Tuesday, October 11, 2016


Published at http://www.newsmax.com/Insiders/ScotFaulkner/id-376/   #trumping #therealgame

Donald Trump is the disruptor Americans have been seeking since the Reagan Era.  He is the Establishment’s worst nightmare. 

The second Presidential Debate displayed all the elements of the epic struggle between Trump and his movement versus the Clinton-Liberal-Media forces arrayed against him.

Starting in 2008, Presidential Debates have been ritualized slaughter of the Republican nominee.  Think of a Bull Fight.  The Republicans, McCain, Romney, Trump, are the bull.  The Democrats, Obama, Clinton, are the Matadors.  The ultimate destruction of the Republican is never in doubt.  Opportunities are given for the Republican/bull to charge around the arena.  This provides the audience with some suspense and builds the reputation of the Democrat/Matador as a brave fighter.

The media moderators are the Picadores.  They are mounted on their dais/horse with dazzling finery.  Their elaborate maneuvers are designed to distract the Republican/bull.  They are armed with questions/lances to wound the Republican/bull.

Once in each debate cycle there is a “town meeting format”.  This is where supposedly undecided voters ask unscripted questions of the candidates.  In fact, these forums bring in Banderilleros who plunge sharped barbed sticks into the Republican/bull to prepare for the Democrat’s/Matador’s final assault. 

The second Presidential Debate was a classic display of Banderilleros.  You had the sympathetic sounding female Muslim asking about tolerance.  You had the sympathetic sounding African-American female asking about unity.  You had the white guy asking about how to balance energy needs with the environment.  All were designed to place Trump/the bull into awkward positions while giving Hillary/the Matador maximum opportunity to pander within her comfort zone.

Trump is not your ordinary Republican/bull.  In the first debate, he fell victim to the Matador and Picadores.  He stormed and charged the Matador’s cape and was wounded by the Picadores questions.  Only because Trump was stronger than previous “bulls” did he survive to fight another day.

Unlike previous “bulls”, Trump adjusted his game plan.  He was not going to play the “Bull Fight” game under the Establishment’s rules. The second “Bull Fight” had Hillary, the Matador, conducting a preemptive wounding with the “leak” of Trump’s off-putting “hot mic” audiotape.  The Establishment’s goal was that Republicans would do what they do best, flee from the fray.  Trump was supposed to spend the forty eight hours prior to the debate in disarray with falling polls, pundit assaults, and everyone abandoning him, including his running mate and campaign team.

Trump outwitted his assailants.  The day of the debate, he called a news conference, not to withdraw, but to open his own barrage against the Clintons. For the first time in decades, a Republican unmasked the Establishment’s hypocrisy.  The media has protected Democrats, and championed counter culture, since the 1960s.  Trump embracing the women who were abused by the Clintons was a game changer.  How can the media and Hillary say every abused women should be heard, when they were the ones who silenced these women?  How could the media feign indignation over Trump’s “hot mic” comments when they defended Bill Clinton’s affairs by asserting people should  look at the public record not the private one?

Then came the debate itself.  Trump wisely did not try to shake Hillary’s hand.  He assumed she had a well-rehearsed moment of ostracism coordinated with the moderators.  Then Trump did the equivalent of the bull pulling out an Uzi and opening fire on the Bullfighters.  For most of the ninety minute debate, Trump indicted Hillary, Bill, the moderators, and the Establishment.  Trump tore off their masks.  Liberal lies and misdeeds of the last twenty years spilled into the public record.

No Republican Presidential nominee has ever assaulted the Democrats and the media with such a sustained onslaught.  Years of passivity vanished.  The bull was not going to slaughter without first taking out the Matador, the Picadores, and their fans. Chaos ensued.

Whether Trump’s high stakes gamble changes the campaign enough to win the Presidency remains to be seen.  Trump exposed the game.  Trump eviscerated the gamesmen.  For at least one amazing moment the bull won. Trump changed the game.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Why Republicans Continue to Lose

Republicans always seem to fight the wrong battle, at the wrong time, the wrong way.  Republicans inevitably break ranks at the first sign of trouble.  Republicans shoot their wounded, even if the injury is just a sprain.

Democrats never break ranks.  Democrats will lock arms and deny, dismiss, and defend no matter what. Democrats will always rescue one of their own no matter the odds or how gravely wounded.

The “hot mic” tape of Donald Trump sounding boorish is now dominating the 2016 Presidential Campaign.  It is a safe bet that the Democrats, and their many media allies, have a Trump stockpile of embarrassing material ready to roll out in the coming weeks.

Trump and his supporters are confronting asymmetrical warfare.  His offensive words are considered more damning and any of Hillary Clinton’s misdeeds. 

The Democrats have always played dirty.  In 1980, Speaker Tip O’Neil withheld a Washington, DC police report on conservative Congressman Bob Bauman’s sexuality for eighteen months in order to release it five weeks before Election Day.  Its timing was designed for maximum damage with minimum recovery time.

Democrats want to win at all costs.  Democrats want to gain, maintain, and expand their power.  Democrats never waiver from these goals.  Democrat spokespeople coordinate their talking points and stay on message.  They will tackle anyone attempting to lift the curtain on truth.  They will destroy anyone challenging their hold on government.

The most infamous and extreme example from the Democrat’s “win at all costs” playbook is covering up Ted Kennedy’s misdeeds.  On July 18, 1969, Senator Ted Kennedy killed 28 year-old Mary Jo Kopechne in a tragic car accident on Chappaquiddick Island near Martha’s Vineyard. Liberals in politics and media suppressed the incident by ignoring Kennedy’s multiple lies and inconsistencies. Kennedy went on being a liberal icon. Media continued to dismiss and minimize Kopechne’s death, and Kennedy’s countless sexual affairs. Earlier this year, in the propaganda film about Clarence Thomas’ confirmation, Hollywood portrayed Kennedy as a defender of abused women.

The other side of the Democrat’s playbook is character assassination of Republicans.  In 2012, Mitt Romney was portrayed as a callous and clueless elitist.  Senator Reid (D-NV) bragged that he lied about Romney not paying taxes, boasting, “it worked didn’t it?  He lost!”  The facts never get in the way of a good attack.

Over the past few months, Democrats have never talked about the substance of the leaks damaging to Hillary Clinton.  In lock step, Democrats immediately attacked the veracity of the leaked material and then the leaks’ source.   By the time definitive proof was available, the media and the public had moved onto to other things.

In 2012, “bin Laden is dead and Detroit is alive” was the mantra that would defy the facts.  The Benghazi attack was drowned out with the bogus video story.  Candy Crowley did her duty by throwing a body block against Mitt Romney in the second Presidential Debate to maintain the lie.

In 2016, “America is safer and more prosperous than ever” is the Democrats' mantra.  Every terrorist attack on American soil is stifled or obscured with bogus alternative motives.  Economic reports are “cooked” or spun.  Nothing must stand in the way of Obama’s third term.

Some Republicans, and many of the conservative media, do their best to counter the Democrat onslaught.  However, they are constantly crippled by most Republicans who break and run when the first shots are fired in anger.

During Bill Clinton’s Presidency, Republicans bungled their investigation of Chinese campaign donations in exchange for trade concessions and ownership of a portion of the Port of Los Angeles.  That was true treason. 

Instead Republicans impeached Clinton on sexual issues and his countless lies. Even with overwhelming evidence, five Republicans voted “not guilty” on perjury and ten voted “not guilty” on obstruction of justice.

Republicans bungled impeachment by self-immolating over their own sexual affairs, including the resignation of Congressman Bob Livingston on the cusp of his becoming Speaker.  Republicans had hoped to shame Clinton into resigning or at least confessing.  They forgot that Democrats have no shame.

Republicans always seem to get it wrong.  They will shoot their wounded, like the current Trump conflagration, and then become hypocrites with favored members of their Washington Establishment.  Mark Sanford was welcomed into Congress after his lying to the public over being on the Appalachian Trail while he was actually with his Argentine mistress. Republicans rallied around re-electing Senator David Vitter after his prostitute scandal.  Where is the ire about them from Kelly Ayotte and Paul Ryan?

The stakes for 2016 are the greatest since the 1980 election.  A Clinton Presidency means loss of the Supreme Court for at least a generation.  A Clinton Presidency means open borders and open immigration, overwhelming America’s culture with third world entitlement and Islamic fundamentalism.  A Clinton Presidency means expansion of government spending and reach beyond even Obama’s wildest dreams.  A Clinton Presidency means American foreign policy continued disarray and continued decline in America’s ability to defend itself and its allies.  A Clinton Presidency means increasingly bolder confrontations of the West by Radical Islam, Russia, and China.

A Trump loss will tear the Republican Party apart.  Establishment and Faith-based factions will annihilate each other with “I told you so” arguments for Bush or Cruz.  Democrats will laugh as they prepare a Texas Castro brother to take the Presidency in 2024 with the slogan “time for a Hispanic!” from the same playbook that was used for “time for an African American!” and “time for a woman!”

Wednesday, September 14, 2016


[Originally published at:http://www.newsmax.com/ScotFaulkner/budget/2016/09/14/id/748321/ ]

How do you spell fiscal fiasco? “Z-I-K-A”.
The battle over funding necessary research to combat the spreading Zika Virus has ground Congress to a halt.
The Obama Administration has plead poverty and asked for $1.9 billion in additional funds. Congress decided to exploit this urgency and necessity by loading up the legislation with politically charged amendments. Votes on such amendments are used by both parties to fuel fund-raising appeals.
Once again, the Washington, DC Establishment is putting partisan fund-raising ahead of the health and safety of Americans.
It gets worse – $21 billion in unspent unobligated funds are already laying around the very programs and agencies charged with fighting Zika.
On August 26, Senators Charles Grassley (R-IA) and James Lankford (R-OK) sent a letter to the Secretary Burwell of Health and Human Services (HHS) calling her out on these unexpended balances. She responded back on September 1, asserting she had already “repurposed” $374 million and could not do anything more.
Unfortunately, Burwell’s response contradicts President Obama’s declaration that $589 million has been “repurposed”, and the fact that only $180 million has actually been spent.
Washington’s budgetary “hide and seek” needs to stop.
Every Federal Department and Agency ends the fiscal year with unspent funds. Former Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) exposed this in his ground breaking report “Money for Nothing” issued in June 2012. Since his report, the amount of federal funds sitting doing nothing, and because they are unobligated will continue to do nothing, has soared to $909 billion.
This nearly $1 trillion in tax dollars are hiding in plain site. Go to the Office of Management and Budget website. Look up “budget” and “assets”. Every penny of federal spending is reported and categorized. Accounting code “1941” is for “unexpired unobligated balances”. Fiscal years 2015 (actual) and 2016 & 2017 (projected) are listed.
It does not take a certified accountant to realize there are a lot of “1941” line items in every part of the federal budget, each totaling millions of dollars. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) uncovered 7,500 expired grant accounts spread through HHS’s Payment Management System, all with funds that will never be used.
The two front line agencies charged with researching and fighting Zika are the Center for Disease Control (CDC), with $1.27 billion in unobligated funds, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), with $722 million in unobligated funds. Both program directors have testified that they are completely out of money.
It is unseemly to play bureaucratic and partisan games with peoples’ lives.
16,000 Americans have become infected by Zika, mostly in Puerto Rico. So far 17 American babies have been born with birth defects and another 5 died in miscarriages. This is just the beginning. Zika has substantially impacted Brazil, with approximately 1.5 million cases. Encephalitis type illnesses are causing memory loss and depression in adults, while neurological birth defects (such as smaller frontal lobes) have risen 400% since 2014.
Congress is racing the clock on funding the federal government past September 30, 2016. Members spent more time this year in Republican and Democrat fund-raising call centers than doing their job.
This Congressional negligence means yet another fiscal cliff, with the usual government shutdown hysteria ending in a Continuing Resolution (CR). This year’s battleground is already strewn with political explosives. Conservatives want to ban Planned Parenthood from using federal funds to screen pregnant women for Zika. Liberals somehow think banning Confederate Flags has something to do with public health.
Washington, DC is infested with political parasites and infected with arrogant opportunism.
It is time to consider a revolutionary cure, which includes stopping the budget games and spending tax dollars wisely.
Both sides should listen to Trump’s call for putting America, and Americans, first.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016


The Washington Establishment has a visceral hatred for Trump because he promises to put them out of business.

Why does the Washington Establishment hate Donald Trump? It is not because of his positions on immigration or trade.  Pat Buchanan and Ross Perot advocated similar stands in 1992 and they did not generate the obsessive hatred being displayed in 2016.

Trump has declared war on the Establishment itself.  In his June 16, 2015 Presidential announcement Trump asserted:

“So I’ve watched the politicians. I’ve dealt with them all my life…They will never make America great again. They don’t even have a chance. They’re controlled fully by the lobbyists, by the donors, and by the special interests…it’s destroying our country. We have to stop, and it has to stop now.”

The Washington Establishment sees Trump as serious about them being the primary impediment to making America “great again”.  Trump sees the Establishment as lining their pockets, and their friends’ pockets, as beneficiaries of the status quo.  As long as nothing changes, the Establishment will have their mansions, limousines, VIP tables, and ego trips.

There is much at stake.

Think of Washington, DC as a mass of “cookie jars” each containing delicious treats.  There are those who control the cookie jars, those who want the cookie jars, and those who can get the cookie jars.  Officially, these treats are distributed based on legislative mandates, open competition, and documented needs.  In fact, the treats are almost always handed out to friends, and friends of friends.  Friends can be purchased.  It is Washington, D.C.’s “golden rule” – those with the gold rule.

Welcome to “crony capitalism”.  Someone knowing someone who can hand out favors has been around since the first tribes shared the first harvest.  The term “lobbyist” came from favor seekers hanging out in the lobby of Washington, DC’s Willard Hotel during the Grant Administration in the 1870s.  In 1905, George Washington Plunkett, a ward boss in the Tammany Hall political machine, coined what could be the motto of Washington, D.C. – “What is the Constitution among friends?”

Today, things have gotten way out of hand.  Spending for Washington lobbyists has tripled since 1998 to over $3.22 billion a year.  $24 million is spent for lobbyists each day Congress is in session. 

Campaign fundraising is another dimension of how the Establishment stays in power.  Over $750 million has been raised for House races and $520 million for Senate races this election cycle. Leaders of Political Action Committees (PACs), and individual bundlers who raise funds, dominate this ultimate game of “pay for play”.

Those brokering power become gatekeepers for funding and favors throughout the Federal Government. This power comes from a truism overlooked by everyone in the media – all discretionary federal money is earmarked.  The popular myth is that earmarks vanished once the Republicans banned them when they returned to power in 2011.  They only banned legislative earmarks, and there are still ways to work around that system.  The President, and his appointees, earmark funds as standard operating procedure.  Even career bureaucrats play favorites. 

Favorites can be based on institutional, Administration, and ideological biases.  Favoritism can also go to the highest bidder.  This is federal money flowing out the door as grants, programs, contracts, buildings, leases, and employment.  Other “treats” to be dispensed include regulatory relief, tax waivers, and subsidies. Favoritism is rarely purchased with money directly changing hands, that kind of corruption occurs more in state and local government.  Washington level corruption is true “quid pro quo”.

The Washington Establishment swaps favors more insidiously.  How many times does a military officer get a major position with a defense contractor years after he favored them with a multi-million dollar contract?  A Reagan aide granted a building height waiver near the White House and quadrupled his salary when hired by the developer.  Grant and contract officers obtain slots at prestigious colleges and prep schools for their children for making the “right” choices or being a little lax on oversight.  Bush era National Park officials refused to prosecute the destruction of park land in exchange for Redskins tickets.  Everyone has their price, save for those true public servants.

Trump promises to smash the cookie jars and end the reign of the Establishment. 

Normal Americans are rallying around Trump.  They are enraged at the lies and duplicity of those in power.  Many see a reason to vote for the first time since Reagan. They want November 8, 2016 to be America’s “Bastille Day” marking the end of Washington, DC’s arrogant and unaccountable ruling class.

Billions of dollars are at stake.  Perks, prestige, and power are at stake.  The future of representative government is at stake. Is it any wonder that the Establishment is doing everything and anything to stop Trump?

[Scot Faulkner served as the first Chief Administrative Officer of the U.S, House of Representatives and on Reagan’s White House Staff.  He advises global corporations and governments on strategic change and leadership.]

Tuesday, August 23, 2016


[Published in http://www.newsmax.com/ScotFaulkner/budget-congress-cronies-omb/2016/08/23/id/744737/ ]

It is time for Trump to do what he does best – expose how the Washington, DC Establishment lies its way to expanding government and helping its cronies.

Donald Trump has an historic opportunity to reframe and reset the budget battles that have plagued Washington, DC for years.

Members of Congress, when they return after their longest summer break in over fifty years, will be teetering on a chasm of their own making.  They will have only seventeen legislative days to pass twelve Appropriation bills.  Only a handful cleared the House prior to its long recess and none were considered in the Senate.  This guarantees much “sound and fury” ending in an Omnibus Appropriations bill, with several continuing resolutions to avoid a government shutdown.

Posturing by the Congress, the White House, candidates, and the media will reach fever pitch around the time of the first Presidential Debate on September 26.

Trump’s role in defusing this latest fiscal bomb can take several forms.

First, reveal how $2.405 trillion is just laying around doing nothing. 

Since President Obama took office, $914.8 billion in unexpended, unobligated, funds have piled up across the federal government. Obama never conducted the “budget sweeps” done by all his predecessors. The details are reported under “Assets and Balance Sheets” on page ten of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) budget. 

Another $1.028 trillion remains unexpended among general accounts and $461 billion remains unspent in trust funds.  While these funds are technically obligated, the fact that they have languished for years raises questions about their use and their management.

Second, reveal the red herring of entitlements.  Everyone knows that the only way to truly stop massive federal spending and debt is to reform entitlements.  The trap is that the required radical reform will not happen anytime soon.  It is like asking an overweight “couch potato” to suddenly jump up and win the Olympics’ Marathon.  No one in Congress, the Executive Branch, or the multitude of stakeholders is ready or willing to make entitlement reform happen.

The alternative is to prepare for tackling entitlements by first working on those budget issues that are long overdue.  This should appeal to anyone not lining their, and their cronies, pockets with federal favors.

The first move is slamming the door shut on filling federal vacancies.  This would cut $350 billion a year in personnel costs. This freeze would take advantage of Executive Branch attrition of 60,000+ employees a year through retirements and voluntary departures. Each agency head could submit waivers to OMB for those jobs they consider essential for their missions.

Not every retired government worker needs to be replaced. In fact, the Defense Department has already begun to leverage selective hiring freezes for a five year “delayering” initiative to eliminate 1,260 positions and save $1.9 billion over five years.  Even under Obama, officials admit not every layer of management (up to 23 layers in some agencies) is needed. Just think how much they could save if they were sincere.

The second way to immediate fiscal sanity is to cut $650 billion in government waste.  Every year, the General Accountability Office (GAO) and 73 Inspector General Offices find over $650 billion in ongoing waste. This waste is documented in 768 GAO reports containing hundreds of recommendations for operational improvement, and 8,760 audits and investigations conducted by the 73 Inspector General Offices among the Cabinet departments and independent agencies of the Executive Branch. 

That translates into $6.5 trillion in possible spending cuts or cost avoidance, over the next ten years, without harming one legitimate beneficiary of government services. Unfortunately, these findings and recommendations are regularly ignored by the Washington Establishment.

Congress, the Executive Branch, and the media are ignoring 9,528 ways to cut government waste every year.

Trump can make the professionals at the GAO and Inspector General offices “rock stars”.  He can look into the camera and say, “No matter how liberal or how conservative you are – you want the government to stop wasting your money.” 

These could be the first steps in shaping Trump’s management revolution as President. They are all bi-partisan issues.  Trump can then build upon these successes to solve the more divisive issue of entitlement reform.

Exposing the truth, and saving billions of dollars, “what do you have to lose?”

Wednesday, August 10, 2016


[Also published on http://www.newsmax.com/ScotFaulkner/conventions-establishment/2016/08/10/id/742929/ ]

Is our choice really between a crook and a madman?

The media is doing everything to deny and deflect issues surrounding Hillary’s sociopathic lying.  At the same time the media and the Republican Establishment are doing everything to portray Trump as a psycho itching to start World War III.

Evidence mounts that Clinton is not only corrupt, but is an inept and mediocre campaigner.  She also contorts over the internal contradiction of being Obama’s third term, while calling for change.

Why is Hillary winning?

First and foremost, she is being carried across the finish line by 95% of the national media.  The liberal media is pushing applications of hypocrisy into fantastical territory. Anything Hillary or Obama does outside the immediate news cycle is deemed “old news”.  Anything Trump did since puberty is deemed relevant. 

This hypocrisy was on full display during the National Conventions.  Grieving Republican mother Patricia Smith, whose son’s death can be linked to Hillary, was dismissed and ignored.  Grieving Democrat father Khizr Khan, whose son’s death happened twelve years ago and had nothing to do with Trump, became a media star and the main evidence for declaring Trump unfit to be President. Khan’s links to the Clintons are still drowned out by the media.

The liberal media also threw body blocks to protect Hillary and Democrats.  Imagine what the media would have done had the Republican Chairman resigned the day before the GOP Convention; Republican emails disclosed unseemly cynicism, derisive name calling of minorities, and a conspiracy to rig the system against candidates; and four top Party officials were forced to resign.  Standard operating procedure is for the media to divert attention from these real issues to fairy tales of a treasonous liaison between Trump and Russian President Putin.

The small community of conservative oriented media has tried to counter this bias.  However, they, like their Establishment Republican colleagues, have forgotten how to fight.  Friends in the conservative media privately shared stories on how the Democrats fabricated everything at the Philadelphia convention.  They documented the Democrats’ scramble for American flags, stripping hotels from thirty miles away and having to tape scraps of paper to the bases to keep track of their ownership.  They chronicled the walk out of over a thousand Sander’s supporters, the hiring of movie extras to fill seats, the thuggery and intimidation of convention security, the trashing of the small American flags after the performance, and the installation of sound generators to create enthusiasm that was not really there.  Little of this made the news.  There was little interest in probing below the surface of Hillary’s artfully crafted fraud.

As August unfolds, the media shows tightly framed shots of both Hillary and Trump rallies.  This creates a false equivalency when other photos of these same events show Hillary speaking to near empty halls and Trump attracting overflow crowds. 

The Republican Establishment has traditionally been ineffective in countering liberals.  Republicans break ranks at the first sign of trouble while Democrats lock arms to the bitter end.  If Republicans defended Nixon like the Democrats defend the Clintons, Nixon would have finished his second term.  If Democrats defended Clinton like Republicans defended Nixon, the Clinton era would have ended at the 1992 New Hampshire Primary or during any of scandals that plagued his White House tenure. 

Republican disarray is on full view this election cycle.  Their Washington-based elite are apoplectic that Trump might actually end crony capitalism and shut down their lucrative scams.  They are willing to risk Hillary packing the Supreme Court for generations to preserve their revenue stream.

Trump appeals to a spectrum of voters who are seething at the incestuous corruption permeating America’s governing elite.  The media is doing all it can to divert attention from this fundamental upheaval in the body politic.  For every Republican who defends Trump there are others conducting outright political treason.  Years of shadow boxing with Obama, and killing the Republican cause, have stripped the “Never Trumpers” of any right to invoke ideological purity.  Unfortunately, the other reason Trump’s message is being disrupted is Trump himself. 

Donald Trump built his empire and reputation in the rough and tumble world of New York City real estate development.  Trump mastered sparring with NYC tabloids. He now needs to realize that a larger audience requires different ways to promote his cause. Trump needs to ignore side issues and focus on two things: indicting Hillary/Obama and shaping a more detailed and relatable vision for “Trumpism”.

This election is ultimately about “message discipline”.  Hillary and her media allies have woven a tapestry made of “whole cloth”, which will unravel the moment anyone actually examines it.  Trump remains a scattergram tapping into deep concerns held by a majority of Americans. For Trump to overcome media bias and Republican dysfunction/disloyalty he needs to fixate on his goal – toppling the corrupt establishment. 

Trump needs to heed the words of Civil War Admiral Farragut, who seized Mobile Bay by ignoring Confederate diversionary tactics:  “Damn the torpedoes - full speed ahead!”


Saturday, July 30, 2016

How to End Radical Islam

 It is time for moderate forward looking Muslims to regain control of their religion.  They need to take historic steps to bring Islam into the 20th Century, returning it to an honored place among the world’s great religions.

Slaughter in an Orlando Nightclub, slaughter on the streets of Nice, slaughter in Paris and in a Normandy church, slaughter at airports in Brussels and Istanbul, slaughter at a San Bernardino picnic, slaughter at Fort Hood, slaughter at the Boston Marathon, attacks on trains in France and Germany, the list is endless.  The weapons used were diverse – guns, trucks, pressure cookers, axes, knives, and bombs.  Only the motivation remained constant – jihad for Allah.

The threat and the fight are global.  Terror can now arrive anywhere, anytime, in any form. Some already label this World War III.  The problem is that increased drone strikes, bombing ISIS’ capital in Raqqa, Syria, or expanding intelligence gathering will not end the threat.  This is because every day millions of young boys attend radical Madrassas and learn how to hate, kill, and die.

In the mid-1970s Saudi Arabia used the flood of oil revenue to become the “McDonalds of Madrassas”.  Religious schools and new Mosques popped up throughout Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.  This building boom had nothing to do with education and everything to do with spreading the cult of Wahhabism.

The Saudi Royal Family owes its rise to power to Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab (1703-1792).  He envisioned a “pure” form of Islam that purged most worldly practices (heresies), oppressed women, and endorsed violence against nonbelievers (infidels), including Muslims who differed with his sect.  This extremely conservative and violent form of Islam might have died out in the sands of central Arabia were in not for a timely alliance with a local tribal leader, Muhammad bin Saud.

The House of Saud was just another minor tribe, until the two Muhammads realized the power of merging Sunni fanaticism with armed warriors.  Wahhab’s daughter married Saud’s son, merging their two blood lines to this day.  The House of Saud and its warriors rapidly expanded throughout the Arabia Peninsula and collided with Shi’ite and more secular Sunni powers. 

Saudi forces were defeated but rose again, fueled by Wahhabi fanaticism.  These various conflicts always included destruction of holy sites of rival sects and tribes.  While done in the name of “purification”, the result was erasing the physical touchstones of rival cultures and governments.

In the early 20th Century, Saudi leader, ibn Saud, expertly exploited the decline of the Ottoman Empire, and alliances with European Powers, to consolidate his permanent hold over the Arabian Peninsula.  Control of Mecca and Medina, Islam’s two holiest sites, gave the House of Saud the power to promote Wahhabism as the dominant interpretation of Sunni Islam.  This included internally contradictory components of calling for eradicating infidels while growing rich from Christian consumption of oil, and pursuing lavish hedonism when not in public view.

Unless Wahhabism is eliminated or moderated, the West is fighting a losing battle. 

The decline in oil revenue gives the West rare economic leverage.  It is time to convince the Saud family to convene an Islamic version of the Council of Nicaea.

In 325 Roman Emperor Constantine the Great convened a religious council in Nicaea (near modern Istanbul) to resolve various differences within Christianity.  This included consolidating and codifying beliefs, rituals, and the calendar of holy days and rites.  Over three hundred church officials and theologians attended.

While the Council of Nicaea did not resolve everything, it established a culture of dialogue and collaboration within Catholicism.  Christianity had its own wars and schisms, notably the Reformation, which was more about geopolitics than faith.  Isolated fanaticism and superstition led to the abuses from the persecution of Galileo to the Salem witch trails.  However, the framework and mindset was permanently in place for Western religions to move with the times and adapt as knowledge and culture advanced.  These forces of moderation and reason assure the continuous rise of civilization to this day and the marginalization and isolation of extremists.

Philosopher Eric Hoffer, in his famous work “The True Believer”, asserted, “the character and destiny of a group are often determined by its inferior elements.”  Reasonable people, spanning religion and ideology, are hoping Islam finds a way to isolate and diminish their forces of darkness.  It can only be done from within.

[Scot Faulkner served as the first Chief Administrative Officer of the U.S. House of Representatives and on Ronald Reagan’s White House Staff.  As Deputy Associate Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), he coordinated the Administration’s response to the Pan Am Flight 103 Bombing.  Mr. Faulkner has advised corporations and governments throughout the Middle East since 2002.]