Archive for the ‘National Security’ Category
After the ISIS terrorist attacks in Paris, some thoughtful people from both parties but led by Republicans, proposed pausing the importation of Syrian refugees. They suggested that because the vetting process of Syrian refugees isn’t reliable. That isn’t just Republicans’ opinion. It’s an opinion they share with James Comey, the director of the FBI. During testimony to Congress, he said that vetting Syrian refugees was all but impossible.
After that, President Obama announced that he wouldn’t pause the program, saying that not accepting these refugees was un-American. It isn’t surprising that Gov. Dayton is repeating President Obama’s line. In an interview with MPR’s Kerri Miller, Gov. Dayton said “the State Department and Department of Homeland Security have an extensive vetting process in place.”
According to Director Comey, that’s misinformation. In his testimony, Director Comey said that the databases they need to vet people either doesn’t exist or is highly unreliable. DHS and the State Department can say whatever they want but it doesn’t mean anything if the vetting infrastructure doesn’t exist or isn’t reliable.
Gov. Dayton later said “I think there should be an enhanced level of vetting and security for Syrian refugees or others that come from places which have been sources of terrorism” before saying “having been on the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security, there’s far more that’s actually undertaken.”
Has Sen. Dayton gotten briefed lately on the state of identification databases in Syria lately? If he hasn’t, how would he know that the vetting infrastructure is reliable? Is he just trusting President Obama? If that’s the case, would he trust a Republican president the same way in the same circumstances?
Finally, Gov. Dayton said “People who are fleeing terrorism in other countries, people with families with children in their arms — to tell them they can’t come into this country and have a future is just un-American.” Let’s explain this to Gov. Dayton through this picture:
I’d love to see whether Gov. Dayton would accept that taste-testing challenge.
When then-Candidate Obama ran for office in 2008, he sounded an optimistic tone, constantly talking about “hope and change.” A month into President Obama’s administration, President Obama’s governing motto morphed into “We won.” President Obama killed bipartisanship a month into his administration. It’s been downhill since. Salena Zito’s latest column highlights President Obama’s boorish behavior last week in the aftermath of ISIS’s terrorist attacks on Paris.
Ms. Zito noted that the definition of leadership “is guidance, direction, inspiration, motivation. And, at a moment when our nation felt most vulnerable and needed reassurance that the man in control was looking out for our welfare, we found ourselves irrevocably disappointed. Americans wanted sober, serious and authoritative. What they got was prickly and tone deaf.” President Hope and Change hasn’t listened to We The People since the passing of his failed stimulus bill. We saw the last of President Hope and Change about 3 years before the end of his first term.
Pressured by reporters about his strategy for fighting ISIS, his ill-tempered response offered no direct answer. Instead, he sharply rebuked his critics before doubling down on his tepid, ever-changing policy for taking on the terror group.
President Obama is too narcissistic to admit that he’s gotten virtually every major foreign policy wrong. It isn’t just that others might’ve done details differently. It’s that they wouldn’t have been foolish enough to offer Russia a reset button or negotiate with Iran, the biggest state sponsor of terror. They definitely wouldn’t have held a Rose Garden press conference to announce that he’d traded 5 top terrorist generals for an American deserter.
Ms. Zito got the ending right:
The majority of Americans are not behind Obama’s plan to allow 10,000 Syrian refugees into the United States, according to Bloomberg and NBC News polls conducted last week. The fear felt by Americans crosses both parties, and it is not unreasonable. In such a time of crisis or doubt, a president’s purpose is to calm our fears, not to put on a professorial hat and declare, “I am right and you are wrong.”
The fact is, Obama will never change; anytime he is backed into a corner, he not only puts on that professor’s hat but he also blames whatever problem exists on Congress and, inevitably, divides the country still further.
That is not leadership — but it sure is politics.
President Obama failed Leadership 101 in college. That’s why he’s spent the last 7 years as the Divider-in-chief.
It’s becoming a matter of routine to hear that Scott Walker is leading in another poll or that he’s won another straw poll. Gov. Walker was the final speaker at the Northeast Republican Leadership Conference, where he won another straw poll with surprising strength:
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie got some of Philadelphia’s brotherly love in a Republican straw poll of declared and presumptive presidential candidates this weekend.
But Scott Walker got more.
The Wisconsin governor left the Northeast Republican Leadership Conference with 25.3 percent of the poll, taken among the 600-plus party leaders and activists from 20 states who attended, according to a news release from the event. Christie won 11.6 percent, taking second place. He edged out Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who had 11 percent. Rounding out the top five were former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who tied with 9.6 percent.
Gov. Walker’s message is simple: he’s a fighter that wins:
Seeking to differentiate himself from some of his potential rivals who serve in Congress or have been out of office for some time, Mr. Walker said he was a unique combination of fighter and election and policy victor. “We fight the good fight and win those fights over and over and over again,” he said.
It’s impossible to argue with Gov. Walker’s history of success. The record speaks for itself. If ever there was an election that showed elections aren’t about the past, this is that election. Gov. Walker appears able to fight and win on that turf, too:
Mr. Walker also mocked the president on national security, citing Mr. Obama’s recent speech in which he said climate change was the biggest threat facing America. “I’ve got a message for you, Mr. President. The number one threat to the military, the number one threat to America, the number one threat to the world is radical Islam. It’s time we do something about it,” he said to roaring cheers.
President Obama admitted that he doesn’t have a complete strategy to defeat ISIS. Unfortunately for solutions-oriented Americans of all political stripes, that isn’t surprising. It’s just disappointing. It’s impossible to think of President Obama as a policy wonk. It’s impossible to think of him as anything more than a political hack.
Saying that climate change is the “biggest threat facing America” requires mocking. Thankfully, there are several serious conservative candidates who are capable of taking over as commander-in-chief. Right now, the one winning the straw polls and leading in the polls is Gov. Walker.
Anyone watching this video has to wonder whether Tucker Carlson has paid attention the last 12 years:
Here’s the transcript that calls his analytic skills into question:
CARLSON: The question I would ask, and I’m not endorsing Rand Paul, but I do think you need a moment of national reckoning where we ask a simple question: what is the lesson from the last thirteen years of Iraq? Have we learned anything? How would we proceed differently based on what we just saw? And the other candidates, most of them I would say, are committed to this ‘We’ve learned nothing. The world’s exactly as it was on September 12, 2001. That is not…I don’t think that’s a recipe for success. I …
BRET BAIER: But do you think that this is a pathway to the GOP nomination?
CARLSON: I don’t. I absolutely don’t. Laura is absolutely right. He’s getting hammered. You’re pro-terrorist. Again, I’m not defending Rand Paul. I’m not an advocate for his campaign. But I think the question hangs in the air what have we learned?
LAURA INGRAHAM: There’s a big debate out there that has to be had. Will it be had? Will it be had when there’s just one person making the case and an entire field saying ‘Oh no. It has to be this way. It’s an interesting debate. We should have it.
CHARLES LANE: I listened to that soundbite of Rand Paul and was just reminded of why he’s not…of why he’s getting criticism. The things he says are sloppy and superficial. To literally blame the rise of ISIS on the hawks in the Republican Party is just ridiculous. Let’s face it. There are so many other factors that’ve gone into it and furthermore, it isn’t about how do we unring all the bells that were run in the past that may have led us to this point. The problem now is how do we deal with this menace?
If Carlson wants to re-litigate whether we should’ve invaded Iraq, he’s free to do so. It’s just that that’s a waste of time for policymakers. If historians want to debate it, fine. That’s their responsibility.
If Carlson wants to make sure that we don’t make the same mistakes again, the big picture answer is exceptionally straightforward. Don’t elect a person who thinks that fighting terrorists is an afterthought. Don’t elect a person who isn’t committed to winning.
One straightforward lesson worth learning is that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton told us in 2007 and 2008 that they weren’t qualified to be commander-in-chief. President Obama has been a terrible commander-in-chief. If she got elected, Hillary would be just as terrible as commander-in-chief as President Obama is because they’re both committed, as they’ve said repeatedly throughout the years, to “ending wars responsibly.”
The biggest lesson Republicans need to learn is to a) trust their generals more and b) loosen up the rules of engagement, aka ROE, so that U.S. military forces can efficiently kill the terrorists as quickly as possible. The other shift that’s imperative is that they must make clear that the Sunnis and Kurds will be protected and that Iran’s generals won’t be permitted as military advisors to Iraq.
The biggest reason why the Sunnis didn’t fight in Ramadi is because they were stuck in a lose-lose situation. If they defeat ISIS, Iranian Shiites would wage war against the Sunnis. If the Sunnis waged war against the Shiites, then Iran and President Obama would persecute them.
During the Anbar Awakening, U.S. soldiers fought alongside the Sunnis. They established a trust with the Sunni soldiers. The result was the Sunnis running AQI, ISIS’ predecessor, into Syria. We don’t need to send 150,000 troops into Iraq to obliterate ISIS. Military experts say that 20,000-25,000 troops, combined with an aggressive bombing campaign, should devastate ISIS and restore Iraqi trust in the United States. This time, though, it’s imperative that we negotiate a status of forces agreement to keep a stabilizing force in Iraq. That stabilizing force would keep the troops and the Iraqi government in line, prevent the Iranians from spreading their influence in the region and prevent the return of ISIS.
The Democratic playbook on Marco Rubio is thin. Their best argument against Sen. Rubio is that he isn’t Hispanic enough:
So far, Democrats who have combed over Mr. Rubio’s voting record in the Senate have seized on his opposition to legislation raising the minimum wage and to expanding college loan refinancing, trying to cast him as no different from other Republicans. The subtext: He may be Hispanic, but he is not on the side of Hispanics when it comes to the issues they care about.
That’s incredibly defensive. If the Democrats’ biggest criticism of Sen. Rubio is that he opposed raising the minimum wage, that will last about a week, if that, before Sen. Rubio starts talking about restoring the American Dream again. Let’s remember that Democrats are frightened by Sen. Rubio’s personal story:
WASHINGTON — They use words like “historic” and “charismatic,” phrases like “great potential” and “million-dollar smile.” They notice audience members moved to tears by an American-dream-come-true success story. When they look at the cold, hard political math, they get uneasy.
An incipient sense of anxiety is tugging at some Democrats — a feeling tersely captured in four words from a blog post written recently by a seasoned party strategist in Florida: “Marco Rubio scares me.”
Sen. Rubio isn’t flawless. His participation in the Gang of 8 immigration reform bill is a definite sticking point with Republicans. That might hurt Sen. Rubio’s chances for winning the nomination. Still, that’s nothing compared with the cloud of scandals that Hillary will have to defend in the general election.
Defending a policy misstep isn’t difficult compared with convincing people that the series of disastrous decisions you’re associated with (the Reset Button with Russia, pulling the troops out of Iraq, which led directly to ISIS claiming functional control of Anbar Province and not stepping up security in Benghazi, which led to the U.S. Ambassador to Libya getting assassinated) aren’t proof that you’re the worst Secretary of State in the last 75 years.
John Hinderaker has an other observation that Democrats should be worried about:
The one who should really scare them is Hillary Clinton, as her ineptitude as a candidate becomes more palpable with every passing day.
If Hillary hadn’t been First Lady, she wouldn’t get taken seriously as a presidential candidate. When she was First Lady, she was a disaster, starting with her bombing with HillaryCare, then including her “vast right wing conspiracy” statement. After that statement, she disappeared from the stage for over a month.
When she started her book tour, she committed one gaffe after another, which led to cancelling the majority of the tour. Initially, it was thought that the book tour would serve as Hillary’s first step in her presidential coronation. Instead, it was cancelled because she botched things badly.
Natan Sharansky’s op-ed provides a stunning contrast between the Obama administration’s Iran capitulation and President Eisenhower’s negotiations with the then-Soviet Union. Check this out:
For starters, consider that the Soviet regime felt obliged to make its first ideological concession simply to enter into negotiations with the United States about economic cooperation. At the end of the 1950s, Moscow abandoned its doctrine of fomenting a worldwide communist revolution and adopted in its place a credo of peaceful coexistence between communism and capitalism. The Soviet leadership paid a high price for this concession, both internally, in the form of millions of citizens, like me, who had been obliged to study Marxism and Leninism as the truth and now found their partial abandonment confusing, and internationally, in their relations with the Chinese and other dogmatic communists who viewed the change as a betrayal. Nevertheless, the Soviet government understood that it had no other way to get what it needed from the United States.
The Soviets capitulated because they didn’t have any options. Soviet negotiators thought that President Eisenhower was a serious, hard-nosed negotiator. They didn’t fear him like they feared President Reagan but they knew they couldn’t take liberties with Eisenhower.
As a result of their capitulation, the Soviets experienced a shaming that they never recovered from. It took several more decades before the gulags closed and the dissidents were freed but the Soviets had been dealt a stunning defeat.
Imagine what would have happened if instead, after completing a round of negotiations over disarmament, the Soviet Union had declared that its right to expand communism across the continent was not up for discussion. This would have spelled the end of the talks. Yet today, Iran feels no need to tone down its rhetoric calling for the death of America and wiping Israel off the map.
The Iranians sized up President Obama and figured it out that he wasn’t a serious negotiator. To the Iranians, President Obama looked like a mark in a con man’s sights. They figured that President Obama could be flipped. That’s because they knew he was a desperate man in search of a legacy. As a result, the Iranians played hardball with him.
The sanctions were working. Iran’s mullahs would’ve been toppled if President Obama was interested in that. Unfortunately for Israel and the US, President Obama wasn’t interested in dealing the Iranian regime a death blow. Because President Obama zigged when other administrations would’ve zagged, Iran is poised to become a Middle East hegemon with a nuclear weapon.
While negotiating with the Soviet Union, U.S. administrations of all stripes felt certain of the moral superiority of their political system over the Soviet one. They felt they were speaking in the name of their people and the free world as a whole, while the leaders of the Soviet regime could speak for no one but themselves and the declining number of true believers still loyal to their ideology.
President Obama’s legacy will be his administration-long apology tour. He’s felt that the United States wasn’t a force for good. This will be his fitting epitaph:
It’ll take a generation to clean up all the history-changing messes he’s created. President Clinton said that the 1990s represented a “vacation from history.” On 9/11, history came to collect on that debt.
It might well be that 2009-2016 will be called the United States’ vacation from being the United States.
Technorati: Natan Sharansky, Soviet Dissident, Dwight Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, Leader of the Free World, Negotiations, Soviet Union, President Obama, Capitulation, Iran, Legacy, Sanctions, Apology Tour, Democrats
CNN’s Brooke Baldwin and Dana Bash talked about Sen. Rubio’s youth and turning it around now vs. how they criticized then-Sen. Obama about it in 2008:
Here’s what Baldwin said that caught my attention:
BROOKE BALDWIN: Well, they tried to slam the then-Sen. Obama for it and now you have all these freshman GOP senators in the same situation.
It’s fair game to ask whether Republicans should’ve criticized then-Sen. Obama. The answer to that question is simple. Yes, it was fair that Republicans questioned then-Sen. Obama because he was just 2 years removed from being a back-bench state senator when he started running for president.
First, let’s remember that Barack Obama served only a total of 4 years in the Senate. In 2003, Obama was a state senator who frequently voted present. He didn’t have any accomplishments to speak of. Upon joining the Senate, he essentially started running for president. Just 2 years after getting elected to the US Senate, Obama announced that he was running for president. As a result, he didn’t take his committee assignments seriously. That’s one of the reasons why President Obama’s policies have been disastrous. (The other reason why they’ve been disastrous is because of his belief in a failed ideology.)
By comparison, Sen. Rubio and Sen. Paul are in the fifth year of their respective terms in office. They’ve taken their committee assignments seriously. Sen. Rubio, for all his faults, is an expert on national security and terrorism. I said here that Sen. Rubio would mop the floor with Hillary’s behind if they ever debated foreign policy or national security.
It’s substantially different to go from being a state senator to president in 5 years than to go from Speaker of the Florida House to presidential candidate in 7 years. Sen. Rubio’s understanding of the issues is significantly better than President Obama’s understanding of the issues.
I don’t doubt that Sen. Rubio was nervous initially when he started his presentation. It’s an emotional moment for him and his family. I’d be worried if he wasn’t a little emotional. It’s worth noticing that Ms. Bash said that he settled down once he got a little ways into the speech. That’s why I wrote that Sen. Rubio blew Hillary away.
I’ve frequently said that Marco Rubio will highlight the image that he’s the future and that Hillary’s ‘sell-by date’ had passed. This article verifies that I was on the right track:
Portraying Clinton as a candidate of the past, Rubio, 43, talked about the opportunity awaiting the GOP as it seeks to recapture the White House after eight years out of power.
“The Republican Party, for the first time in a long time, has a chance in this election to be the party of the future,” Rubio said on the call. “Just yesterday, we heard from a leader from yesterday who wants to take us back to yesterday, but I feel that this country has always been about tomorrow.”
Hillary will do her best to run away from Washington, DC, partially because the average voter doesn’t have a positive opinion of DC but partially because she’s had a high profile, non-productive career as a Washington fixture. When initially asked what her accomplishments were, State Department officials touted the fact that she’d put on more air miles as Secretary of State than any of her predecessors.
Appropriately, Carly Fiorina brought the house down at CPAC with this riff:
In a debate on foreign policy, there’s no question in my mind that Sen. Rubio would convincingly win that debate with Hillary, starting with her giving the Russian foreign minister that gimmicky-looking reset button. Part of the reason why Sen. Rubio would convincingly win that debate is because Hillary would either have to defend a pathetic Obama foreign policy or she’d have to distance herself from President Obama’s foreign policy.
If Hillary runs away from the Obama administration’s foreign policy, she’d open herself up to charges of being less than forthright. That plays into the narrative that’s haunted Hillary for 25 years in DC. That’s a damned if you, damned if you don’t situation.
The other thing working against Hillary is the fact that he’s youthful and energetic, 2 words that aren’t associated with Hillary. That isn’t sexist. It’s politics in the TV age. Starting in 1960, image has mattered. In that Kennedy-Nixon debate, people that listened to the debate thought Nixon won it. People that watched it thought JFK won it.
It’s been that way ever since.
The other thing that’s working against Hillary is that she isn’t a great campaigner. Her book tour was a disaster. Yesterday, Hillary’s team botched it with this:
Bill’s people never would’ve made that mistake. Period. For all the credit she’s been given for being a top-tier candidate, there’s ample proof that suggests she isn’t. Winning the Democratic nomination will be relatively easy. Winning the general election is an entirely different matter.
This weekend, after he met with Raul Castro, President Obama continued his hate America tour, declaring that he was “very aware of the fact that there are dark chapters in our own history.”
There’s no doubt that this nation has seen dark chapters during its history. While the darkest of those dark chapters is either the Civil War or the bombing of Pearl Harbor, not all of this nation’s darkest chapters involve war. The Obama administration is one of those dark chapters.
Betraying Israel is a sad chapter in US history. President Obama has frequently betrayed Israel, whether it’s through revealing Israel’s sensitive nuclear secrets or by sending his political operatives to Israel to defeat Israel’s sitting prime minister. Frankly, betraying Israel is betraying the United States’ Judeo-Christian heritage.
Frequently ignoring the Constitution is another instance where the Obama administration has led the United States into a dark chapter in our nation’s history. No other administration has had the Supreme Court rule unanimously against their power grabs thirteen times. That’s a record that’s as likely to get broken as Cy Young’s 511 victories as a pitcher.
Negotiating a nuclear proliferation treaty with Iran, which is what John Kerry’s framework really is, is a betrayal of our allies in the region. That’s before talking about how it establishes Iran as the regional superpower. That’s before talking about how it endangers our national security by pumping new money into Iran’s coffers to support regional and worldwide terrorist attacks.
That’s before highlighting this foolish statement:
“The cold war has been over for a long time and I’m not interested in battles that have been over frankly, before I was born,” President Obama stated.
It’s stupid for President Obama to insist that the Cold War is over. Putin’s on the march, gobbling up huge parts of neighboring countries. Further, I’m interested in hearing him explain how the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, when he was 28 years old. Perhaps he didn’t notice because he was too busy selling cocaine?
The only potential positive that might come out of the Obama administration is the stench that will remind us we’ve survived a national nightmare of incredible intensity.
Technorati: Barack Obama, Foreign Policy, State Sponsors of Terrorism, Nuclear Proliferation, Iran, Appeasement, Terrorists, Cuba, National Security, Israel, Pearl Harbor, Civil War, Supreme Court, Constitution
Anyone who watched Rand Paul’s interview with Megyn Kelly last night saw Sen. Paul’s less-than-elegant side:
Simply put, Sen. Paul was combative, argumentative and vague. He was argumentative when Kelly pressed him for a definition of who he meant when he talked about neocons. By comparison, Sen. Paul said that Charles Krauthammer was “just wrong” in his opinion about Sen. Paul. Finally, Sen. Paul refused to even say what the ‘neocon’ philosophy consisted of. The only thing Sen. Paul said about neocons was that Sen. McCain “is always right and wants to have troops in 15 countries…”
That’s just the tip of the iceberg. When Kelly showed clips of Paul criticizing Savannah Guthrie, telling her how to conduct an interview, Sen. Paul looked petulant and thin-skinned. While there’s no denying the fact that Sen. Paul is more open-minded than President Obama, there’s no denying the fact that he doesn’t like getting challenged, either.
Right after Kelly’s interview with Sen. Paul, she interviewed Dana Perino, who had some great advice for Sen. Paul. Ms. Perino said he should put the tapes in of his interview with Savannah Guthrie and the CNBC anchor where his thin skin showed the most. Ms. Perino said that his wife could point out things that he isn’t seeing and offer him an opinion of what comes across through a woman’s eyes. Perino wasn’t harshly critical. She simply offered constructive criticism.
Sen. Paul’s other ‘skin’ problem that showed during his interview was his constant insistence that he was the only Republican who fought against bombing Libya. He wasn’t. I’m hard-pressed to think of a single Republican who thought invading Libya was a good idea. Sen. Paul insisted that he was right about Syria and ISIS and that only a matter of degrees separated Republicans from President Obama.
That’s warped thinking. President Obama didn’t want to take any action. That’s because he’s a pacifist as is Sen. Paul. That’s what Sen. Paul meant when he said that he didn’t support arming the Free Syrian Army. Sen. Paul didn’t think ISIS was that big of a threat until after they beheaded the reporters. Then his attitude changed. That’s what happened with President Obama. It sounds like Sen. Paul is more like President Obama than the neocons supposedly are.
Tonight, Charles Krauthammer will be part of the Special Report All-Star Panel, along with Judge Napolitano and Juan Williams. It’ll be interesting to see if Bret Baier gives Charles the opportunity to defend himself against Sen. Paul’s charges. If it doesn’t happen there, it’ll happen somewhere. That’s something Sen. Paul should fear because he’s a novelty item. He can’t afford taking a credibility hit from a respected conservative like Krauthammer.
If Sen. Paul doesn’t get control of himself, he won’t last long enough to be a flavor-of-the-month candidate. He’ll be able to stay in the race. It’s just that he’ll be treated like a pariah if he’s stripped of his credibility.