Archive for the ‘Foreign Policy’ Category
Terrorists hit another soft target in western Europe today, this time hitting Munich. Reuters is reporting that “Gunmen attacked a busy mall in the German city of Munich on Friday evening, killing at least eight people and sending shoppers running for their lives from what police said was a terrorist attack.” Later in the article, it said “A police spokesman said there was no immediate indication that it was an Islamist attack but it was being treated as a terrorist incident.”
In the same article, however, it reports that “There was no immediate claim of responsibility but supporters of Islamic State celebrated on social media. ‘The Islamic state is expanding in Europe,’ read one Tweet.”
Also according to Reuters’ reporting “it was the third major act of violence against civilians in Western Europe in eight days. Previous attacks in France and Germany were claimed by the Islamic State militant group.”
During the Bush administration, there weren’t 3 terarorist attacks in 8 years. With those statistics, it’s difficult to say that we’re safer now than we were during the Bush years. This is a problem for Hillary. It isn’t that she’s got blood on her hands on this one. It’s that she, along with President Obama, can’t say she’s blameless after she destabilized the Middle East.
Personally, I can’t picture people being comfortable with the increased number of terrorist attacks. While many have happened in Europe, people know that they could easily happen here.
It’s easy to believe that Chris Christie was a US prosecutor in a previous career before politics. His
prosecution speech Tuesday night at the Republican National Convention was intended, as Brit Hume put it, to rip the skin off of Hillary Clinton. If that was the goal, Gov. Christie succeeded.
Early in his speech, Gov. Christie said “Over the last eight years, we have seen this Administration refuse to hold her accountable for her dismal record as Secretary of State. Well, tonight, as a former federal prosecutor, I welcome the opportunity to hold her accountable for her performance and her character.” At that point, it was unmistakable what Gov. Christie was going to do. It was obvious that he was going to prosecute Hillary Clinton within an inch of her political life.
The first case he prosecuted was Libya, saying “In North Africa, she was the chief engineer of our disastrous overthrow of Qaddafi in Libya. Libya today after Hillary Clinton’s grand strategy? Libya’s economy in ruins, death and violence in the streets and ISIS now dominating the country. Hillary Clinton, as a failure for ruining Libya and creating a nest for terrorist activity by ISIS guilty or not guilty?”
The next count Gov. Christie prosecuted Mrs. Clinton on was Boko Haram:
In Nigeria, Hillary Clinton amazingly fought for two years to keep an Al-Qaeda affiliate off the terrorist watch list. What happened because of this reckless action by the candidate who is the self proclaimed champion of women around the world? These terrorists abducted hundreds of innocent young girls two years ago. These school girls are still missing today. What was the solution from the Obama/Clinton team? A hashtag campaign!
Christie was just getting warmed up. Later, it was onto prosecuting Hillary over Syria:
In Syria, she called President Assad a “reformer” and a “different kind of leader”. With 400,000 now dead…think about that. Four. Hundred. Thousand. Dead. At the hands of the man Hillary defended. We must ask this question: Hillary Clinton, as an awful judge of the character of a dictator-butcher in the Middle East guilty or not guilty?
Each time Gov. Christie asked the people in the hall if Hillary was “guilty or not guilty”, they responded with an emphatic statement of “guilty.”
Later, Gov. Christie said “In Russia, she went to the Kremlin on her very first visit and gave them the symbolic reset button. The button should have read, “delete” she is very good at that because she deleted in four years what it took 40 years to build. The next year, she said our goal was to strengthen Russia. Strengthen an adversary led by a dictator who dreams of reassembling the old Soviet empire? What a dangerous lack of judgment. Once again, as a flawed evaluator of dictators and failed strategist who has permitted Russia back in as a major player in the Middle East is Hillary Clinton guilty or not guilty?”
One of the goals of this convention is to turn Hillary’s supposed strength, foreign policy, into a weakness. Thanks to Rudy Giuliani and Chris Christie, they’re well on their way to accomplishing that.
Technorati: Chris Christie, Rudy Giuliani, Federal Prosecutors, Foreign Policy, National Security, Russian Reset Button, Syria, Republican National Convention, Hillary Clinton, Democrats, Election 2016
Like much of this week’s theme at the Republican National Convention, Ron Johnson’s speech was about national security mistakes made by liberals.
Sen. Johnsons started his speech by highlighting Hillary Clinton’s infamous line where Mrs. Clinton said “What difference, at this point, does it make?” Then Sen. Johnson explained what difference it makes, saying “It makes a difference to the young Yazidi woman I met who was captured and brutalized by ISIS barbarians, the joy of life hauntingly absent in her eyes.
It makes a difference to the travelers, passing through airports in Brussels and Istanbul, who just wanted to get home to their family and friends. It makes a difference to the ordinary Americans sharing holiday cheer at a Christmas party in San Bernardino.”
Having delivered some tough body blows to Mrs. Clinton, Sen. Johnson turned his fire towards his own opponent this November, saying “In Wisconsin, I’m running against Russ Feingold, who, even after 9/11, voted against giving law enforcement the tools they need to help stop international terror. During his eighteen-year Senate career, he also voted against authorizing our military eleven separate times.” It isn’t coincidence that Sen. Johnson just released this video:
Sen. Feingold isn’t hawkish, though he’s trying to sound more hawkish now. Feingold’s attempt to sound more hawkish sounds rather feeble:
At the time, he said, while he did not oppose everything contained within the bill, he did not believe it struck “the right balance between empowering law enforcement and protecting civil liberties.”
Feingold said Friday he stands by his vote, reiterating that the bill didn’t contain enough standards to protect Americans’ civil liberties. He added that he would support increasing resources for U.S. intelligence programs and the FBI.
Feingold didn’t worry about Americans’ civil liberties when he co-sponsored McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform that gutted Americans’ right to political free speech. I suspect that Feingold’s answer is just a dodge to avoid looking pathetic.
This makes Feingold sound totally wimpy:
He’s been basically trying to highlight any terrorist attack for political gain throughout this campaign. So it’s no surprise that this ad would have been produced, and that’s the problem with politicizing something that shouldn’t be politicized — is you might run into a situation where there’s a terrorist attack, and it’s a little embarrassing to have an ad up that really isn’t appropriate at this time.
The truth is that we can’t tolerate politicians that won’t fight terrorists with everything in the United States’ arsenal. That’s apparently what Mr. Feingold is attempting to do.
Donald Trump is onto something that might change the dynamics of the presidential race. I don’t know whether it’s enough but it’s difficult picturing him not painting the Obama-Clinton foreign policy as anything but a failure. He certainly did in this article, saying “The Middle East today is more unstable than ever before”, adding that “She led him right down a horrible path. He didn’t know what he was doing.”
HINT TO MR. TRUMP: He still doesn’t. It isn’t that he’s stupid generally speaking. It’s that he’s foolish because his ideology won’t let him see reality. Steve Hayes has said multiple times that “Obama sees the world that he wants to exist, not the world that does exist.” That’s exactly right.
Hillary suffers from the same mental disease. On March 27, 2011, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said “many of the members of Congress of both parties who have gone to Syria in recent months have said they believe he’s a reformer.” Hillary is the idiot that gave Russia the infamous reset button. That’s been a disaster for the entire region, starting with Ukraine, then advancing into Syria to stabilize Assad and protecting ISIS.
With ISIS-planned or ISIS-inspired attacks happening more frequently, we can’t tolerate a terrorist ‘new normal’. We need clear-thinking people that aren’t afraid to tell the American people the truth and who won’t hesitate in killing terrorists. Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn is one of those guys. Watch this video and tell me that he isn’t a clear-thinking expert:
John Bolton is another clear-thinking expert:
If there is a Trump administration, Gen. Flynn should be Trump’s Secretary of Defense; Bolton should be his Secretary of State. These are serious men who see the world that exists and that are willing to help Islamic terrorists meet their allotment of virgins. It’s time the US had a national security team that took the world seriously. Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John Kerry haven’t taken the world seriously in the last 8 years.
Technorati: Donald Trump, Mike Pence, Mike Flynn, Secretary of Defense, John Bolton, Secretary of State, National Security, Republicans, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Russian Reset Button, John Kerry, Terrorist Attacks, ISIS, JV Team, Democrats, Election 2016
It isn’t a secret that the media has seen protecting President Obama and Hillary Clinton as one of their primary responsibilities. Still, it’s stunning that it’s outdone itself with this Miami Herald editorial.
With regards to absolving Hillary of all wrongdoing, it created a preposterous argument, saying “Yes, it found a series of failings by the national security bureaucracy, but here’s what else it did: Cleared former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of the absurd accusation that she somehow knew about the attack on the diplomatic compound in Libya before it happened and did nothing about it.” That’s breathtakingly dishonest. I’ve followed this story for almost 4 years. In that time, I’ve never heard anyone accuse Mrs. Clinton of knowing “about the attack on the diplomatic compound before it happened and did nothing about it.”
What has happened is that people accused Mrs. Clinton of not acting on repeated requests from Christopher Stevens for additional security. Then as now, Democrats have insisted that the cables, many of them labeled as urgent, never were brought to Mrs. Clinton’s attention. Then as now, nobody outside of her inner circle believes her. That’s why her honest and trustworthy numbers stink.
This part really stinks:
The GOP-led committee’s desire to find evidence of malfeasance by Ms. Clinton to support all the conspiracy theories surrounding Benghazi went unfulfilled. Had there been real facts to support it, surely this committee would have found it.
First, the thing that sets Benghazi apart from other tragic events is the relative scarcity of conspiracy theories of what happened that night. Next, this article highlights the evidence showing the utter incompetence of Mrs. Clinton and the disinterest shown by President Obama and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta:
The following facts are among the many new revelations in Part I:
- Despite President Obama and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s clear orders to deploy military assets, nothing was sent to Benghazi, and nothing was en route to Libya at the time the last two Americans were killed almost 8 hours after the attacks began. [pg. 141]
- With Ambassador Stevens missing, the White House convened a roughly two-hour meeting at 7:30 PM, which resulted in action items focused on a YouTube video, and others containing the phrases “[i]f any deployment is made,” and “Libya must agree to any deployment,” and “[w]ill not deploy until order comes to go to either Tripoli or Benghazi.” [pg. 115]
- The Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff typically would have participated in the White House meeting, but did not attend because he went home to host a dinner party for foreign dignitaries. [pg. 107]
- A Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team (FAST) sat on a plane in Rota, Spain, for three hours, and changed in and out of their uniforms four times. [pg. 154]
- None of the relevant military forces met their required deployment timelines. [pg. 150]
- The Libyan forces that evacuated Americans from the CIA Annex to the Benghazi airport was not affiliated with any of the militias the CIA or State Department had developed a relationship with during the prior 18 months. Instead, it was comprised of former Qadhafi loyalists who the U.S. had helped remove from power during the Libyan revolution. [pg. 144]
How can a patriotic American read that information and not be infuriated? That the Miami Herald read that and dismissed it says that a) there aren’t any patriots on the Miami Herald’s Editorial Board and b) the Miami Herald’s Editorial Board can’t be trusted to offer insightful, honest opinions about the biggest events of our time. That’s how it can say this with a straight face:
The report, a product of the longest Congressional investigation in memory on possible wrongdoing in the executive branch, longer than Watergate or 9/11, went a bit further and deeper than the earlier ones, but the general outline was already known.
TRANSLATION: This report was far more detailed than the other ‘investigations’ but we the media have already determined the narrative we’re going to push. If it conflicts with the truth, then the truth be damned. It’s the narrative, damn it.
Watch Andrea Mitchell’s interview of Chairman Gowdy. Then tell me his committee didn’t uncover important new information:
If this plethora of new information doesn’t constitute important new information, what would constitute something new and important?
Technorati: Hillary Clinton, Christopher Stevens, Benghazi Terrorist Attack, Leon Panetta, Barack Obama, Miami Herald Editorial Board, Media Bias, Trey Gowdy, House Select Committee on Benghazi, Benghazi Report
Saying that Laura Ingraham isn’t honest isn’t easy for me to say. Still, it’s what I must do after reading her latest pro-Trump spin piece. It isn’t that I disagree with everything in her article. I’d be lying if I said she’s constantly dishonest. Still, I can’t sit silent after she said “I, too, would have preferred an ideal candidate who would unite us and cruise to an easy win over Hillary. Unfortunately, the conservative movement failed to field such a candidate. Much of this is due to the fact that many so-called conservatives, and their enablers in the donor class, wasted their time and money promoting the candidacies of Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, two men who were, and are, utterly unacceptable to almost all actual voters in the Republican Party.”
While there’s no disputing the fact that large parts of the GOP rejected Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, it’s equally true that they were significantly more qualified, and more honest, than the GOP’s presumptive nominee. Further, Trump has been rejected by a large percentage of “actual voters in the Republican Party.” He just wasn’t rejected by as many people as Bush or Rubio.
This paragraph can’t go unquestioned:
First, some NeverTrumpers (like the Bush family) violently disagree with Trump on issues relating to immigration, trade, and foreign policy. In each of these key issues, however, Trump represents the traditional views of conservatives like Ronald Reagan, while the supporters of Bushism are locked into an extremist ideology that makes no sense in theory, and has been a disaster in practice.
That’s breathtakingly dishonest. The only other explanation is that Ms. Ingraham is just stupid. Since she once clerked for Justice Clarence Thomas, it’s a safe bet that she isn’t stupid.
Saying that Trump’s foreign policy is identical to Ronald Reagan’s foreign policy is like saying that an arsonist’s goals are essentially the same as the firefighters’ goals. First, when did President Reagan ask President Gorbachev to squash America’s enemies? When did President Reagan think it was wise to give the Soviet Union free run in the Middle East? When did President Reagan insist that we were getting screwed by other countries? When did President Reagan insist that America couldn’t compete with the world if our taxes were low and our regulations were reasonable?
The answer to these questions is simple: never.
Further, saying that Trump’s foreign policy is virtually identical to President Reagan’s is saying that Trump has carefully thought through what he’d do. How does that square with Trump telling a rally that he’d “bomb the s—” out of ISIS, then telling a national audience during a debate that he’d get President Putin to take ISIS out?
The reality is that Ms. Ingraham isn’t being honest with her readers or with us. That’s a sad thing because she used to be a person of integrity. I wish that woman hadn’t disappeared.
Prior to Super Tuesday’s primaries and caucuses, Donald Trump’s ceiling of support seemed to be in the 35%-36% range. He won handily in New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. It’s particularly noteworthy that those 3 states were open states where Democrats were allowed to cause mischief or where independents could vote.
Yesterday’s events were closed events, with only Republicans voting. This table shows yesterday’s results:
Combining the 4 events together, Sen. Cruz got 41% of the votes cast. Meanwhile, Trump got 33.3% of the vote.
I haven’t hidden my disgust with Trump. If I were king for a day, I’d banish him to Gitmo and throw away the key to his cell. I’ve got great company in not respecting Trump. Steve Hayes’ article lowers the boom on Trump, especially this part:
The worst of these moments may have come when Trump mocked the disability of a journalist who had criticized him. At a rally in Sarasota last November, Trump was discussing Serge Kovaleski, a reporter for the New York Times. “The poor guy, you’ve got to see this guy,” Trump said, before flailing in a manner that resembled a palsy tremor. Kovaleski suffers from arthrogryposis, a congenital condition that affects the movement and positioning of his joints.
When Trump was criticized, he said he couldn’t have been mocking the reporter because he was unaware of Kovaleski’s condition. That wasn’t true. Kovaleski had interviewed Trump a dozen times and said they had interacted on “a first-name basis for years.” Trump then accused Kovaleski of “using his disability to grandstand.”
This came up last Friday, as I drove my 8-year-old son to see the Washington Capitals play. I’ll be gone on his birthday, covering presidential primaries, so this was an early present.
My son and his older sister have followed the campaign, as much as kids their age do, and they’re aware that I’ve traded barbs with Trump. So we sometimes talk about the candidates and their attributes and faults, and we’d previously talked about Trump’s penchant for insulting people. On our drive down, my son told me that some of the kids in his class like Trump because “he has the most points,” and he asked me again why I don’t like the Republican frontrunner.
I reminded him about the McCain and Fiorina stories and then we spent a moment talking about Kovaleski. I described his condition and showed him how physically limiting it would be. Then he asked a simple question:
“Why would anyone make fun of him?”
I’d flip this around a bit. I’d ask what qualities or policies would convince me to vote for Mr. Trump. In terms of national security policy or taxes, regulations, federalism, the Constitution and the rule of law, I find Mr. Trump utterly deficient. Listening to Trump answer a question on national security is torture. At times, he’s said that he’d “bomb the s— out of ISIS.” At other times, he’s said he’d talk Putin into taking out ISIS. Bombing the s— out of ISIS sounds great but that’s just part of the threat ISIS poses. That does nothing to stop ISIS from radicalizing Muslims in Europe or the United States. Apparently, Trump hasn’t figured that out, mostly because he doesn’t even have an elemental understanding of foreign policy.
On national security, Trump says he’ll be strong and frequently pronounces himself “militaristic.” But he doesn’t seem to have even a newspaper reader’s familiarity with the pressing issues of the day. He was nonplussed by a reference to the “nuclear triad”; he confused Iran’s Quds Force and the Kurds; he didn’t know the difference between Hamas and Hezbollah. The ignorance would be less worrisome if his instincts weren’t terrifying. He’s praised authoritarians for their strength, whether Vladimir Putin for killing journalists and political opponents or the Chinese government for the massacre it perpetrated in Tiananmen Square. To the extent he articulates policies, he seems to be an odd mix of third-world despot and naïve pacifist.
Like Steve Hayes, I’m a proud member of the #NeverTrump movement. While pundits like Sean Hannity and Andrea Tantaros talk about Trump like he’s a conservative god, I won’t. That’s because I care more about the principles that make conservatism and capitalism the most powerful forces for positive change.
Why anyone would vote for a disgusting, immoral liberal like Donald Trump is mind-boggling. Personally, I won’t.
It isn’t surprising that Donald Trump is an unhinged anti-war liberal with a passion for conspiracy theories. That’s been obvious for months. Saturday night, however, Trump the 9/11 Truther, made his first appearance on a debate stage. As a result of what Mr. Trump said, Medea Benjamin praised Mr. Trump, saying “It felt surreal to hear Donald Trump, the leading Republican contender for President, saying what we at CODEPINK have been shouting to the winds for 14 years now: that Bush and his cronies lied about WMDs, that the Iraq war was catastrophic, and that Bush never ‘kept us safe’ because 9/11 happened on his watch.”
This is a time for choosing for the so-called Republicans who support Trump. These Republicans can’t pretend that they’re patriots. They can’t pretend that they care about protecting the nation from terrorist attacks. They can’t tell us that they support Mr. Trump because they hate political correctness. They can’t even hide behind the fallacy that they support Mr. Trump because “he gets things done.”
The indisputable truth is that the thing bigger than Mr. Trump’s ego is the paranoia that fuels his truther beliefs. Here’s something Mr. Trump said that isn’t getting talked about enough:
TRUMP: How did he keep us safe when the World Trade Center — the World — excuse me. I lost hundreds of friends. The World Trade Center came down during the reign of George Bush. He kept us safe? That is not safe. That is not safe, Marco. That is not safe.
RUBIO: The World Trade Center came down because Bill Clinton didn’t kill Osama bin Laden when he had the chance to kill him. (APPLAUSE)
TRUMP: And George Bush– by the way, George Bush had the chance, also, and he didn’t listen to the advice of his CIA.
Mr. Trump couldn’t know that President Bush got information from the CIA on bin Laden, much less know whether President Bush refused to act on that intelligence. We know that it’s impossible for Mr. Trump to know this because that’s the type of intelligence that would get an SAP classification. We know that because of Hillary Clinton’s emails.
Trump’s supporters need to ask themselves whether they’re supporting him because they thought he was a patriot who would change this nation’s direction or did they support Mr. Trump because they thought he was a liberal anti-war activist that’s praised by far left organizations like Code Pink? Five minutes into this video, Carl Higbie, a former Navy Seal, insists that ISIS will be gone within 2 years:
HIGBIE: I think we see ISIS gone within 2 years. We put 250,000 boots on the ground. I know people that that’s not a popular comment but we do what’s necessary. We set the threshold. We say ‘if you do this, we’ll do this’. You follow through.
Apparently, Mr. Higbie isn’t well-informed. All he has to do is watch this video to be better informed:
Mr. Higbie can forget about a Trump administration that will put 250,000 boots on the ground to defeat ISIS. Trump has repeatedly said that he’d farm US national security out to Putin. Trump said repeatedly that he wants Putin to take out ISIS. Though you can’t trust anything Mr. Trump says from one day to the next, there’s no question that he’s repeatedly said that he wants Putin to do our dirty work with regards to ISIS.
Anyone that supports a presidential candidate that sounds like an anti-war CODE PINK activist one minute, then says he’d get Vladimir Putin to take out ISIS isn’t thinking straight.
Steve Hayes’ tweet about Donald Trump’s interview is frightening. According to Hayes, Trump told Fox’s Martha Maccallum that “he’ll get Russia to takeover much of the campaign against ISIS b/c of better relations w/Putin.” Trump’s ego is frightening. He actually thinks that Putin cares about ISIS. That’s delusional. Why would anyone be stupid enough to trust our national security to Putin? And yes, stupid is the right word.
Putin’s interest in that part of the world is to protect its satellites, Iran and Syria. ISIS isn’t something that the Russians worry about. The next commander-in-chief needs to be able to analyze situations in the Middle East. Trump hasn’t shown anything remotely resembling that type of ability.
Trump’s organization is confused at best. Trump’s analysis of the Middle East is delusional. That’s worthy of a vote for him? I don’t think so.
On a night when Sen. Rubio exceeded expectations, Gov. Jeb Bush, who finished with 2.8% of the vote in Iowa, sounded totally unlike his dad and his brother. Gov. Bush sounded like a total sourpuss, saying “Speaking of Rubio and Cruz Monday night, Bush said they don’t have the experience to win. And the two other candidates that are likely to emerge in Iowa are two people that are backbenchers that have never done anything of consequence in their life. They’re gifted beyond belief. They can give a great speech. But I think it’s time for us to recognize that maybe what we need is someone who can lead.”
Bush’s supporting super PACs spent almost $25,000,000 attacking Sen. Rubio in the hopes of building Bush up. Rubio far exceeded expectations, finishing with 23.1% of the vote in Iowa. Meanwhile, the guy who thinks we need “someone who can lead” finished a mere 20.3% behind the guy who Jeb thought should wait his turn. That doesn’t sound like a guy who entered the race saying that he wanted to run a joyous race. That sounds like a bitter man who didn’t see this impending defeat coming.
What’s particularly insulting is Jeb’s suggestion that Sen. Rubio is incapable of leading people. Part of leadership is understanding what’s important to people, then offering a vision that inspires them to achieve their goals. If there’s anyone on the GOP side that can do that, it’s Sen. Rubio. Half the battle of leading is directing people to where they already wanted to go. People want to prosper. Sen. Rubio offers that. People want to feel safe from the advances of ISIS. Sen. Rubio certainly passes the commander-in-chief test.
People have tried crippling Sen. Rubio’s campaign by saying he’s an inexperienced first-term U.S. senator. It’s indisputable that he’s a first-term senator but that isn’t a strike against him. When Barack Obama started running for president, the truth is that he was just 2 years removed from being a state senator in Illinois. He spent the first 2 years playing politics and not taking policy seriously.
That isn’t what Sen. Rubio did. Sen. Rubio took his responsibilities seriously on the Intelligence and Armed Services committees. He learned national security issues until he could recite them backwards or frontwards.
The Bush dynasty should go into hibernation. The American people aren’t interested in dynasties.