How Trump, Bannon and Gorka Will Defeat Jihad Brand

(image via wikipedia/Sebastian Gorka briefing at SOCOM Wargame Center)

By Rick Amato

A radical Islamic attack occurs somewhere in the world every eighty-three hours. Not days, hours. Excluded from that sobering statistic are the war zones of Iraq and Syria. So much for ISIS being on the run or a JV basketball team or whatever it is that the previous administration kept trying to convince us of. Oh yea and something about global warming being a more dangerous threat than ISIS too. While everyone may not agree with everything President Trump has to say, his stated priority of defeating ISIS has to be one of them.

President Trump recently appointed counter terrorism expert Sebastian Gorka as his Deputy Assistant to advise on matters of national security. Gorka, author of the New York Times bestselling book ‘Defeating Jihad: The Winnable War’ joined me as a guest on Politics & Profits the podcast. Sharing President Trump’s vision Gorka minces no words when he says ‘America will eradicate radical Islam’. He laid out in general terms the broad strategy of how this will occur.

“Since 9-11 America has done a great job at eliminating high value targets but a poor job at preventing the global spread of the radical Islamic ideology”, Gorka said. “In fact ISIS now has fully operational affiliates in eighteen countries and a radical Islamic state.”

But it’s one thing to say you are going to eliminate ISIS along with the spread of its radical ideology and it’s another thing to actually do it. The challenge is as it always has been, that this is an asymmetrical war. The enemy has no uniform, no borders to define itself or no tangible recognizable characteristics. Furthermore how do you defeat the spread of an idea? That is precisely the reason why we have been good at eliminating high value targets, like bin Laden, and poor at stopping the spread of his beliefs.

“The Obama administration, like so many on the far left, falsely believed that poverty and lack of education is what leads to terrorism. If that were true then half of the population of China would be terrorists. You wouldn’t have had the Times Square bomber who came from a wealthy, well educated family, or Jihad Johnny who worked in the IT industry.”

For a blueprint of how the administration expects to eliminate radical Islamic ideology Gorka drew parallels between this ideological war and that of defeating communism during the Cold War era. “I am not going to give away our battlefield playbook as the Obama administration used to do but I will tell you our concept. We are going to destroy the brand of jihad. When we manage to undermine the brand of jihad we will end up destroying jihad.”

Gorka whose parents escaped communist Hungary in the 1950’s to London where he was born, gave some examples of which tactics to expect. “Just like communism during the Cold War we will help and support those people behind the lines who share our values. Just as we supported those people behind the lines who undermined communism and what it stood for.”

This of course would be major departure from the previous administration which strategically refused to use the term ‘radical Islam’ or acknowledge that ISIS was even a part of Islam, albeit a radical one. I have had several Muslim-Americans over the years complain to me that they were frustrated over the lack in distinction between Islam and radical Islam by the U.S. media and the previous administration. After all didn’t everyone already know that the terror attacks were being carried out by radical Islamic extremists even if the media and Obama White House refused to say it? Furthermore, I’ve been told, had the previous administration directly taken on radical Islam in the public square- as Gorka tells us the Trump administration is going to do- then more Muslim American citizens themselves would have felt more secure in speaking out against radical Islam. Until mainstream Muslims begin speaking out and condemning radical Islam, as many of them privately want to do, then the spread of its ideology will continue. The new Trump plan of destroying the brand of jihad gives mainstream Muslims the cover so many of them have been anxiously waiting for.

With the likes of Donald Trump, Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorka at the helm I suspect we are going to see a very effective and successful war of ideas in destroying the jihad brand. After all if Trump and and Bannon know anything they know communications, branding and winning. Just ask Jeb Bush, Hillary Clinton and both the Republican and Democrat parties.

To hear my full interview with Sebastian Gorka CLICK BELOW.

1 On 1 With Trump: Unvarnished and Unfazed

(image via flickr/Karl-Ludwig Poggemann)

By Rick Amato

“The office makes the man”.  Those were the somber words in 1881 of newly appointed U.S. President Chester A. Arthur, a republican, upon finding himself unexpectedly thrust into the position after the tragic assassination of President James Garfield.  He became our nation’s 21st President.  After Donald Trump’s unorthodox, counter- establishment, victorious campaign both supporters and opponents alike are curious if the realities of the Oval Office will ‘change the man’.  To make matters more interesting he has surrounded himself with a cross-current mix of anti-establishment flame throwers, like Steve Bannon, and GOP establishment stalwarts like Reince Priebus.  Obviously the competing minds advising him can be a great asset or a disastrous liability.  Time will tell.  Recently my former colleague from One America News, David Brody now of CBN, interviewed President Trump 1 on 1 in the Blue Room of the White House only the third such interview granted by the nation’s 45th President.  Brody joined me recently as a guest on the Politics and Profits podcast to share his first hand observations of the “mood inside the Trump White House”.

(image courtesy of David Brody)
(image courtesy of David Brody)

With the high energy of the first two weeks of the new administration and indications that at times not all staff  members were communicating and on the same page with each other I was curious as to how David Brody just would find that mood to be inside the White House.  Brody, by the way, has interviewed Donald Trump many times over the course of the past several years.  “He was very subdued”, Brody told me.  “Unlike the Trump we all know he was relatively reserved, calm and collected.   Again very subdued.  It was obvious he understood the gravity of the office”.

Perhaps the most interesting highlight were the number of questions which the White House staff requested of Brody in advance of the interview.  None.  While that may be common course of someone in a smaller political position, like say a small town city council member- it is unheard of on today’s scripted, rehearsed national political stage.  Just ask Hillary.

“Never did he or anyone on his staff ask for the questions, topics or issues in advance, Brody revealed. “This is the tenth interview I have done with Donald Trump over the past seven years. It’s been the same every time.  To me what is says, is when you’re comfortable in your own skin, and don’t worry about political correctness, or worry about x y and z, then you don’t need advance notice of the questions.  You get the full unvarnished opinion”.

What I found interesting is that President Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon sat in the room and observed the full interview.  Bannon had just appeared on the cover of Time Magazine last week for his calling out the media as the ‘opposition’.  Needless to say Time is not fond of Bannon.  Brody said he and Trump went into great detail about the President’s feeling towards the U.S. media,

“It’s like Donald Trump has said: ‘If I’m not going to get a fair treatment with the media then why in the world would I sit down with Anderson Cooper?’ “

“The media has no idea of how to deal with Donald Trump”, Brody said.  They are always a half step behind him.  Trump is willing to stand up and punch the bully in the face.  He likes to play the media as the foil.” Something which the majority of American people- outside of California that is- fully support him on.

You can listen to my entire interview with journalist David Brody by clicking the link below.  Perhaps the most surprising part of the interview is President Donald J. Trump talking about his relationship with faith and God since becoming president.  In the past it’s an issue he has kept private and to himself.  Until now.

Click on the photo to listen to the podcast


Trump On A Roll

(image via pixabay)

By Rick Amato

Can you top this? That was the name of a popular 1950’s TV show that was briefly revived in the 70’s. But if I didn’t know any better I would say it is the developing nickname for the new Trump administration. Just when you thought week 1 of The Donald’s presidency and all its whirlwind of news and activity could not be outdone then along comes the weekend. Normally a slow news period in politics Saturday and Sunday were marked by worldwide protests, images of chaos and angst at U.S. airports and a Brooklyn-based federal judge who partially blocked his executive order on travel. By this time White House staffers surely must have been praying for Monday to get here quickly so things could perhaps settle down and they could get a breather. But Monday came and it topped the weekend when we learned that a Mexican official named Jorge Castañeda Gutman went on CNN and suggested Mexico’s drug cartels could be unleashed into the U.S. as retribution against tough trade policies. “A negotiating chip” he called it. Nice. What does that tell us about the working relationship between Mexico’s government and the drug cartels?

And so as the world turns and those in corporate media do all they can to stir up emotions let’s take a step back and look at the news events as they occurred. First of all to call the President’s temporary seven nation travel ban a ‘Muslim ban’ is wrong and purposely misleading. It is an example of the media creating a false narrative designed to try and tear down the President. It’s little wonder why Trump’s Chief Strategist Steve Bannon had the chutzpah to call the media ‘the opposition’. Instead, It is a temporary travel ban put on seven nations which are known for exporting terror while our government reassess its policies and procedures. It’s also one step- not a single step- as part of a bigger policy to address the geopolitical challenges in the Middle East region, according to Trump campaign Middle East advisor Dr. Walid Phares. Part of that strategy may eventually be the creation of Syrian “safe zones” as Dr. Phares told our audience in last week’s Politics And Profits podcast interview. The issue is being studied and discussed with the Russians and the Turks. (When was the last time that ever happened during the Obama administration?).

The protests are not spontaneous or organic just as the anti-Trump protests during the campaign were not. They appear to be part of a coordinated PR effort financed by left-wing billionaire George Soros as reported by Debra Heine of PJ Media. In fact, watching the news images you would be under the false impression that all of America- or certainly the majority- oppose the temporary ban. Not the case. Instead, according to the Rasmussen Poll- one of the select few polls which correctly forecasted Trump’s unlikely presidential victory- a majority of Americans support the travel ban. Imagine that. 57% say they support the temporary travel ban, 33% oppose and 10% are undecided. Of course you will never hear or see that reported on CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times, LA Times or Washington Post.

For some of the criticism received by the administration it has no one else to blame but itself. For example, the execution and communication of the executive order was poorly planned and resulted in the unnecessary chaos and disruptions experienced by travelers at U.S. airports. The White House wants us to believe they had no choice but to hold back the communication because doing otherwise would have tipped off would be terrorists currently in our country. I don’t think I’m alone when I say I have hard time buying that one. The point is Trump’s opponents are looking for material to criticize him on at every turn- even if they have to make it up which they’ve done- so the last thing you want to do is hand them the opportunity. That’s what happened here.

Today is another day. If the past week or so is any indication, I doubt it will be like any other.