(Nashville, Tennessee) — Why is that President Obama absolutely refuses to define our enemy in the Middle East as “Radical Islam,” yet Muslim leaders like Jordan’s King Abdullah II very honestly and publicly state this fight is, in fact, a showdown with violent Muslims and that we must take decisive action to fight these jihadists theologically as well as militarily?
Why is it, too, that so few in Washington are focused on understanding the apocalyptic goals of ISIS and their End of Days mindset? To miss this is to miss much of what motivates the Islamic State.
Jordan’s Muslim monarch is showing real leadership in the war on ISIS. He gets their goals, and gets the stakes, as I explained on Fox News on Sunday. (Egypt’s President el-Sisi is showing impressive leadership, too, as I wrote about recently). Unfortunately, President Obama does not appear to be listening to such men.
Consider the headlines of just the past few days:
- Obama refuses to acknowledge ‘Muslim terrorists’ at summit (New York Post)
- Why Obama won’t call terror fight a war on radical Islam (CNN)
- Homeland Secretary Johnson suggests term ‘violent extremism’ used at behest of Muslim leaders (Fox News)
- White House Says Shooting at Kosher Market in Paris Was ‘Random’ (ABC News)
- State Department spokeswoman claims jobs are key to defeating ISIS (Washington Examiner)
The President is making a serious mistake. We cannot defeat an enemy we refuse to define.
We should be grateful that King Abdullah II and President el-Sisi are showing bold leadership in the fight against ISIS. They deserve America’s support.
I discussed these issues on Fox with anchor Shannon Bream. Here is the video. Here is the transcript.
Bream: After that brutal killing of the captured Jordanian pilot — carefully scripted, filmed and broadcast to the world — King Abdullah retaliated and called the battle against ISIS the “third world war.” Joel Rosenberg is author of a new book, The Third Target. He says King Abdullah fully understands he that is in a winner-take-all showdown with ISIS. Joel joins us now live. Joel, good to see you today.
Rosenberg: Good to see you, as well. Thank you, Shannon.
Bream: Now, you are very familiar — having lived and worked in that region quite a bit — what do you make of the response we saw from the Jordanians, and where do you think we go from here? Do you think those you live and breathe and work in that region have a different understanding than we do here in the U.S.?
Rosenberg: Well, the contrast between President Obama’s response to Americans being beheaded and King Abdullah’s response is striking. You know, President Obama was with King Abdullah the day the video was released of the Jordanian pilot being burned alive. The King was not on the President’s schedule that day he was in Washington. And the President only added him in because of that murder, and they only spent 20 minutes together. But what did the King do? He went right back. He suited up in fatigues. He started bombing ISIS, and he hanged two ISIS people that had been captured. He understands this is a war. And he understands that he is at the center of it. And it’s interesting that in that 60 Minutes interview you just referenced — when he called it a “third world war” — he said it’s a war “inside Islam.” President Obama is deeply conflicted over whether this is a battle that has anything to do with Islam. But the King — who is a descendant of Muhammad — knows it’s a battle inside Islam, and against Radical Islam.
Bream: I don’t want to get too deep into the theological weeds, but you’ve written a number of books about this. And your book on the so-called “Twelfth Imam” is about these End Times prophecies that certain factions of Islam — not the majority of Muslims out there — but there are certain factions who adhere to a very radical, specific End Times theology, and that ISIS is sort of in the business of, they want to launch an Armageddon-type, end of the world situation. They think it’s what they need in prophecy to bring about their end goals. Do you think that we get that? Do you think that our administration gets that?
Rosenberg: No, and that’s because the President is saying from the top and throughout the administration that this isn’t an Islamic problem. You’re right that the vast majority of Muslims don’t, you know — this is not them — they’re not cutting off people’s heads and they never will. But the Radicals are being driven by their interpretation of Islam. And it’s important — this is what motivates them. This is why it’s not a jobs issue. It’s not a poverty issue. It’s a Radical Islamic theology issue, and an eschatology issue. They do want to set up a caliphate — an Islamic kingdom — which is really an End Times theology in their view. They believe it will hasten the End of Days. My new novel, The Third Target, is really about ISIS being a threat to Israel, the United States, and Jordan. What’s interesting is that it’s been out five weeks now on the best-seller lists, but it really takes us into this threat that is actually not fiction right now. This is very real.
Bream: Yes. I was one eschatology class away from a theology minor in college, but I find that there’s so much that I’m learning by reading about what these specific factions believe. And for those who want to get some education on this, your books are a great way of doing that — some fiction, some non-fiction — but a great way of getting a better understanding of why some decisions are made, and who the players are and what their interests are in these games that are — not games, I mean the end game of what they hoped to bring about.
Rosenberg: Right, right.
Bream: I would recommend those [books] as a very entertaining but very educational way to get up-to-speed on some of these issues. Joel, always good to see you. Thank you so much. Come back soon.
Rosenberg: Thank you. I appreciate it.