Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review discuss how state conventions and arcane rules matter a lot in the final GOP delegate math. They also groan as many members from the tea party wave of 2010 are already planning to leave and resume their normal lives. And they unload on Bernie Sanders for his 1981 comment that he doesn’t “believe in charity.”
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Former House Select Intelligence Committee Chairman Peter Hoekstra says evidence suggests radical Islamist groups, including ISIS, are on the brink of posing a far greater threat to part of Africa and the Middle East and the resulting chaos could add even more upheaval to western Europe and the United States.
Hoekstra, R-Mich., is now affiliated with the Investigative Project on Terrorism, or IPT. On Friday, he and IPT Executive Director Steve Emerson authored an opinion piece at FoxNews.com, pointing out the increased terrorist carnage and where we can expect ISIS and other radical groups to apply pressure. They suggest without a major shift in strategy, Islamist groups will burrow farther into Africa, bringing misery to countless more people. Emerson and Hoekstra also believe ISIS could soon apply enough instability to threaten regimes like Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Hoekstra says sheer statistics over the last decade suggest such calamities could be in the offing.
“From 2006-2011, there were roughly 3,300 people who were losing their lives each year as a result of radical jihadist attacks. By 2014-2015, that number has grown to roughly 28 or 29,000 people per year. The numbers don’t lie. We’re losing this war,” said Hoekstra.
Hoekstra also says the amassing of land, which the radicals consider caliphates, is another major concern.
“A terrorist organization is actually controlling a fairly large piece of geography. In the Middle East, they control the geography of large parts of Syria and Iraq. In northern Africa, they control a large part of Libya,” said Hoekstra.
He says control of those areas means a much greater threat for people everywhere.
“They’re using these bases to expand their reach in the Middle East, into northern Africa. More frightening is they’re using these locations to plan, prepare and train and export jihadist ideology and fighters and weapons into western Europe,” said Hoekstra.
Unsurprisingly, Hoekstra is not impressed with the Obama strategy against ISIS. He says it must be much more direct and much more aggressive.
“Number one, we need to recognize the threat for what it is. It’s radical jihadism. We need to put a full military force. This is not a relentless military campaign against ISIS in Syria and Iraq. It’s a half-hearted effort to confront a very, very deadly threat,” said Hoekstra.
On the tactical side, Hoekstra advocates much more assistance in arming the Kurdish fighters clashing with ISIS as well as the Sunni tribes inside Iraq. But he says real progress won;t come until the U.S. declares radical Islam the problem instead of cozying up to it.
“This is an administration that has embraced the radical jihadist movement, at least front groups for them. They embraced the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. They embraced the Muslim Brotherhood in Libya, in both cases with disastrous results,” said Hoesktra, noting Obama has endorsed radical to overthrow the Assad regime in Syria as well.
He says it is critical for the U.S. and out allies to understand the central role of the Muslim Brotherhood in fomenting unrest and terrorism.
“We need to confront this enemy and recognize that the Muslim Brotherhood is the organization that all these organizations come from. It’s kind of like the breeding ground for all these other organizations,” said Hoekstra. “Believing you can engage with radical jihadist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood and that they will then change their behavior is very much a flawed strategy.”
Following the ISIS attacks in Brussels, President Obama reiterated that Americans should not view ISIS as an existential threat. Hoekstra says that’s wrong and not at all helpful.
“It may not be an existential threat to the United States today, but those are the same kind of things that the people in Europe were saying 10-15 years ago,” said Hoekstra. “There’s a lot of people in Europe right now who are believing it is an existential threat to their way of life.”
Hoekstra says the U.S. is careening down the same road.
“We’re headed down the same path that Europe is if we don’t change our behaviors and our strategy relatively soon,” added Hoekstra.
So which of the remaining presidential hopefuls had the best grasp on confronting the the threat of radical Islam? Hoekstra says the worst choice is the woman who helped create the mess we’re seeing in the world right now.
“You’ve got Hillary Clinton, who is the architect of engaging with the Muslim Brotherhood and would in many ways continue the same policies and strategies that this president has in place. We can’t have four more years of this strategy if we want to protect America,” said Hoekstra.
What about the top two candidates on the GOP side?
“You’ve got Donald Trump that you’re not sure exactly what’s going to happen. I think Ted Cruz clearly sees radical jihadism as a threat but I’m not sure that he’s got the depth and the background to articulate an effective strategy,” said Hoekstra.
Hoekstra backs John Kasich for president and believes he would be strongest on this issue as well.
“I think John’s got the depth of background and experience and he recognizes the threat. I think he’s most prepared to deal with the threat that is out there on day one,” said Hoekstra.
Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review react to both of their organizations being acquired by the Trump Organization. They’re also stunned as FBI Director James Comey says his questioning of Hillary Clinton not only closed the investigation but revealed her to be the the most truthful polygraph subject he’s seen. And they react to a new study showing the judgment of Nevada voters far exceeds citizens in the other states. Quite a start to the new month.