Archive for the ‘Middle East’ Category
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.
There’s a situation that’s approaching crisis status here in central Minnesota. The federal refugee resettlement program is out of control because local governments are saying that it’s beyond their control because it’s funded by appropriations from the U.S. State Department. Meanwhile, the State Department is able to say that their funding of the program is limited to 6 months, which means that cities and counties have their budgets exhausted faster by what essentially is a massive unfunded mandate from the federal government.
Bob Enos has taken quite an interest in this program. He’s done tons of research into the subject. He’s attended meetings. He’s spoken out about how cities, counties and school districts have been negatively affected by this State Department program. His ‘thanks’ for that time and leg-work has been criticism.
Enos has focused like a laser on the financial impact these refugees have had on cities, counties and school districts. Recently he addressed the Willmar City Council. This videotape is of his presentation:
Here’s part of what Mr. Enos said:
We’ve been working on an issue that’s become pretty important to us which has to do with the subject of the resettlement of political refugees around the world and how that affects our counties particularly. I don’t know if you’ve had any briefings on this matter but back in November, the coordinator for the refugee resettlement program for the state of Minnesota in St. Paul requested the director of Family Services here at the County to organize a meeting that took place over a couple of days. Twenty people attended from 3 county agencies, the Willmar School District as well as city hall. The Mayor-elect was there. A couple of vice presidents from Jenny O were there. The subject of the meeting had to do with migration of refugees to Kandiyohi County. We’re used to thinking of the refugee issue in terms of those that are leaving the refugee camps in east Africa and winding up on our shores and going out to the cities and the counties.
The big issue lately that we can’t seem to get a handle on very easily, particularly from a financial planning standpoint, and that has to do with the secondary relocation of refugees from other states around the country. The most recent data that we’re seeing now from the State of Minnesota, specifically from the Department of Health, now tells us that of every city and town, the city that is attracting the most refugees is Minneapolis. The city that’s attracting the second-most refugees is Willmar, not St. Paul, not Bloomington, not St. Cloud, Mankato, Worthington. Willmar.
We suspect that, for the most part, most of this has to do with family re-unification but, best guess, there’s a number of factors contributing to this. What we’re seeing is the Somali community, in particular, is such a size and critical mass, that that critical mass is, in and of itself, the primary magnet for refugees coming here from Atlanta, California and Texas. The last time we knew, we were looking at a number roughly of 2,000 or roughly 10% of our population. We know that’s quite conservative.
I’ve been to 2 other meetings subsequent to the meeting held in November. One was held out in St. Cloud and was sponsored by Lutheran Social Services organization, which in Minnesota, is called the # 1 volunteer agency or VOLAG, which is a private contractor with the State Department and the Department of Health and Human Services from the federal government to aid in that relocation within the first 6 months that they’re here. That meeting, interestingly enough, had about 35 stakeholders, people that have some part, some incentive, some exposure to the program. There was not a single elected official there from the City of St. Cloud or the county. There were no representatives of the School District and these are the places where we’re seeing the most impact, and, of course, the schools.
The federal contracts that the VOLAGs have, though they’re hardly volunteers, requires that they quarterly have meetings with stakeholders. Those stakeholders are supposed to include members of the community. I would take that a member of the community to be an elected representative and I have not been to a meeting where I’ve seen a city councilman, a county commissioner or anyone of an elected status.
What’s particularly disturbing is that nobody from the St. Cloud City Council, the school district or the Stearns County commissioners attended the meeting hosted by the St. Cloud chapter of Lutheran Social Services. Were they unaware of the meeting? Were they simply disinterested in the meeting? Or didn’t they attend it for a different reason?
That’s just what’s happening now. Minnesota’s U.S. senators Klobuchar and Franken “are advocating that the U.S. participate, along with the UN High Commissioner of Refugees in the relocation next year of 130,000 Syrian Muslim refugees.” Enos then said that “the director of the intelligence division of the FBI testified 2 months ago before Congress that the problem with bringing in refugees from failed states like Somalia and Syria is that there’s no infrastructure for our government to vet those people coming from overseas. There’s no record. There’s no office. There’s no way of knowing what we’re getting when they show up other than the good word and the good faith of the U.N.”
This is unprecedented. It isn’t that the U.S. hasn’t accepted refugees before. It’s that the U.S. hasn’t accepted political refugees from failed nations with substantial populations of terrorists before. This isn’t something to be taken lightly. If ever there was a situation when additional caution is required, this is that situation.
What’s required is a slowdown for multiple reasons. It’s totally justifiable for taxpayers to know the financial impact this ‘federal’ program is having on their property taxes and state government programs. It’s also justified for the federal government to put in place a verification system that doesn’t bring ISIS terrorists to the United States on our dime.
Until these issues are satisfactorily resolved, skepticism will be justified.
When I wrote this post about Rand Paul’s foolishness about ISIS, I stuck mostly to highlighting why Sen. Paul’s opinion is dangerous. Today, it’s time to attack the beliefs that form the foundation for that wrongheaded thinking.
Like his lunatic father before him, Sen. Paul thinks that ISIS won’t hurt us if we just leave them alone. That’s projection based on their capital-L Libertarian beliefs. It’s also lunacy that isn’t based in facts.
ISIS’s beliefs are based on a messianic worldview. If ISIS didn’t use the U.S.’s presence in the Middle East as a rationalization for attacking us, then they’d find a different, equally dishonest, excuse to kill people who don’t agree with them 100% of the time.
The proof of this is the fact that hundreds and thousands of Muslims have been murdered because they didn’t subscribe to ISIS’s beliefs. Their crime wasn’t that they were an occupying force in the Middle East. Their ‘crime’ was that they weren’t, in ISIS’s opinion, Muslim enough. If it wasn’t that, ISIS would find a different excuse to rationalize their actions.
Rand Paul isn’t qualified to be the next commander-in-chief. He sees the world as he wants it to be. He doesn’t see the world as it actually is. That’s President Obama’s fatal flaw. That’s one of Sen. Paul’s fatal flaws, too.
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.
Adel al-Jubeir, the Saudi ambassador to the US, did a good job of walking a tightrope in discussing the mess President Obama created in the Middle East:
This article shows how frayed the relationship is between the Saudis and the Obama administration:
Asked when he was told by Saudi Arabia that it would take military action in Yemen, Gen. Lloyd Austin, the head of the U.S. military’s Central Command, told a Senate hearing on Thursday he spoke with Saudi Arabia’s chief of defense “right before they took action.” He added that he couldn’t assess the likelihood of the campaign succeeding because he didn’t know the “specific goals and objectives.”
Translation: The Saudis told Centcom that it was taking military action against the Iran-supported Houthi rebels moments before launching airstrikes against Houthi rebels. The other noteworthy tidbit of information is that Centcom can’t evaluate what the likelihood of the Saudi airstrikes is because it wasn’t briefed by the Saudis.
Nations collaborating with each other might not know everything that the other nation is planning on doing but they’d have a pretty good idea what assets are being deployed and where. They’d know what their ally’s goals were, too. Clearly, that isn’t happening here.
During his interview with Chris Wallace, al-Jubeir emphatically stated that they’re willing to deploy ground troops if they determine that’s what’s needed to destroy ISIS. When I heard that, I wished that our commander-in-chief had that type of spine. Unfortunately, we’re stuck with President Obama. What’s especially sad is that President Obama’s world view is totally upside down. America’s traditional allies are President Obama’s enemies. Countries that’ve traditionally been America’s enemies are this administration’s friends.
The saddest part is that it’ll take the Republican’s next term in office just to clean up this administration’s foreign policy disasters. I’ve said this before but I’ll repeat it here. I never thought I’d see the day when another president’s foreign policy ‘accomplishments’ paled in comparison to Jimmy Carter’s lackluster list of accomplishments.
Unfortunately, I’ve lived to see that day. Then again, I didn’t think I’d live to see the day when Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan would form a de facto alliance to counterbalance the US-Iranian alliance.
President Obama is complaining about the Senate Republicans sending a letter to Iran’s mullahs. Like the petty man he is, he threw in a dig at Republicans while criticizing them.
President Obama assailed 47 Republican senators Monday for writing an open letter to the leaders of Iran while the country is in the middle of nuclear negotiations with the United States and allied nations, arguing the communication made “common cause with the hardliners in Iran.”
The letter, released publicly Monday, advised Iran’s leaders that any pact negotiated by the Obama administration and signed by Iran, and not ratified by Congress, could be voided by future presidents or modified by future Congresses. It was drafted as a lesson in the workings of the Constitution, and framed as a rebuke to the president’s executive authority.
The mullahs aren’t negotiating with this administration. They’re toying with this administration. Any treaty negotiated with the mullahs won’t be worth the parchment it’ll be written on. It certainly won’t be worth ratifying.
And yes, it’s a treaty.
Speaking in the Oval Office, Obama said the American people would assess the merits of any finalized agreement with Iran. If a deal is reached, “I’m confident we’ll be able to implement it,” he added. “I think it’s somewhat ironic to see some members of Congress wanting to make common cause with the hardliners in Iran. It’s an unusual coalition,” the president observed.
First, we don’t need to wait until the details of the treaty are revealed to “assess the merits” of the proposed treaty. We shouldn’t negotiate with terrorist-sponsoring nations like Iran until they stop sponsoring terrorists. Period. Negotiating with them gives them legitimacy. That’s the last thing we should do.
Next, blowing up a bad deal with some of the nastiest people on earth isn’t making common cause with them. As usual, President Obama has things bassackwards. His negotiating a treaty with them while pushing Israel under the bus is making common cause with the terrorists. That’s the “unusual coalition.”
Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia have signaled to Israel that working together to take out Iran’s nuclear weapons is acceptable. Meanwhile, President Obama has continued his policy of appeasement towards Iran. While Republican senators align themselves with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, President Obama continues his policy of appeasement with Iran’s mullahs.
That’s “an unusual coalition.”
Watching this video will show that el-Sissi is more pro-traditional American than President Obama:
Thankfully, these 47 Republicans are playing hardball with the hardliners in Tehran.
This NYTimes article is totally farcical. Check this paragraph out:
Asked whether the accord would guarantee that Iran would remain at least a year away from being able to produce enough fuel for a single nuclear weapon, a senior official said that the agreement was still under negotiation and that it was not yet clear how long the accord might last. He noted that some “transparency measures” that might provide insight into the inner workings of Iran’s nuclear activities might be in effect for an “extended period of time.”
The thought that the mullahs’ word is worth anything is utterly laughable. Trusting them is like trusting Bernie Madoff with the password to your retirement account. Nobody in their right mind would trust them. Thinking that President Obama would call out Iran if they violated the treaty is just as laughable.
If this is part of the administration’s ‘prebuttal’ to Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to a joint session of Congress, then they’re a laughingstock. They’ll be ridiculed by serious news organizations.
The officials were also vague about whether, and how quickly, Iran would have to answer a dozen questions from the International Atomic Energy Agency about research it is suspected of carrying out on nuclear designs, what the agency calls the “possible military dimensions” of Iran’s program. The I.A.E.A., the United Nations’ inspection agency, said again last week that Iran stonewalled inspectors on answering most of its questions, which the Iranians insist are based on fabricated evidence.
The treaty still hasn’t been signed and Iran is already attempting to shroud its nuclear program in secrecy. Israel shouldn’t trust Iran at this or any other point. Israel shouldn’t trust President Obama either. He’s clearly undermined Israel’s ability to protect itself from the existential threat known as Iran.
This is either red flag city or it’s entirely predictable. Saying that “officials were also vague about whether, and how quickly, Iran would have to answer a dozen questions from the International Atomic Energy Agency” is essentially the same as saying that this administration won’t take this part seriously. If this administration was serious about preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, they’d back this provision up with the option of military force and harsh sanctions.
The fact that the Obama administration and other Democrats support this is frightening. The fact that Hillary hasn’t spoken out about this is telling, too. Hillary’s silence is deafening. She’s as dovish as President Obama.
President Obama’s PR campaign isn’t working:
This week, Secretary of State John Kerry told Congress that Mr. Netanyahu was wrong when he predicted that the interim agreement reached with Iran would fail and would result in the collapse of the sanctions regimen against Tehran, and administration officials suggested that his opposition to a comprehensive agreement was also wrongheaded.
But the concerns voiced by Mr. Netanyahu are also shared by Saudi Arabia and other Arab states that are regional rivals of Iran. Mr. Kerry plans to meet with King Salman of Saudi Arabia and other Arab officials over the next week to try to reassure them about the agreement.
When the Saudis agree with Israel’s prime minister and disagree with our president, that’s a PR disaster for the Obama administration.
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.
At a DNC fundraiser in New York last night, President Obama said that the world isn’t falling apart, it’s just that social media is making him look bad:
President Obama on Friday said social media and the nightly news are partly to blame for the sense that “the world is falling apart.”
“I can see why a lot of folks are troubled,” Obama told a group of donors gathered at a Democratic National Committee barbecue in Purchase, N.Y. But the president said that current foreign policy crises across the world are not comparable to the challenges the U.S. faced during the Cold War.
There’s no question that social media spreads the news around quickly. That doesn’t explain away the multitude of crises that’ve started during President Obama’s administration or the threat posed by ISIL.
President Putin doesn’t take him seriously. At best, the Obama administration is an afterthought to Putin. America’s allies don’t trust us because of amateurish moves like dissing allies like Egypt in attempting to broker a cease-fire between Israel and the Palestinians.
Egypt and the UAE hit Libyan targets without informing the Obama administration:
CAIRO — Twice in the last seven days, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates have secretly launched airstrikes against Islamist-allied militias battling for control of Tripoli, Libya, four senior American officials said, in a major escalation of a regional power struggle set off by Arab Spring revolts.
The United States, the officials said, was caught by surprise: Egypt and the Emirates, both close allies and military partners, acted without informing Washington, leaving the Obama administration on the sidelines. Egyptian officials explicitly denied to American diplomats that their military played any role in the operation, the officials said, in what appeared a new blow to already strained relations between Washington and Cairo.
America’s enemies don’t fear us. Iran and Russia laugh at the Obama administration. Putin keeps trying to rebuild the former Soviet empire and Iran continues on its path to a nuclear weapon.
Worst of all, ISIL is the biggest terrorist threat in history. They’re exceptionally well-financed. They have a military capable of dominating the Arabian Peninsula. They’re training fighters who have European and/or American passports.
No, Mr. President, it isn’t that social media is spotlighting the usual things. It’s that they’re highlighting your administration’s multitude of mistakes. Mr. President, there’s wide consensus that your administration is the worst foreign policy/national security administration since WWII.
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.
Technorati: Barack Obama, Jimmy Carter, Appeasement, Democrats,
Afghanistan, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, Ayman al-Zawahiri, Mullah Omar, Islamic Caliphate, Nouri al-Maliki, President Bush, Troop Surge