Archive for the ‘Iraq’ Category
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.
According to this article, freshman Rep. Tom Emmer will attend Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress:
“With the Iranian nuclear deal approaching, U.S. allied Yemen falling to terrorists, the horrific violence by ISIL threatening regional security and Israeli and US interests, it’s absolutely necessary for Prime Minister Netanyahu to address Congress on the dire situation in the Middle East. It is imperative for Members of Congress to have open ears and an open mind for us to properly address these threats and their global impact. We must be able to listen to a world leader address the grave circumstances facing an ally in such trying times, regardless of political differences.”
A quick visit to newly re-elected US Sen. Al Franken’s website tells a totally detached view of the world. For instance, here’s Sen. Franken’s view of Iraq:
Senator Franken supports President Obama’s plan to bring our role in the Iraq war to a responsible end. He supports the President’s timetable, which led to the withdrawal of all combat troops from Iraq in August of last year.
Senator Franken believes that when President George W. Bush started the war in Iraq, he lost focus on Afghanistan, the real base that Al Qaeda terrorists used to attack us. Because of this, the United States was drawn into a long and costly war, based on misinformation, that didn’t serve our nation’s interests.
Our courageous military finally started turning things around in 2007 with a new aggressive counterinsurgency strategy. In 2008, President Bush joined then-Senator Obama’s proposal for setting a timetable for withdrawing our forces, which improved our political leverage with the Iraqi government.
With the end of the U.S. combat mission on August 31, 2010 Senator Franken believes that America’s main job now to make sure that those who return get what they need, and that it’s now the job of the Iraqi people to build a functioning society for themselves.
As for whether Sen. Franken will attend Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech, that’s anyone’s guess:
Several other members of Minnesota’s delegation were noncommittal. A spokeswoman for DFL U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson said Netanyahu’s speech is on the schedule but it hasn’t been confirmed whether he’ll attend the event. A spokesman for Sen. Al Franken said he didn’t have an answer on whether Franken is going.
It’s virtually irrelevant whether Sen. Franken attends the speech. It isn’t like he’ll have original thoughts on the subject. If the Democrats’ leadership wants Sen. Franken offering his opinion, they’ll tell him what it is.
It isn’t like he’s paid attention to national security issues thus far. It’s been such a low priority for Sen. Franken that he hasn’t updated his Iraq webpage since 2010. ISIL has taken over Fallujah, Mosul, Ramadi and about one-third of Iraq. AQAP (al-Qa’ida of the Arabian Peninsula) has taken over the US embassy in Sana’a, Yemen. ISIL controls half of Syria. In addition to that, ISIL has expanded into Egypt and Libya.
These are major existential threats to Israel, our most trusted ally in the region. Sen. Franken’s response to these proliferating crises has been nonexistent.
Allahpundit’s post about Rand Paul is a fascinating read, though I have a slight difference of opinion with him. Here’s what he wrote that I disagree with:
When I tweeted out my surprise a few hours ago, a dozen people tweeted back, “Maybe Paul’s just saying what he really believes.” No doubt. But the thing that distinguishes Rand from Ron and what makes him a legit contender for the nomination is that he’s willing to temper his foreign policy positions in order to make himself more appealing to mainstream conservatives. Remember when he complained earlier this year, as things got hairy in Ukraine, how certain Republicans (*cough*McCain*cough*) always seemed to want to “tweak” Russia? That was a fine libertarian/paleocon sentiment. A few weeks later, after Putin had gotten more aggressive and conservatives were demanding that Obama show some muscle, Paul took to Time magazine to demand “strong action” against Russia. Remember when he scoffed at the idea of intervening again in Iraq, with the U.S. effectively serving as “Iran’s air force” by bombing ISIS, only to decide a few months later as conservatives rallied for force that he would seek to destroy ISIS militarily as president? Last month he introduced a bill to formally declare war on the group that would even allow ground troops in certain limited circumstances. Remember when he seemingly endorsed containment of Iran on ABC’s Sunday news show, only to come back the next week after the predictable uproar on the right ensued with an op-ed insisting he was “unequivocally” not for containing Iran? It’s not just conservatives who’ve noticed these reversals. Members of Paul’s libertarian base like Jacob Sullum and others at Reason have noticed them too. And everyone understands what it’s about: Rand’s afraid that if he takes a traditional libertarian line on hot-button foreign policy matters, it’ll be too easy for 2016 rivals to convince tea partiers that he’s just like his old man after all and can’t be trusted to protect America. Watering down his libertarian impulses may be cynical, but it’s smart.
First, it isn’t smart staking out that many contradictory positions on foreign policy/national security issues. It makes Sen. Paul look like a reactionary, not a realist. We’re living with a reactionary foreign policy right now. It isn’t working out that well.
Second, offering that many contradictory positions on important national security issues opens Sen. Paul up to charges that he’s a flip-flopper. There’s little doubt that Sen. Paul would say that he changed his mind when confronted with additional information. That explanation won’t play because we’re looking for a president whose foreign policy is undergirded by intelligent underlying principles.
Third, Paul’s foreign policy instincts are exceptionally dovish. It isn’t just that he’s got libertarian leanings. It’s that he’s utterly reluctant to entertain the thought of force when initially figuring out the proper response to national security crises. It’s one thing to think of military options as the last option. That’s proper. It’s another thing to start from a default position that the use of military force is off the table.
I disagree with this statement, too:
Worst of all, perhaps, Paul’s devoted the past year to building the case that, as a “realist,” he’s actually the true heir to Ronald Reagan on foreign policy, not Rubio and the rest of the superhawks.
President Reagan wasn’t a realist. Period. President Reagan was a visionary. When he took office, the conventional thinking was that the Soviet Union was a superpower and that détente was the best policy. When President Reagan called the Soviets an “evil empire”, realists in DC criticized him, saying that he didn’t know what he was doing while accusing him of starting WW III.
Reagan was undeterred. In fact, he then proposed putting Pershing missiles in Europe. Realists tried repeatedly to sabotage President Reagan’s Tear down this wall speech but couldn’t.
The point is that President Reagan had a foreign policy vision. He also had a strategy to implement that vision and turn it into reality. For the last 2+ years, Sen. Paul has shown that he’s a foreign policy reactionary. It’s impossible to detect a President Paul foreign policy vision with the possible exception of him being a pacifist.
That won’t work in a terrorist-filled world.
Technorati: National Security, Cuba, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Libertarian, Flip-Flopper, Pacifist, ISIS, Russia, Iraq, Terrorism, Ronald Reagan, Tear Down This Wall, Soviet Union, Evil Empire, Pershing Missiles, Berlin Wall, Presidential Nomination, Republicans, Election 2016
Sen. Klobuchar’s op-ed in the St. Cloud Times would be easier to take seriously if she wasn’t MIA on other issues surrounding the military.
With grateful hearts, Minnesotans this month gathered on Veterans Day to honor the brave Americans who have served in uniform to protect our freedom. This day should be about more than just saluting our veterans. It also serves as an opportunity to renew our commitment to serve those who have served us.
After all, that is our responsibility, to do right by those who have stood tall on the front lines so that we can live free. This is especially true for soldiers returning from battle permanently injured and suffering life-altering disabilities.
It’s a bit hollow sounding, not because wounded vets don’t deserve the medical treatment, but because Sen. Klobuchar didn’t speak out when the military started sending out pink slips to officers still fighting in Afghanistan:
In a stunning display of callousness, the Defense Department has announced that thousands of soldiers, many serving as commanding officers in Afghanistan, will be notified in the coming weeks that their service to the country is no longer needed. Last week, more than 1,100 Army captains, the men and women who know best how to fight this enemy because they have experienced multiple deployments, were told they’ll be retired from the Army.
The overall news is not unexpected. The Army has ended its major operations in Iraq and is winding down in Afghanistan. Budget cuts are projected to shrink the Army from its current 520,000 troops to 440,000, the smallest size since before World War II. What is astonishing is that the Defense Department thought it would be appropriate to notify deployed soldiers, men and women risking their lives daily in combat zones, that they’ll be laid off after their current deployment.
Why was St. Amy of Hennepin County silent about this? Shouldn’t the Obama administration treat the men and women still risking their lives on the battlefield deserve better treatment than this?
As one Army wife posted on MilitaryFamily.org, “On some level I knew the drawdowns were inevitable, but I guess I never expected to be simultaneously worried about a deployment to Afghanistan and a pink slip because my husband’s service is no longer needed.”
The thing is that these troops are needed more than ever:
The nation should worry about the increased national-security risk of separating such a large pool of combat-experienced leaders. The separated soldiers are those who carry the deepest knowledge base of counterinsurgency operations. A senior Defense Department official warned: “If the force is smaller, there’s less margin for error. Let’s face it — things are pretty uncertain out there.”
Then again, that’s never worried Sen. Klobuchar. Since her first campaign in 2006, Sen. Klobuchar consistently talked about “ending the war responsibly.” Winning wasn’t important to her.
That’s why her op-ed rings hollow. This isn’t just about health care for wounded vets. It’s about giving them the resources they need to accomplish their mission. That mission is to defeat and destroy the terrorists before they attack again.
Based on this article, things are looking grim for the Democrats holding Tom Harkin’s Senate seat:
Joni Ernst is back to “hogging” Iowa airwaves, as she barrels into Election Day with another pig-themed ad, a slight edge over her Democratic rival in the polls and a significant fundraising advantage.
This race is Ernst’s to lose. Thus far, I haven’t seen anything that suggests she’ll mess up. Ernst’s latest ad is fantastic. Here’s the transcript:
It’s a mess. It’s dirty, noisy and it stinks. Not this lot. I’m talking about the one in Washington. Too many typical politicians hogging, wasting and full of — well, let’s just say bad ideas. It’s time to stop spending money we don’t have and balance the budget. I’m Joni Ernst and I approve this message because cleaning up the mess in Washington is going to take a whole lot of Iowa common sense.
The thing that people haven’t talked about yet is the two parties’ GOTV operations. At this point, Republicans are outdistancing Democrats:
The latest good omen for Republicans was in early voting and absentee ballots, where the party says more registered Republicans than Democrats are voting early for the first time in modern-Iowa election history.
For days, I’ve heard Democrats talking about how their GOTV was a major reason why they still had hope of keeping their Senate majority. If Iowa is a bellwether, then some of the polling that we’re seeing won’t pick up the Republicans’ strength until the polls close.
That certainly isn’t something that Democrats want to think of as a possibility.
David Yepsen, director of the Southern Illinois Paul Simon Public Policy Institute and former chief political reporter for the Des Moines Register, said Ernst would be wise to campaign on issues like President Obama, foreign policy, the economy, and jobs and stay away from social issues.
“She needs to stay on a soft conservative message,” said Yepsen, adding he thinks the Ernst campaign will stay fairly quiet on them for the remainder of the race. “Social issues aren’t a winning issue for Republicans as they used to be, so don’t talk about it.”
To that end, Republicans have been hitting Braley on foreign policy, especially on the Islamic State threat. Ernst, a member of the Iowa National Guard who has served in Iraq, said in a press release that Braley is “disengaged” and “he doesn’t even know what he’s voted on,” when it came to airstrikes in Syria. Ernst also called Braley “wishy-washy” on the issue of ISIS during a campaign stop. Braley’s campaign has fought back on these claims.
Pardon the pun but this isn’t the battlefield that Braley wants to fight on. He wants to fight on the ‘War on women battlefield’. Frankly, I don’t see that gaining traction. It hasn’t thus far. Why think it’ll change right before the election?
This race will be decided by the GOTV operations and Joni Ernst being the most likable, most approachable and, most importantly, most qualified candidate in the race.
When it comes to national security, Sen. Franken is a lightweight. This article provides additional proof of that:
Franken said Obama doesn’t have authority to bypass Congress, but he has long backed closing the military prison and handling suspects through the American judicial system. Franken said he worries Guantanamo’s continued existence has only boosted terrorist recruitment efforts, and said there are plenty of high-security prisons in the United States to house the dozens of terrorism suspects at Guantanamo.
Sen. Franken isn’t serious about fighting terrorists. Check out this statement about taking on ISIL:
There are no good options on Syria. But as I’ve said, the use of chemical weapons to kill over a thousand people and injure many more is a horrendous act, and there have to be consequences for that. Whatever action the United States takes, it has to be limited action. This can’t be an open-ended commitment, and it definitely should not lead to American boots on the ground. Congress now has an important role to play, and I look forward to participating in a vigorous debate about the use of force and the best interests of our country.
Destroying ISIL isn’t possible without putting American boots on the ground. If you’re opposed to putting American troops into harms way, Sen. Franken, then just say that you aren’t really interested in doing what it takes to destroy ISIL.
There’s no doubt that Sen. Franken thinks that that’s the best poll-tested statement he could issue. Similarly, there’s no question that half-hearted airstrikes without boots on the ground is a political action. It isn’t a serious attempt to destroy ISIL. The Democratic Party, led by pacifists like President Obama and Sen. Franken and Sen. Klobuchar, is going soft on national security again. Closing Gitmo, not taking the airstrikes on ISIL seriously and ruling out putting boots on the ground in Anbar Province and in Syria says one thing unmistakably clear.
It says that Obama, Franken and Klobuchar aren’t serious about national security.
Why wouldn’t you keep Gitmo open? Why give these terrorists the opportunity to radicalize American prisoners? Back in 2006, Amy Klobuchar said that it was important to get out of the war responsibly. In 2008, Franken campaigned on the same message. Then-Sen. Obama campaigned on getting us out of Iraq. Franken, Klobuchar and Obama didn’t talk about winning wars. I wrote about that multiple times in 2006-2008.
As George Will and Charles Krauthammer highlight, the fastest way to end a war is to lose that war. That’s what Franken, Klobuchar and Obama are about. If they aren’t about losing winnable wars, then they’re doing the same things that people who want to lose wars would do.
Politicians that aren’t interested in killing terrorists and winning wars are anti-American. Sen. Franken and President Obama, it’s sad to see that that shoe fits.
True to his 1970s-style anti-war activist days, Rick Nolan is still a pacifist:
In a statement issued to KBJR, Rep. Rick Nolan said U.S. intervention in “thousands-year-old Middle East war” has cost the U.S. trillions in blood and treasury.
“The arms we supply to any one of these groups inevitably end up being used against us, because we have no friends in this conflict,” Rep. Nolan said. “Our involvement is bankrupting us and making us a target for retaliation, and it’s time to put an end to it. These monies are needed for deficit reduction and rebuilding America.”
That’s frightening. ISIL is definitely a threat to the United States. Similarly, there’s no question that Stewart Mills’ assessment is right:
“He (Rep. Nolan) is advocating for us not to have involvement in Iraq or in Syria,” Mills said in an interview in late September. “But the consequences of us not having involvement in there is that we create a vacuum. And that vacuum is filled up with bad people doing bad things and eventually that will wash up on our shores, probably sooner rather than later.”
That isn’t just Mills’ opinion. It’s an opinion he shares with Leon Panetta, President Obama’s former Defense Secretary:
By not pressing the Iraqi government to leave more U.S. troops in the country, he “created a vacuum in terms of the ability of that country to better protect itself, and it’s out of that vacuum that ISIS began to breed,” Panetta told USA Today, referring to the group also known as the Islamic State.
Being a pacifist in the 1970s helps inform Rick Nolan’s views on national security. We’re living in a totally different world, especially after 9/11. If Rick Nolan doesn’t want to fight terrorists before they reach America’s shores, then he isn’t qualified to be in Congress.
Nolan’s type of thinking is what helped create the conditions for 9/11 and for ISIL to take over much of Iraq and Syria. We can’t afford not to pay attention to ISIL. In fact, we can’t afford not to do everything we can to utterly demolish ISIL and other terrorist groups.
Whether Nolan will admit it, the truth is that ISIL and al-Qa’ida are at war with us. The only question left is whether we’ll wage war with them. If Stewart Mills is elected to Congress, he’ll vote to fight terrorists. If Nolan is re-elected, God forbid, he’ll vote for taking a pre-9/11 position.
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.