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Whether he realizes it or not, Sen. Rand Paul sounds frighteningly like President Obama. Sen. Paul’s op-ed sounds exceptionally dovish, starting with this:

President Obama has said he might use airstrikes in the future. I have also been open to the same option if it makes sense.

Notice the qualifier-filled statements from President Obama and Sen. Paul. It’d be surprising if President Obama did anything more than token air strikes. With Sen. Paul, we just don’t know, though his record is fairly isolationist and dovish. That isn’t the worst part, though. Sen. Paul’s intellectual dishonesty is frightening:

Said Perry forthrightly during a Republican presidential primary debate in 2012, “I would send troops back into Iraq.” Obviously, this is something he advocated long before the rise of ISIS. At the time, Perry urged the United States to return troops to Iraq to act as a balance against Iran, a country my colleague Sen. Lindsey Graham says we must work with to help beat back the extremists.

Does Perry now believe that we should send U.S. troops back into Iraq to fight the Iranians—or to help Iran fight ISIS?

Why would Sen. Paul ask that question? First, he notes that Gov. Perry made that statement in 2012, when the situation in Iraq was dramatically different. Why does Sen. Paul automatically assume that Gov. Perry’s policy would be the same today as it was in 2012? As intellectually dishonest as Sen. Paul’s assumption is, that isn’t the part that frightens me most. This question is:

How many Americans should send their sons or daughters to die for a foreign country, a nation the Iraqis won’t defend for themselves?

First, it assumes that Gov. Perry would send in troops, which isn’t a safe assumption. Second, it’s the wrong question. Why doesn’t Sen. Paul understand that troops deployed to Iraq wouldn’t be there to “die for a foreign country”? Why doesn’t he understand that they’d only be deployed to obliterate a terrorist training ground in the heart of Iraq?

Isn’t Sen. Paul bright enough to understand that a terrorist state in the heart of the Middle East is a huge threat to the United States, not just to our allies?

This statement is frighteningly fictional:

Reagan ended the Cold War without going to war with Russia. He achieved a relative peace with the Soviet Union—the greatest existential threat to the United States in our history—through strong diplomacy and moral leadership.

Sen. Paul, it’s time you talked with people in the Reagan national security team. They’d tell you that he didn’t miss an opportunity to talk with dissidents jailed in the Soviet Union’s gulags. They’d tell you that he beefed up Radio Free Europe to tell dissidents that he was fighting for them. They’d tell you that diplomacy didn’t work until Reagan made it clear that he’d counter anything the Soviets would attempt to do.

The negotiations didn’t start until Reagan had frightened the bejesus out of President Gorbachev. Once he’d shown President Gorbachev who was the real superpower, then the negotiations started.

Reagan had no easy options either. But he did the best he could with the hand he was dealt.

If Sen. Paul meant that Jimmy Carter left President Reagan with a crappy hand, that’s right. If Sen. Paul means that there was any doubt in President Reagan’s mind that his plan would work and work fairly quickly, the answer to that question is an emphatic no. Reagan knew that the Soviet Union’s economy was on the verge of collapse. He knew that putting pressure on the Soviets would put them on the defensive.

Apparently, Sen. Paul doesn’t really understand the genius of President Reagan’s foreign policy genius. There’s no question whether Reagan was a hawk. It’s just that his foreign policy strategy was multi-faceted.

Sen. Paul’s op-ed is based on supposition, not fact. It’s based on something Gov. Perry said in 2012, not this summer. It’s apparent that Sen. Paul is as accomplished as President Obama in using strawman arguments. I expect that from this president. From now on, I guess I should expect it from Sen. Paul, too.

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It’s sounding more and more like Gov. Rick Perry, (R-TX), is planning on running for president again in 2016. This op-ed sounds like the first shot against Sen. Paul:

This represents a real threat to our national security — to which Paul seems curiously blind — because any of these passport carriers can simply buy a plane ticket and show up in the United States without even a visa. It’s particularly chilling when you consider that one American has already carried out a suicide bombing and a terrorist-trained European allegedly killed four at the Jewish Museum in Brussels.

Yet Paul still advocates inaction, going so far as to claim in an op-ed last month in the Wall Street Journal that President Ronald Reagan’s own doctrines would lead him to same conclusion.

The thing Sen. Paul’s supporters haven’t paid attention to is the fact that President Reagan was a confrontationalist. Though he didn’t fire a shot at the Soviet Union, he constantly confronted them strategically. He put in Pershing II missiles into western Europe. Doves like Joe Biden, Ted Kennedy and John Kerry howled at the move, saying that this would just provoke the Soviets to become more expansionist.

Gov. Perry understands what President Reagan understood then. Gov. Perry understands that a vibrant, growing economy, coupled with the right strategic vigilance and interventionism, will thwart Putin’s expansionism and ISIS’ attempt to build a caliphate where terrorists can train for their next terrorist attack.

Here’s another shot frm Gov. Perry across Sen. Paul’s bow:

Reagan identified Soviet communism as an existential threat to our national security and Western values, and he confronted this threat in every theater. Today, we count his many actions as critical to the ultimate defeat of the Soviet Union and the freeing of hundreds of millions from tyranny.

At the time, though, there were those who said that Reagan’s policies would push the Soviets to war. These voices instead promoted accommodation and timidity in the face of Soviet advancement as the surest path to peace. This, sadly, is the same policy of inaction that Paul advocates today.

It isn’t that Gov. Perry is pushing war. It’s that he isn’t pushing for America to stick its head in the sand. Like I said earlier, Reagan brought the Soviet empire to its knees without firing a shot.

The Soviet Union had a terrible economy. Today, Russia’s economy isn’t much better. Putin is flexing his country’s muscles because he thinks he can get away with it. That’ll end the minute the US economy starts hitting on all cylinders and the right president starts inserting itself in the world.

Again, this doesn’t require going to war, though it’ll require beefed up intel operations in the world’s nastiest corners. That won’t matter to Paul’s most paranoid supporters. Paul’s most paranoid supporters will still hear the drumbeats of war.

Sane people, however, will hear things clearly. Far more people will agree with Gov. Perry than will agree with Sen. Paul. Let the jockeying begin.

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President Obama is getting eaten alive by an avalanche of crises simultaneously. I’ve never seen a president getting eaten alive by this many crises. Richard Nixon had Watergate. Reagan had Iran-Contra. Bill Clinton had Monicagate. George Bush had Katrina.

President Obama’s crises are crises of his own creation. The IRS scandal happened because he used the IRS as a weapon against his political adversaries. The border crisis happened because he told the world that he wouldn’t enforce the borders. The Iraq/ISIS crisis happened because he told the terrorists that he was giving them the heart of the Middle East. Benghazi happened becausse he campaigned on the foolishness that al-Qa’ida was dead or dying, therefore, they didn’t need to beef up security at the Benghazi compound. The VA crisis happened because he ignored the administrative corruption and the cooking of the books.

It’s getting to the point that the American people, including some DC reporters, have noticed that President Obama isn’t into governing or solving problems. When President Obama meets with Gov. Perry this week, it won’t be good enough to show he cares. (That’s a phrase Rep. Cuellar, D-TX, kept using in his interview with Megyn Kelly tonight.) President Obama needs to reach a solution by working with Republicans. If he doesn’t solve that crisis, he’ll be exposed as just another cheap politician who isn’t interested in solving problems.

Further, if he continues to get slapped by the courts for his extremist unconstitutional agenda, he’ll be seen as the biggest scofflaw in presidential history. If the Justice Department doesn’t start prosecuting criminals like Lois Lerner, President Obama and Eric Holder will become known as the most lawless president/AG duo since Nixon and Mitchell. I didn’t think that that was possible.

President Obama’s crises are policy-driven crises. He’s made one policy mistake after another. Those policy mistakes have caused crisis after crisis. They’re proof that President Obama is the worst president in US history. This isn’t about the color of President Obama’s skin. It’s about his ideology.

The border crisis is turning the American people off to immigration reform. While they like the thought of immigration reform in the abstract, they’re against the lawlessness that’s led to this crisis. The American people won’t sign onto a policy reform until they’re the administration is serious about enforcing the new laws.

At this point, people from across the political spectrum don’t believe President Obama will enforce law. What’s worse is that they’ve seen that Democrats in Congress and the Senate will protect him even when he’s been exposed. The IRS scandal and Benghazi are proof of that.

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When George Stephanopoulos interviewed President Obama, President Obama’s arrogance was on full display:

BARACK OBAMA: You notice that he didn’t specifically say what exactly he was objecting to. I’m not going to apologize for trying to do something while they’re doing nothing.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Even if you get sued?

OBAMA: You know…the suit is a stunt. What I’ve told Speaker Boehner directly is: if you’re really concerned about me taking too many executive actions, why don’t you try getting something done through Congress? The majority of the American people want to see immigration reform done. We had a bipartisan bill through the Senate, and you’re going to squawk if I try to fix some parts of it administratively that are within my authority, while you are not doing anything.

First, President Obama got slapped around yesterday in the NLRB vs. Noel Canning decision. That’s because he insisted that the executive branch had the authority to tell the legislative branch when the legislative branch was in session. (Apparently, he didn’t pay attention to the constitutional concept of co-equal branches of government.)

Second, getting things done is a two-way street. There are literally dozens of bills waiting for a Senate vote that’ve been passed by the House of Representatives. President Obama and Sen. Reid are pretending they don’t exist because they don’t want to admit that Republicans have constructive, substantive solutions to America’s problems.

In their minds, they think they’re the only people with solutions. In President Obama’s mind, his ideas are the only legitimate ideas worthy of consideration. In President Obama’s mind, anything that Republicans propose isn’t worthy of consideration.

Thirdly, and most importantly, the federal government is based on checks and balances. That’s what the Constitution mandates. President Obama thinks the presidency is really a kingdom, a place where he has the authority to unilaterally rewrite laws that he’s signed. Yesterday, the Supreme Court slapped him down again. Their ruling in the NLRB v. Noel Canning case marked the thirteenth straight time that the Supreme Court told him he’d overstepped his authority.

If President Obama were to speak honestly in his response to Stephanopoulos, here’s what he would’ve said:

BARACK OBAMA: I’m not going to apologize for acting like an autocrat. It isn’t my fault that the Founding Fathers didn’t choose a monarchy. It’s time it became a monarchy.

President Obama is a despicable person who doesn’t care about laws he’s signed or the Constitution he’s sworn to uphold.

The end of his term can’t come soon enough. Ditto with the repeal of his policies. President Obama’s lawlessness can’t come soon enough.

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Much as Jane Harman tried defending President Obama’s decision to leave Iraq essentially defenseless, the truth is that losing the Iraq War is President Obama’s fault. Appearing on Fox News Sunday’s All Star Panel, Harman tried telling the panel that it’s Iraqi President Nouri al-Maliki’s fault:

WALLACE: Congresswoman Harman, as we discussed with Mike Rogers, this is our worst nightmare. We’re not talking about a terrorist group, organization. We’re talking about a terrorist army and possible state. How big a threat is ISIS? How much does it go to the Middle East and potentially to the U.S. homeland? And I have to ask, how did President Obama let it get to this point?
JANE HARMAN, D-CALIF., FORMER U.S. CONGRESSWOMAN: This started a long time with a guy named Zarqawi in Iraq, the head of al Qaeda in Iraq.
WALLACE: Who we killed.
HARMAN: Who we killed, and we thought that we had quieted down that particular group. A guy named Jobi York (ph) is now a scholar at the Wilson Center and is writing about this on the front page of “The Washington Post”. We thought we killed them but they’re back.
I wouldn’t lay this at Obama’s feet. Remember that the Iraqis refused to agree to a status of forces agreement to keep us in Iraq. And it’s one of the reasons –
WALLACE: There are arguments about how hard President Obama pushed.
HARMAN: Well, OK, mistakes were made and supporting Maliki, who is a feckless leader, Tom Friedman called him a jerk today, that’s a little harsh. But hey, and unable to control his country is a bad thing.

Had President Obama gotten serious about negotiating a status of forces agreement, we would’ve had a military in Iraq to stabilize Iraq. Had the US kept 15,000-20,000 troops in Iraq, ISIS wouldn’t have gotten the opportunity to establish this caliphate. It isn’t that the US military would’ve continued military operations.

The mere presence would’ve been a major deterrent against the militaristic operations of an ISIS.

As is often the case, George Will summarized things beautifully:

GEORGE WILL, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Well, one does wonder, we can hear from Jane on this, what we’re getting if we’re getting the value from the $50 billion we spend on our intelligence service, but General Douglas MacArthur said every military disaster can be explained by two words, too late.

It certainly is too late to think we’re going to condition aid on vast political reforms in Iraq, which are going to mollify these factions that have been at each other’s throats for centuries.

And Julie says, you put heavy weapons in there, when they got the Mosul, the ISIS people, they didn’t just empty the jails and the banks, they emptied the arsenals. Seventy-two tanks they came away with, 700 Humvees, thousands of tons of ammunition that will now be fired at the government of Iraq.

And just to get a sense of the humanitarian disaster that’s engulfing the region, there are today more Syrian children of school age in Lebanon than there are Lebanese children of school age, as the Syrian population scatters to neighboring countries.

President Obama was opposed to keeping a residual force in Iraq. It was always his political goal to campaign on ending the war in Iraq. It isn’t that he wanted Iraq to fail. It’s that that consideration wasn’t important to him. Ending the war in Iraq was everything to his political base going into 2012.

Predicating an administration’s national security policy on purely political considerations is a recipe for disaster. Predictably, that’s what we got.

Brit Hume added these observations:

So, the situation in Iraq that the president described in the sound bite that you played before we started here is now gone, forfeited, in my view, by this administration, and by Iraqi President Maliki, who is, you know, a very ineffective and I think weak leader who has made a multitude of mistakes. However, there’s been no sign that this president has been deeply engaged with him, trying to prevent him from doing so, and I think that the leverage that we would have had, had we been able to keep a residual force there, would have helped him do that, if he’d been interested. He seems not to have been.

Maliki was always an ineffective leader. Ryan Crocker, the US Ambassador to Iraq during the Bush administration, was Maliki’s babysitter. His job, essentially, was to prevent Maliki from doing the things Iran wanted him to do.

The Obama administration pulled the military out of Iraq, then ignored the political situation in Iraq. President Obama didn’t pay attention to Iraq. That’s why they didn’t see ISIS coming until it was too late. Within 5 years, they will have plotted a new wave of terrorist attacks against the US, western Europe and Israel.

That isn’t a bold prediction. It’s trusting these terrorists at their word. They said that’s their goal. There’s no reason not to believe them because they’ve consistently followed through on their threats.

President Obama forfeited the war that President Bush had won. Now he owns that disaster.

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President Obama is rightfully getting blamed for losing the war in Iraq. Last Tuesday, he confidently said “The world is less violent than it has ever been. It is healthier than it has ever been. It is more tolerant than it has ever been.” On Thursday, he was forced to address Iraq’s military crisis, saying “I don’t rule out anything, because we do have a stake in making sure that these jihadists are not getting a permanent foothold.” Hours later, he predictably ruled out boots on the ground.

For all of his mistakes, President Bush still managed to win the war in Iraq. Immediately upon winning election in 2008, President-elect Obama started working on getting out of Iraq. I don’t think he wanted to lose the war. That’s just what happened.

With ISIS now controlling one-third of Iraq and with the military hardware they captured, Iraq is lost, thanks mostly to President Obama, with an assist from Nouri al-Maliki.

It’s just a matter of time until ISIS controls enough of Iraq to establish the biggest terrorist training base in the history of the Middle East. It’s fast approaching that status now.

Unfortunately, that’s just part of the story.

President Obama said that the war in Afghanistan is winding down. He said that just before releasing the Taliban 5. It’s likely that the Taliban and “core al-Qa’ida” didn’t get the President’s memo. It’s just a matter of time before Mullah Obama and Ayman al-Zawahiri control Afghanistan.

Had President Obama been serious about establishing residual military forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, ISIS wouldn’t have gotten the stronghold on central Iraq that it’s got now. Mullah Omar and Ayman al-Zawahiri wouldn’t literally be counting the days until they retook control of Afghanistan.

When campaigning in 2008, then-Candidate Obama repeatedly spoke about how he’d do things differently than President Bush. He talked about how America would be liked again. I took that to mean that state sponsors of terrorism and major terrorist organizations wouldn’t fear the United States. Further, I took that to mean President Putin would see the U.S. as a paper tiger, which would give Putin the expansionist opportunities he’d prayed for.

President Obama is on the cusp of history. No other U.S. president has lost 2 wars. President Obama is about to change that. Billions of dollars were spent. Thousands of lives were lost. Victory was within our grasp in Afghanistan and Iraq. Then President Obama threw both victories away because domestic politics dictated it and because it just wasn’t a priority with President Obama.

Jimmy Carter used to be the worst national security president in my lifetime. President Obama is set to eclipse that mark by leaps and bounds.

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I’d originally planned on Part II of this series to deal with Afghanistan but I’m changing that because of what’s happening in Iraq and DC. First, let’s look at what’s happening in Iraq from Lt. Col. Ralph Peters’ perspective:

Here’s the partial transcript of the interview:

RALPH PETERS:When the troops are all gathered in a camp, it’s easier to hit them, now when they’re stretched out on roads, in a variety vehicles, including a lot of civilian vehicles and clothes. How do you tell them from the refugees? So the only way to do the air strikes is to put special ops spotters on the ground, we’re not going to do that. The only real way to stop this onslaught, if the Iraqis can, would be to put troops on the ground, we’re not going to do that.

This is President Obama’s real legacy. The creation of the first jihadi state in modern history stretching from central Syria to central Iraq and now approaching Baghdad, all because President Obama saw everything from a political lens, he’s going to end the war in Iraq, refused to negotiate seriously for a residual U.S. presence.

Just to put this is perspective for viewers. With this jihadi conquest of Mosul. With jihadi forces approaching Baghdad. This is shaping up to be the biggest Arab jihadi victory since the Twelfth Century. 1187 and the fall of Crusader Jerusalem. This is momentous. I can’t overstate the importance. Obama’s jihadi state in the heart of the Middle East.

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All the death, all the bleeding, all the money. For naught. Simply because Obama saw things in political and not strategic terms. I do have to clarify one thing: Air strikes could help impede the jihadi movement, it’s just now that the bees have left the hive, it’s harder to find them.

President Obama put a higher priority on getting out of Iraq than he put on defeating the jihadists. That’s painfully obvious. Winning wasn’t a priority with his administration. Thanks to President Obama’s unseriousness, Iraq is “shaping up to be the biggest Arab jihadi victory since the Twelfth Century.”

Back in Washington, reporters are taking shots at President Obama’s foreign policy:

What Carney said is instructive:

“Given what we’re seeing now in Iraq, can you still claim those as two of your signature achievements?” Karl asked. “There is no question that the president pledged to end the war in Iraq, and he did,” Carney replied. “There’s no war in Iraq right now?” Karl pressed. “U.S. combat missions in Iraq,” Carney clarified.

He later asserted that “core” al-Qaeda, based in Pakistan and Afghanistan, has been “unquestionably been severely compromised and decimated.” “Isn’t it equally dangerous, or arguably more dangerous, to have an al-Qaeda-linked group in control of major Iraqi cities than to have them in the mountains of Pakistan?” Karl asked. Carney closed by reminding Karl that the September 11th attacks were organized by al-Qaeda out of the Af-Pak region and not Iraq.

That’s frightening. The jihadists aren’t thinking about 9/11. They’re planning their next attack.

Killing the terrorists that planned 9/11 was certainly appropriate. That’s the important first part but it isn’t the only part. Preventing future terrorist attacks is important, too. That’s something the Obama administration has utterly failed at. ISIS is proof of the Obama administration’s failure to stop the next wave of terrorist attacks because they aren’t doing a thing to stop terrorists from building a new training base.

Had President Obama negotiated a status of forces agreement with al-Maliki, we could’ve prevented this disaster. That isn’t just my opinion. It’s Gen. Jack Keane’s opinion, too:

It isn’t surprising that people, from Vladimir Putin to ISIS, think President Obama’s foreign policy has been a blessng to them.

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While watching the O’Reilly Factor Wednesday night, I was pissed to hear how ISIS, aka the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, had essentially rolled back the military gains made by the Bush administration. Put differently, the Obama administration is in the process of losing a war that the Bush administration had won. I know because I wrote about it back in November, 2007:

Since the last soldiers of the “surge” deployed last May, Baghdad has undergone a remarkable transformation.

No longer do the streets empty at dusk. Liquor stores and cinemas have reopened for business. Some shops stay open until late into the evening. Children play in parks, young women stay out after dark, restaurants are filled with families and old men sit at sidewalk cafes playing backgammon and smoking shisha pipes.

Compare that description with this article:

They have live-tweeted amputations, carried out public crucifixions and have been disavowed as too extreme by al-Qaeda. Now they have taken over Mosul, Iraq’s second biggest city. They are the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIS, a group of extremist Sunni Islamist militants, and they are rapidly becoming one of the deadliest and most prolific insurgent groups in the Middle East.

On Tuesday, ISIS fighters led a surprise attack on government locations in Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city.

The assault was so brutal that soldiers in the Iraqi army left their posts and in some cases even their uniforms as they fled en masse, according to a report by the Washington Post. The assault has left the terror group in control of the city’s airport, army base and other vital infrastructure. It provided them with cash from the city’s banks and weapons from the local military posts. As the BBC notes, the fighting has also resulted in the rapid and fearful exodus of hundreds of thousands of people.

The seizure of Mosul is the latest event in the the rise of ISIS, once merely one of the many al-Qaeda-linked franchises that occupied the fractious and insecure regions of Syria and Iraq, but now a powerful autonomous entity that holds significant territory and resources.

The truth is that President Obama was hell-bent on getting out of Iraq even if it meant losing the war that President Bush had won. The Anbar Awakening scuttled al-Qa’ida in Iraq. Sunnis kicked the terrorists out of northern and western Iraq, erasing their footprint in cities like Fallujah, Tikrit, Baghdad, Mosul and Kirkuk. Now ISIS has recaptured most of western and northern Iraq, including Fallujah, Mosul and Tikrit. Here’s a map of the territory now controled by ISIS:

Thanks to President Obama’s insistence on getting out of Iraq regardless of the consequences, radical Sunni Islamists now control most of Iraq and Syria. Thanks to President Obama’s decision to let al-Qa’ida establish a Muslim caliphate in Fallujah, Mosul and Tikrit, hundreds of soldiers paid the ultimate sacrifice for nothing.

That’s just getting started. These terrorists will use that territory to train terrorists to spread jihad throughout the world. That will happen even though President Obama won’t admit that. It won’t happen during the last 2 years of his administration but it’ll happen as sure as the sun sets in the west.

This information should frighten westerners:

The assault has left the terror group in control of the city’s airport, army base and other vital infrastructure. It provided them with cash from the city’s banks and weapons from the local military posts.

In other words, this terrorist network has the wherewithal to plan attacks, buy the material for those attacks and have the sanctuary to train terrorists for a new round of terrorist attacks anywhere in the world. It’s a safe bet those attacks won’t be focused on Russia or Iran. It’s assumed those terrorist attacks will first hit Israel, western Europe and the United States.

Unfortunately, this administration hasn’t demonstrated that they care about this new terrorist organization. This administration talks about destroying “core al-Qa’ida.” ISIS is like core al-Qa’ida on steroids and HGH.

Thanks to President Obama’s decision to lose the war in Iraq, whether that was intentional or not, and his decision to get out of Afghanistan after releasing the Taliban 5 and his decision to side with the Iranian mullahs while Iranians were protesting their elections, President Obama has made southwest Asia and the Middle East a hotbed for terrorism.

The world will be a far more dangerous place to live than when he was sworn in. Check back later today for Part II of this series.

It’s hard to believe that people are buying President Obama’s schtick anymore. This afternoon, President Obama campaigned in Springfield, OH. Here’s video of President Obama’s speech:

Here’s the part of the speech where he started losing credibility:

PRESIDENT OBAMA: In 2008, we were in the middle of 2 wars and the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression. Today, our businesses have created almost 5 and a half million new jobs and, this morning, we found out that companies created more jobs than they’ve created in the last 8 months. The American auto industry is back on top. Home values and housing starts are on the rise. We’re less dependent on foreign oil than we’ve been in the last 20 years. Because of the service and sacrifices of our brave men and women in uniform, the war in Iraq is over, the war in Afghanistan is ending and al-Qa’ida is decimated.

It’s difficult, if not impossible, to get inspired by someone who’s that willing to tell whoppers.

Al-Qa’ida isn’t decimated. Anyone that says that should talk with Tyrone Woods’ dad or read one of Christopher Stevens’ cables urging President Obama or Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to send reinforcements to protect the people working at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi:

The August 15 cable, marked “secret,” was sent by the Benghazi mission and outlined both the threats and the insufficiencies to U.S. security in Libya. The mission called for an “emergency meeting” to discuss the rapidly eroding situation on the ground:

RSO (Regional Security Officer) expressed concerns with the ability to defend Post in the event of a coordinated attack due to limited manpower, security measures, weapons capabilities, host nation support, and the overall size of the compound.

That warning doesn’t sound like al-Qa’ida is decimated. That’s before talking about AQIM, al-Qa’ida rebuilding its training bases in Anbar Province in western Iraq or al-Qa’ida in Yemen and Mali taking hold.

How can we trust someone who didn’t let our “brave men and women in the military” do their jobs during the terrorist attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi or who won’t tell us the truth about al-Qa’ida’s resurgence in North Africa and in the Middle East?

Trust and respect, once they’re lost, take time to rebuild. In this instance, I don’t think that’s possible.

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When I watched Fox News Sunday yesterday, I couldn’t believe what I’d just heard. This video of Dick Durbin and Lindsey Graham was stunning for reasons that will become clear to everyone who watches it:

Here’s a partial transcript of the jawdropping parts:

SEN. DURBIN: What I find hard to accept — I have to disagree with my friend Sen. Graham — is this notion about the president’s foreign policy. The president has been a strong and steady leader. We have responsibly ended the war in Iraq. We are going to end the war in Afghanistan. Al-Qa’ida is a shadow of its former self. Osama bin Laden is moldering in some watery grave somewhere. And we’ve now put enough pressure on Iran with the sanctions regime that they won’t develop a nuclear weapon that they now want to sit down and talk. These are all positive things.

This is incredible. For the second-ranking Democrat in the Senate to say that “al-Qa’ida is shadow of its former self” is heaping dirt on Christopher Stevens’ grave. Do the pictures from Benghazi look like al-Qa’ida is “a shadow of its former self”? Does Sen. Durbin think that the al-Qa’ida flag flying at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi is proof of his insulting statement?

This is what’s known as Sen. Durbin taking one for the team.

It’s jawdropping that Sen. Durbin could say that this administration had “responsibly ended the war in Iraq” when al-Qa’ida is rebuilding in western Iraq:

Iraqi and U.S. officials say al Qaeda is rebuilding in Iraq.

The officials say the extremist group has set up training camps for insurgents in the nation’s western deserts, seizing on regional instability and government security failures.

Iraq has seen a jump in al Qaeda attacks over the last 10 weeks, and officials believe most of the fighters are former prisoners who have either escaped from jail or were released by Iraqi authorities for lack of evidence after the U.S. military withdrawal last December. Many are said to be Saudi or from Sunni-dominated Gulf states.

During the war and its aftermath, U.S. forces, joined by allied Sunni groups and later by Iraqi counterterror forces, managed to beat back al Qaeda’s Iraqi branch.

But now, Iraqi and U.S. officials say, the insurgent group has more than doubled in numbers from a year ago to about 2,500 fighters. And Pentagon data shows it is carrying out an average of 140 attacks a week.

As a direct result of the Obama administration’s failure to put in place an agreement with the Iraqi government to keep troops strategically positioned in Iraq, al-Qa’ida is now rebuilding, training and carrying out attacks inside Iraq.

That isn’t the only place where al-Qa’ida and their affiliates are regrouping, as Sen. Graham points out in this last word:

Iraq is falling apart. Bin Laden may be dead. Al-Qa’ida is on the rise. If you don’t believe me, visit the training camps that have sprung up after we left. Syria is a contagion affecting the region. Thirty-two thousand people have been killed while we’ve been doing nothing. Islamic extremists are beginning to infiltrate Syria.

Sen. Graham effectively dismantled Sen. Durbin’s statements that al-Qa’ida “is a shadow of its former self” with a blistering recitation of indisputable facts. What part of building new training camps in western Iraq and carrying out 140 terrorist attacks a week sounds like “al-Qa’ida is a shadow of its former self”?

It isn’t a secret that Sen. Graham isn’t my picture of a conservative. That said, he’s done a great job of laying out the facts about al-Qa’ida’s resurgence since President Obama discontinued the Bush Doctrine. Thanks to that foolish decision, al-Qa’ida is building new bases throughout north Africa, Pakistan, Syria and Iraq.

If that’s Sen. Durbin’s picture of “responsibly ending the war in Iraq”, then he’s a too irresponsible to trust foreign policy and national security to.

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