Archive for the ‘Iraq’ Category
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.
When I wrote this post about Rand Paul’s foolishness about ISIS, I stuck mostly to highlighting why Sen. Paul’s opinion is dangerous. Today, it’s time to attack the beliefs that form the foundation for that wrongheaded thinking.
Like his lunatic father before him, Sen. Paul thinks that ISIS won’t hurt us if we just leave them alone. That’s projection based on their capital-L Libertarian beliefs. It’s also lunacy that isn’t based in facts.
ISIS’s beliefs are based on a messianic worldview. If ISIS didn’t use the U.S.’s presence in the Middle East as a rationalization for attacking us, then they’d find a different, equally dishonest, excuse to kill people who don’t agree with them 100% of the time.
The proof of this is the fact that hundreds and thousands of Muslims have been murdered because they didn’t subscribe to ISIS’s beliefs. Their crime wasn’t that they were an occupying force in the Middle East. Their ‘crime’ was that they weren’t, in ISIS’s opinion, Muslim enough. If it wasn’t that, ISIS would find a different excuse to rationalize their actions.
Rand Paul isn’t qualified to be the next commander-in-chief. He sees the world as he wants it to be. He doesn’t see the world as it actually is. That’s President Obama’s fatal flaw. That’s one of Sen. Paul’s fatal flaws, too.
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.
Initially, I thought that Rand Paul’s foreign policies weren’t as ignorant as his dad’s. While I still think that it’s impossible to get more whacked than Ron Paul’s foreign policy views, his son’s view of things is getting more frightening by the day. This video provides proof:
Here’s the key part:
“Graham would say ISIS exists because of people like Rand Paul who said, ‘Let’s not go into Syria.’ What do you say to Lindsey?” said Scarborough.
“I would say it’s exactly the opposite. ISIS exists and grew stronger because of the hawks in our party who gave arms indiscriminately, and most of those arms were snatched up by ISIS,” said Paul. “These hawks also wanted to bomb Assad, which would have made ISIS’s job even easier. They created these people.”
Thank God Sen. Paul will never be the Republican nominee. That type of stupidity is frightening.
First, which generals gave weapons “indiscriminately” to Iraqis? Second, doesn’t Sen. Paul know that pulling U.S. troops from Iraq is why ISIS formed and grew? It’s indisputable that the most important pivot point was President Obama pulling the last U.S. troops out of Iraq. Prior to that, the Sunnis felt like Ambassador Crocker was keeping al-Maliki in check. Sunnis also knew that U.S. forces had their backs because they were fighting side-by-side.
Sen. Paul’s belief that ISIS was created by the U.S. is fantasy. Whether they’re called ISIS or al-Qa’ida in Iraq, terrorists essentially owned western Iraq, especially Anbar Province. That’s why the Surge became synonymous with the Anbar Awakening. If Sen. Paul wants to dispute that, let him argue with the military’s timeline of events. Good luck with that.
Sen. Paul’s fanciful statements undoubtedly satisfy his father’s followers. They just aren’t the truth.
In 2006, then-Candidate Amy Klobuchar talked daily about “responsibly ending” the war in Iraq. At the time, I was disgusted with the thought of “ending wars” because it didn’t speak to winning wars. Starting in 2007 and continuing through 2008, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama talked about “ending wars responsibly”. Obama picked up on the nation’s mood first, which propelled him to an election victory.
There’s nothing honorable about “ending wars responsibly” because there’s nothing honorable about losing wars. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton lost 2 wars and are on their way to losing a third war (against ISIS) because they quit fighting. When the world’s only true superpower quits fighting against terrorists, it sends the signal that fighting terrorism isn’t a priority.
That’s why the Gulf Arabs humiliated President Obama at his summit. Their leaders didn’t show up because they think he’s sold them out. They’re right in thinking that.
Recently, Hillary’s former associates were asked what her foreign policy accomplishments were. After a minutes-long awkward pause, they settled on Myanmar being her biggest accomplishment. They’re doing Hillary a disservice. Let’s stipulate here that accomplishments aren’t necessarily positives. In this context, they’re noteworthy moments during Hillary’s stewardship of the State Department.
First, she gave the Russians a reset switch, which told them they could do virtually anything, including annexing Crimea. Next, she helped end the war in Iraq, which helped the Iraqi people transfer from being ruled by an oppressive dictator to being governed by an incompetent prime minister to being ruled by a new group of oppressors. Third, she led the fight to ‘liberate’ Libya from Kaddafi’s rule. That ‘accomplishment’ led to terrorists taking over Libya. That led to her fourth ‘accomplishment’. Thanks to Hillary’s shoddy planning for the aftermath of the fight against Kaddafi, terrorists took control of Libya. Those terrorists then assassinated U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and 3 other American patriots.
That’s what happens when American leaders aren’t committed to winning wars and obliterating terrorists. I don’t want politicians who will responsibly end wars. I’d want someone like Bill Whittle in control. When ISIS beheaded the American journalists, President Obama was forced into pretending like he gave a damn. Bill Whittle had a different perspective:
Hillary might not be the appeaser that Obama is but she’s still an appeaser.
If we need to increase bombing raids per day to eliminate ISIS, let’s get it done. If that bombing campaign needs forward-located troops to pinpoint where the terrorists are, send them in. But, for God’s sake, let’s not do these things with the timidity and foolishness that have hallmarked the Obama-Clinton foreign policy.
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.
A stunning document captured during the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound didn’t speak highly of Hillary Clinton. Here’s what the world’s greatest terrorist thought of Hillary and US foreign policy:
UBL: The Secretary of State declared that they are worried about the armed Muslims controlling the Muslim region. The West’s position towards the Libyan revolution is a weak one. The western countries are weak and their international role is regressing.
You can practically hear UBL’s rejoicing in the Obama administration’s use of “smart power’. It’s obvious that he wasn’t afraid of Hillary’s foreign policy, either.
Pacifist birds of a feather flock together.
Actually, these pacifist birds run a foundation together. Follow this link to watch ABC’s interview of Osama bin Laden in 1998. At approximately the 3:50 mark, UBL calls the US military a “paper tiger.”
Our people realize that, more than before, the American soldier is a paper tiger.
Because the military takes its orders from its commander-in-chief, they leave hotspots like Mogadishu if that’s what the commander-in-chief orders them to do. That’s what they were told to do by then-Defense Secretary Les Aspin. UBL thought that the US military were paper tigers because Bill Clinton lacked the will to fight. Does anyone seriously think that the US military couldn’t have wiped out al-Qa’ida if they’d been given permission to wipe them out?
Bill Clinton once ordered troops into Bosnia. He explained that he was just trying to “level the battlefield.” Bill Clinton didn’t care about winning a war. That’s why he went half-heartedly into a military confrontation.
Based on UBL’s documents, he thought Hillary was as soft as her husband. He nailed it when he said that “the western countries are weak and their international role is regressing.” Certainly, President Obama has abandoned the Middle East, the Arabian Peninsula, eastern Europe and north Africa. Let’s remember that bin Laden was assassinated in 2011, years before ISIS was called the JV team. ISIS and al-Qa’ida knew that they could operate without consequences with Hillary as Secretary of State and President Obama as commander-in-chief.
With ISIS expanding and Iran destabilizing the Middle East, why shouldn’t they hope for a Hillary administration? If she becomes president, they’ll have the time to plan their next terrorist attack on the United States. They’ll know that they can operate freely and openly.
Bill Clinton was seen by UBL as a paper tiger. Hillary was seen by UBL as a shrinking violet. If we want the terrorists to run rampant until they strike us again, all we have to do is elect Hillary.
The latest polling measuring President Obama’s national security leadership isn’t the much-needed good news that this administration needs:
Is it a good thing or a bad thing that Congressional leaders invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint meeting of Congress?
Good thing 56%, bad thing 27%
Do you think the Obama administration is too supportive of Israel, not supportive enough, or are the administration’s policies about right?
Too supportive 14%, not supportive enough 41%, about right 35%
Democrats that complained about Speaker Boehner’s invitation to Prime Minister Netanyahu are on the wrong side of that fight by a 2:1 margin. That isn’t the bad news from the poll, though. This is definitely worse news for President Obama, Hillary Clinton and the Democrats:
Do you think the United States has been too aggressive, not aggressive enough or about right in trying to get Iran to stop building a nuclear weapons program?
Too aggressive 7%, not aggressive enough 57%, about right 27%
Do you favor or oppose the United States taking military action against Iran if that were the only way to keep Iran from getting nuclear weapons?
Favor 65%, Oppose 28%
When 3 in 5 voters think you aren’t pushing Iran hard enough to prevent them from getting a nuclear weapon, you’re in a bad position. When 1 in 4 voters thinks you’re being about right, then most voters think you’re a wimp. When two-thirds of people think we should use military force to prevent “Iran from getting nuclear weapons” and you’re an anti-war president, you’re in trouble.
President Obama’s leadership on national security matters, if it can be called that, is pathetic. And yes, President Obama is anti-war. He’s lost 2 wars (Iraq and Afghanistan) thus far. He’s on the path to losing another war to ISIS. His coalition of 60 nations that are fighting ISIS is fiction. His policies towards Russia are helping Putin rebuild the former Soviet empire.
Other than those things, President Obama is a picture in foreign policy leadership.
This article highlights the virtue of President Obama’s policy of strategic patience:
A video purporting to show the mass beheading of Coptic Christian hostages was released Sunday by militants in Libya affiliated with the Islamic State group.
The killings raise the possibility that the Islamic militant group — which controls about a third of Syria and Iraq in a self-declared caliphate — has established a direct affiliate less than 500 miles (800 kilometers) from the southern tip of Italy. One of the militants in the video makes direct reference to that possibility, saying the group now plans to “conquer Rome.”
The militants had been holding 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians hostage for weeks, all laborers rounded up from the city of Sirte in December and January. It was not clear from the video whether all 21 hostages were killed. It was one of the first such beheading videos from an Islamic State group affiliate to come from outside the group’s core territory in Syria and Iraq.
What’s amazing is what Susan Rice, President Obama’s NSA, said recently at the Brookings Institute:
“As a nation, we are stronger than we’ve been in a very long time.”
Here’s what Ms. Rice said later in that speech:
Ms. Rice said that the Obama administration had “brought home almost 170,000 American troops, responsibly ending 2 costly and long ground wars and re-purposing our military’s strength so we can better respond to emerging threats and crises.”
The Middle East and north Africa are being controlled by ISIS. Meanwhile, Americans were evacuated, hurriedly, from the US embassy in Yemen by al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula, aka AQAP. Coptic Christians are being ruthlessly slaughtered in Libya.
A year ago, President Obama called ISIS a JV team after ISIS had captured Fallujah. This year, ISIS controls one-third of Iraq and Syria and is branching out into Afghanistan, Algeria, Egypt and Libya. Anyone with a modest understanding knows that Libya is only a few hundred miles from Rome.
Egyptian President el-Sissi is more courageous than President Obama:
The Egyptian government declared a seven-day mourning period and President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi addressed the nation late Sunday night, pledging resilience in the fight against terrorism.
“These cowardly actions will not undermine our determination” said el-Sissi, who also banned all travel to Libya by Egyptian citizens and said his government reserves the right to seek retaliation. “Egypt and the whole world are in a fierce battle with extremist groups carrying extremist ideology and sharing the same goals.”
President el-Sissi knows what ISIS is. He’s fighting them with everything he’s got. Meanwhile, President Obama preaches that doing nothing to stop the rapidly metastasizing threat from ISIS is the right strategy.
I’d rather trust el-Sissi than trust the occupant of the White House. That’s because President Obama insists that doing nothing is making America safer. Ask Bill Clinton if taking a holiday from history made America safer in the 1990s.