The ISG’s Dereliction of Duty

By Rachel Ehrenfeld and Alyssa A. Lappen
December 11, 2006 | American Thinker

On Veterans’ Day, November 11, 2005, President George W. Bush, described the determination of Islamic terrorists, who

“want to end American and Western influence in the broader Middle East, because we stand for democracy and peace, and stand in the way of their ambitions….The tactics of al Qaeda and other Islamic extremists have been consistent for a quarter of a century: They hit us, and expect us to run.”

The President then vowed as he has many times since September 2001:

“We will confront this mortal danger to all humanity; we will not tire or rest until the war on terror is won.”

Yet, as we now see, the U.S. is running, not only from the Middle East.

The U.S., some argue, no longer considers spreading democracy its first priority. After all, the much-heralded democratic elections in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority proved counterproductive.

Afghanistan is once again in danger of losing power to the Taliban. Pakistan, which was the prime sponsor of the Taliban, now urges NATO “to accept the Taliban and work towards a new coalition government” with the “resistance” — excluding democratically elected Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

The Pakistani government, the recipient of at least $2.5 billion in U.S. aid in 2005, continues cooperating with the Taliban. Pakistan facilitates Taliban bases from which they infiltrate into the Kandahar and Helmand provinces. Moreover, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf allows Taliban forces to move freely to and from North Waziristan. And now, Pakistan is pushing the Afghan President Hamid Karzai, to have a unity government with the Taliban.

Afghanistan exemplifies the U.S. failures in both the war on terrorism and the war on drugs. The evidence that drugs are a major financial lifeline for terrorism is overwhelming.

Before 2001, Afghanistan supplied 60 percent of world heroin consumption. Under the watchful eyes of coalition forces in Afghanistan, its global heroin market share rose to 92 percent, a 3,200% increase in five years.

Despite this, neither the American government nor its NATO allies have yet recognized the importance of aggressively targeting this funding source. The alleged reason is that attacking the drug trade will destabilize the Afghan government. Meanwhile, billions of dollars in drug revenue fuel the Taliban, al-Qaeda and most other Islamic terrorist organizations elsewhere.

Although the Baker Hamilton Iraq Study Group (ISG), refers to “the renewed threat posed by the Taliban,” and the “increase in poppy production [which] fuels the illegal drug trade and narco-terrorism,” they refrain from recommending the most practical and pragmatic method to eradicate opium; Mycoherbicides, naturally occurring plant-pathogenic fungi, can target coca plant, poppy plants, or Hashish plants (Cannabis), eliminating their effective ingredients. A bill (H.R. 2829) regarding this issue was approved by the House in March 2006, with a majority of 399 to 5. The measure now awaits the Senate approval.

Indeed, mycoherbicides should be used as soon as possible while subsidizing the Afghan economy until replacement crops and industries can be found for the illegal heroin trade. Mycoherbicides can be used to effectively and safely to destroy the opium, cocaine and cannabis trade the world over. With no drugs to fund terrorism and subvert the economy and political system, Afghanistan, and other drug dependent economies could take a huge step forward.

Incredibly, to stabilize Iraq, the Baker-Hamilton report suggests renewing diplomatic negotiations with Iran and Syria–who from the outset did everything possible to fuel sectarian violence and thwart U.S. goals.

Still more obtuse is the ISG statement that “The United States cannot achieve its goals in the Middle East unless it deals directly with the Arab-Israeli conflict.” Neither Shiite nor Sunni terrorists in Iraq kill American soldiers because of Israel. They kill American soldiers and other foreigners only because they are infidels in a Muslim land.

Since the ISG members are well informed, their statements regarding Israel can only be interpreted as willful blindness to Iran’s massive support of the Shiites and the Saudi funding of the Sunnis.

Moreover, the ISG members completely ignore the widely advertized radical Arab/Muslim commitment to follow the Quran dictate: “Muslims, fight everyone who rejects Islam, even if they are Christians and Jews.” (Sura 9, verse 29). Since there are no Israelis and almost no Jews in Iraq, it is clear that Americans and all other foreigners are the terrorists’ targets.

Indeed, Abdul Aziz al Hakim, leader of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), interviewed on CNN after the release of ISG report, rejected its main conclusion that the road to peace in Iraq originates in Jerusalem. Rather, he said, solutions for Iraq’s problems are specific to Iraq, and have no connection to other regional conflicts, including the Palestinian problem with Israel.

Yet, ISG recommendation 17 concerns the “Palestinian issue.” It recommends legitimizing Hamas through: “Support for a Palestinian national unity government.” It also legitimizes the Palestinian claim to a “right of return,” offering it as a negotiating point. Hence, the ISG report echoes the Arab/Muslim agenda, which since 1948 has been Israel’s eradication by whatever means available.

These recommendations contrast sharply with U.S. resolve not to negotiate with terrorists, as well as the President’s repeated statements that “the United States does not support political parties that want to destroy our ally, Israel, ” and that “Hamas must be dismantled.”

Palestinian terrorists exuberantly cheered the report. “The report proves that this is the era of Islam and of jihad,” said Abu Ayman, a senior leader of Islamic Jihad from Jenin in the northern West Bank.

He said this report proves that the Americans concluded “Islam is the new giant of the world and it would be clever to reduce hostilities with this giant.” Moreover, he invoked the Islamic apocalyptic, end-time ideology: “In the Quran the principle of the rotation is clear and according to this principle the end of the Americans and of all non-believers is getting closer.”

Senior Hamas military leader Abu Abdullah also extolled the Baker-Hamilton report as an Islamic victory, delivered by “Allah and his angels…. The big superpower of the world is defeated by a small group of mujahedeen (fighters).”

“Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it,”

states the Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) in its opening declaration. The Baker- Hamilton report would hasten the Hamas objective.

But Hamas will not stop at destroying Israel. In article 31, the Covenant also declares:

“quiet would not be possible except under the wing of Islam….It is the duty of the followers of other religions to stop disputing the sovereignty of Islam.”

In fact, while disguised as “pragmatism,” the ISG report offers to do just that. This is “appeasement at any price,” repackaged and much lauded as sophisticated thinking.

The ISG report attributes to Syria power it does not posses. The Alawite led Syria dances to Iran’s tune, since 1973, when Imam Musa Sadr, declared that the Alawites are Shiite Muslim. Nevertheless, the report claims that Syria could spur positive changes in the actions of Hamas and Hizballah.

As for Iran, the ISG incredibly asserts: “Iran’s interests would not be served by a failure of U.S. policy in Iraq that led to chaos and the territorial disintegration of the Iraqi state.” Indeed, they even suggest unconditional talks with Iran, as part of a “New Diplomatic Offensive,” in itself a contradiction in terms.

Such a statements raises serious doubts concerning the information on which this report is based.

Clearly, the ISG ignored president Bush‘s statement of October 6, 2005:

“We know the vision of the radicals because they’ve openly stated it… First, these extremists want to end American and Western influence in the broader Middle East, because we stand for democracy and peace, and stand in the way of their ambitions… Second, the militant network wants to use the vacuum created by an American retreat to gain control of a country…to launch attacks and conduct their war against non-radical Muslim governments… Third, the militants believe that controlling one country will rally the Muslim masses, enabling them to overthrow all moderate governments in the region, and establish a radical Islamic empire that spans from Spain to Indonesia. With greater economic and military and political power, the terrorists would be able to advance their stated agenda: to develop weapons of mass destruction, to destroy Israel, to intimidate Europe, to assault the American people, and to blackmail our government into isolation.”

The ISG’s more “pragmatic” attitude, by contrast, calls for unconditional talks with the terrorist regimes in Syria and Iran. Not surprisingly, chief blackmailer, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad‘s response to the ISG report was:

“Western leaders must follow the path of god or vanish from the face of the earth.”

The ISG report further offers to wash U.S. hands of any responsibility to stop Iran’s nuclear weapons development. Unbelievably, recommendation 9 suggests: “Iran’s nuclear programs should continue to be dealt with by the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany.” Thus, the ISG proposes giving Ahmedinijad a free hand to pursue his pledges to imminently liquidate Israel.

Nuclear weapons will advance Ahmedinijad’s agenda to advance the return of the 12th Imam al-Mahdi, who is believed to have been born 800 years ago and went missing in 941. The Shiites believe the Imam will return before judgment day “to lead an era of Islamic justice.”

According to the prophecies in the Muslim Hadith, (the traditions and sayings of the prophet Mohammed), the 12th Imam al-Mahdi will be resurrected only after “one-third of the world population will die by being killed and one-third will die as a result of epidemics.” Ahmedinijad promises to have nuclear weapons by March 2007.

But President Bush, in his October 2005 statement, identified the enemy clearly, acknowledged its danger, and vowed to defeat it.

“The influence of Islamic radicalism is also magnified by helpers and enablers. They have been sheltered by authoritarian regimes, allies of convenience like Syria and Iran, that share the goal of hurting America and moderate Muslim governments, and use terrorist propaganda to blame their own failures on the West and America, and on the Jews…. Against such an enemy, there is only one effective response: We will never back down, never give in, and never accept anything less than complete victory.”

The President response to the report indicates that he remains less “pragmatic” and more courageous than ISG members, who seem determined to facilitate the radical Islamic agenda. “A lot of reports in Washington are never read by anybody,” he said. “To show you how important this one is, I read it.”

Rejecting the ISG recommendations, which would jeopardize the U.S. and the entire free world, Bush likens the present to the past. “Sixty-five years ago this day,” he said on Nov. 7, “America was jolted out of our isolationism and plunged into a global war that Britain had been fighting for two years. In that war, our nation stood firm,” he said.

Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld is author of Funding Evil; How Terrorism is Financed-and How to Stop It, Director of American Center for Democracy (ACD) and a member of the Committee on the Present Danger. Alyssa A. Lappen is a senior fellow at the ACD.


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Alyssa A. Lappen is a U.S.-based investigative journalist. She is currently Managing Editor at the Leeb Group. A former Senior Fellow of the American Center for Democracy (2005-2008); she is also a former Senior Editor of Institutional Investor (1993-1999), Working Woman (1991-1993) and Corporate Finance (1991).

She served six of her 12 years at Forbes (1978-1990) as an Associate Editor. Ms. Lappen was also a staff reporter at The New Haven Register (1975-1977).

During a decade as a freelance, her work appeared in Big Peace, Pajamas Media, Front Page Magazine, American Thinker, Right Side News, Family Security Matters, the Washington Times and many other Internet and print journals. Ms. Lappen also contributed to the Terror Finance Blog, among others.

She supports the right of journalists worldwide to write without fear or restriction on politics, governments, international affairs, terrorism, terror financing and religious support for terrorism, among other subjects.

Ms. Lappen is also an accomplished poet. Her first full-length collection, The Minstrel’s Song, was published by Cross-Cultural Communications in April 2015. Her poems have been published in the 2nd 2007 edition of Blood to Remember: American Poets on the Holocaust and both 2007 issues of Wales‘ award-winning Seventh Quarry: Swansea Poetry Magazine.

Dozens of her poems have appeared in print and online literary journals and books. She won the 2000 annual Ruah: A Journal of Spiritual Poetry chapbook award and has received a Harvard Summer Poetry Prize and several honorable mentions.

Alyssa A. Lappen can be reached at alyssaalappen@alyssaalappen.org

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