President Barack Obama needs to change his policy that avoids engaging in a confrontation with Islamic jihadists if the U.S. is going to address the problem of terrorism, Mideast expert Dr. Walid Phares told Newsmax TV
's "America's Forum" on Friday.
"The problem is that this administration and the president are receiving a perspective and analysis and advice from a whole pyramid of advisers who are advising that we should not engage in a confrontation with the jihadists.
"The president needs to start changing his policy, and Congress needs to convince him," Phares said Friday. "They need each other if they want to fight this threat."
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The White House is "wrong" by promoting a strategy of "appeasement" that leads officials to "think that they are solving the issue," Phares said, adding that the emphasis on political correctness surrounding radical Islam is creating a paralysis that is "very serious."
Phares said intellectual elites acting as advisers have been influenced by "petrodollars decades ago" that ensured the study of the Mideast region would be "very sympathetic to the Islamists and to the jihadists."
"Now you have hundreds and hundreds of advisers of academic intellectuals who are framing the debate, with the executive branches mostly — and most of them with Congress, with [the] media," he said. "So, now, the elite is blocking the government, various governments, from understanding what the threat is, diverting them into other issues, such as, 'Oh, they don't have jobs.'"
The "organized lobby" to influence governments is derailing "our national security analysis," Phares said, and includes Islamic activist Anjem Choudary, who is really a jihadist "playing the game of propaganda."
That lobby uses Islamophobia as a "shield" to squash criticism of Islam, Phares said, adding that it works against "educating the public about the reality that there are ideological roots to this problem."
"The political establishment in France, and more specifically the intelligentsia, the intellectual elite, they don't want to admit that France has a jihadi problem.
"It's not an Islamophobia problem," he said. "France has a jihadi problem."
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