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Common Defense Richard Falknor on 22 Feb 2010 11:08 pm

“Getting” Jihad: Real Meat in A Non-Celebrity CPAC Panel


“There is no greater risk to our security than radical Islamic terrorists.These terrorists do not aim to kill us because we offended them. They attack us because they want to impose their world view on others, and America is standing in their way. We need to make it unmistakably clear that we will do whatever we have to do, for however long we have to do it, to defeat terrorism.We will punish their allies like Iran and stand with our allies like Israel. We will target and destroy terrorist cells and their leaders.” – – Marco Rubio at CPAC

Of the major Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) speakers running for office, certainly Florida U. S. Senate candidate Marco Rubio minced no words in targetting the Islamist menace. (This is to take nothing from Ambassador John Bolton’s fine talk on preserving our sovereignty.)

But a visiting Martian anthropologist might conclude — if the extra-terrestial observer only read the long list of speakers and panels on the CPAC program – – that few CPAC-attending conservatives believe the U.S. faces serious foreign adversaries with nuclear weapons, that CPAC-attending conservatives were largely satisfied with the state of their country’s defenses, and that many of these conservatives did not believe we were engaged in a grave struggle at home as well as abroad with militant Islam. 

“You think we are fighting a war over there.

I think we are fighting a war right here.”

With this as one of his themes, sometime senior Pentagon analyst Steve Coughlin (together with six other experts) gave a standing-room-only crowd at CPAC last Friday morning chapter and verse on Jihad, Sharia, and our Islamic enemies.

CPAC  billed the panel “Jihad: The Political Third Rail | Sponsored by the Freedom Defense Initiative |Speakers: Steve Coughlin, Wafa Sultan, Allen West, Simon Deng, Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer.”

Let’s go right to threat-analyst Coughlin’s points about the war we are fighting against Islamists.

  • “I believe that we’re fighting the entire War on Terror on narratives. And when we shifted the entire War on Terror to fighting the entire War on Terror on narratives,  we went off the factual template.  You see, the Constitution says we protect and defend against all enemies.  But post-modern America says,  we  protect against all violent extremists.  Think about that.  Because you know, that word gets to  mean just about anything you want it to mean – as long as it’s not ‘enemy.'”
  • “MPAC [Muslim Public Affairs Council] was demanding that the 9/11 Commission  [link added] change its language.”  Here is our version of Coughlin’s own findings and chart on how the 9/11 Commission language disappears in subsequent U. S. documents – – –


  • “So when you’re fighting hearts and minds in Afghanistan, and you don’t have reference to that language – who are you talking about?  And how can you define hearts and minds in Afghanistan when you don’t have a lexicon that makes use of this language?
  • You know what I call this? The 9/11 commission has been completely undermined. The facts and the factual  context of the 9/11 commission [have] been completely undermined.  This is decisive victory in the information battle space.  The destruction of factual knowledge by removal of words as defined — supplanted by an illusion of knowledge where none exists.

  • “Political correctness can not only be a cause of losing a war, but a strategy to defeat the United States premised on making it impossible to define him.”

  • You cannot have a strategy to defeat an enemy you will not define. I know we don’t have a strategy, I know they will not define the enemy. So does the enemy know that.” (Underscoring Forum’s throughout.)

Readers are strongly urged to view the video of  analyst Steve Coughlin’s CPAC presentation of the Islamist assault on western values ranging from the Netherlands to the state of Maine to Fort Hood.

Historians will have to make the final assessment on how much the policies of the Bush Administration contributed to our current capitulations to Sharia expansion. At the end of April 2008, we wrote in “CONSERVATIVE HEADS-UP : ‘An Anatomy of Surrender'” that – –

“One of the elephants in the Republicans’ national living room is the president’s apparently conflicted attitude on Islamists. Many conservatives who are (properly) quick to jump on the White House for a Harriet Miers nomination or on an entitlement expansion or on signing the McCain-Feingold bill, seem sheepish about calling the White House to account on their attitude toward sharia expansion – – – which is a very real peril.”

As Mark Steyn pointed out after the 2006 elections –

. . . [Y]ou can’t be in favor of assertive American foreign policy overseas and increasing Europeanization domestically; likewise, you can’t take a reductively libertarian view while the rest of the planet goes to pieces. Someone in the GOP needs to do what Ronald Reagan did so brilliantly a quarter-century ago — reconcile the big challenges abroad with a small-government philosophy at home.”

UPDATE: MARK KRIKORIAN “National Security? What National Security?”
. . . David Keene and Grover Norquist, who have the biggest voices in planning CPAC, are on Obama’s side against conservatives on many of these areas of [national-security-policy] disagreement. Specifically, the two of them (along with Bob Barr) smeared opposition to closing Guantanamo and to civilian trials for terrorists in the United States as scaremongering.” When CPAC is run by people sharing the views of the ACLU, CAIR, and Eric Holder, what do you expect?” Read Krikorian’s entire post.

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