John Brennan

John Brennan has been, twice before, rumored for higher office as Director of National Intelligence and as Director of the CIA prior to the current pending appointment. Twice the Brennan flag was taken down off the flag pole. Curious

Let’s review.

Mr. Brennan simply cannot bring himself to utter the words Jihadist or Islamist; it’s counterproductive by Mr. Brennan’s standards to actually label the enemy, even though the enemy is exceptionally clear on who their enemy is; us! We may surmise why he feels it’s counterproductive; he and the administration must not see these medieval misogynists as an enemy despite their own words displayed every Friday in Mosques through the region.

Benghazi. Whew, thank goodness no one knew anything before they hung Susan Rice out to dry. But alas they did, including Mr. Brennan.

Mr. Brennan stated that he was looking for moderate leadership in Hamas and Hiz’bAllah to reach out to. Memo to Mr. Brennan; they don’t exist. Perhaps no one read the Hamas and Hiz’bAllah Charters, or perhaps reviewed public statements over the past few years. Could Mr. Brennan be unaware of Iranian influence on these organizations? You have to assume that a rational base of knowledge is absent if Mr. Brennan is looking for “moderates” in those organizations. Moderate may be a relative term but it’s relative to decades of terrorism in those two cases. The Hiz’bAllah moderates are attempting to prop up Bashir Assad in Syria. Oops, forgot Hillary thought Assad was a reformer, Mr. Brennan must have actually gotten that memo.

On Gitmo recidivism; Mr. Brennan thought that it was “not too bad”!

Mr. Brennan accepts some level of terrorist appeasement. In speaking to the Center for Strategic and International Studies in August of 2009 he said; “Even as we condemn and oppose the illegitimate tactics used by terrorists, we need to acknowledge and address the legitimate needs and grievances of ordinary people those terrorists claim to represent”. Those ‘legitimate grievances’ went without definition by Mr. Brennan, but one can assume it has something to do with Israel. Nothing new here, Mr. Brennan tends to suffer logical disconnects when dealing with the ideological underpinnings of violent extremism generally.

You may be happy to know that in that same August of 2009 Mr. Brennan told us that the War on Terror was over as was the war on Global Jihadism; in fact we’re not involved in a global anything according to Mr. Brennan. We’re still at “war” but only with al Qaeda; so declared Mr. Brennan.

In the same speech Mr. Brennan rejects connections between “violent extremism and Islam”. He remains convinced that Jihad is a journey of personal purity and rejects the term in the context of spreading Islam by the sword. Mr. Brennan must be comprehensively unaware of the violent history of imperial Islam. He is, to appearances, also unaware of the massive clerical infrastructure that does in fact define Jihad as a violent spreading of or actions in defense of Islam. Constant calls to ‘kill unbelievers’ does not sound like a journey of personal purification to this writer.

He defines nuclear weapons in the hands of terrorists as the key security challenge facing the administration but offers no concrete plans to address it. Well that’s not true he did identify three critical efforts to address the problem; “leading the effort for a stronger global nonproliferation regime, launching an international effort to secure nuclear material and (this one should do it) a global nuclear summit. Yea, that should do it, despite the prior decades experience with North Korea and Iran.

You may be happy to know that in that same August of 2009 Mr. Brennan told us that the War on Terror was over as was the war on Global Jihadism; in fact we’re not involved in a global anything according to Mr. Brennan. We’re still at “war” but only with al Qaeda; so declared Mr. Brennan.

Mr. Brennan further dismisses the use of the word “global” because “it feeds the image of al Qaeda as “a highly organized, global entity capable of replacing sovereign nations with a global caliphate.” This perception simply misses the point, radical Islam is a global phenomenon. In addition to the Middle East, Islamic radicalism is present in the U.S., Canada, the entirety of Europe, Central and South America, the Philippines, Indonesia, Central Asia, Pakistan, India, Russia, the Caucuses, North Africa, Mali, Sudan, Somalia, the Horn of Africa, Australia and China to name a few.

Mr. Brennan’s effort at rhetorical management is an unfortunate reflection of the thinking in the White House. We’re not at war with Jihadism because Jihad, according to Mr. Brennan has a specific meaning, that being “to purify oneself or to wage a holy struggle for a moral goal”. This interpretation is the prevalent interpretation of Jihad espoused by western Islamic scholars funded by and serving as apologists for powerful fundamentalist Muslims such as the Saudi royal family. According to Mr. Brennan by using the term Jihadist we somehow grant legitimacy to the murderers. This interpretation ignores the definition that Jihadists themselves apply to the term. It further ignores the Salafist interpretation of Jihad that the Jihadists use as a fundamental point of justification for the murder of innocents.

The Jihadist interpretation of Jihad has very little to do with a moral goal, it has to do with defeating the “unbelievers”. It has to do with the avowed belief that when Islam rules globally all will be well and there is nothing forbidden to those on the path of Jihad and the eventual establishment of a global caliphate.

Mr. Brennan also opines that use of the now forbidden terms creates a perception that the U.S. is “at war with Islam”. Mr. Brennan, unfortunately, has an unbalanced equation. No one with any reasonable knowledge of the issues believes we are at war with Islam. Mr. Brennan’s contention is in fact a repetition of the PR tactic deployed by the Jihadists themselves to rally support from the Muslim masses and to cast their efforts as inclusive of the entire Muslim world. The fact is that Jihadists are at war with us. That is their declaration and a remarkably consistent theme of their communications and propaganda.

Mr. Brennan does, correctly, point out that a War on Terrorism is a misnomer. Terrorism is a tactic not an organization or a philosophy. The more appropriate term would be a War on Radical Islam, or a War on Salifism, or a War on Radical Fundamentalism; those terms are, of course, not recommended as appropriate descriptions.

Whether or not al Qaeda is operationally effective on a global basis is not the point. Al Qaeda leads a conspiracy of intent and philosophy that is undeniably global. They have propagated the philosophical interpretations of Islam that justifies terror. They have provided the points of success that give rise to the idea that their vision of a global caliphate can be brought to a reality: two World Trade Center bombings, The Cole, gunning down tourists at the Egyptian pyramids, the African embassy bombings, the Beirut barracks bombing, the Train bombings in Madrid, the July seventh bombings in London, the Mumbai attacks, the pending takeover in Mali, and a list that literally contains thousands of terror incidents worldwide have been and are inspired by al Qaeda ideology and leadership.

One has to wonder if the new logo for the CIA under John Brennan’s leadership will be a Pig with lipstick on.