Op/Ed - War on Terror: Over or Just Beginning?

By: Erick Stakelbeck 

It was May 2nd, 20ll, the day after the Al Qaeda kingpin was killed by U.S. forces. And CNN terrorism analyst Peter Bergen was ready to call it a day in the ongoing struggle against Islamic jihadists.

“It’s time to move on,” he continued, telling a radio interviewer that the Islamic terrorist threat to America had been all but eliminated with Bin Laden’s death. Bergen’s CNN colleague, Fareed Zakaria, went a step further, writing that Bin Laden’s demise meant radical Islam’s “existential threat to the Western world” was “gone.”

Bergen and Zakaria, two Obama administration favorites, were echoed by the President’s own Defense Secretary, Leon Panetta, who later told reporters that Al Qaeda was nearly defeated.

The message sent to the American people by the Obama administration and their mainstream media surrogates was unmistakable: taking out Bin Laden and defeating Al Qaeda means the age of Islamic radicalism is over.

No mention, of course, of the growing power of jihadists like Iran, Hezbollah or the Muslim Brotherhood, all much greater long-term threats to America’s national security than Al Qaeda. Likewise, no mention of radical Islamists’ stealthy efforts to establish Sharia law in the U.S., infiltrate the highest levels of the U.S. government or of recent calls from American Muslim organizations to re-establish the Islamic caliphate.

Unfortunately for our left-wing elites in the government, mainstream media and academia, the American people are not stupid. Despite the Obama administration’s claims to the contrary, when Americans see the Muslim Brotherhood and its jihadist allies taking power across the Middle East and North Africa, they know instinctively, in their guts, that what is developing is not an “Arab Spring” but an Islamist Winter with dangerous consequences for the U.S. and our greatest ally, Israel.

The alarming truth laid out in Mercury Radio Arts’ new documentary, Rumors of War III: Target U.S. is that the United States is in the radical Islamists’ crosshairs now more than ever. A formidable group of expert insiders, including Lt. General (Ret.) Jerry Boykin, Florida Congressman Allen West, former Department of Justice prosecutor Andrew McCarthy and former FBI Special Agent John Guandolo, among others, take viewers deep inside the Islamist threat to the American homeland, revealing shocking details about our vulnerabilities and our enemies’ intentions to exploit them.

In my 11 years of covering Islamic terrorism and national security issues, I can say without reservation that Rumors of War III presents the most truthful, in-depth and unflinching account I’ve seen of the imminent threats facing America. It contains the kind of unvarnished, politically incorrect analysis and information that is only whispered about in the back hallways of the New York Times, CNN and yes, most conservative media outlets.

In Rumors of War III, you’ll see how:

  •  Members of Muslim Brotherhood front groups that are sworn to the destruction of America have assumed influential positions in the U.S. government. Incredibly, these same radical Islamists are helping to direct the Obama administration’s counterterrorism and Muslim outreach policies.
  •  Hezbollah operatives are attempting to link up with Mexican drug cartels along America’s porous southern border in order to infiltrate and attack the U.S. homeland.
  •  Iran is linking up with anti-American, Marxist regimes throughout Latin America in an effort to establish a forward base to strike at the United States.
  •  Iran’s drive for nuclear weapons and its rapidly advancing long and medium-range missile programs pose an existential threat not just to Israel but to the U.S. as well.
  •  The coming Middle East War will spark worldwide chaos, quite possibly by the end of 2012.

As for the supposedly vanquished Al Qaeda, while its leadership has been weakened, the group now covers more ground geographically—from Pakistan to North Africa, Europe, Somalia, Yemen, Iraq and beyond—than it did on 9/11. And the movement it has spawned has sparked a whole new generation of homegrown jihadists—U.S. citizens who are hell-bent on bringing down the country of their birth.

This is the kind of vital information that our leaders and opinion makers are actively trying to suppress. That’s why Rumors of War II: Target U.S. is a must-watch for every American who cares about preserving our security and way of life.

 

Erick Stakelbeck is a GBTV contributor and host of CBN’s Stakelbeck on Terror show. His book, “The Terrorist Next Door: How the Government is Deceiving You About the Islamist Threat,” was released by Regnery Publishing in 2011.

Barack Obama promised to radically transform the United States, and he did to an extent. But he dropped the radical posse and surrounded himself with people from within the system --- like the Clintons -- once he was elected.

But that's not what presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has in mind. He's no Swedish-style socialist. He's a radical, revolutionary communist who has surrounded himself and his campaign with people who openly advocate for Marxism and even support authoritarian governments.

On Wednesday's radio program, Glenn Beck broke down the biggest differences between former President Obama and highlighted just how dangerous Comrade Sanders' vision for America's future really is.

Watch the video below:



Don't miss Glenn Beck's special, "Bernie's Radicals: The Fires of Revolution," exposing the radicals who are running Bernie Sanders' campaign. From top to bottom, his campaign is staffed with hard-left extremists who are eager to burn down the system. The threat to our constitution is very real from Bernie's team, and it's unlike anything we've ever seen before in a U.S. election. Join Glenn on Wednesday, at 9 PM Eastern on BlazeTV's YouTube page, and on BlazeTV.com. And just in case you miss it live, the only way to catch all of Glenn's specials on-demand is by subscribing to Blaze TV.

Use code GLENN to save $10 off one year of BlazeTV.

The number of people serving life sentences now exceeds the entire prison population in 1970, according to newly-released data from the Sentencing Project. The continued growth of life sentences is largely the result of "tough on crime" policies pushed by legislators in the 1990s, including presidential candidate Joe Biden.

Biden has since apologized for backing those types of policies, but it seems he has yet to learn his lesson. Indeed, Biden is backing yet another criminal justice policy with disastrous consequences—mandatory drug treatment for all drug offenders.

Proponents of this policy argue that forced drug treatment will reduce drug usage and recidivism and save lives. But the evidence simply isn't on their side. Mandatory treatment isn't just patently unethical, it's also ineffective—and dangerous.

Many well-meaning people view mandatory treatment as a positive alternative to incarceration. But there's a reason that mandatory treatment is also known as "compulsory confinement." As author Maya Schenwar asks in The Guardian, "If shepherding live human bodies off to prison to isolate and manipulate them without their permission isn't ethical, why is shipping those bodies off to compulsory rehab an acceptable alternative?" Compulsory treatment isn't an alternative to incarceration. It is incarceration.

Compulsory treatment is also arguably a breach of international human rights agreements and ethical standards. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) have made it clear that the standards of ethical treatment also apply to the treatment of drug dependence—standards that include the right to autonomy and self-determination. Indeed, according to UNODC, "people who use or are dependent on drugs do not automatically lack the capacity to consent to treatment...consent of the patient should be obtained before any treatment intervention." Forced treatment violates a person's right to be free from non-consensual medical treatment.

It's a useless endeavor, anyway, because studies have shown that it doesn't improve outcomes in reducing drug use and criminal recidivism. A review of nine studies, published in the International Journal of Drug Policy, failed to find sufficient evidence that compulsory drug treatment approaches are effective. The results didn't suggest improved outcomes in reducing drug use among drug-dependent individuals enrolled in compulsory treatment. However, some studies did suggest potential harm.

According to one study, 33% of compulsorily-treated participants were reincarcerated, compared to a mere 5% of the non-treatment sample population. Moreover, rates of post-release illicit drug use were higher among those who received compulsory treatment. Even worse, a 2016 report from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health found that people who received involuntary treatment were more than twice as likely to die of an opioid-related overdose than those with a history of only voluntary treatment.

These findings echo studies published in medical journals like Addiction and BMJ. A study in Addiction found that involuntary drug treatment was a risk factor for a non-fatal drug overdose. Similarly, a study in BMJ found that patients who successfully completed inpatient detoxification were more likely than other patients to die within a year. The high rate of overdose deaths by people previously involuntarily treated is likely because most people who are taken involuntarily aren't ready to stop using drugs, authors of the Addiction study reported. That makes sense. People who aren't ready to get clean will likely use again when they are released. For them, the only post-treatment difference will be lower tolerance, thanks to forced detoxification and abstinence. Indeed, a loss of tolerance, combined with the lack of a desire to stop using drugs, likely puts compulsorily-treated patients at a higher risk of overdose.

The UNODC agrees. In their words, compulsory treatment is "expensive, not cost-effective, and neither benefits the individual nor the community." So, then, why would we even try?

Biden is right to look for ways to combat addiction and drug crime outside of the criminal justice system. But forced drug treatment for all drug offenders is a flawed, unethical policy, with deadly consequences. If the goal is to help people and reduce harm, then there are plenty of ways to get there. Mandatory treatment isn't one of them.

Lindsay Marie is a policy analyst for the Lone Star Policy Institute, an independent think tank that promotes freedom and prosperity for all Texans. You can follow her on Twitter @LindsayMarieLP.

President Donald Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani joined Glenn Beck on Tuesday's radio program discuss the Senate's ongoing investigation into former vice president Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden, and reveal new bombshell documents he's currently releasing.

Giuliani told Glenn he has evidence of "very, very serious crime at the highest levels of government," that the "corrupt media" is doing everything in their power to discredit.

He also dropped some major, previously unreported news: not only was Hunter Biden under investigation in 2016, when then-Vice President Biden "forced" the firing of Ukraine's prosecutor general Viktor Shokin, but so was the vice president himself.

"Shokin can prove he was investigating Biden and his son. And I now have the prosecutorial documents that show, all during that period of time, not only was Hunter Biden under investigation -- Joe Biden was under investigation," Giuliani explained. "It wasn't just Hunter."

Watch this clip to get a rundown of everything Giuliani has uncovered so far.

Use code GLENN to save $10 on one year of BlazeTV.

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For most Americans, the 1980s was marked by big hair, epic lightsaber battles, and school-skipping Ferris Bueller dancing his way into the hearts of millions.

But for Bernie Sanders — who, by the way, was at that time the oldest-looking 40-year-old in human history — the 1980s was a period of important personal milestones.

Prior to his successful 1980 campaign to become mayor of Burlington, Vermont, Sanders was mostly known around the Green Mountain State as a crazy, wildly idealistic socialist. (Think Karl Marx meets Don Quixote.) But everything started to change for Sanders when he became famous—or, in the eyes of many, notorious—for being "America's socialist mayor."

As mayor, Sanders' radical ideas were finally given the attention he had always craved but couldn't manage to capture. This makes this period of his career particularly interesting to study. Unlike today, the Bernie Sanders of the 1980s wasn't concerned with winning over an entire nation — just the wave of far-left New York City exiles that flooded Vermont in the 1960s and 1970s — and he was much more willing to openly align himself with local and national socialist and communist parties.


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Over the past few weeks, I have been reading news reports of Sanders recorded in the 1980s — because, you know, that's how guys like me spend their Saturday nights — and what I've found is pretty remarkable.

For starters, Sanders had (during the height of the Soviet Union) a very cozy relationship with people who openly advocated for Marxism and communism. He was an elector for the Socialist Workers Party and promoted the party's presidential candidates in 1980 and 1984.

To say the Socialist Workers Party was radical would be a tremendous understatement. It was widely known SWP was a communist organization mostly dedicated to the teachings of Marx and Leon Trotsky, one of the leaders of the Russian Revolution.

Among other radical things I've discovered in interviews Sanders conducted with the SWP's newspaper — appropriately named The Militant (seriously, you can't make this stuff up) — is a statement by Sanders published in June 1981 suggesting that some police departments "are dominated by fascists and Nazis," a comment that is just now being rediscovered for the first time in decades.

In 1980, Sanders lauded the Socialist Workers Party's "continued defense of the Cuban revolution." And later in the 1980s, Sanders reportedly endorsed a collection of speeches by the socialist Sandinistas in Nicaragua, even though there had been widespread media reports of the Sandinistas' many human rights violations prior to Sanders' endorsement, including "restrictions on free movement; torture; denial of due process; lack of freedom of thought, conscience and religion; denial of the right of association and of free labor unions."

Sanders also traveled to Nicaragua and met with socialist President Daniel Ortega. He later called the trip a "profoundly emotional experience."

Sanders also traveled to Nicaragua and met with socialist President Daniel Ortega. He later called the trip a "profoundly emotional experience."

Comrade Bernie's disturbing Marxist past, which is far more extensive than what can be covered in this short article, shouldn't be treated as a mere historical footnote. It clearly illustrates that Sanders' brand of "democratic socialism" is much more than a $15 minimum wage and calls for single-payer health care. It's full of Marxist philosophy, radical revolutionary thinking, anti-police rhetoric, and even support for authoritarian governments.

Millions of Americans have been tricked into thinking Sanders isn't the radical communist the historical record — and even Sanders' own words — clearly show that he is. But the deeper I have dug into Comrade Bernie's past, the more evident it has become that his thinking is much darker and more dangerous and twisted than many of his followers ever imagined.

Tomorrow night, don't miss Glenn Beck's special exposing the radicals who are running Bernie Sanders' campaign. From top to bottom, his campaign is staffed with hard-left extremists who are eager to burn down the system. The threat to our constitution is very real from Bernie's team, and it's unlike anything we've ever seen before in a U.S. election. Join Glenn on Wednesday, at 9 PM Eastern on BlazeTV's YouTube page, and on BlazeTV.com. And just in case you miss it live, the only way to catch all of Glenn's specials on-demand is by subscribing to Blaze TV.

Justin Haskins (Jhaskins@heartland.org) is editorial director of The Heartland Institute and editor-in-chief of StoppingSocialism.com.