Will American leadership finally declare radical Islam the enemy and act decisively to win? King Abdullah is leading the way and the time to act is now.

King Abdullah, Another Shining Star in our Fight Against Radical Islam

By —— Bio and Archives--February 6, 2015

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“He (King Abdullah) said there is going to be retribution like ISIS hasn’t seen. He mentioned ‘Unforgiven’ and he mentioned Clint Eastwood, and he actually quoted a part of the movie—‘Any man I see out there, I’m gonna kill him. Any son of a # takes a shot at me, I’m not only going to kill him I’m going to…’”—Rep. Duncan Hunter Jr. (R-CA) referring to King Abdullah of Jordan after learning of Jordanian pilot Kasasbeh being burned alive


The Islamic State (IS) crossed a new threshold of barbarity beyond the beheading videos we have become accustomed to when IS terrorists burned-to-death Jordanian pilot Lieutenant Moaz al Kasasbeh and filmed the horrendous act. In quick response, Jordan’s King Abdullah ordered two IS terrorists hung the next morning. He quickly left his meetings in Washington, D.C. to fly back to Jordan and lead the Jordanian military response against IS. 

King Abdullah has quickly become the face of the fight against our enemy, radical Islam, and yet many Americans know almost nothing of the man or Jordan’s critical role in the region.

I’d like to shed some light.

First, I’ll remind readers of what I wrote three months ago (“Knowing, Defeating the Islamic State,” Times and Democrat [Orangeburg, S.C.], Nov. 3, 2014) about Jordan’s role in the strategy to defeat the IS and radical Islam: “We must not lose sight on another possible strategic objective for the Islamic State: The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. In fact, this may be the next real objective beyond Baghdad. Jordan borders both Iraq and Syria and contains a substantial Palestinian population. This demographic likely contains many sympathetic to the Islamic State. The Islamic State would seek to destroy Israel, thereby “returning” Palestinians to Israel. The overthrow of King Abdullah would reverberate throughout the Islamic world and would be seen as the clear re-institution of the Caliphate (dissolved in 1924).”

Jordan is the center of Middle Eastern stability

It is no exaggeration to claim Jordan is the center of Middle Eastern stability. Neither is it hyperbole to name the ruling Hashemite royal family as the primary target of those seeking to establish a new Sharia Law Caliphate in the heart of the Arab World.

Next, a little about the ruling family and Jordan.  The ruling family in Jordan was installed by the British following World War I, initially as a British protectorate, and later as leader of the independent Kingdom. Those close ties to the United Kingdom and other factors have brought a culture of moderation and respect within that royal family. Challenging to the stability of the Kingdom of Jordan, during the Arab-Israeli wars in 1948 and 1949, and 1967, waves of Palestinians moved to Jordan changing demographics.  In fact, by the mid-1970s, the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) became a competing governing authority to the royal family within Jordan.  Things became so dire that Jordanian forces engaged in armed combat to push the PLO out of Jordan into Lebanon in order to save the nation.  Abdullah, a young boy at the time, saw the fight against radicalism of the PLO and later saw his father, King Hussein, show hospitality and respect to multiple Prime Ministers of Israel.  Since the 1967 war, the Jordanian royal family has maintained the most cordial relations with Israel of any Arab nation, and helped broker peace and stability in the region and radical Islamic entities.

King Abdullah is the epitome of his family’s moderation and has continued the stability of Jordan away from radical Islam. King Abdullah’s mother was born and raised British, the daughter of a senior Royal Navy officer. Abdullah was educated in the U.S.  In his recently published book “Our Last Chance,” Abdullah describes his high school days at a northeastern prep school while he and his brother learned the culture and openness of American society. Following his father’s footsteps, King Abdullah attended the British Military Academy at Sandhurst (after his American education) and received a Queen’s commission. He went on to serve a number of years as a British officer. Abdullah came back to Jordan as part of the Royal family, but was not the designated Crown Prince.  Abdullah lived most of his adult life as an Army officer, attending American and UK military schools at times, and rising to the rank of major general.  His last post was as commander of Jordanian Special Forces.  Due to palace intrigue on the part of his Crown Prince uncle, Abdullah’s father, King Hussein, declared his son Crown Prince days before his death. 

This background helps explains the King’s decisions when it comes to IS.

First, he quickly joined the American led coalition and offered aircraft and other direct support. Then we see King’s decisive response to the atrocity against his pilot.  Congressman Duncan Hunter related his impression of King Abdullah when the King learned the news of the Pilot’s murder—as reported in the Washington Examiner: “[The Jordanians are] starting more sorties tomorrow than they’ve ever had. They’re starting tomorrow. And [King Abdullah] said, ‘The only problem we’re going to have is running out of fuel and bullets.’” IraqiNews reported the King would personally take part in the air strikes against the ISIS in seeking retribution for Kasasbeh’s death. Jordanian author Waleed Abu Nada tweeted (Wednesday), “Local reports here in Jordan say that King Abdullah will personally fly and lead the airstrikes against ISIS tomorrow.”  In addition to commanding Jordanian Special Forces, Abdullah was also certified as a Cobra Attack Helicopter Pilot while in active service. The “King” may be flying in combat now.

Like former General and President Al-Sisi of Egypt, King Abdullah is dedicated to fighting radicalism within Islam. Importantly, his nation sits in the center of key players in the Middle East: Israel to the West, Egypt and Saudi Arabia to the South, Iraq to the East, and Syria to the North. IS has focused operations against Al Anbar Province, Iraq, neighboring Jordan, and now taken this action against a Jordanian pilot (likely seeking to bring the Jordanians to blame the Royal family for the death).  We can assume their objective is to bring down King Abdullah and his family to incorporate Jordan into their new “Caliphate.” They would then have a large population of Palestinians and direct access to attack Israel other Arab nations. The U.S. and Europe would be vulnerable and we could see a new world war.

America has a window of opportunity to “surge” operations against IS to ruthlessly destroy it once and for all. This should include both air assets and special operations on the ground to direct the strikes. More importantly, this is the time to finally declare our true enemy—radical Islam. Not “extremism” or any other “ism” or generic term, but radical Islam: Those who seek a worldwide Sharia law Caliphate. We have a moderate Muslim leader in General El Sisi, who has specifically called out radical Islam as his enemy and outlawed the Muslim Brotherhood. Now, in King Abdullah, we have another hero who is literally taking the fight to IS. Will American leadership finally declare radical Islam the enemy and act decisively to win? King Abdullah is leading the way and the time to act is now.


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Col. Bill Connor -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Bill Connor,  received his Bachelor’s of Arts from The Citadel in 1990. After serving over ten years as an Infantry Officer in the U.S. Army he received his Juris Doctorate from University of South Carolina in 2005.

He is currently an attorney with Hamilton and Associates in Columbia, South Carolina.

In May 2008, he returned from a yearlong combat deployment in Southern Afghanistan. During that time, he served as Joint Operations Officer for the Southern Region of Afghanistan developing and implementing the US advisory effort for Afghan National Security Forces. This effort occurred during the 2007 Taliban spring/summer offensive.

Due to success in that position, he was promoted to take command of the US advisory effort in the volatile province of Helmand. Shortly after arrival in Helmand, he was promoted in rank from Major to Lt. Colonel. In addition to command of US advisory teams, he was the senior American working with the United Kingdom senior staff. Upon return from Afghanistan, he published the book “Articles from War,”a memoir of his experiences and thoughts in Afghanistan.

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