Archive for the ‘Iraq’ Category
This NY Times article highlights the fact that liberals haven’t come to grips with the fact that the nation rejected President Obama’s agenda this past Tuesday night.
Dan Pfeiffer, a senior advisor to President Obama, said “It was not a rejection of Obama or Obama-ism. It was probably more about the two candidates running in this election.” It’s indisputable that Hillary wasn’t a good candidate. Still, this isn’t an either-or situation. Just like FBI Director Jim Comey didn’t lose this election for Hillary, it’s equally true that President Obama’s policies tied a millstone around Hillary’s neck, too.
Obamacare was something that Mrs. Clinton couldn’t avoid. With premiums skyrocketing right before the election, Hillary was essentially silent. Unfortunately for Mrs. Clinton, Bill Clinton and Gov. Dayton criticized the ACA right before the election. From that point forward, Mrs. Clinton was trapped in an impossible situation. From that point forward, President Obama’s signature achievement was attacked. It will be largely dismantled, which is good news for families because it’s hurt more people than it’s helped.
President Obama’s aides are citing President Obama’s accomplishments:
Moreover, although Mr. Obama said that all of his progress would go “out the window,” advisers now argue the opposite: that many accomplishments cannot be overturned. He will be remembered, they said, for pulling the country out of the Great Recession, saving the auto industry, bringing home most troops fighting overseas, killing Osama bin Laden, enacting higher fuel efficiency standards and restoring relations with Cuba.
Killing bin Laden was something big that he’ll deservedly get credit for. I don’t think he’ll get credit for pulling the nation out of the Great Recession, though. TARP was enacted before the 2008 election. That pulled us out of the Great Recession. Further, Obamanomics never worked that well. Economic growth has been anemic for 8 years. (It’s difficult to claim that President Obama pulled us out of the Great Recession when economic growth was virtually nonexistent for 8 years.
It’s difficult, if not impossible, to say that President Obama pulled us out of the Great Recession when voters elected Donald Trump. Trump specifically ran on a program that’s intent on reversing most of President Obama’s economic agenda. Trump plans on enacting tax reform, including the lowering of marginal tax rates, regulatory reform that’s killing the energy industry and repealing the ACA. I’m betting that this talking point will disappear once those things are enacted and the economy starts growing at a robust clip.
Bringing the troops home is something President Obama’s political base will appreciate but I don’t think the nation at-large agrees. They won’t agree because the price of bringing the troops home was the rise of ISIS.
This is President Obama from Fantasyland sounds like:
“When I think about the polarization that occurred in 2009 and 2010, I’ve gone back and I’ve looked at my proposals and my speeches and the steps we took to reach out to Congress,” he told the historian Doris Kearns Goodwin in a pre-election conversation published by Vanity Fair. “And the notion that we weren’t engaging Congress or that we were overly partisan or we didn’t schmooze enough, or we didn’t reach out enough to Republicans — that whole narrative just isn’t true.”
First, Speaker Boehner didn’t reject President Obama’s stimulus plan out of hand. Second, it was President Obama that rejected the Republicans’ ideas without giving them serious consideration. He told Eric Cantor that “elections have consequences. You lost.”
When his policies get dismantled, which is inevitable, he’ll have nobody but himself, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi to blame.
When Hillary Clinton talks about US national security, people listen. It isn’t that they think she’ll tell the truth. HRC’s honest and trustworthy ratings are worse than an ant’s popularity rating at a mid-summer picnic. Some people will listen to hear what absurd lies she’ll tell. Others will listen so they’ll know what she said once Lanny Davis and other Clinton spinmeisters appear on TV to tell us that she didn’t say what everyone watched HRC say.
Those are probably the good old days. Now, the DFL and other Hillary enablers don’t wait until after she’s gotten caught lying. They’re proactive, telling us nonsense prior to her lying to us. This tweet is a perfect example of Democrats being proactive so they can change the subject once a moderator asks about HRC’s statements. The DFL tweeted “When @HillaryClinton talks about keeping our country safe, she means it.”
After visiting HRC’s website, I feel safe. That’s where I read this comforting thought:
The threat we face from terrorism is real, urgent, and knows no boundaries. Horrific attacks like the ones in Paris, Brussels, Orlando, and San Bernardino have made it all too clear: It is not enough to contain ISIS and the threat of radical jihadism—we have to defeat it.
That’s the hard-hitting policy that we need. I feel safer already. Well, I’d feel safer if it wasn’t for this:
On NBC’s Meet the Press, moderator Chuck Todd asked Pence about Trump’s policies to ban Muslims from entering the United States. In recent weeks, Trump has said he would ban Muslims from countries with terrorist activity.
When Todd pressed Pence about what countries those would be, Pence changed the subject to Clinton’s Syria policy. “Well, Hillary Clinton wants to increase Syrian refugees to this country by 550 percent,” Pence said. “Donald Trump and I believe that we should suspend the Syrian refugee program.”
It doesn’t make sense to take out ISIS hotspots in Syria, Iraq and Europe, then invite potential ISIS terrorists to the US through our refugee resettlement program. Despite what Pat Kessler reported, it’s still highly possible for ISIS terrorists to infiltrate the US through the refugee resettlement program.
Hillary’s plan to protect the US from ISIS terrorist attacks is essentially killing terrorists in Iraq and Syria while inviting new terrorists into the US. Killing terrorists there, then increasing the number of potential terrorists in the US seems slightly counterproductive. Then again, how can people feel safe watching video like this?
Technorati: Hillary Clinton, National Security, ISIS, Refugee Resettlement Program, Terrorist Attacks, Pat Kessler, Reality Check, DFL, Democrats, Election 2016
Donald Trump’s acceptance speech last night has been characterized as being scary or dark by Democrats. Mo Elleithee, a former Hillary campaign spokesman, said that this was a dreadful week for the GOP. That’s spin but not very good spin.
Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s pollster, said that she expects Trump and Hillary to be tied in all of the major swing states when the swing state polls start coming out. While it’s wise to take anything from a candidate’s pollster with a grain of salt, I’ve watched Mrs. Conway since she was Ms. Fitzpatrick. She isn’t a spinner. She’s earned the benefit of the doubt with me.
As for Trump’s speech, it was different in important and profound ways. He stripped away the façade that the Obama administration has hidden behind for 8 years. It started when Mr. Trump said “It is finally time for a straightforward assessment of the state of our nation. I will present the facts plainly and honestly. We cannot afford to be so politically correct anymore. So if you want to hear the corporate spin, the carefully-crafted lies, and the media myths, the Democrats are holding their convention next week. Go there.”
Think of that as Trump’s way of telling the elitists in the media and in the Democratic Party (pardon the repetition) that America would hear the truth. Here’s an example of that truthfulness:
These are the facts:
Decades of progress made in bringing down crime are now being reversed by this administration’s rollback of criminal enforcement. Homicides last year increased by 17% in America’s fifty largest cities. That’s the largest increase in 25 years. In our nation’s capital, killings have risen by 50 percent. They are up nearly 60 percent in nearby Baltimore.
In the president’s hometown of Chicago, more than 2,000 have been the victims of shootings this year alone. And almost 4,000 have been killed in the Chicago area since he took office. The number of police officers killed in the line of duty has risen by almost 50 percent compared to this point last year.
Democrats say that the speech was dark. Let’s ask this question: Are those the type of statistics that should make us feel happy? Or are they the type of statistics that make your heart ache? If that wasn’t enough information to make a decision on, this will help thoughtful people make the right decision:
One such border-crosser was released and made his way to Nebraska. There, he ended the life of an innocent young girl named Sarah Root. She was 21 years old and was killed the day after graduating from college with a 4.0 grade point average. Her killer was then released a second time, and he is now a fugitive from the law. I’ve met Sarah’s beautiful family. But to this administration, their amazing daughter was just one more American life that wasn’t worth protecting. One more child to sacrifice on the altar of open borders.
There’s no spinning that story. If I were to put it in tennis language, that story would be “Game. Set. Match. Championship.” Thoughtful people can’t hear that story and think we need to continue this administration’s immigration policies.
This is a powerful indictment of Hillary’s incompetence:
In 2009, pre-Hillary, ISIS was not even on the map. Libya was stable. Egypt was peaceful. Iraq had seen a big reduction in violence. Iran was being choked by sanctions. Syria was somewhat under control.
After four years of Hillary Clinton, what do we have? ISIS has spread across the region and the entire world. Libya is in ruins, and our ambassador and his staff were left helpless to die at the hands of savage killers. Egypt was turned over to the radical Muslim Brotherhood, forcing the military to retake control. Iraq is in chaos. Iran is on the path to nuclear weapons. Syria is engulfed in a civil war and a refugee crisis that now threatens the West. After 15 years of wars in the Middle East, after trillions of dollars spent and thousands of lives lost, the situation is worse than it has ever been before.
This is the legacy of Hillary Clinton: Death, destruction and terrorism and weakness.
That’s a devastating and accurate before and after portrait of Hillary’s incompetence. Think of it as the indictment the Justice Department didn’t attempt to get.
Technorati: Donald Trump, Acceptance Speech, Law Enforcement, Sarah Root, Violent Crime, Terrorism, Republican National Convention, Hillary Clinton, Illegal Immigration, Libya, Iraq, ISIS, National Security, Democrats, Election 2016
The Boston Globe’s Joan Vennochi is one of the most consistently liberal columnists in the nation. That’s her persona. Think of this morning’s column as the literary equivalent of Vennochi taking a wooden spoon to Mrs. Clinton’s political backside.
It didn’t take long for Ms. Vennochi to break out the punishment, saying “One man driving a truck, 84 people dead. Donald Trump wants to declare war on that. It isn’t real policy. It’s rhetoric, a direct appeal to the gut, to the anger and fear people experience when they watch the reports from Nice. Hillary Clinton wants us to be smarter, talk to our allies, and maybe hold a summit. Her typically wonky response reflects little understanding of what average Americans feel when they see bodies, strollers, and a stuffed animal strewn along a beach promenade.”
I haven’t been a fan of Mr. Trump but I’d be intellectually dishonest if I didn’t say that, when it comes to terrorism, Donald Trump gets it. Hillary’s litany of foreign policy mistakes is proof that she doesn’t get it. Ms. Vennochi wasn’t done. A couple paragraphs later, she wrote “Statistically, the likelihood of a terror attack may still be small, but at a certain point, statistics don’t matter. After terrorist attacks in Paris, Brussels, and Istanbul, such violence feels possible in any major city. And attacks at home, in San Bernardino and Orlando, instill fear of the lone wolf terrorist next door, making us suspicious of each other. Last week’s murders of five Dallas police officers were not inspired by any foreign terrorist cause, but elevate the fear and suspicion.”
Dissertations aren’t in order when terrorists hit a soft target. That’s for the professors to deal with a year later. Leaders need to lead. One of President Bush’s highest moments came while standing on a pile of rubble at Ground Zero:
That’s what leaders do. They rally their citizens to a cause bigger than themselves. They don’t issue 5,000-word dissertations on where terrorists start. They don’t explain why we need to understand the terrorists. They tell people that terrorists are evil and, like with other evil people, they need to be destroyed ASAP.
That doesn’t require a 2-year commitment of 250,000 ground troops in a distant country. That’s Iraq, not ISIS. To win this war, we need to listen to people like Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn and others who think like him. ISIS is constantly morphing and transforming itself. It’s essential that we do the same to keep them at bay and prevent their attacks.
Technorati: Donald Trump, Nice, France, Ultimate Plowing Machine, Inspire Magazine, AQAP, Anwar al-Awlaki, George W. Bush, Ground Zero, National Security, Leadership, Republicans, Hillary Clinton, Russian Reset Button, Arab Spring, ISIS, Barack Obama, Democrats, Election 2016
CNBC’s Larry Kudlow has earned the reputation of being pro-immigration reform. That’s why Mr. Kudlow’s NRO op-ed is startling. Mr. Kudlow admits that we’re at war with Islamic terrorists and that “there should be no immigration or visa waivers until the U.S. adopts a completely new system to stop radical Islamic terrorists from entering the country.” If that sounds like Trump’s plan, it’s because it’s similar but it isn’t the same.
Kudlow explains “Let me emphasize that my support for wartime immigration restrictions is not based on religion. I think Donald Trump made a big mistake here. Instead, I agree with this Rupert Murdoch tweet: ‘Complete refugee pause to fix vetting makes sense.'”
That’s the point I’ve made from the start. Let me outline the principles I’d use to prevent the next Paris or the next San Bernardino. First, I’d establish a tiered list of countries to accept refugees from. The first tier would be countries that we’d never accept refugees from. Basically, any nation whose government exists in name only would be on that list. Syria, Somalia, Mali, Libya and Yemen would be on that list.
I’ve nicknamed the second list the Procto list. Refugees from these countries would be given a full proctology examination. Each refugee would be given a full examination including everything up to the person’s tonsils. Twice. I picture nations like Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkey and Greece on that list. It isn’t that there are many Greek terrorists. It’s that a bunch of ISIS terrorists stopped in Greece on their way to the west from Iraq and Syria. Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan are marginal allies but they’re terrorist hotbeds, too.
I wrote this article to highlight the corruption within the Obama administration, especially in the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security. Tashfeen Malik, the terrorist bride, didn’t “slip through the cracks” like the administration is spinning it. They all but rolled out the red carpet for her by shutting down a program that likely would’ve put her terrorist husband, Syed Farook, on the federal government’s no-fly list because he attended a radicalized mosque.
FYI- That likely would’ve meant Malik’s visa being rejected, too.
Larry Kudlow should be applauded for changing his very public stand. The late economist John Maynard Keynes was once asked why he’d changed his policy. His epic reply fits here:
When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?”
Daniel Greenfield’s article provides a worthwhile teaching moment on what’s constitutional and what isn’t. Greenfield’s article starts with him saying “Trump is a monster, a madman and a vile racist. He’s just like Hitler. Or Jimmy Carter. During the Iranian hostage crisis, Carter issued a number of orders to put pressure on Iran. Among these, Iranians were banned from entering the United States unless they oppose the Shiite Islamist regime or had a medical emergency.”
Later in the article, Greenfield wrote “Now unlike Muslims, Iranians were not necessarily supportive of Islamic terrorism. Many were and are opponents of it. Khomeini didn’t represent Iran as a country, but his Islamist allies. So Trump’s proposal is far more legitimate than Carter’s action.” That’s a non sequitur defense of Trump’s bombastic statement. It’s illegal to exclude people based on their religious beliefs.
Kimberly Guilfoyle explained, saying that “[we] are signatories to the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, there are international laws and treaties that we are bound by. You can not ban people based on their religious beliefs.”
Treaties that the president signs and that Congress approves in its advise and consent responsibilities are then treated as equal in legal strength as a US statute passed by Congress and signed by the president. Further, treaties that’ve been signed by the president, then ratified by Congress, can’t be repealed by executive order. Just like repealing statutes, Congress has to pass a bill calling for repeal of the law.
The repeal isn’t complete until the president signs the bill calling for withdrawing from the treaty.
Greenfield finishes by saying “Maybe the professional conservatives running around shrieking their heads off can calm down now long enough to have a rational conversation on the subject.” I’d prefer Mr. Greenfield taking a closer look at the laws that apply to banning people based on their religious beliefs. The UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights says signatories can’t deny people rights based on their religious beliefs. It doesn’t say that the US can’t ban people from specific nations, presumably because of the United States’ right to defend itself.
Thanks to Sean Davis’ article for the Federalist, President Obama’s credibility problem is growing. Davis has collected some of President Obama’s most laughable statements on ISIS and al-Qa’ida in the article. Davis’s article starts with President Obama’s quote that “ISIS is contained,” which Davis calls the new “American tanks are not in Baghdad.”
During his 2012 re-election campaign, President Obama insisted that al-Qa’ida was “on the run.” Wednesday, President Obama insisted that “The American people should feel confident that, you know, we are going to be able to defend ourselves and make sure that, you know, we have a good holiday and go about our lives.” Later that day, 2 terrorists killed 14 Californians in San Bernardino while they attended a holiday celebration.
Yesterday, President Obama said that the massacre might have been a terrorist attack but then quickly said that “it might be workplace violence.” This morning, the FBI confirmed that Tashfeen Malik pledged allegiance to ISIS. So much for the San Bernardino terrorist attack possibly being workplace violence, though that doesn’t mean President Obama will admit that it isn’t an option anymore.
If I wasn’t exceptionally polite, I’d say that President Obama is full of s—. Thank God I’m exceptionally polite.
When President Obama told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that ISIS was contained hours before ISIS’ sophisticated terrorist attacks in Paris, it was done in response to people’s concerns that President Obama’s strategy wasn’t working. What it revealed, however, is how dishonest the administration is.
When Ben Rhodes, President Obama’s Deputy National Security Adviser, was interviewed by CNN’s Jake Tapper, Rhodes said “What we’ve been able to do is stop that advance and reclaim territory, going on offense with our partners on the ground, most recently retaking the strategic town of Sindjar, which cuts off the supply line between Raqqa, Syria and Mosul in Iraq.”
Let’s be clear about this. While the US military has performed valiantly, this administration has tied their hands with counterproductive restrictive rules of engagement. Further, it’s dishonest to hear Deputy Rhodes distract attention away from the important consideration of whether ISIS terrorists have the capability of conducting sophisticated terrorist attacks anywhere in the world. It’s nice to hear that ISIS is contained geographically. It’s important that we know that ISIS can’t inflict mass casualty terrorist attacks in Paris or Washington, DC.
Finally, the truth is that President Obama hasn’t contained ISIS geographically. ISIS has temporarily chosen not to expand geographically, devoting more of its resources to killing western infidels than on expanding its geographic footprint.
That isn’t a soothing final thought.
I just finished watching Shepard Smith talking about the US strategy in Iraq. Actually, we don’t have one but that’s another story for another day. Smith said that he agrees that ISIS wins if the US sends in more ground troops. That’s foolish. If a substantial number of US troops go into Anbar Province with a clearly defined assignment of destroying ISIS, ISIS won’t be the winner. They’d get their butts kicked like they did during the Anbar Awakening.
This isn’t speculation. History provides the proof. The Anbar Awakening happened because a) we surged a ton of troops into Anbar Province and b) Sunnis trusted us because we fought alongside of them. The Obama administration won’t do either thing for ideological, aka political, reasons. When our troops supported the Iraqi troops, they fought well. They weren’t put in the impossible situation of picking between ISIS Sunnis and Iranian-backed Shiites.
That’s a head-Iran-wins-tails-I-lose situation. It’s a lose-lose situation for the Anbar Sunnis.
Further, it’s insane to say we should pull out of Iraq because the Iraqis aren’t fighting. While that’s aggravating, that isn’t what’s most important. Pulling out of Iraq means ISIS a) will establish its caliphate and b) will bring a major terrorist attack to the United States sooner rather than later.
To the idiots that want to pull out, here’s my question: Are you willing to have American blood on your hands when the next terrorist attack hits our homeland? I’m tired of idiots like Shep Smith and Bill O’Reilly arguing that we should pull out if we aren’t in it to win it. That’s the wrong argument.
My argument is simple. Let’s change our strategy to accepting only victory. That means demolishing the ISIS caliphate ASAP. It’s time we started thinking about winning. Period.
During Scott Walker’s appearance on ABC’s This Week, Jonathan Karl played a clip of President Obama’s cheap shot about Scott Walker’s foreign policy. Here’s the partial transcript of that exchange:
SOT OBAMA: Perhaps Mr. Walker, after he’s taken some time to bone up on foreign policy, will feel the same way.
KARL: President Obama said you needed to bone up on foreign policy. And I guess you’ve been doing it? I mean you’ve been traveling, you’ve been talking to foreign policy experts.
WALKER: Yeah. I thought it was interesting for the president to say that, the guy who called ISIS the JV squad and Yemen a success story somehow suggesting that someone else should bone up on foreign policy. But we have. We’ve been to Israel, I’ve talked to David Cameron in the UK, we’ve been elsewhere. My belief is if I’m gonna even think about running for president of the United States, it’s not about preparing for debates, it’s about being prepared to be the president of the United States.
Now that’s a zinger. It’s great to see that Gov. Walker isn’t putting up with President Obama’s flippant statements. It’s wonderful to see Republicans throwing this stuff back in President Obama’s face. President Obama is the worst foreign policy president in the last 100+ years and it isn’t even close.
Before ISIS, President Obama decided that it was more important to pull troops from Iraq than it was to stabilize the region. That wasn’t unwise. That was stupid. It led to the vacuum that ISIS and Iran are fighting over. That’s a heads, they win, tails, we lose scenario.
President Obama’s decision to abandon its allies in the Middle East is causing regionwide instability, which is being fomented by Iran. Our allies don’t trust us and our enemies don’t fear us. If I got paid $10 each time that sentence was repeated on TV, I’d be as overpaid as the Clintons.
KARL: Okay, you’ve been very critical about how the president handled ISIS. Some are out there like Lindsey Graham saying we should send 10,000 U.S. ground troops right now to Iraq to help with this fight. Do you favor that?
WALKER: I think we shouldn’t rule anything out. It’s a big mistake this president has made here and elsewhere about saying how long we would go or how much we would invest.
KARL: I’m not talking about ruling it out, I’m saying would you do that, would you send…
WALKER: No, I’m not arguing that’s the first approach. But I’ll tell you three specific things I think we should do in Iraq. First we should re-engage the strength of the American forces that are there. Once you do that, you empower our allied forces that are there on behalf of Iraq to reclaim the territory that ISIS has taken. And third, you just need to do it in a way that doesn’t provide safe haven in the places like Syria as you push them out.
The Obama administration sends weapons to the Kurds through Baghdad. That’s a mistake because the Iranians don’t want the Peshmerga to get the weapons. They want to eventually overtake Kurdistan. They don’t want a strengthened Kurdish nation.
The Peshmerga are skilled, willing fighters that’ve gotten starved by the Obama administration.
If Gov. Walker gets elected president, he would be a dramatic upgrade in terms of foreign policy over President Obama.