Archive for the ‘Appeasement’ Category

Almost 18 months ago, President Obama announced that the United State would start an air campaign to degrade and destroy ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Thus far, President Obama’s military strategy has been virtually nonexistent. This morning, Russia told the US military to stay out of Syria so it could conduct the airstrikes. Surprisingly, President Obama didn’t agree to Russia’s order.

According to reports, “Russian warplanes have begun bombarding Syrian opposition targets in the war torn nation’s north, working on behalf of dictator Bashar al Assad, according to a senior military official. The official said airstrikes targeted fighters in the vicinity of Homs, located roughly 60 miles east of a Russian naval facility in Tartus, and were carried out by a “couple” of Russian bombers.”

It’s worth noting that Russia isn’t targeting ISIS. Yesterday, Donald Trump said that we should let Russia take out ISIS first, then the United States can take out Assad. I wrote here that Trump’s policy is as weak as President Obama’s.

Letting Russia reassert itself in Syria gives them a foothold from which they can destabilize the region. Certainly, Russia is attempting to prop up Syria and Iran. That isn’t in the United States’ interests economically or in the fight to eliminate global jihadists. A protected Iran isn’t in our allies’ interests. It certainly isn’t in Israel’s interests if Iran is protected by Putin.

It’s time for President Obama to stop his appeasement policies. It’s time, too, for Mr. Trump to start learning the players in the Middle East. Either that or it’s time for him to drop out. At this point, Trump’s grasp of the Middle East, or lack thereof, is frightening our allies.

When it comes to national security, Sen. Franken is a lightweight. This article provides additional proof of that:

Franken said Obama doesn’t have authority to bypass Congress, but he has long backed closing the military prison and handling suspects through the American judicial system. Franken said he worries Guantanamo’s continued existence has only boosted terrorist recruitment efforts, and said there are plenty of high-security prisons in the United States to house the dozens of terrorism suspects at Guantanamo.

Sen. Franken isn’t serious about fighting terrorists. Check out this statement about taking on ISIL:

There are no good options on Syria. But as I’ve said, the use of chemical weapons to kill over a thousand people and injure many more is a horrendous act, and there have to be consequences for that. Whatever action the United States takes, it has to be limited action. This can’t be an open-ended commitment, and it definitely should not lead to American boots on the ground. Congress now has an important role to play, and I look forward to participating in a vigorous debate about the use of force and the best interests of our country.

Destroying ISIL isn’t possible without putting American boots on the ground. If you’re opposed to putting American troops into harms way, Sen. Franken, then just say that you aren’t really interested in doing what it takes to destroy ISIL.

There’s no doubt that Sen. Franken thinks that that’s the best poll-tested statement he could issue. Similarly, there’s no question that half-hearted airstrikes without boots on the ground is a political action. It isn’t a serious attempt to destroy ISIL. The Democratic Party, led by pacifists like President Obama and Sen. Franken and Sen. Klobuchar, is going soft on national security again. Closing Gitmo, not taking the airstrikes on ISIL seriously and ruling out putting boots on the ground in Anbar Province and in Syria says one thing unmistakably clear.

It says that Obama, Franken and Klobuchar aren’t serious about national security.

Why wouldn’t you keep Gitmo open? Why give these terrorists the opportunity to radicalize American prisoners? Back in 2006, Amy Klobuchar said that it was important to get out of the war responsibly. In 2008, Franken campaigned on the same message. Then-Sen. Obama campaigned on getting us out of Iraq. Franken, Klobuchar and Obama didn’t talk about winning wars. I wrote about that multiple times in 2006-2008.

As George Will and Charles Krauthammer highlight, the fastest way to end a war is to lose that war. That’s what Franken, Klobuchar and Obama are about. If they aren’t about losing winnable wars, then they’re doing the same things that people who want to lose wars would do.

Politicians that aren’t interested in killing terrorists and winning wars are anti-American. Sen. Franken and President Obama, it’s sad to see that that shoe fits.

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This article presents this year’s vulnerable Democrats as hawkish:

Democrat Kay Hagan didn’t mince words about the Iraq War during her 2008 Senate campaign against Republican Elizabeth Dole. “We need to get out of Iraq in a responsible way,” Hagan declared in May of that year. “We need to elect leaders who don’t invade countries without planning and stay there without an end.”

Hagan is striking a different chord these days. Locked in a tough reelection battle, the first-term senator boasts that she’s more strongly supportive of airstrikes against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant militants than her Republican challenger, Thom Tillis, and says she’s been pressing the Obama administration to arm Syrian rebels since early last year.

“This is the time for us to come together, Democrats and Republicans, to confront the challenges that are facing our nation,” she said this month.

What’s interesting (noteworthy?) is that the terrorists haven’t changed their belief that the infidels must be killed or put into servitude. I’m confident that these doves haven’t changed their opinion of war, either. I’m certain that they’re acting hawkish now…to an extent.

Al Franken still doesn’t want boots on the ground, though he wants ISIL defeated. That’s what a focus grouped response sounds like. That isn’t a substantive answer. It’s a political answer aimed at getting him through this election. Without angry men with rifles, ground can’t be take and terrorists can’t be defeated.

We don’t need idiots in the Senate fulfilling faux advise and consent responsibilities. That’s what the Democrats are providing and it’s disgraceful. I’m betting that Sen. Hagan couldn’t have explained the definition of getting out of Iraq “in a responsible way” meant then. I’m positive that Sen. Franken can’t explain how to decapitate ISIL without putting boots on the ground. Sen. Franken is a policy lightweight and a political rubberstamp.

The only thing more frightening than getting lectured about national security by President Obama is the thought that Al Franken and Kay Hagan are giving President Obama advice on how to decapitate ISIL.

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It isn’t likely that Sen. Ortman wants delegates to the GOP State Convention to hear this audio:
Here’s the transcript from that brief exchange:

Sen. Tom Bakk: “Senator Ortman.”
Sen. Ortman: “Good morning Mr. Chair and members. Thank you for hearing this bill. This bill proposes a new tax. It’s the first time I’ve ever proposed a new tax, and so-“
Sen. Bakk: “How’s it feel?”
Sen. Ortman: “I definitely feel like I’m in the hot seat, but that’s alright. I’ve been a lightening rod before and I probably will be again. I’m back in a zone of comfort.”

The first post I wrote about Sen. Ortman highlighted how she isn’t a full repeal person with regards to Obamacare, aka the Affordable Care Act. In her attempt to curry favor with unprincipled moderates, Sen. Ortman essentially sounded like Al Franken. I wrote this post to highlight Sen. Ortman’s ‘flexibility’ on raising taxes. This post isn’t about highlighting Sen. Ortman’s flexibility on raising taxes. It’s to highlight the fact that she’s got a history of proposing tax increases.

I don’t want a senator in DC that I have to worry about raising taxes because she’s ‘flexible’ on the issue. For some reason, the thought of GOP lawmakers being ‘flexible’ on raising taxes reminds me of this nightmare:
Here’s my ‘read my lips’ statement to Sen. Ortman: Sen. Ortman, read my lips. I say no to Republicans who want to raise taxes.

We’re taxed enough already. The federal government spends money recklessly. The last thing we need is a senator who’s flexible on raising taxes. We already have 2 senators that support raising taxes. We don’t need to replace one tax-raising senator with another tax-raising senator.

In fact, that’s the last thing we need. We already have 2 too many tax-raising senators. If Sen. Ortman stands before the delegates at this year’s State Convention and explain why she’s been flexible on raising taxes, the endorsement fight won’t last long.

Sen. Ortman’s policy positions keep raising questions about how conservative she is. At this point, I’d argue that she isn’t that conservative. I’d argue that because raising taxes and not wanting to repeal the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, sounds kinda liberal to me. I suspect lots of delegates agree with me.

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Michael Hirsch’s article for the National Journal is so steeped in liberal ideology that I couldn’t resist ripping it to shreds.

Here’s one part of Hirsch’s off-the-mark analysis:

Rick Perry, badly needing to put his brain-freeze moment behind, came out strong, winning audience applause for his “zero-budget” approach to foreign aid (though he stumbled a bit when he suggested that Israel, along with Pakistan, might have to make the case anew why it should receive U.S. assistance, a comment that will arouse the wrath of many GOP voters. But ultimately Perry delivered a somewhat mystifying answer when he was asked whether the U.S. was engaged in “financial warfare” with China. He awkwardly invoked Ronald Reagan’s famous prediction that the Soviets would end up on the “ash heap,” saying the Chinese regime would end up in the same place “if they do not change their virtues.” For a candidate who does not need another reason to remind people of George W. Bush, it was a moment that did just that.

Gov. Perry had a strong performance, talking much more fluently about Pakistan and Afghanistan than most people expected, then talking about how to stop China from stealing our intellectual property. (What Hirsch is talking about is anyone’s guess.)

Cain, Michele Bachmann and Newt Gingrich also seemed willing to turn the clock back to an uglier, earlier period when waterboarding was permitted and the rest of the world’s views didn’t matter, which it seems most have moved past.

What Mr. Hirsch is talking about is the fact that Cain, Bachmann and Gingrich won’t hesitate to use proven intelligence-gathering methods to protect the United States. Apparently, Mr. Hirsch thinks we’re better off being appeasers rather than doing what’s necessary to prevent terrorist attacks.

Mr. Hirsch apparently doesn’t believe CIA operators who’ve written that waterboarding KSM helped the CIA break him, leading to the breaking up multiple major terrorist plots, including a planned attack on Los Angeles.

If my choices are being liked or preventing terrorist attacks by waterboarding KSM, I’ll opt for waterboarding KSM every time.

Mr. Hirsch needs to get a job with CODEPINK. He doesn’t belong writing about national security.

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Based on this article, it isn’t a stretch to think President Obama’s foreign policy was long on ideology and short on dealing with reality:

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has repeatedly urged the United States to attack Iran to destroy its nuclear programme, according to leaked US diplomatic cables that describe how other Arab allies have secretly agitated for military action against Tehran.

The revelations, in secret memos from US embassies across the Middle East, expose behind-the-scenes pressures in the scramble to contain the Islamic Republic, which the US, Arab states and Israel suspect is close to acquiring nuclear weapons. Bombing Iranian nuclear facilities has hitherto been viewed as a desperate last resort that could ignite a far wider war.

The Saudi king was recorded as having “frequently exhorted the US to attack Iran to put an end to its nuclear weapons programme”, one cable stated. “He told you [Americans] to cut off the head of the snake,” the Saudi ambassador to Washington, Adel al-Jubeir said, according to a report on Abdullah’s meeting with the US general David Petraeus in April 2008.

Thanks to Jim Hoft’s digging, we know that Sen. Obama criticized President Bush for not pursuing diplomacy:

“It is absolutely clear that this administration and President Bush continues to not let facts get in the way of his ideology..They need, now, to aggressively move on the diplomatic front…They should have stopped the saber rattling, should never have started it.

It’s clear, based on the cables released by Wikileaks, that then-Sen. Obama was an appeaser when it came to Iran, that his policy was based more on cooing like a dove than on sounding like a tiger.

President Obama obviously didn’t learn the Reagan Principle. Simply put, the Reagan Principle is to not negotiate with rogue nations or superpowers until he’d built up his forces until these rogue nations or superpowers were scared of his military superiority. Only then did Reagan start negotiations with America’s enemies.

Robert Gates, the US defence secretary, warned in February that if diplomatic efforts failed, “we risk nuclear proliferation in the Middle East, war prompted by an Israeli strike, or both”.

It’s time that the Obama administration admitted that their national security policies are incoherent and based more on Obama’s proclivity towards passivity than on reality.

The more I read on the subject, the more President Obama reminds me of Jimmy Carter’s appeasement. Looking back through history, thoughtful people understand what a disaster Carter’s national security policies were and how they started the modern terrorist movement.

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Monday, President Obama issued a statement on the latest terrorist attack. It would’ve been nice had President Obama reacted quicker. William McGurn’s WSJ op-ed puts things in perfect perspective:

The December headlines remind us that we have no shortage of these nasty regimes. In China, the government sentences Liu Xiaobo to 11 years in prison for writing a letter calling for legal and political reforms. In Iran, security forces fire on citizens marching in the streets. In Cuba, pro-government goons intimidate a group of wives, mothers and sisters of jailed dissidents—with President Raul Castro characterizing these bullies as “people willing to protect, at any price, the conquests of the revolution.”

In all these cases, the cry goes up: Where is the president of the United States?

For a man whose whole appeal has been wrapped in powerful imagery, President Obama appears strikingly obtuse about the symbolism of his own actions: e.g., squeezing in a condemnation of Iran before a round of golf. With every statement not backed up by action, with every refusal to meet a leader such as the Dalai Lama, with every handshake for a Chavez, Mr. Obama is defining himself to foreign leaders who are sizing him up and have only one question in mind: How much can we get away with?

President Obama’s staff rushed in immediately to tell him he’d won the Nobel Peace Prize but they waited 3 hours before telling him about Iran’s latest killings. What’s worse is that it took President Obama 3 days before talking about the foiled terrorist attack.

Anyone who remembers Russia’s invasion of South Ossetia remembers that then-Sen. Obama’s response was tepid whereas Sen. McCain’s answer was strong. Here’s Obama’s initial statement:

“I strongly condemn the outbreak of violence in Georgia, and urge an immediate end to armed conflict,” Obama said in a written statement. “Now is the time for Georgia and Russia to show restraint and to avoid an escalation to full-scale war. Georgia’s territorial integrity must be respected.”

Contrast that with Sen. McCain’s initial response:

“[T]he news reports indicate that Russian military forces crossed an internationally recognized border into the sovereign territory of Georgia. Russia should immediately and unconditionally cease its military operations and withdraw all forces from sovereign Georgian territory.

“The government of Georgia has called for a ceasefire and for a resumption of direct talks on South Ossetia with international mediators. The U.S. should immediately work with the EU and the OSCE to put diplomatic pressure on Russia to reverse this perilous course that it has chosen.”

The Russian invasion of South Ossetia happened on August 10, 2008. It wasn’t until August 12, 2008 that then-Sen. Obama reacted forcefully. I noted in this post that then, too, Obama was vacationing in Hawaii:

Obama, on vacation in Hawaii, on Tuesday read a statement blaming Russia for increasing tensions in the Caucasus.

“No matter how this conflict started, Russia has escalated it well beyond the dispute over South Ossetia and invaded another country,” said Obama, 47. “There is no possible justification for these attacks,” he added.

Liberals quickly criticized President Bush for not reacting quickly enough after the 9/11 attacks for their liking. Chief among those critics was Marty Meehan:

Meehan was quoted as saying “I don’t buy the notion Air Force One was a target … That’s just PR. That’s just spin.”

Nary a peep was heard from President Obama’s allies in the print media when he took 3 days to denounce the Iranian regime’s violent squashing of the people’s uprising.

President Obama’s reticence to quickly respond to a terrorist attack makes the United States look timid. It also makes us look weak in the terrorists’ eyes. (If there’s anything that President Obama is good at with regards to national security, it’s that he’s great at procrastination and making the United States look positively wimpy.)

This is why we shouldn’t have elected a toy messiah to do a man’s job.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

I’m not shocked to find out that John Murtha doesn’t think military victory is achievable in Afghanistan. He’s been a defeatist since the 1980s.

Democratic Rep. John Murtha, just back from a fact-finding trip to Afghanistan, said

Monday that he never got a clear definition of what constitutes an “achievable victory” for the United States and fears that American commanders are assuming more time for the war effort than voters at home will allow.

“I am still very nervous about this whole thing,” Murtha told POLITICO. “If you had 10 years, it might work; if you had five, you could make a difference. But you don’t have that long.”

A top Democrat on military matters, the Pennsylvania lawmaker captures the skepticism facing the White House as President Barack Obama prepares to commit up to 35,000 more troops to the war effort. Obama has chosen a military forum, West Point, for his nationally televised speech Tuesday night, but Congress is the real test and a better reflection of the unease among everyday Americans.

john Murtha has been declaring defeat for a long time. He declared defeat in Somalia while our troops were still fighting there. After the Clinton administration pulled out on Murtha’s advice, Osama bin Laden told an ABC correspondent that America was a paper tiger.

Rep. Murtha told the Bush administration that Iraq was fighting a civil war and that a military victory was impossible. Fortunately for Iraq, the Bush administration ignored Murtha’s advice. Instead of following Murtha’s defeatist advice, President Bush doubled down with the surge and won a decisive victory. They defeated the insurgents and the Iranians while giving Iraqis the gift of liberty.

On another note, it’s insulting to hear David Rogers say that “everyday Americans” are uneasy with winning a war. By nature, we LOVE winning wars. It’s true that a small portion of Democratic pacifists are apprehensive but they don’t even make up a majority of their party, much less a majority of Americans.

Rep. Murtha, it’s time you retired. It’s time you quit waving the white flag of defeat. They say that there’s no such thing as an ex-Marine. You’re proof that there is. You’re a national disgrace because you stand in opposition to the U.S. military’s winning wars.

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It appears as though the Obama administration is back to treating terrorism as a law enforcement matter instead of taking it seriously:

A senior Republican on the House Intelligence Committee is accusing the Obama administration of quietly ordering the FBI to start reading Miranda rights to suspected terrorists at U.S. military detention facilities in Afghanistan.

The move is reportedly creating chaos in the field among the CIA, FBI and military personnel, according to Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich. The soldiers, especially, he says, are frustrated that giving high value detainees Miranda rights, the right to remain silent, the right to an attorney, is impeding their ability to pursue intelligence on the battlefield, according to a story first reported by the Weekly Standard.

“What I found was lots of confusion and very frustrated people on the front lines who are trying to, well, make Afghanistan successful for the United States and its allies,” said Rogers, who serves on the House Intelligence Committee.

Rogers, a former FBI special agent who served in the U.S. Army, just returned from Afghanistan and a visit to Bagram Air Base, where he said the rights are being read.

“I witnessed it myself, talked to the people on the ground,” he said. “What you have is two very separate missions colliding in the field in a combat zone. Again, anytime that you offer confusion in that environment that’s already chaotic and confusing enough, you jeopardize a soldier’s life.”

The thought that terrorists captured in Afghanistan are being read their Miranda rights is assinine because it gives terrorists the option of not telling us what they know about local terrorist organizations.

I never thought I’d live long enough to say this but here goes: President Obama’s national security policies almost make Jimmy Carter look competent and strong. I’ve asked this before and I’ll repeat it again and again: There’s little in terms of actions that President Obama deserves praise for. His apologies while abroad haven’t strengthened relations, either.

People say that President Obama is pursuing a foreign policy of weakness. While I don’t disagree with that opinion, I think that’s understating things. President Obama’s policies are creating a permissive attitude in which terror-supporting nations like Iran and North Korea and that terrorist organizations like Hamas are exploiting.

That’s because he hasn’t employed the Reagan Principle. In negotiations that essentially brought the USSR to its knees, President Reagan didn’t start negotiating until he’d scared them with a display of power and steadfastness. Once the other side understood that President Reagan was a man of his word and that his word packed a wallop, the negotiating table slanted significantly in the United State’s direction.

That’s a principle that Bill Clinton never learned and that President Obama likely doesn’t want to learn. God help us all for the next 36 months.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

Gerald Warner’s article is today’s must reading. In his article, Mr. Warner claims that President Obama doesn’t know who the enemy is, then provides examples of President Obama’s war:

Obama’s problem is that he does not know who the enemy is. To him, the enemy does not squat in caves in Waziristan, clutching automatic weapons and reciting the more militant verses from the Koran: instead, it sits around at tea parties in Kentucky quoting from the US Constitution. Obama is not at war with terrorists, but with his Republican fellow citizens. He has never abandoned the campaign trail.

That is why he opened Pandora’s Box by publishing the Justice Department’s legal opinions on waterboarding and other hardline interrogation techniques. He cynically subordinated the national interest to his partisan desire to embarrass the Republicans. Then he had to rush to Langley, Virginia to try to reassure a demoralised CIA that had just discovered the President of the United States was an even more formidable foe than al-Qaeda.

“Don’t be discouraged by what’s happened the last few weeks,” he told intelligence officers. Is he kidding? Thanks to him, al-Qaeda knows the private interrogation techniques available to the US intelligence agencies and can train its operatives to withstand them – or would do so, if they had not already been outlawed.

So, next time a senior al-Qaeda hood is captured, all the CIA can do is ask him nicely if he would care to reveal when a major population centre is due to be hit by a terror spectacular, or which American city is about to be irradiated by a dirty bomb. Your view of this situation will be dictated by one simple criterion: whether or not you watched the people jumping from the twin towers.

Today’s Democrats are forever worrying about “America’s image in the world.” That’s a lovely notion in peacetime but it’s dangerous in wartime. Worrying about “America’s image in the world” potentially gets in the way of national security officials doing their constitutionally mandated duties. Specifically, it might cause them to pull punches in interrogating HVTs.

It’s time Democrats, especially this wet-behind-the-ears president, understood that they serve the American people first, not the European elitist snobs. It’s time Democrats learned that the least of their worries are Tea Party attending Kentuckians who believe in the Constitution. It’s time Democrats learned that military people returning from Iraq or Afghanistan aren’t potential terrorists.

In short, it’s time that Democrats stop living in the soft puffy world that they’re currently living in. I’ll close with Mr. Warner’s closing paragraph because it’s a great summation:

President Pantywaist’s recent world tour, cosying up to all the bad guys, excited the ambitions of America’s enemies. Here, they realised, is a sucker they can really take to the cleaners. His only enemies are fellow Americans. Which prompts the question: why does President Pantywaist hate America so badly?

I won’t say that President Obama hates America. I’m perfectly comfortable, though, saying that President Obama’s first priority isn’t putting the United States’ interests first.

It isn’t a stretch to say that President Obama’s plan of restoring America’s image in the world is off to a bumpy start.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative