Presidency. The only thing she cares about is her political career. She didn't know squat about world affairs nor was she really interested in learning. So long as everything looked good in the headlines she could have cared less if the world was burning down.

It was far better for her to pretend everything was rosy because if it wasn't she might be blamed for it, or even worse for her, she might even be tasked with fixing the problems. And whatever else her flaws may be I think she fully knew that she was way over her head as Secretary of State. Everything was seen through the lens of "what impact will this have on my career?" The greater interests of the US weren't even really a consideration. And when it comes to Hillary Clinton I don't think anything else ever really is.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
The thing makes Hillary a worse monster than the vast majority are the millions of minions and the entire press corps that will laugh hysterically on command at her smallest mention of a lame, CRINGE-WORTHY, "joke" followed by her maniacal self-reverential "giggle."

I'd really prefer being in the audience of a Hitler address in Germany, in 1939, it would be less frightening.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think that we make a semantic mistake when we refer to Boko Haram (or by its more definitive longer name) by calling them "terrorist" organizations. Terrorism is a tactic.
Robiespierre: "If the spring of popular government in time of peace is virtue, the springs of popular government in revolution are at once virtue and terror: virtue, without which terror is fatal; terror, without which virtue is powerless. Terror is nothing other than justice, prompt, severe, inflexible; it is therefore an emanation of virtue; it is not so much a special principle as it is a consequence of the general principle of democracy applied to our country's most urgent needs."

The observant Muslim believes he is virtuous, just as Robiespierre did, because their virture justifies the means to rule. Terror is/was an accepted tactic in both the present case and in Revolutionary France, because it would lead to a "better world". As defined by .....who?

Our struggle with ideas and clash of civilizations demand that we actually define what we are and what we stand for. GW Bush had a glimmer of it, but allowed himself to be cowed in expressing it to get the pragmatic political support he thought he needed to "finish the job" in Iraq.

The Obama Regime has a clear idea of what THEY stand for, and it recapitulates the essay written by Richard Fernandez several years ago, titled "The Red Rider and the Green Horse". The premise was the idea that worldwide Leftists could use the revolutionary energy and ardor of the Islamic world to finally bring down capitalism, free markets and republican government, as we understand it in the US (not the French revolutionary republican government). Afterwards of course, the Red Rider could dismiss the energy and primitive notions of Islam, and dominate

Boko Harum and dozens of other like-minded Muslim groups, are the bloody tip of the spear of the still simmering Islamic world-wide revolution, guided alternatively by Wahhabist Sunnis in the KSA, or the Shia revolutionaries in The Islamic Republic of Iran. For example, Syria.

The Obama Regime does not largely care about what actually happens in Syria, Libya or Nigeria. Obama does not actually care much about his half-brother living in poverty in Kenya.
But they do care about POWER, political power, in the US. They rule by faction, by aligning factions of differing beliefs and alliances, to get elected to a ruling coalition. This week, it's LGBT. Next week it's CAIR and their fellow travelers. Then they pivot to immigration, the La Raza gang and support from Univision. Then the NAACP, then NARAL, then NOW, and around and around and around. AGW believers, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria.

They count on the cognitive dissonance of each group not to notice that sometimes they utter totally conflicting messages. How do LGBT groups feel about makey-nice with Muslims that want homosexuals....dead? How do observant Latinos that go to Catholic mass feel about makey-nice with NARAL?

But Terrorism is in the eye of the receiver of this tactic. What we will continue to fight against is militant Islam, in one of several forms. Our so-called government which rules us, dares not speak such blunt truths so as to begin to shatter their carefully tended political factious coalition, as someday someone might look out of their narrow interest lane and recognize that the whole civilization is breaking into pieces.

Above all, do no Haram, speak no Haram, and don't wake up the sheeple and talk about the true underlying ideas behind the struggle. You would think that coming up on 13 years after the Fall of the Twin Towers in NY City, people would know better. But we know that's wrong. Fear of the truth, fear of the real world, fear of being called out by the alleged political allies makes people hold these ridiculous conflicting ideas in their heads. So instead of tangible, real actions, we get tough talking tweets from the twits in the State Department, and elsewhere in our so-called government.

Cry havoc, and release the hashtags of war.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Does not Boko Harum's actions reach the level of genocide? If this can be plausably argued, I believe it ought to be brought up, in Congress, in the UN Security Council, and any public forum. Let BH's defenders, if there are any left at this point, argue the negative. Now is the time to find out if the genocide treaty is mere moral posturing or actually has any substance.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
I live in the Washington DC suburbs & graduated from high school here in 1971. The general unhappiness I hear about of the people who work at the Pentagon (and likely the CIA too) reminds me of the early 70's. This was no longer the late mid or late 60's. The more innocent tunes of the 60's were giving way to a harder darker sound. I don't know what the sound is that the high school kids are listening to today but I've heard they're back into drugs fairly heavily in the local high schools. And as I recall drugs came through my high school in 1970 for the first time. There was no school prayer. That had been abandoned 10 years earlier in 1961.

I say this as a way of introducing this data point. There's a story that's rattling boston that a black mass is going to be performed at harvard.

Another sign of the times.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Given the caliber of "public servants" we've been getting from Harvard, perhaps I may be excused for suspecting that this isn't the first time a Black Mass has been held there.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Obama shrinks away in the face of evil

As Barack Obama enters the twilight of his tenure, the ­debate over his legacy is ­beginning, but one conclusion already seems certain. It can best be described as “Honey, I shrunk the presidency.”

Not since Jimmy Carter was held hostage by Iran has the Oval Office seemed so inconsequential against the forces of international darkness. The mismatch is particularly striking because smallness has been Obama’s choice.

Although he is guilty of executive overreach at home, that bully behavior only sharpens the contrast with a foreign policy that is feeble when it is not comatose. The president’s estrangement from the demands of global leadership is giving a green light to tyrants and malevolent opportunists everywhere.

His preference for navel gazing over action was on full display last week....
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
If Obama had a mass, it would look like that.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Are you suggesting he is half-massed?
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
I meant to mention this yesterday, when Fox ran an on-scene report from the village of the raided school. Several of the parents were adament on the point that the bgovernment --aty least the local government --was aware of a coming attack. They deduced this from the fact (they said) that the children of the very parents who would've known had the government had a warning, did not come to school that day.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'll bet they're Joos.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
If true, that village is finished, one would think.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
RWE said: War is primarily psychological in nature. And today the biggest problem we have is making them understand that we are serious. Nothing says "serious" like a nuke. It's not just a force multiplier; it's an attitude multiplier.

Yes but the convention against using them is probably a good one as long as it lasts which is unlikely to be another year, still one may hope.

For me the "serious" thing has been horribly undercut by our ROE. I know, Bush reined them back hoping to make nice with the DEMOCRATS not the Iraqis or Al Qaeda, also because Bush had a tendency to extend Christian charity where perhaps he should not. And Obambus reined them in further because well you know.

If we had prosecuted the 2003 war in Iraq correctly, as you describe the ending of WWII, it would all have been over in six months instead of ten years. Think of the lives ON BOTH SIDES that would have been saved, much less the money, much less the attitudes.

And in Afghanistan, if we were ever going to put more than about ten thousand troops there, it should have been to form an American colony and teach the savages how to live, nation building the old-fashioned way and then some.

Maybe none of this was ever possible because of - the Democrats, much less the Euroweinies? I dunno. Maybe somebody with actual knowledge of the exact details could compare and contrast to Vietnam, Korea, and WWII. But it's hard to say, when WWII certainly included Dresden and Hiroshima.

(show less)
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well said.
...and Tokyo.
Curtis LeMay might not make today's PC Cut.

"The difficulty of strategic bombing had been seen on June 15th, 1944, when a raid on Yawata’s iron and steel works resulted in just 2% of the complex being damaged. On August 20th, a raid on the same plant led to 18 bombers being shot down out of 70 planes – an attrition rate of 25%. The target was barely touched. Such losses for so little reward convinced many crews that strategic bombing was untenable.

Curtis LeMay had experienced the bombing of cities in Germany as the leader of the 8th Air Force. Now in the Pacific theatre, he was convinced of one thing – that any city making any form of contribution to Japan’s war effort should be destroyed."

"The single most destructive bombing raid in history"
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
One of the most overlooked scriptures is also one of the most important. The word of God is alive and powerful... a critic of the thoughts and intents...

Those thoughts and intents are the motivations of humans that are eventually turned into actions and statements. They are why people do and say the things that they do.

What are the reasons that Hillary refused to designate BH as an FTO? Why did she not improve security in Benghazi? Why were we not ready militarily for rapid response to terrorist actions on the anniversary of 9/11? Why did dear leader fail to engage military assets to rescue the ambassador and his defenders?

In Hilliary's case, her statements of shock that our consulate would be attacked "after all we have done for Libya" betray a mind ill-equipped to perceive the nature of evil.

If we just provide them with amply food, water and a little walking around money, they should be good in return, thanking us for all we have done. Or so she thought.

You cannot help people like her. They only thing that we can do is ensure that she is not in a position of power and authority in our great nation.

Perhaps without realizing, she has subscribed to the false notion that if you do nice things for people, they will be nice in return, sort of a pay-it-forward coupled with robbing hood mentality. It's a tenant of secular humanism - mankind, because of advances in science and social understanding, is advancing to a state of greater perfection. Soon, we'll all be back in the garden in a wonderful workers paradise. There will be no unfulfilled need, no need for police or military. Just talk to the wayward ones, convince them with nice treatment and they will amend their evil ways.

Jimmy Carter treated the bad states of the world as if they were students in his sunday school class. Just scold them gently, and they will fall in line.

This total rejects two important principles. The world is fundamentally contaminated with knowledge of good and evil. Secondly, we are guaranteed a lifetime of adversity that we must overcome to survive - by the sweat of your brow will you eat your bread.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hillary is well acquainted with evil. She listens to the whispers of her own black heart.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
A former ambassador was on Fox News Sunday today arguing against listing them as a terror group because they "were not an organized group" and because they are "grass roots." I guess this means that the Muslims of Nigeria were part of it. Odd argument.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
One of my brothers is a very liberal Democrat. He believes we don't have to do anything about Islamic terrorism. If they become too big a threat, we can just nuke them. Meanwhile, he continues to support destroying our nuclear forces and vilifying the very people he wants to commit nuclear genocide when the time comes. No doubt, in the immediate aftermath, he call for war crimes trials for all the people who carry out his strategy. I find myself in agreement with the idea of sending Special Operations Forces to to as discreetly and quietly as possible to kill the leaders and financial supporters of active jihad. While nuking the site from orbit is the only way to be sure, I, for one, will feel a bit better about doing it if we try lesser measures first.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
1 2 3 4 Next View All