Confronting Violent Jihad: “Lessons Learned” with Cong. Pete Hoekstra

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McLean, VA, November 4, 2015

Former Congressman Pete Hoekstra has just released his
book “Confronting Violent Jihad, Lessons
,” and I was invited to a talk at the Westminster Institute by the

About 40 people attended the event, and many identified themselves as having
worked for the intelligence community and or State Department.

Although a Republican and in a long leadership position, he clearly
articulated that going to Iraq and Afghanistan was a mistake. One of the
audience members in the Q&A said the disasters in the Middle East have come
about by our messy foreign policy. Hoekstra listened to the man when he
continued crediting birth of Al-Qaeda to U.S. Military presence in Saudi Arabia,
and origins of ISIS to our lies about WMD.

Hoekstra reminded the
audience that as chair of house Intelligence committee, he had  met with Libyan
leader Muammar Gaddafi and was instrumental in getting Gaddafi to give up the
nuclear programs, thus, transitioning him into a useful, obedient dictator.  He
insinuated that Obama’s regime-change policy was wrong; I wanted to remind him
that it was Republican Senators in particular McCain and Graham who were eager
to bomb Libya, and not Obama. Indeed the President was opposed to putting the
boots on the ground.

Hoekstra also opposed to Obama’s asking Mubarak to
step down. In fact, Obama did the right thing by siding with the Egyptians and
asking Mubarak to step down. Had that not happened, the Egyptian people would
have won anyway, and we would have become supporters of their oppressor.  That
is precisely what happened with Iran in 1979. Had President Carter told the Shah
to step down, Iran would not have become our enemy. This is one of Obama’s
biggest foreign policy triumphs; he prevented another siege of a U.S. Embassy in
Cairo. He is one of the few presidents who understood that diplomatic
relationships are between peoples of two nations and not between the heads of
the states, and he did the right thing. 

Since the 50’s our foreign
policy is put together by thoughtless men and women, who believed resolutions to
conflicts is achieved thru bullying and telling other nations what to do.
Obviously our intelligence is tailored to fit that objective and I have argued
with Sean Hannity few of the 102 TV shows I have been with him till today, all
the major foreign policy disasters have occurred with wrong information. We
cannot rely on our information, we need to factor in what others say. We
sacrifice long term stability to short-term visible achievements, and this has
got to go. President Obama has made that choice and hope the next president sees
the wisdom in it and follows it.

The congressman emphasized that the
consistent policy of governments in the past, both Republican and Democrats
towards dealing with extremism was broken by Obama, and it should not have been.
His contention was that having consistent policy would have made it easy for
Middle Eastern governments to figure out a strategy to deal with us.  The
Congressman is wrong about that; essentially what he said was, we got it wronged
before and must continue practicing the error to make it easy for foreign
governments to develop a strategy.

He argued that the United States is
not looked upon with respect overseas. I wanted to express that, Obama has
indeed earned the respect from the community of nations as a nation to respect.
Give him the credit for taking us from being a unilateral bully nation of George
W. Bush to a consensus seeking nation of Barak Obama.

Imagine a powerful nation giving equal respect to the little ones? We earn
their adoration and not resentment.  He got the six biggest powerful nations to
become watch dogs over Iran. Should there be a crisis, we don’t have to lose our
men and women, as others will be partners in the response. The world is with us
today, more than ever.

Hoekstra said that some proceeds of his book will
go to fund Steve Emerson’s Investigative Project on Terrorism. Surprisingly even
as chair of the Intel committee he has failed to see what Emerson is all about;
indeed he had apologized more than three times for passing out false information
about terrorism activity after the damage was done.

I have always
welcomed dialogue. It is always good to place everything on the table and to
figure out how to deal with the issues, with a goal to build cohesive societies
where no one has to live in fear of the others, or threaten the other.  Perhaps,
I will make tall claims on this issue; on my Radio shows, discussion forums,
symposiums and conversations; I have cherished and encouraged opposing views. It
has allowed me to see the full picture rather than have a partial biased view.

The Westminster Institute has a good library and the shelves were loaded
with books on Islam, reforming Islam, Sharia and other issues. I hope to read at
least a few books to see if they are represented correctly.
I represented myself as the executive director of the American Muslim
Institution and have offered former Rep. Hoekstra, a Shillman Senior Fellow with
Investigative project on Terrorism, and Bob Reilly of Westminster Institute to
work on issues concerning Islam. I am sure they want a Muslim view on the issues
they talk about, and I will speak and present papers on Sharia, apostasy, Quran,
Terrorism, Reform and a sane foreign policy, and offer pluralistic solutions on
issues of the day.

All of us Americans, regardless of our religions
have at least one goal; the safety of Americans.  We have made mistakes by
making unverified assumptions about each other. It is time to come together to
build a safe America which will pave the way for sustainable prosperity. The
American Muslim Institution is committed to be a significant contributor towards
the security, prosperity and well being of Americans.

We have work to do
and it is a good start.

Please note, I am an independent moderate, and
neither a Republican nor a Democrat.

Dr. Mike Ghouse is an Executive Director of American Muslim
Institution, he is a community consultant, social scientist, thinker, writer
and a speaker on PluralismInterfaithIslampolitics, human
, foreign policy and building cohesive societies. Mike offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. More
about him in 63 links at and his writings are at
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