Archive for the ‘Iran’ Category
Donald Trump’s ego got the better of him yesterday when he took credit for the Iran hostage release. Mr. Trump should’ve quit while he was behind. Later, in a totally bizarre change of direction, Mr. Trump criticized the terms of the swap.
In other words, Trump criticized the prisoner swap that he took credit for. Is that an example of New York values? I could certainly make an argument that wanting it both ways happens to lots of northeastern liberals. Hillary’s certainly tried having it both ways. Chris Christie supported strict gun control laws and Sonia Sotomayor’s appointment to the Supreme Court before categorically denying he’d supported either thing.
That’s before talking about John Kerry’s infamous “I actually voted for the $87 billion before I voted against it” episode:
Only in the northeast would a person think that there’s nothing wrong with wanting things both ways. In fact, I’m betting that Trump would have a hissy fit if people called him on it. I’d bet the proverbial ranch on it, in fact.
It’s important that we take 2 things away from this. First, Mr. Trump didn’t actually do anything. His ego is too big, though, to admit that he didn’t have anything to do with the swap. Next, and more importantly, Mr. Trump’s behavior is, putting it charitably, unhinged. What type of people talk out of both sides of their mouth, then criticize people for when they call him on his manic behavior?
Mr. Trump is acting this way before a single vote’s been cast. Why shouldn’t people think that he’ll crack if he’s ever the president when he has real responsibilities? Right now, he’s just a loudmouthed candidate and former reality TV celebrity. If he’s that out to lunch now, why shouldn’t we think he’d crack when he’s given legitimate responsibilities?
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?”
Dan Kimmel, I didn’t even get the chance to know and harass you. Now you’re gone for saying something similar to what Palestinians say all the time. Palestinians have said that one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. It’s a ridiculous statement that isn’t rooted in the truth but it’s something that Palestinian leaders have said the last twenty years.
What Kimmel said that got him run out of the race is that “ISIS isn’t necessarily evil. It is made up of people who are doing what they think is best for their community. Violence is not the answer, though.”
DFL Party Chair Ken Martin issued this statement, saying “Earlier tonight a candidate for the Minnesota House made comments that do not reflect the views of the Minnesota DFL and have no place in our party. On behalf of the Minnesota DFL, I strongly condemn his comments. I ask Dan Kimmel to apologize to all the families who have been torn apart by the terrorist organization and their senseless violence. In this time of enormous grief, we shouldn’t be making excuses for this barbaric behavior.”
Make up your mind, Chairman Martin. Is ISIS more evil than Iran? If you think they are, explain how ISIS is more evil than Iran. Iran has staged terrorist attacks against Lebanese Christians and Israeli Jews. Israel deals with terrorist attacks virtually every day, thanks in large part to one Iran proxy (Hezbollah) or another (Hamas/Palestinians).
This can’t be emphasized enough. ISIS is evil. Its reach has just extended to Paris, where the city and the nation are grieving. Still, are the tears of France more sincere than the tears shed daily in Israel?
The DFL did the right thing from a PR standpoint but that’s it. They still have a terrorist sympathizer problem that they haven’t substantively dealt with. This isn’t nearly enough:
Almost 18 months ago, President Obama announced that the United State would start an air campaign to degrade and destroy ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Thus far, President Obama’s military strategy has been virtually nonexistent. This morning, Russia told the US military to stay out of Syria so it could conduct the airstrikes. Surprisingly, President Obama didn’t agree to Russia’s order.
According to reports, “Russian warplanes have begun bombarding Syrian opposition targets in the war torn nation’s north, working on behalf of dictator Bashar al Assad, according to a senior military official. The official said airstrikes targeted fighters in the vicinity of Homs, located roughly 60 miles east of a Russian naval facility in Tartus, and were carried out by a “couple” of Russian bombers.”
It’s worth noting that Russia isn’t targeting ISIS. Yesterday, Donald Trump said that we should let Russia take out ISIS first, then the United States can take out Assad. I wrote here that Trump’s policy is as weak as President Obama’s.
Letting Russia reassert itself in Syria gives them a foothold from which they can destabilize the region. Certainly, Russia is attempting to prop up Syria and Iran. That isn’t in the United States’ interests economically or in the fight to eliminate global jihadists. A protected Iran isn’t in our allies’ interests. It certainly isn’t in Israel’s interests if Iran is protected by Putin.
It’s time for President Obama to stop his appeasement policies. It’s time, too, for Mr. Trump to start learning the players in the Middle East. Either that or it’s time for him to drop out. At this point, Trump’s grasp of the Middle East, or lack thereof, is frightening our allies.
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.
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.
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.
During President Obama’s press conference with GCC nation leaders and delegations, he said some utterly laughable things. Here’s the video of the entire press conference:
Here’s the partial transcript I did to highlight what Charles Krauthammer called President Obama’s weasel words:
PRES. OBAMA: I invited our GCC partners here today to deepen our cooperation and to work together to resolve conflicts across the region. I want to thank each of the leaders and delegations who attended. We approached our discussions in a spirit of mutual respect. We agree that the security relationship between the United States and our GCC partners will remain a cornerstone of regional stability and our relationship is a 2-way street. We all have responsibilities and, here at Camp David, we have decided to expand our cooperation in several important and concrete ways.
First, I am confirming our ironclad commitment to our GCC partners. As we’ve declared in our joint statement, the United States is prepared to work jointly with GCC member states to deter, confront and defend any GCC state’s territorial integrity that is inconsistent with the UN charter. In the event of such aggression or the threat of such aggression, the United States stands ready to work with our GCC partners urgently to determine which actions may be appropriate, using the means at our collective disposal, including the potential use of military force for the defense of our GCC partners. And let me underscore that the United States keeps its commitments.
If I recall correctly, Charles counted 5 sets of weasel words in that final paragraph:
- The United States is prepared to work jointly with
- urgently to determine which actions may be appropriate
- I’m confirming our ironclad commitment
- including the potential use of military force
That’s 4 sets of weasel words that mean nothing. Combined, though, they aren’t as frightening to GCC member states as this statement:
And let me underscore that the United States always keeps its commitments.
I don’t recall the exact wording Charles used in conveying what he thinks President Obama’s statement meant but I’ll come close with this paraphrase:
This is President Obama’s statement of abandonment of the GCC member nations.
Remember, this summit was called by the Obama administration to assure them that he wasn’t a terrible ally. These nations wanted a written statement saying that a) the United States wouldn’t abandon them and b) the United States would provide military supplies to GCC member nations. Instead, President Obama stopped well short of those commitments. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates have every right to worry that the Obama administration will do next to nothing if Iran tries destabilizing these Arab nations.
UPDATE: Here’s the video and transcript of Charles Krauthammer’s analysis of President Obama’s summit:
CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS: President Obama trying to reassure Gulf nations by committing to help protect them from external attacks, including not ruling out the potential use of military force and we’re back now with our panel. I gather that you don’t view this as Article 5 of the NATO agreement.
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: This was absolutely pathetic. If this was meant to reassure the Gulf states I’m sure their hair is still standing on end. Let’s go over this. There are a few ellipses here. In the event of such aggression, the United States stands ready, that’s a weasel word number one, to work with — weasel word number two — with our partners to urgently determine — boy, that’s rough, that’s a weasel phase number three — what actions — well, he doesn’t say what actions, just any actions — that’s the fourth.
And now the kicker, “may be appropriate.” I mean, I have never seen a statement with more caveats in it, which would give any less confidence to any ally. Obama, if you noticed, was reading that. That wasn’t a bad ad-lib. That wasn’t Jeb answering the wrong question. That was a prepared statement for a summit that is meant to reassure the Gulf Arabs that we are not selling them out. That was a sell out announcement.
WALLACE: I was going to follow up with that. The whole point of the summit was to try to assure the Sunni, the Gulf states, the six nations around the Persian Gulf led by Saudi Arabia that we aren’t going to sell them out with Iran and that they can be sure of their security. Should they be reassured?
KRAUTHAMMER: They should be terrified. In fact, in one with of the other answers he was answering the objection that we’re going to be unleashing billions of dollars into the Iranian treasury, which they will obviously use for the mischief, the destabilization that they are doing in the region, including Yemen, Syria, et cetera, threatening the Gulf Arabs.
His answer was, among other things not to worry, is that Iran has a lot of economic needs and they have made a commitment to their people to invest in infrastructure. So, they are not going to spend it, I assume, on Hezbollah, Hamas the Houthis and all the others. That is preposterous. And any Gulf Arab who hears that would be triply terrified.