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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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James Taranto eviscerated Thomas Friedman’s article in this column. Still, this part of Friedman’s column needs more evisceration:

These days there is a lot of “if-only-Obama-could-lead-like-Reagan” talk by conservatives. I’ll leave it to historians to figure out years from now who was the better president. But what I’d argue is this: In several critical areas, Reagan had a much easier world to lead in than Obama does now.

I don’t need years to decide who the better president was. President Obama is the worst modern president, worse than even Jimmy Carter. Friedman’s argument that “Reagan had a much easier world to lead in than Obama does now” isn’t serious stuff. Obama’s world isn’t tougher to lead. It’s that President Obama won’t lead.

It’s shameful, too, that Friedman has forgotten the catastrophe that President Reagan stepped into. During the last half of Carter’s administration, it was fashionable for pundits to talk about how the world had grown too demanding for a president to handle it himself. The fashionable talk then was the need for a co-presidency. Friedman’s column didn’t dismiss this information. Friedman ignored it entirely.

When Reagan called the Soviet Union an “evil empire”, doves like Ted Kennedy, John Kerry and Joe Biden criticized Reagan as being utterly naïve. Their opinion was that détente was the only way to manage the Soviet Union.

President Reagan emphatically disagreed. President Reagan was right.

The chief reason why Friedman can look back and say that President Reagan had it easy is tied directly to the quality of President Reagan’s decisions. In hindsight, it’s easy to see the wisdom of President Reagan’s strategy. President Reagan’s strategy was revolutionary and contrarian to everything that the establishment thought. The Soviet empire couldn’t be defeated, the realists told us. President Reagan will get us into WWIII with that Neanderthal thinking, they told us.

President Obama’s world is complicated, too, partially because his attachment to a failed ideology has informed him that being liked is more important than being feared. President Obama said that his administration’s first responsibility was to end wars, which sounds great until you think things through.

George Will recently said that the fastest way to end a war is to lose it. President Obama unilaterally repeatedly declared that war will be part of the past during his 2012 campaign. ISIL didn’t get the notice.

Shortly after 9/11, a reporter told Mayor Giuliani that, on 9/11, terrorists declared war on the United States. Giuliani’s response was that that isn’t true, that terrorists had been at war with the US for years, if not decades. It took 9/11 for us to finally confront the terrorists.

This paragraph needs dismantling:

Obama’s world is different. It is increasingly divided by regions of order and regions of disorder, where there is no one to answer the phone, and the main competition is not between two organized superpowers but between a superpower and many superempowered angry men. On 9/11, we were attacked, and badly hurt, by a person: Osama bin Laden, and his superempowered gang. When superempowered angry men have more open space within which to operate, and more powerful weapons and communication tools, just one needle in a haystack can hurt us.

That’s why President Obama’s strategy to pull our troops out of the world’s biggest hotspot was instantly viewed as foolish. That’s why President Bush’s strategy of taking the fight to the terrorists where they live was instantly seen by serious people as the right option. The Commander-in-Chief can’t afford to let “superempowered angry men” have “open space within which to operate.”

President Reagan understood the importance of confrontationalism in fighting the Soviet empire just like President Bush understood the importance of confronting terrorists in their sanctuaries.

It isn’t that Reagan had it easy. It’s that he knew what he was doing. President Obama doesn’t know what he’s doing. That’s the chief difference between presidents.

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Brit Hume’s commentary of the Obama administration’s dismissing of ISIL’s threat ridicules the administration and their apologists:

Here’s the transcript of Brit Hume’s commentary:

BRIT HUME: An American Muslim convert with a Facebook page that could have been written by Osama bin Laden himself chops off the head of a former coworker. Workplace violence, says the FBI. American warplanes bomb a previously little known terror group called Khorasan. The raid is carried out under the president’s legal authority to attack on his own when there is an imminent threat. And who is this suddenly imminently threatening Khorasan? It turns out to be an al Qaeda cell populated by people who belong to what the administration likes to call core al Qaeda. You remember core al Qaeda? That’s a group Mr. Obama has claimed was decimated.

The president says America underestimated the threat from ISIS, formerly known as al Qaeda in Iraq. And who did the underestimating? Why it was National Intelligence Director Jim Clapper and his colleagues. Mr. Obama told 60 Minutes Clapper has acknowledged as much. Today, though, Obama spokesman Josh Earnest, as you heard, says the president was not trying to blame Clapper. How did we ever get that idea?

What is happening here is simple. President Obama badly misjudged the strength and resilience of America’s terrorist enemies and has adopted a foreign and military policy that has allowed them to regroup and resurge. Now we can see the chickens coming home to roost. The administration would like us to think we are seeing something else.

Here’s the transcript of his brief back-and-forth with Bret Baier:

BAIER: What do you make of this intelligence failure that the President talked about on 60 Minutes?
HUME: Well, let’s assume that there was a monstrous intelligence failure and all of the intelligence agencies failed, although they didn’t, to warn the President about ISIS. By February of this year, ISIS had captured Ramadi and Fallujah…
BAIER: Two big cities in Iraq…
HUME: Two big cities in Iraq that had formerly been the focus of our activities in the past, especially Fallujah. So you think it might’ve dawned on someone in the White House, especially the President, that, gee, this little terrorist group is turning out to be much more of an army than we’ve ever seen before, doing things that usually only armies can do, that is, capturing and holding territory, maybe we ought to worry about them.

It isn’t that the intelligence community got it wrong. It’s that the things they told President Obama didn’t fit into President Obama’s script that “core al-Qa’ida” had been decimated and that the war on terror was coming to an end. Apparently, ISIL didn’t get the script. Apparently, they’re interested in establishing a nation of terrorists that’s funded with revenues from black market oil and equipped with American military equipment.

If President Obama had taken terrorism seriously, he wouldn’t have pulled all US troops from Iraq. He would’ve kept enough boots on the ground to a) prevent ISIL from re-taking Fallujah and b) gather intelligence on terrorists.

This wasn’t the intelligence community’s failure. ISIL is the product of President Obama’s willful ideological blindness. His fierce opposition to war and his insistence that the world was working out just as he’d predicted led to this predictable failure.

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John McCormack’s article on Sen. Paul’s change from dove to hawk exposes Sen. Paul’s temper. First, here’s Sen. Paul’s evolution:

On June 19, a week after Mosul fell to ISIS, Paul was very skeptical of airstrikes. On August 11, after Christians were forced to flee Mosul and Yazidis were massacred, Paul was ambivalent about the limited airstrikes the president had just ordered. On August 29, after the beheading of American James Foley but before the beheading of American Steven Sotloff, Paul suggested he still hadn’t made up his mind about bombing ISIS:

I think the strategy has to be that you have an open debate in the country over whether or not ISIS is a threat to our national security. And it’s not enough just to say they are. That’s usually what you hear—you hear a conclusion. People say, “Well, it’s a threat to our national security.” That’s a conclusion. The debate has to be: Are they a threat to our national security?

In a statement to the AP later that same afternoon, Paul said that he would “seek congressional authorization to destroy ISIS militarily” if he were president.

Sen. Paul isn’t a hawk. He’s a politician who got caught on the wrong side of an important issue. He’s a politician who made a political decision to be acceptable to presidential primary voters in 2016. We don’t need an unprincipled presidential candidate. We need someone who’s thought things through. Our presidential nominee needs to get national security right. We don’t need someone whose default position is to shrink American influence.

We’re already suffering through that type of administration.

Sen. Paul said that saying ISIL is a threat to our national security is a conclusion, not a discussion. This isn’t a time for a lengthy discussion. It’s time for deciding. Further, deciding that ISIL is a threat to our national security based on the beheading of 2 reporters, however tragic and shocking they were, isn’t sound thinking. It sounds more like the type of thinking that comes from getting caught.

Sen. Paul isn’t liking getting pressed by the press:

I asked Paul twice if he was no longer concerned, as he wrote in June, that bombing ISIS may simply turn the United States into “Iran’s air force.” He didn’t respond to the questions and indicated he wasn’t happy with this reporter as well as a local reporter who repeatedly suggested Paul is an isolationist.

“All right, thanks guys. Work on that objectivity,” Paul said, as he walked away.

What a snotty reply. John McCormack is one of the best reporters out there. He’s objective. His articles are filled with solid logic and verified facts. That Sen. Paul would whine about John McCormack’s objectivity speaks volumes about Sen. Paul’s temperament (temper?), not McCormack’s objectivity.

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Last night was Jay Carney’s first night as a senior political analyst for CNN. After watching this video, I hope CNN isn’t paying him much:

Frankly, Sen. McCain beat him like a drum. It was a flashback to the daily Carney fetal position daily briefings. This exchange is exceptionally decisive:

McCAIN: No, facts are stubborn things, Mr. Carney, and that is his entire national security team, including the Secretary of State said he want to arm and train and equip these people and he made the unilateral decision to turn them down. The fact he didn’t a residual force in Iraq, overruled all of his military advisers, is the reason why we’re facing ISIS today.

So the facts are stubborn things in history and people ought to know them. And now the president is saying basically that we are going to take certain actions, which I would favor, but to say that America is safer, and that the situation is very much like Yemen and Somalia shows me that the president really doesn’t have a grasp for how serious the threat of ISIS is.

CARNEY: Well, again, Senator, we’re going to have to agree to disagree. And I think on the question of the residual force, there was another player in that which was the Iraqi government. A, and B, it was the fulfillment of the previous administration’s withdrawal plan. And it was also the fulfillment of the president’s promise to withdraw from Iraq and not maintain a true presence, in perpetuity, which is pretty consistent with what the American people wanted and believed it was the right approach.

McCAIN: Mr. Carney, you are again saying facts that are patently false. The fact is because [Senator] Lindsey Graham, [former Senator] Joe Lieberman and I, we were in Baghdad, they wanted a residual force. The president has never made a statement during that or after that he wanted a residual force left behind. The Iraqis were ready to go. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee that the number cascaded down to 3,500. That was not sufficient to do anything but to defend themselves. And you in your role as a spokesperson bragged about the fact that the last American combat troop had left Iraq. If we had left a residual force the situation would not be what it is today. And there would be a lot more.

It’s worth repeating that President Obama took the position of I-know-better-than-my-national-security-team what’s needed in Iraq. That’s characteristic of a man with great hubris. That’s fine. History will judge him for that decision.

Further, Carney still sounds like the dishonest partisan hack that conducted the daily White House press briefings. He’s still peddling the BS that Iraq kicked the US out. That’s contrary to what President Obama said during a debate with Mitt Romney. In that debate, President Obamba bragged that he should get credit for keeping his promise of getting the US out of Iraq.

Carney hasn’t figured it out that a glorified desk jockey can’t argue with an eyewitness on the ground at the ‘scene of the crime.’ Sens. McCain, Graham and Lieberman talked with the Iraqi government. They don’t have to accept the Obama administration’s spin. They talked directly with the Iraqi government.

It isn’t a secret that I’m not Sen. McCain’s biggest fan. Still, if he says that he spoke with the Iraqi government and that they told him they wanted to negotiate a status of forces agreement, then I’ll trust him.

Finally, experts understand that ISIL wouldn’t have constituted itself had the US kept 20,000 troops on the ground. They would’ve been demolished before ISIL before they got to Fallujah.

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Rick Santorum’s op-ed totally demolishes Rand Paul’s credibility on national security:

In a radio interview in 2007, while helping his father, isolationist Rep. Ron Paul, run for president, Rand actually denied that Iran is a threat to the United States or Israel. He did so despite the fact that the U.S. government designated Iran a “state sponsor of terrorism” as far back as 1984. “Even our own intelligence community consensus opinion now is that they [Iran] are not a threat,” Rand said. “Like my dad says, [the Iranians] don’t have an Air Force, they don’t have a Navy. You know, it’s ridiculous to think they’re a threat to our national security…. It’s not even that viable to say they’re a national threat to Israel.”

Simply put, Rand Paul, like his nutty father, couldn’t identify a state sponsor or terrorism if they launched a ship with a flag saying “State sponsor of terrorism.” People who can’t identify terrorists aren’t qualified to be commander-in-chief. It’s that simple.

It hasn’t dawned on either Paul that Iran’s funding of terrorists pose a mortal threat to western Europe and the United States. Neither has figured out that the nuclear bombs they’re working on creating will be used to destabilize Arab nations to the point that oil prices will spike and throw the world economy into a turmoil that will make the Great Recession look relatively mild in comparison.

This paragraph is mind-boggling:

In January 2014, Senator Paul sided with President Obama in opposing the passage of new economic sanctions on Iran, further evidence he would rather appease the mullahs in Tehran than ratchet up pressure on them to give up their illegal and dangerous nuclear program. “I think while they [the Iranians] are negotiating, and if we can see they’re negotiating in good faith, I don’t think it’s a good idea to pass sanctions,” Paul told CNN.

What idiot thinks that the Iranians will negotiate in good faith? It’s exceptionally and frighteningly naive to think that that’s a possibility.

As frightening as Paul’s beliefs are about Iran, they’re worse about ISIL. Here’s what he said in an interview:

When asked by CongressWatch if he views ISIL and the deteriorating situation in Iraq as a direct threat to the United States, Paul was characteristically candid in sticking to his worldview.

“The vast amount of Americans disagree with that assessment,” Paul said when asked if ISIL poses a direct threat to the US.

“I think that would be conjecture,” Paul said when asked about the view of ISIL put forth by Obama and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. “We know that there’s a civil war going on there. And we know that they want to claim a big chunk of Iraq — as much as they can get. But, I mean, anything else is complete conjecture.

“Are they a potential threat to the US? Sometime,” Paul said. “Maybe even at the present. But…is there a US interest in sending US troops into Iraq? Absolutely no.”

There most certainly is a US interest in obliterating ISIL. While they don’t pose a threat to the US homeland in the next couple of weeks, they’re consolidating the things they’ll need to conduct terrorist operations throughout the world. We can’t afford a commander-in-chief that reacts after a terrorist attack. We need a commander-in-chief who obliterates them before they can attack.

Paul’s dovishness is wrong for America because we need a commander-in-chief who will work with allies like the Kurdish Peshmerga to decimate threats like ISIL before they can kill Americans.

Now that ISIL has beheaded journalists and taken over a huge chunk of Iraq, Sen. Paul is suddenly hawkish:

Yet now, with American journalists being beheaded and even President Obama taking reluctant half-measures to slow ISIL through air strikes, Senator Paul is suddenly changing his tune. “If I were president, I would call a joint session of Congress,” he now says. “I would lay out the reasoning of why ISIS is a threat to our national security and seek Congressional authorization to destroy ISIS militarily.” (ISIS is another acronym used to refer to the Islamic State.)

It’s here that Sen. Santorum thrusts in the proverbial knife and gives it a sharp twist:

Did Senator Paul just hire John Kerry’s speechwriter?

At one point, I thought Rand Paul wouldn’t be the nujob that his father is. I still think he isn’t as nutty as his father. I just don’t think that there’s a big difference between him and his father as I first thought.

It’s obvious that Rick Santorum is gearing up for another presidential run. While I think he’s more qualified than Rand Paul, that doesn’t mean I think he’s a top tier candidate. Quite the contrary. I think he’s a niche candidate who appeals to a tiny slice of the GOP, nothing more.

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At a DNC fundraiser in New York last night, President Obama said that the world isn’t falling apart, it’s just that social media is making him look bad:

President Obama on Friday said social media and the nightly news are partly to blame for the sense that “the world is falling apart.”

“I can see why a lot of folks are troubled,” Obama told a group of donors gathered at a Democratic National Committee barbecue in Purchase, N.Y. But the president said that current foreign policy crises across the world are not comparable to the challenges the U.S. faced during the Cold War.

There’s no question that social media spreads the news around quickly. That doesn’t explain away the multitude of crises that’ve started during President Obama’s administration or the threat posed by ISIL.

President Putin doesn’t take him seriously. At best, the Obama administration is an afterthought to Putin. America’s allies don’t trust us because of amateurish moves like dissing allies like Egypt in attempting to broker a cease-fire between Israel and the Palestinians.

Egypt and the UAE hit Libyan targets without informing the Obama administration:

CAIRO — Twice in the last seven days, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates have secretly launched airstrikes against Islamist-allied militias battling for control of Tripoli, Libya, four senior American officials said, in a major escalation of a regional power struggle set off by Arab Spring revolts.

The United States, the officials said, was caught by surprise: Egypt and the Emirates, both close allies and military partners, acted without informing Washington, leaving the Obama administration on the sidelines. Egyptian officials explicitly denied to American diplomats that their military played any role in the operation, the officials said, in what appeared a new blow to already strained relations between Washington and Cairo.

America’s enemies don’t fear us. Iran and Russia laugh at the Obama administration. Putin keeps trying to rebuild the former Soviet empire and Iran continues on its path to a nuclear weapon.

Worst of all, ISIL is the biggest terrorist threat in history. They’re exceptionally well-financed. They have a military capable of dominating the Arabian Peninsula. They’re training fighters who have European and/or American passports.

No, Mr. President, it isn’t that social media is spotlighting the usual things. It’s that they’re highlighting your administration’s multitude of mistakes. Mr. President, there’s wide consensus that your administration is the worst foreign policy/national security administration since WWII.

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Bill Burton’s op-ed about President Obama’s frequent golf outings is a nice attempt to distract from Americans’ chief complaint:

I thought that going on vacation with the president would be a real perk of serving as deputy press secretary in the Obama White House.

Don’t get me wrong: Some elements of it are amazing. When you do find some down time, you can find yourself in one of the most beautiful places on Earth enjoying its splendor with the leader of the free world and your buddies.

That is—when you can find some down time.

As Washington chews over yet another presidential “vacation,” and that most Washington of words—“optics”—let me take you behind the scenes of the last time President Obama took flack for supposedly being “disengaged” while world events marched on around him.

First, let’s dispatch with the word optics. It’s mostly used by liberal journalists who then ignore the problem. Yes, the optics are terrible when the supposed leader of the free world talks somberly about the beheading of an American journalist, then is seen joking and fist-pumping an hour later.

When those things happen, it’s natural for people to question President Obama’s sincerity and his commitment to ridding the Middle East of terrorists.

What actions did President Obama put into action from the sand trap on the 9th hole? Did he finally figure it out that ISIL is a real threat to the American homeland while putting on the 15th hole? If he didn’t figure that out on the 15th, did he get word of Gen. Dempsey’s statement that we’d need to take out ISIL’s command-and-control while driving up to the 18th green? By the time he got back to his compound, had he called Gen. Dempsey and told him to stop talking about ISIL as a threat more dangerous than al-Qa’ida?

It was Christmas Day 2009. Osama bin Laden was still at large. A 23-year-old Nigerian man was caught trying to bring down a passenger airliner headed for Detroit—which would have been the most devastating terrorist attack since 9/11. The day of, and the days that followed, the botched bombing saw the president and his staff, in Hawaii, at the White House and scattered across the country on their own family vacations – snap to attention and drop everything else to make sure we were doing all we could to keep Americans safe.

The president was not a passive bystander. He led America’s response to the apparent terrorist attack, soaking up new information as it came in, running meetings and issuing orders. As a regular matter of course, vacation or not, the president is briefed on intelligence every day. In this instance, he was receiving twice-daily updates on the situation in Detroit as well as three-times-daily updates on matters around the world from the Situation Room. As events developed, the president was directing his national security team—cabinet secretaries, intelligence officials and the military. He was awash in reports from the government and from the media.

Thank God for the Obama administration snapping to immediate attention. If only they hadn’t told law enforcement to read the failed bomber his Miranda rights.

While it’s true the optics have stunk all summer, the truth is that President Obama’s policies have been disastrous. That, Mr. Burton, is what Americans are most worried about. Russia annexes Crimea. President Obama proposes limited sanctions on a handful of Russian billionaires. When ISIL captured Fallujah, President Obama called ISIL a jayvee team. When ISIL threatened to capture Baghdad, President Obama talked about the need for Iraq to sing kumbayah.

When Hamas killed Israelis, President Obama criticized Israel for not being gentle enough on terrorists who then hid behind 5-year-old human shields otherwise known as children. When missiles were found in a UN-run school, he dispatched John Kerry to the region, where Kerry’s plan was immediately rejected by the responsible nations of the region.

Just once, it’d be nice if the administration would get a policy decision right.

Unfortunately for America, it’s more likely that President Obama will hit a hole-in-one on his next vacation than he’s likely to make a solid policy decision.

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This video shows how President Obama’s trash-talking, which is he displays his ideology, has gotten the United States in trouble:

I wrote this article to highlight the fact that ISIL is an existential threat to the United States.I wrote the article because I’m tired of hearing politicians like Rand Paul, President Obama and Elizabeth Warren whine about not getting involved in a civil war in Iraq. That’s so totally intellectually dishonest that they should be ashamed of themselves.

Frankly, it exposes their dovishness.

The video starts with CNN’s Jim Acosta asking White House Press Sacrificial Lamb Josh Earnest if “it’s safe to say that” ISIL “isn’t JV anymore.” Like any dutiful sacrificial lamb, Earnest didn’t answer the question, opting instead to talk about what a great national security president Obama is.

Great national security presidents don’t let ruthless terrorists take a terrorist hotspot like Fallujah, then call them the JV team. That’s a bit of proof that President Obama isn’t a great national security president. Once ISIL expanded beyond Syria, President Obama should’ve known that they couldn’t be taken lightly. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, (D-CA), said that “it takes an army to defeat an army“:

“It takes an army to defeat an army, and I believe that we either confront ISIL now or we will be forced to deal with an even stronger enemy in the future,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said in a statement. The group is “operating with military expertise, advancing across Iraq and rapidly consolidating its position,” she added.

“Inaction is no longer an option,” according to Feinstein.

President Obama initially campaigned on being the anti-war president. He’s ignored his commander-in-chief responsibilities the first 5+ years of his administration. That isn’t possible anymore. Because he’s been the appeaser-in-chief for that amount of time, nations of terrorists like ISIL are threatening to take over most of the Arabian Peninsula:

The Levant today consists of the island of Cyprus, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, and part of southern Turkey.

This isn’t a rag-tag operation. They’ve got weaponry, tons of space for training terrorists, oil fields aplenty to fund their terrorist operations and the military hardware to protect their terrorist training facilities. It’s time President Obama stopped listening to the anti-war ideologues who’ve put us in this precarious position. It’s time he stopped pretending that getting out of wars without defeating the terrorists is the same as giving the terrorist the freedom to plan attacks against the US.

Simply put, there’s no substitute for winning. Since 2006, I’ve highlighted all the times Democrats talked about Iraq and Afghanistan. Each time they talked about those wars, they talked about “ending the war responsibly.” Democrats, whether it was Amy Klobuchar, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton, talked about “ending the war responsibly.”

In fact, they didn’t talk about rolling up terrorist networks or gathering intel on the various active terrorist networks in southwest Asia, north Africa or the Arabian Peninsula. This administration talked endlessly about decimating core al-Qa’ida while ignoring emerging threats like ISIL. After pretending that these problems didn’t exist, Democrats are faced with dealing with them now that they’re established and threatening the Arabian Peninsula.

If President Obama’s ideology hadn’t forced him into pulling all US troops out of Iraq and if he’d acted swiftly to destroy ISIL when it was gaining steam, we wouldn’t be dealing with this crisis. It could’ve, and should’ve, been dealt with proactively.

Now that President Obama has procrastinated until the last moment, his options are limited. Still, it’s quite possible to cripple them with the right decisions. I hope President Obama makes the right decisions because our safety depends on it.

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Then-Sen. Obama and then-Sen. Hillary Clinton both railed against President Bush’s confrontation of terrorists where they lived. They both preached the gospel of “smart diplomacy.” Six years later, we now know that “smart diplomacy” is just a euphemism for appeasement and retreat, if not outright isolationim.

Nowhere is the failure of the Obama-Clinton “smart diplomacy” foreign policy more apparent than in Libya. Walter Russell Mead’s article highlights that failure succinctly by quoting a State Department travel advisory:

The security situation in Libya remains unpredictable and unstable. The Libyan government has not been able to adequately build its military and police forces and improve security following the 2011 revolution. Many military-grade weapons remain in the hands of private individuals, including antiaircraft weapons that may be used against civilian aviation. Crime levels remain high in many parts of the country. In addition to the threat of crime, various groups have called for attacks against U.S. citizens and U.S. interests in Libya. Extremist groups in Libya have made several specific threats this year against U.S. government officials, citizens, and interests in Libya. Because of the presumption that foreigners, especially U.S. citizens, in Libya may be associated with the U.S. government or U.S. NGOs, travelers should be aware that they may be targeted for kidnapping, violent attacks, or death. U.S. citizens currently in Libya should exercise extreme caution and depart immediately.

Sporadic episodes of civil unrest have occurred throughout the country and attacks by armed groups can occur in many different areas; hotels frequented by westerners have been caught in the crossfire. Armed clashes have occurred in the areas near Tripoli International Airport, Airport Road, and Swani Road. Checkpoints controlled by militias are common outside of Tripoli, and at times inside the capital. Closures or threats of closures of international airports occur regularly, whether for maintenance, labor, or security-related incidents. Along with airports, seaports and roads can close with little or no warning. U.S. citizens should closely monitor news and check with airlines to try to travel out of Libya as quickly and safely as possible.

The status of the country’s interim government remains uncertain. The newly elected Council of Representatives is scheduled to convene by August 4, but political jockeying continues over where and when to seat the parliament. Heavy clashes between rival factions erupted in May 2014 in Benghazi and other eastern cities. In Tripoli, armed groups have contested territory near Tripoli International Airport since July 13, rendering the airport non-operational. State security institutions lack basic capabilities to prevent conflict, and there remains a possibility of further escalation.

TRANSLATION: Libya is a disaster. Contrary to President Obama’s statement that al-Qa’ida is on the run, terrorist organizations, aka militias, control Libya. In September, 2012, Benghazi was a hot spot. These days, the entire country is a hot spot.

“Smart diplomacy” has become a punch line, and the dream Team Obama had of making Democrats the go-to national security party is as dead as the passenger pigeon.

President Obama is in way over his head. He’s never been interested in learning about the different actors on the world stage. That can’t be said about Hillary. She’s been interested in the different actors on the world stage. She just hasn’t been that bright. She could’ve stood up to President Obama but she didn’t. She acquiesced in the name of political considerations.

Libya isn’t a fight that needed to be fought, though it definitely needed monitoring. Killing militias would’ve been much more advisable than killing Khadaffi.

President Obama’s favorite foreign policy straw man is that there are only 2 options: all out war or isolationism. That’s either proof that he’s a liar or that he doesn’t have a clue. It might be proof of both.

Taking out Khadaffi was stupid. Not confronting Putin is equally foolish. Smart diplomacy isn’t as smart as arming people who would love to fight for their own freedom. Why President Obama prefers giving Putin free run of eastern Europe but insists on killing north African dictators is beyond me.

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