Terrorism expert: McMaster is endangering national security


A terrorism expert told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview that by not calling Islamic extremist terrorism by name, national security adviser H.R. McMaster was putting the country in danger.

Steven Emerson, executive director of the respected Investigative Project on Terrorism, said the first step to dealing with radical Islamic terrorism is to identify it by name and that McMaster has failed egregiously in doing so.

“The refusal to utter or condemn by name radical Islamic terrorism only helps make the battle against Islamic terrorism impossible to win,” he said. “If you cannot identify the problem, you cannot beat it.”

Emerson was referring to a 2014 speech given by McMaster in which he referred to radical Islamic terrorist groups as “really un-Islamic” and “really irreligious organizations.”

President Trump has consistently denounced radical Islamic terrorism and McMaster has been criticized recently for not taking a harder line. In February, CNN cited a source inside the national security council saying McMaster discouraged the use of the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism” when working with US allies to fight terrorism.

Emerson said the failure to call Islamic terrorism by name is a continuation of the policy of the Obama administration.

Stated Emerson:

Nearly the entire liberal/left wing media spectrum have been continuously condemning President Trump for not condemning by name the ultra-white nationalist groups who came out for battle on Saturday in Charlottesville instead of condemning the generalized categories of “hate and bigotry.” In fact, we also criticized that hesitation to name the neo-Nazi  coalition, but at least the President condemned them by name on Monday.

But by the scurrilous standards of McMaster and the 8 years of the Obama Administration, a generalized statement against “violent extremism” should have been enough for the events on Saturday. But of course, that meaningless euphemism invoked by Obama, to the murderous applause of a compliant media, meant absolutely nothing. And in fact, only emboldened the quest for power by radical Islamic front groups over truly moderate Islamic reform groups and leaders. That McMaster is pursuing the same refusal to condemn radical Islamic terrorism by name is a threat to our national security.

Frank Gaffney, founder and president of the Center for Security Policy was also highly critical of McMaster, stating: “It is no small irony that National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster – a man who wrote a book entitled Dereliction of Duty about malfeasant political interference in the U.S. military’s conduct of a war – is now perpetrating the greatest reprise of such dereliction since Vietnam with his insistence that the wellspring for jihadist terror is not authoritative Islam and its supremacist Sharia doctrine. President Trump must treat such incompetence as a firing offense.”
His handling of Islamic extremism thus far has alienated McMaster from leading Israeli groups in the US, as well, as the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), the oldest pro-Israel group in the country, offered this damning analysis of his policies:

We find it hard to understand how someone who clearly has animus toward Israel, who supports the disastrous Iran nuclear deal, who opposes calling out radical Islamist terrorists, who fires Trump loyalists and supporters of Israel and opponents of Iran, who hires those opposed to President Trump’s policies especially on Israel and Iran, who refused to acknowledge that the Western Wall is in Israel, who opposes Israeli counterterrorism measures, and who shuts down joint U.S. counterterrorism programs that are of enormous value to U.S. security, can faithfully serve President Trump as top national security advisor. President Trump made it crystal clear, both before and since his election, that supporting Israel and the U.S.-Israel alliance, abrogating or at least vigorously enforcing the Iran deal while calling out and sanctioning Iran’s violations, confronting radical Islamist terrorism, and draining the Washington swamp were key, distinguishing policies of his administration.

The Trump administration thus remains in flux, as the negative press surrounding McMaster is undoubtedly the result of a rift between him and chief strategist Steve Bannon. McMaster has shown a confident disregard for Trump’s authority, ousting loyalists from the national security council. The confidence may be warranted, as a Fox News report from yesterday suggests Trump may be out on Bannon, as well.

Following criticism that he used the wrong language in condemning the acts of white supremacists in Charlottesville, McMaster defended President Trump’s comments on Sunday.

“The president has been very clear,” McMaster said on ABC’s “This Week.” “We cannot tolerate this kind of bigotry, this kind of hatred. And what he did is he called on all Americans to take a firm stand against it.”

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